November 03, 2007
The Attack on Halloween

You really can’t make this stuff up. The wingnuts, normally the soul of insulation from reality, have awakened and are becoming conscious of just how completely screwed they are. Hopefully one day they’ll realize how many innocent deaths they’ve caused and do the honorable thing. (I’m not holding my breath. If they want to, I encourage that undertaking.)

Meanwhile, they’re impossible to satirize, even for The Onion. Sean Hannity apparently believes that Halloween is a liberal holiday not because of the pagan origins, about which he’s doubtless ignorant anyway, or because of the associations with The Dark Side, to which he long ago sold out, but because of the symbolism of the handout, an obvious pinko attempt to convince kids to expect help from a young age. How scummy can you get?

But really, they’re desperate at this point to salvage some scrap of power, the only truth they appreciate. I met a guy at a bar in Belmont tonight who seriously maintained that we’re better off fighting them in Iraq than in Belmont. Naturally it turns out he believes in torture, just on GP, plus it might actually produce actionable intelligence. He also claimed that the Iraqis won’t be angry at us for killing a million of their former fellow citizens because they understand that we’re good, and acting from good motives. Flattening Fallujah was just something we had to do, and they get it. Those who lived, at least.

What is about American life that produces this level of fear and hate? Is it television, or Christianity, or football, or beer? Maybe it’s the educational system being starved so we can build more prisons? Or just having to argue with, and share a bar with, people who believe they can get information from Fox? Probably there’s just not enough sex happening, with which I can identify.

Thankfully it seems that those American citizens who want to torture as long as they know they won’t suffer any consequences are hitting their high notes because they realize they’re on the way out. They’ve been discovered, the world understands how childish and foolish they are, and has moved on.

Still, we see those kids showing up at the door and wonder, will they be able to fight off the terrorists, and torture anyone who looks different, if we give them candy now? A student in one of my chess classes this week wore a t-shirt saying "No questions, just put the candy in the bag". The only country to go from barbarism to decadence without passing through civilization along the way…

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Posted by Chuck Dupree at November 03, 2007 02:38 AM
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The origin of the gimme-candy thing is a shakedown: TRICK or treat. Gimme some candy or I'll soap your windows/let the air out of your tires/throw corn at your house.

I haven't seen any soaped windows for maybe 20 years. I personally threw corn at houses. Going back further in time, my father and his friends put an outhouse on top of the school flagpole. I don't want to find out what my parents' parents might have done for Halloween, maybe set off the San Francisco earthquake. Anyway, the trick's gone out of trick or treating, for which, as an older person, I am grateful.

And my parents never took me trick or treating. I went out on my own with the other kids. We didn't go for two prescribed hours on a designated night, either; we went out pretty much for the month of October, to a couple of different houses each night. We contrived our own costumes from old clothes and sheets and sometimes had a store-bought mask.

I had a lot of fun. What Halloween is for children these days doesn't look like much fun to me.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on November 3, 2007 10:47 PM
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