The PopCulteer
October 22, 2021

Let me explain. I’m not a Halloween-hater. I just got burned out on the holiday of the macabre a few years ago because, to be honest, I enjoy horror movies and spooky stuff all year long, and being a non-drinker who should avoid candy, the holiday lost its luster for me. When every day’s like Halloween, then Halloween is just as special as an average Wednesday.

So I do have  a bunch of Halloween stuff to tell you about, but first, it’s time to preview The 2021 PopCult Gift Guide.

I’m not really rushing it. It starts this coming Monday, like it has for the last several years.  For a variety of reasons I’m shaking things up a bit this year. Instead of three or four posts a day for the month of November, there will be one post, with five, usually-themed, gift suggestions, every weekday. This will ease the server strain, now that I’m out on my own and not with The Charleston Gazette-Mail, and it’ll make my life a little easier.

Because of supply chain issues caused largely by the wretched ineptitude of the former resident of the White House, I’m going to be very picky, and will try to make sure my suggestions are actually available for sale somewhere.  There are still residual effects from the pandemic that are messing with our retail options, too.

Books are tricky this year. We have a worldwide paper shortage, caused in part by Amazon buying up much of the world’s wood pulp supply to make boxes to ship stuff over the past two years. Toys are a low-priority for shippers because electronics and manufacturing components need to get through to keep factory workers employed. We have a massive trucker shortage because some idiot passed a giant tax cut for rich people in 2017, that also raised taxes on truckers, driving tens of thousands of them into retirement or other careers.

So…I’ll be recommending less of the cool, just-released stuff, and more of the cool things that I know are definitely in stock. I strongly suggest you buy local, whenever possible, but also, if you have to order something, do it early. The guy who lost the last election in a landslide also managed to wreck the postal service.

As a teaser, and unoffical gift idea, let me tell you about a new Monster High Skullector doll, Greta from Gremlins 2: The New Batch. She will go on sale Friday, at Noon, Eastern Time, and even at sixty bucks, plus shipping, she’ll probably sell out long before the end of Halloween on Sunday night. That’s her at the top of this post.

It’s a cool doll, with an incredible design, and it’s nice that Mattel Creations is throwing a few crumbs to the loyal collectors of Monster High.

If you’re interested, and quick on the draw, you can find her HERE.

However, I will not be recommending many gifts like this because of the limited nature, higher price and the chance that she may not ship on time. So she’s not an official entry in The 2021 PopCult Gift Guide. I’m going to try to be a little more conservative, and offer more gift ideas for under fifty bucks this year. Times are still tough, and we’re not close to being out of the mess the GOP got us into.

But I’m still excited to bring you yet another PopCult Gift Guide. I’ve been doing this in one form or another since the blog started, back in 2005.  I’m taking weekends off for the first time in over a decade because readership drops during the weekends, and I would like to get some sleep this year.

Also, I apologize if I got a little too political in this PopCulteer. I spent more than a couple of minutes on Facebook today, and was very disappointed to see some of my friends have become radicalized terrorist sympathizers, aligning with the forces of the Orange guy against Democracy. Why I’m barely on Facebook anymore is a topic for another column. I still have to tell you about Halloween stuff.

The Halloween Hootenanny

It’s a Charleston Halloween Empty Glass tradition. The line-up of bands (including many RFC Favorites) is amazing,.. and there’s no way in hell I’m going, because I don’t want to be around crowds during a pandemic. But I really hate missing this one. If you aren’t as concerned about COVID, then go. It’s a two-night affair, Friday and Saturday, and Saturday coincides with the HallowEast drunken street party, so “woo-hoo,” if you’re into that sort of thing.

You should know the drill by now. The pandemic is still not over.  The numbers are improving, but are still pretty awful. If you are fully vaccinated and ready to do your best to stay safe, you should go check this stuff out. It’s Halloween weekend, so there’s really no excuse to go maskless

If anybody gives you grief over wearing a mask… it’s freaking Halloween. Throat-punch them and move on.

Use your common sense and stay safe…and support the local scene. And if you are so inclined, go to the Empty Glass for some great live music.

Halloween on The AIR

As we have in the past, The AIR will kick into Halloween mode Friday afternoon, and stay there until midnight, Sunday.

On The AIR, Halloween kicks off this afternoon, and you can listen at The Website, or on that spooky little embedded player. lurking at the top of the right column of this blog (on your desktop or laptop–I don’t know where the hell it is on your phone).

On our sister internet radio station, The AIR, Halloween begins at 2 PM Friday with an encore of last year’s Halloween episode of Mel Larch’s MIRRORBALL, which puts a disco spin on The Monster Mash (not actually that song, though…we couldn’t find a disco version of it).

At 3 PM Sydney Fileen brings us a Halloween-themed episodes of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. 5 PM sees a replay of last year’s Halloween edition of Radio Free Charleston Volume 5, which includes our classic RFC International Horror Theater special.

Starting at 7 PM Friday and running until Midnight Sunday, we dig back into The AIR Archives for special Halloween programming that includes Scary episodes of Prognosis, Curtain Call, and Radio Free Charleston, plus some classic radio drama and a three-hour special of music inspired by Edgar Allen Poe.

This includes a chance to hear Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds, Friday at 10 PM, following the Prognosis presentation of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. Saturday at 5 PM, and Sunday at 9 AM and 9:20 PM you can hear the entire final Halloween concert by Oingo Boingo, from 1995. We’ve snuck in a few other new compilations of Halloween music and radio plays throughout the weekend.

With that, I feel like I’ve done enough to contribute to Halloween this year.

And that is this week’s uncharacteristically cranky PopCulteer. Sorry about that. It’s been a long day. Check back for our regular features, and next Monday be sure to take a look at our Monday Morning Art with a piece I haven’t made yet. Later Monday we will begin The 2021 PopCult Gift Guide.