Wednesday, October 26, 2005

burying the hatchet

As Halloween draws near, we are again confronted with the pagan underpinnings of American society and the basic right of every man to dress in drag or woman to dress as a trashy ho for one uncensored night. It is a time when we celebrate the crackhead in each and every one of us though this may be buried less deeply in some than in others. I, for one, have always considered it my primordial duty to dress up on Halloween if anything to remind us that American society is still too Puritan, too restrictive, and that we really need to lighten up once in a while. Step out of our skins. Therefore, after considerable thought I decided to be Lizzie Borden for Halloween only to discover that not a single person I asked knew who she was. This disturbs me for several reasons. One, I am an immigrant to this country and should know relatively less than the average American born native. Two, she is arguably the most famous murdress in American history, and quite possibly the first documented female criminal of a multiple homicide. Three, I'm beginning to think that I have no useful knowledge of any kind which renders me virtually unable to communicate on a casual level with the average person.

So to bring everyone up to date, let's contemplate this terrifying poem and images:

Lizzie Borden took an axe
and gave her mother 40 whacks...

When she saw what she had done
she gave her father 41.

This is the face of a woman deep in the throes of PMS. At least that's one argument (of many theories) that Lizzie was having her period and PMS-ing really badly when she decided to chop her folks up. Here are some other facts of the murders:

1. The murders took place in Fall River, Massachussets in 1892.
2. Lizzie supposedly took a hatchet to her stepmom only 10 times, whilst her father took 18 whacks. Not your daddy's little girl. Bad daddy.
3. She was a 32 year old spinster living with her parents. Cause enough to kill them to be sure. Someone keep an eye on me will ya?
4. It has been hypothesized that the lack of blood on her dress meant that Lizzie stripped naked, killed her parents, and then put her clothes back on. So she was not only a killer, but she liked to get her freak on!
5. She was never convicted of any crime. Her father was extremely wealthy and she was able to purchase the best defense team available. Who says we never learn anything from history?

1 comment:

Diane said...

You will be surprised how little native-born Americans know, even about current events.

I remember, in March of 2004, I stopped by an old high school teacher's classroom to ask for a letter of recommendation. The subject of America's continuing conflict in Iraq came up in his class, and one brilliant high school senior interjected, "Is the war still going on?". And yes, she was being serious.