Terror is in …
— “Nowhere To Run, Nowhere To Hide”
Three presidential terms ago, I bowed deep on Halloween before a momentous election to the hip hop supergroup, Gravediggaz, hoping to exorcise eight years of apocalyptic Republican rule.
Here we go again, six feet deeper.
Back on Halloween 2008, my superstitious plan thankfully worked. Bush and Cheney were out, Barack Obama was in, and I, a newish father, breathed a sigh of relief. I felt confident that America had unfucked itself enough from perpetual war and climate crisis to begin addressing the exponential madness it had descended into.
I have never been more wrong about anything in my life.
And so here we are, again, buried deeper in a destabilizing election, in a more deranged nation, seeking slivers of light in an ever-tightening coffin. Through crescendos of fascism and uprisings of Black Lives Matter, we are, of course, less precious than before. Because we are now much closer to accepting that true hope and lasting change are mere phantoms without persistent, defiant pursuit.
To perhaps right these existential wrongs, on another Halloween, before another epochal presidential election, I turn again to RZA, Prince Paul, Frukwan and Poetic to make horrific sense of our senseless world. Still underrated, still influential, Gravediggaz’s gruesome, acid satire classic 6 Feet Deep — fueled by fearsomely honest poetry and unrepentantly destabilizing soundtracking — is exactly the culture vulture we need, at the end of the world.
“I recall it being a conscious effort to dig up the mentally dead,” RZA explained last year, on the 25th anniversary of 6 Feet Deep‘s 1994 release. “The worst horror is the man who is mentally dead walking around. And the gravedigger’s job is to dig them up and bring them back to life.“
Listen to Gravediggaz’s loud and proud alarm, while throwing up a middle finger now to not eight but only four years of lethal lunacy that makes Bush and Cheney’s blood-soaked reign feel like a softcore soap opera. Then check in below with more inspiring, igniting Halloween horror, real and imagined.
And cross your hearts and hope to die, if the 2020 election turns out to have, unlike its 2008 doppelgänger, a very unhappy ending.