Tuesday October 28, 2014

The Great Pumpkin Iconoclasm

By Kiersten Remster '17

Well folks, it is that time of year again. Bring on the basic pumpkin spice Frappuccino, binge-watching Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown while doing homework, and Instagram photos of colorful leaves changing.

Fall is here.

As I was on my way to work this week on ArtStreet, I witnessed such a tragic and gruesome event… on the sidewalk were sinewy pumpkin guts and shards smashed into the concrete and strewn across the lawn. The orange carcasses were a grizzly sight for someone who is somewhat of a pumpkin-enthusiast. (If that is even a thing) It was simply massacre.

And we all know how this happened. Some college kid thought it would be funny to snatch someone’s innocent pumpkin off of a porch and drop it from a height to watch it explode once it hit the ground.

But, what is the big deal about pumpkin smashing?

Pumpkins are majestic products of nature. They are signs of bountiful harvests and reflective icons of Thanksgiving celebrations. So what did the pumpkin ever do to you?

Absolutely nothing –as I suspected.

People spend hours to carve meaningful messages, images, silly faces, etc. into pumpkins to celebrate the fall season and Halloween. A carved pumpkin is symbolic and is very much a piece of art.

According to the Modern Farmer, “the first mention of a link between jack-o’-lanterns and Halloween was in 1866 in an Ontario paper, and for a few decades the pumpkin seemed to enjoy a period of relative peace. But that would change.”

Destroying a pumpkin is merely iconoclasm. Pumpkin smashers my as well shout “Bah Humbug” as they destroy this vandal sport of anarchy against nature.

So regardless of who you are with on a weekend October night and regardless of what fun or frights you seek, remember to pay respect to the pumpkins and contain your irresistible want to destroy them.

Kiersten Remster is a sophomore Art History and German student at University of Dayton. She is the new student arts writer at ArtStreet and is very excited to be a part of the ArtStreet family. Kiersten has been a competitive swimmer her whole life and is continuing her swimming career through the Dayton Master's program. She is also serving on the Academic Affairs Committee this year as vice president and is looking forward to working with faculty in order to improve Dayton's academic curriculum.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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