What better time to put on a mask than when your whole world is falling down around you? Instead of framing face-coverings as solemn obligation, might the public health be better protected, and might we lighten our psychic load, if we reimagined this moment as a lavish, statewide masquerade? By the second half of the 19th century and through the 1960s, major California municipalities from Los Angeles to San Francisco had laws that barred public disguise and cross-dressing. We’re told, with considerable scientific justification, that we must wear masks to be good, to protect ourselves and our fellow citizens, to comply with the public health wisdom of our regime as we seek to end the pandemic.
In this cultural moment, when we are surrounded by so much coerced and performative goodness, might more people want to wear masks if we emphasized their darker and more subversive appeal? The current, highly polarized debate over masks is much too dumb and dull when you consider the history of our use of masks. The glories of the masquerade are completely missed by today California’s scolds, who seek to shame us into wearing masks. Neither government nor the Church could tell who the sinner was—and so, eventually, the authorities tried to ban mask-wearing. The Bible goes on to say in Leviticus 20:27 that anyone who practiced witchcraft, soothsaying, sorcery should be killed. In Los Angeles, the Labyrinth Masquerade Ball, first held in 1997 and inspired by Jim Henson’s 1986 film Labyrinth, has grown into an institution, with thousands of attendees and an ongoing story line with newly invented characters and mythologies.
Despite all these troubles, in October of that year, County Haraszthy hosted a lavish Masquerade Ball, touted by the winery as the first in California history. Agoston Haraszthy didn’t hesitate to wear masks. I tell this story now in hopes that today’s Californians, so wary of face coverings, might consider what “the Count” knew: Masks are about fun and finding light in darkness. In recent years, legal scholars have described those discriminatory ordinances as forerunners of today’s so-called “bathroom bills” that target transgender people. The costumes focus on actors, celebrities, movies and musicians that have shaped an entire generation of people.
We believe that unique sense of fashion and the way they carry themselves is what set people apart. With identities shielded, people could do as they wished. Host Shawn Strider told me the masquerades are great levelers in status-conscious L.A., because regular Angelenos and A-list stars alike are able to attend comfortably, without learning each other’s true identities. We can try on new identities and deviate from the norms of good citizenship. All donations can be brought to our Trunk or Treat event (items may be brought to your child’s Sunday School classroom.). From here, you can do whatever you want! Ever want to be a celebrity?
Just like that, Halloween has come and gone, but, luckily, the best celebrity Halloween costumes of the year will live on forever. Of course, if the cat ears and underwear look isn’t for you, why not just steal an idea from a celebrity? 9. What did Cousin It from the Adams Family look like? The 26-year-old actress and Bachelor in Paradise’s Wells Adams took the internet by storm as popular characters Eleven and Dustin Henderson. This celebration took place at the end of the harvest. Place your treats (candy) in your trunk. This holiday is celebrated as the day the three wise men first saw baby Jesus and brought him gifts. Sunday school (ages three through eighteen) is offered during the 10:00 a.m. North Scottsdale United Methodist Church celebrates the love of God through Christ by having two services on Sunday (8:30 am and 10:00 am).
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