All Hallows Eve, best known as Halloween has become big business with retailers, costume shops and venues that participate in the merry making. According to analyst this holiday rivals Christmas with a Billion dollar injection to the economy that reverberates nationwide. I have fond memories of Halloween's past and enjoy seeing some the the creative costumes that come from the demented minds of the community. Of course the GLBT collective has a "take no prisoners" approach to skewing popular culture unilaterally as well as without remorse. However, as we indulge in the holiday we must also be reminded that there are actually real entities and homegrown forces that we should be monitoring closely. Last year, San Francisco's party atmosphere was sullied with violence from gang bangers and others in a "wilding mode" resulting in 9 people being shot and others injuried. Meanwhile, the Halloween 2007 event has been formally postponed for the first time in it's history. Law enforcement and city officials are ardent that there will be no public display as in past years. Many gays living in the Castro are not oppose to this approach to quell any type of disturbances. While I lived their in the early 80's , I had a chance to witness as well as participate in the madcap antics and showiness of the party goers. At that time, I was surprised at how many onlookers were not from the neighborhood nor gay. Obviously this trend has taking it's toll on the event. I found the story, "Who Killed Halloween" in the Advocate a sobering reminder that gay exclusive bastions are increasingly becoming mainstream although somewhat awkwardly and at times problematic. The new catch phrase, Alternative Bar, is suppose to emote the presence of straights who are accepting of gays or at least taking their money until they don't cut the mustard. This was the case just last week, as I and other patrons watched as a "straight" man was ejected from Sidetracks because he retorted to a customer that "his being gay must be a sickness." And so it goes with our new found freedom. Therefore, let us not forget the motives, ta tics, and core groups who seek to accelerate platforms and doctrines that could affect us overall. This was clearly demonstrated in this year's mid-term elections, which raised the level of "fear mongering" and "gay baiting" weapons used by former candidates such as Andy Mayberry, Jim Holt and others who choose to demean our existence by affirming inflammatory rhetoric and manipulated facts. The issues of Civil Unions or adoption have been demonized by a host of Family and God organizations, authors and Evangelist like Pat Robinson who purport to have the ultimate hook up with the almighty. These alliances have again gathered together this year to promote laws to keep disenfranchising GLBTQ individuals and those who they deem unfit to foster children in Arkansas. My dear reader, we have much to be scared about as pockets of protesters have reached the depths of distaste by equating our lifestyles with the deaths of military personnel who have boldly given the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of an entire nation. This type of hijacking is not only mean-spirited but seriously dangerous once embraced. As a global citizen, I respect the right to civil unrest and peaceful protest, but I can't accept the insensitivity and reprehensible methods promoted by such entities. Each day more polarizing moral messages from coast to coast and condemnation from various murky outpost continue to poison our abilities to heal as one nation, united. Presidential candidates Obama, Clinton, Huckabee, Romney and others are tipping through the culture war mind fields ever so gently in search of votes. President Bush and the Neo-cons continues the war mantra with overtones of a possible World War III or the threat of terrorist bringing carnage home to our shores. Nooses being used as intimidation symbols, classism, government gridlock and increasing racial strife are slowly smoldering in the cauldron of public unrest. This is scary stuff people. Consequently as a community, abdicating our responsibility to the philosophy that "some one else will take care of it," is soundly unacceptable and foolish at best. In conclusion, let the darkness fall with the sounds of clicking heels, bawdy laughter and howling jubilee. Start the celebration of the many mask that will be worn, however, let us not forget that we must be diligent in un-masking those whom gather at the altar of hate or fan the fires of misinformation. Happy Halloween 2007!