Tag: Halloween

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October 29, 2006: Our first snow, first Halloween, and first day moved into our new house. (Read Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here,  Part V here,  Part VI here,  Part VII here,  Part VIII here,  Part IX here, and Part X here.) Preview Open

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Halloween and Kids Having Fun!

 

My neighborhood had a fun and “normal” Halloween.

@bethanymandel has expressed frustration about the number of educational, socialization, and fun things the adult powers-that-be are depriving children these days. In at least one podcast she particularly lamented that some places were banning Halloween trick-or-treating, an activity that is conducted out in the fresh air with minimal brief contact between homeowner and child. So, I thought I’d report our neighborhood’s experience last night.

Halloween and the Monster Pandemic: The HARM of Universal Masking

 

I live in a very red state now, apparently redder than Georgia and Texas. I live in a neighborhood that I love because there are small homes with neatly mowed lawns near old mansions with roman columns. You could say this area meets the progressive definition of “diverse,” which cares only about neighbors having different hues as they sit on their front porches, as people still do here. But it meets my definition of “diverse,” too, because there are Trump flags galore and Biden/Harris signs staked in the grass, and no one disturbs anyone else’s stuff.

The truth is that I rejoice on almost every run through these streets littered with leaves about how plainly American this very mixed neighborhood feels because it’s plain to me that these families have different incomes, different demographics, different opinions, and it is fine. This is a reflection of the country I grew up loving. Unlike the hyper blue bubble of Austin that I recently began to find so suffocating that I had to leave it behind me, this place feels normal.

Sure, All Saints Day Is Christian, but What About the Night Before?

 

Many Christians have problems with Halloween. There are many reasons for this, but I’ll mention two of the primary ones.

  1. Many Christians find horror and ghost stories and films objectionable. Surely Christians should be thinking about more pleasant things.
  2. In recent years, adults have made the holiday more of their own. With that has come the popularity of the “sexy” costume: “sexy nurse”, “sexy librarian”, “sexy mortician”, “sexy sexiness”, etc. The whole enterprise has become a dirty joke.

But the great apologist C. S. Lewis looked at these things a little differently. Both of these things can be seen as a reason to believe.

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This morning, the wide grin of a little boy in a smart looking batman costume caught my eye. The joy on the child’s face, is unlike that of any boy photos I have in my collection, so a proud grandpa’s boast in a FB post “Have you ever seen a happier Batman?” was not one […]

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In our special Halloween edition of “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Pulitzer-Prize winner Stacy Schiff, whose most recent book is The Witches: Salem, 1692. They discuss why, in Schiff’s view, the Salem witch trials are the “the best known, least understood chapter” of American history, and why the trials, false charges, and finger pointing, remain relevant today in our Internet culture. They review the characteristics of the accused and accusers, and compare them to perceptions passed down through the fiction of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arthur Miller, and others. They also explore the connection between Puritanism, with its iconoclastic principles, and the American founding; and how such a highly literate society based on piety and learning could devolve into one that embraces hocus pocus, superstition, and injustice. Schiff delves into the role of gender and race in the witch trials, and what colonial Salem teaches us about how hysteria can foment civil strife and violence. She concludes with a reading from The Witches: Salem, 1692.

Stories of the Week: In North Carolina, a lawsuit was filed against the state’s opportunity scholarship program that provides up to $4,200 a year in tuition assistance for low-income students to attend private schools. Will state legislators succeed in persuading the Court to dismiss the case? In Detroit, a financial review commission has agreed to release the public school system from state oversight after nearly 11 years, a hopeful sign for a beleaguered district.

On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Scott Immergut of Ricochet and Avik Roy of FREOPP talk about the World Health Organization’s new guidance that lockdowns are bad. What took them so long? And with the holidays coming up, Avik explains why his kids will be trick or treating and why he’s even looking forward to seeing his relatives.

A Chicago Trick or a Autumn Treat

 

How do I spend my Halloween? With Autumn (name changed to protect the guilty), my good friend and all-but-adopted little sister. She is married and an RN, but she likes to joke about being “perpetually 11.” Autumn is what happens when a tomboy stays a tomboy without crazy parents or society interfering. She likes fireworks, amateur bartending (I always get a gin and tonic when there), heavy metal, and talking about politics. Lest you think anything untoward is going on, she is a conservative Catholic married to a conservative Catholic convert with an ample firearms collection. (We were in College Republicans together.) Autumn is affectionate with all her friends, which is awesome, and also loves to dress up for Halloween.

Visiting Autumn’s old place for Halloween is an experience in and of itself. Her parents have a house that is already partway to haunted, and the decorations make the ancient bungalow look positively spooky. Her Mom is a blast and an awesome host, and Autumn is an incredible extrovert and organizer, so the party is always fun, with all kinds of guests. Autumn’s Dad, well, he makes Archie Bunker look like a woke hipster. Getting into politics with him can be either amusing or result in a barrage of invective. The guests are from all over the social/political spectrum – Autumn has maxed-out charisma – so the party would be fun regardless of what we did.

Playing Evil on Halloween

 

Halloween is not immutable. Common American traditions today bear only the slightest resemblance to druidic rituals and superstitious people casting frightened glances over dimly lit turnips. Trick-or-treating today isn’t even the same today as it was just 30 or 40 years ago. Heck, some families meet in parking lots to distribute candy from car trunks, because walking a neighborhood at sundown is apparently too dangerous for attended kids.

Few today believe in whatever these traditions once stood for. Halloween is not connected to All Hallows’ Day in most minds. It is not about dodging ghosts or nodding to ancestors.

Halloween is simply an occasion for fun. Americans don’t have many holidays; fewer still not initiated by government. Halloween is about candy and silly costumes and pumpkin carving, and all those things that can get little children excited.

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I grew up in a small town in southwestern Montana. In the 1960s, Bozeman had a population of about twelve thousand, plus around four thousand students at Montana State University (go Bobcats!). Geographically speaking, you could walk the circumference of the town in about three hours. I suppose the ease with which the town could […]

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Toad Hall is hosting a Halloween Party for the first time in several years. It was an annual tradition here, until I got bit by a tick in 2011 and went through eight years of chronic and acute illness, during which we only had one Halloween party. Feeling better this year than I have in […]

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You’ll find my name under the Wimp Column when it comes to scary movies. I had to turn one off recently about the Ouija Board after ten minutes. My friend had one growing up and I swear we didn’t move it on purpose. We learned that it was a portal to bad spirits and her […]

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No Tricks, Please!

 

Remember Halloween? The homes that dropped sweets into our open and eager (paper) bags? The elastic string that held the flimsy Mickey Mouse or Goofy or Sleeping Beauty masks to our sweaty faces? For the rural among us, the eighth- or quarter-mile hike between houses, rewarded not with prepackaged bits of candy bars, but with candy apples, chocolate chip cookies, old maid-less popcorn balls, candy corn in baggies (no zip-locks), candy cigarettes, Chiclets, Necco Wafers, Bazooka Bubble Gum, and – glory of glories – whole candy bars, Snickers and Baby Ruth and Three Musketeers? 

Remember the gags? The water balloons? The tipped outhouses? The eggings? Ding dong ditch? (OK, one tipped outhouse, and it no longer “in service.”)

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Some say Necco wafers. I feel about them like I do about pumpkin pie–a seasonal thing, of which I want one serving per year. But not the worst. Others will point to candy corn, Smarties, circus peanuts. Lame, but whatever, y’know? By all means share your favorites, and your hate list. Preview Open

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In ‘get off my lawn’ news, I am kinda sick of the Nightmare Before Christmas-ization of Halloween. I’ve heard the theme constantly today, and Skellington is the face of Disney’s Autumn/Winter Haunted Mansion for who knows how long? The tedious and forgettable quarter century-old movie (I admire the actors, director, and Oingo Boinger in other […]

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Ahoy Matey from the good ship Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast and her able-bodied crew, radio guy Todd Feinburg and AI guy Mike Stopa. This is episode number 198 (God do we feel old!) and we call it the “Anchor Babies Away” edition of the show.

Our topics this week include (in reverse chronological order) the 14th Amendment (or as we cognoscenti call it, the XIV mother) and Trump’s plan to repeal it with the stroke of a pen (and perhaps a phone call). Can he do it? Can we stop the influx of pregnant ladies (do we really have to call the “ladies”) who venture to our land to drop their little miscreants on us? We will discuss.