1/01/09 The Halloween Report

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1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby Mythmere » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:14 am

My kids are on the cusp of being too old to trick-or-treat now, and strangely it worked out into a good mix for this Halloween. One went out with a group of friends, all old enough that no adult supervision was needed. Another needs adult supervision, but mainly just tailing him (this is the one with Asperger's Syndrome). One of them fixed up a cool little display outside the house, with a strobe light and a bubble fog machine (those things are the coolest) without any effort on mine or my wife's part.

For the most part, my wife and I just had to sit out and give away candy to little kids instead of being really rushed. It was a very pleasant way to spend the evening.

We also had more trick or treaters than in past years. I think our neighborhood is cycling back to younger parents. Lots of little ones who enjoyed popping the bubbles and seeing the pop of fog-machine-fog inside. Moreover, the neighborhood is starting to have more houses with their porch lights on, giving away candy again. I cannot comprehend people who turn off their porch lights and hunker down on Halloween, ignoring the fact that the USA's only real neighborhood-based holiday is taking place outside and that every dark house is a disappointment to children. It baffles me, although I know some of them are fundamentalist Christians who think Halloween is about devil-worship. I think that's silly, but at least it's based on a principle instead of being someone who doesn't want the bother of participating.

My actual street was pretty lame, but the street next to us had a couple of great houses, even better than ours - and by a big margin, too. One of them had a way better graveyard than ours (bones sticking up from the ground) and one had the entire front yard strung with orange lights, and BEER. (Lots of grownups lingering in that one.)

Anyway, a good time was had by all.
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby Coleston » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:59 pm

I'm glad the family had a good time. I stayed home and passed out the candy while my wife took out little wizard, commando and clone trooper through the neighborhood.

Mythmere wrote:We also had more trick or treaters than in past years. I think our neighborhood is cycling back to younger parents. Lots of little ones who enjoyed popping the bubbles and seeing the pop of fog-machine-fog inside. Moreover, the neighborhood is starting to have more houses with their porch lights on, giving away candy again. I cannot comprehend people who turn off their porch lights and hunker down on Halloween, ignoring the fact that the USA's only real neighborhood-based holiday is taking place outside and that every dark house is a disappointment to children. It baffles me, although I know some of them are fundamentalist Christians who think Halloween is about devil-worship. I think that's silly, but at least it's based on a principle instead of being someone who doesn't want the bother of participating.


I agree completely. What is it with our culture lately? Even in the small town that I live in, all the kids in town were encouraged to just go downtown and take candy from the businesses. They even showed it live on the local cable tv - all these kids in costumes just lined up by the hundreds holding their bags open while store employees put candy in their sacks! It looked like something out of a Pink Floyd movie. *shiver* Could we commercialize the holiday any more? And what is with all the houses (the vast majority of them) that turn off their porch light and do not participate in Halloween?
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby Eisenmann » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:23 am

We got one whole trick or treater. We were surprised. We live on the side of a hill so one would have to "work" to get the candy.
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby Grim » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:27 am

Eisenmann wrote:We got one whole trick or treater. We were surprised. We live on the side of a hill so one would have to "work" to get the candy.


We got two. Up from last year.
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby chgowiz » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:47 am

Our street has one "cool" house and for some reason, we don't get a lot of visitors. Maybe it's because we don't have a porch light, and even with the lit pumpkins, we don't get a lot of visitors. This year, we bought only 3 bags of candy and had only a few pieces left.

I agree, this is the only holiday where the neighborhood gets out, except for our small town carnival on the 4th of July. Shame. I'd love to do caroling at Christmas or something similar.
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby Mythmere » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:19 am

chgowiz wrote: Shame. I'd love to do caroling at Christmas or something similar.


That's another example of something that seems to be dying out, and shouldn't. Heck, I'm Jewish and I think that Christmas Caroling is cool. While I think this whole "War on Christmas" thing is hooey, I DO think that there's a ton of collateral damage being done to neighborhood-oriented behavior by people who want to isolate their communities, people who are over-sensitive to the risk of isolating other communities, and municipal governments that rush to do things like promote town Halloween parties (or town square caroling with non-Christian music thrown in) without thinking about the fact that they're wiping out these activities at the neighborhood level.

For a government, I do indeed think that Christianity shouldn't be the focus of a town-sponsored event. Which means (although many people don't think of it this way) that by sponsoring town-square caroling, the city is damaging the neighborhood's "real" Christmas caroling. Same with Halloween. Encouraging businesses to hand out candy is done specifically to keep kids off the streets where it isn't safe. Okay, I can see that, but the perceived risk is way, way higher than the actual risk. Parents can check kids' candy for tampering, and parents bloody well OUGHT to be out there with younger kids to keep tabs on them. What's being wiped out is an existing "neighborhood night out," which the same city governments are trying to promote with the left hand, even as the right hand takes actions that wipe out Christmas caroling and Halloween - the activities in which neighbors meet each other in a non-artificial context.

This isn't at all a political swipe at anyone -- I think a lot of it is an accidental result of other goals taking precedence (both on the left and on the right), and the fact that neighborhood activities just don't have any "activists." Neighborhood communities are getting squeezed by some activities of the "left wing" and some activities by the "right wing." It's precisely because the value of a neighborhood community is politically invisible that neighborhood communities are getting the shaft. It's an unseen piece of collateral damage that's being done precisely because it's politically invisible. And it's definitely invisible to both businesses and religious groups, whose priorities lie elsewhere almost by definition. The neighborhood falls through the cracks.

Even the Neighborhood night out is sold to people based on the goal of reducing crime, not on the simple value of people knowing and meeting a next-door neighbor. Getting to know a diversity of people living around you has an intrinsic value. Breaking the rhythm of everyday life with unusual days has an intrinsic value.

If definitely is like the Pink Floyd dystopia what's happening here, and what really chills me is how insidious the process is.
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby chgowiz » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:21 am

"This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause" - some actress in some sci-fi movie...
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby Mythmere » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:15 pm

Munafik wrote:First of all, I hope everyone on these boards had a happy Halloween. Sadly, I didn't receive a single trick-or-treater this year. Such is disheartening because Halloween is by far my favorite holiday, and I am still a kid at heart. Say what you will, but I still have much the same interests as I did when I was 12 years old. I even got myself in the mood for the event the night before by watching my favorite horror film of all time, Clive Barker's masterpiece Hellraiser. Hellraiser, in my humble opinion, was the last great horror film, everything released since then paling in comparison. I must say, however, that the first sequel to Hellraiser was mighty fine, indeed, albeit nowhere near as good as the original.

As an aside, this past Halloween has given me an itching to write a pulp fantasy haunted house adventure module, perhaps something along the lines of William Hope Hodgson's House on the Borderland.

Thanks for reading,
Alphonso Warden


My wife also thinks Hellraiser is the most frightening horror movie of all time. I'm not a horror movie fan (anxiety disorder severely multiplies suspense, to an unpleasant degree), but she's quite the connoisseur, and she's in agreement with you.
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby chgowiz » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:18 pm

Mythmere wrote:My wife also thinks Hellraiser is the most frightening horror movie of all time. I'm not a horror movie fan (anxiety disorder severely multiplies suspense, to an unpleasant degree), but she's quite the connoisseur, and she's in agreement with you.


Hellraiser was good for mixing some serious sexual tones with horror and some really "out there" concepts. I'm partial to Event Horizon myself, and when I really want to laugh/squirm, I watch Videodrome.
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Re: 1/01/09 The Halloween Report

Postby Eisenmann » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:27 pm

On Friday I picked up the John Carpenter 4 movie DVD to watch over the weekend; The Thing, Prince of Darkness, They Live, Village of the Damned. Oh, yea. Now what did I do with my bubblegum?
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