Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chick or treat

Well I know what I'm handing out to Trick-or-Treaters this Halloween. Nothing says, "Happy Halloween" like Chick Bible tracts!

"Big Daddy?" is about how evolution isn't true and how anyone who believes in it is a condescending prick and all it takes is a little Biblical wisdom to dismantle scientific knowledge. And then your fellow college classmates ask you to help them get into Heaven. Happens all the time.

I remember getting these in my bag while trick-or-treating when I was a kid. They were the equivalent of getting pennies or Starlite mints. Worse than Smarties, even. But now I think they're kind of cool. They're like little fanatic artifacts. (In fact, I have the"One Way!" tract around my house somewhere. It's a strange story about personal hygiene and "God's love gift"). And I don't care if people give them out at Halloween. After all, if you're going door to door asking people to give you stuff, you can't really control what people give you (which is why the police station scans candy for razor blades).

On the Chick site (and they're called "Chick" tracts because the guy who writes and illustrates them is Jack Chick. Sorry, nothing to do with the ladies) there is a list of "Halloween Chick Tract Usage Ideas," many of which are funny in a sad way. For instance: "Leave Chick tracts at Costume shops." Yes, slip a few into the Naughty Nurse outfits or some packages of Sexy French Maid stockings.

They also suggest you "Hit the streets, shouting, 'Free comic books!' You'll be swarmed with requests." I think there should be more instructions with this suggestion. For example, are they saying to just do this on Halloween or every day? Should you wear a costume? What do you do when the swarm realizes you aren't actually handing out comic books? And "the streets" is a pretty broad term. Do they mean just your street? Maybe a busy street in a public place? Or maybe by "the streets" they mean somewhere rough, like the inner city. If so, how do you deal with panhandlers and crackheads who don't accept tract currency? I don't really feel like the Chick people thought this one through.

Of course, while it's easy to dismiss the tracts marketed to children as harmless propaganda, some of their tracts are really hateful, like the rabidly anti-gay "Doom Town" and "Sin City" or the anti-Muslim "Who Is Allah"?" (one of several tracts created just for black people), the anti-Jew pro-Israel "Somebody Angry?" and the anti-Catholic "Evil Eyes" and "The Death Cookie." The way Chick draws Jews and Arabs, with exaggerated facial features and ugly expressions, is an especially nice touch.

Happy Halloween!

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