Well, two days of doing not much since getting back, and I’m still exhausted! I’d forgotten just how tiring this kind of touring is, especially carrying all the stuff on trains… I’m recovering, but slowly.
So not much to blog about in my life, so i thought I’d rant about Trick Or Treat. Is it really wise to teach kids that threatening people who don’t give you sweets is a good thing?? Or that going round door to door asking for sweets is a good thing anyway?
As a kid I was told that Halloween was evil because of the association with the occult and all that stuff – not something I’m all that bothered by now. But giving kids a reason to go round demanding stuff on pain of some kind of ‘trick’ has to be a bad idea, given that number of rather more harmful parallel activities too many kids are already getting into.
In the US, according to TAFKASJ, kids of ‘no concept of the “Trick” part of it’ – they just go round the houses collecting sweets (or ‘candy’, I guess with it being america). So it’s about gluttony rather than the threatening part of it, the expectation that the fun neighbours are the ones who give you sweets, and only a miserable bastard would withhold candy from the kids.
As someone who would seriously not want my kids (were I to have any) to be given sweets by anyone, let alone strangers, the idea of a national holiday built around the idea that the best halloween you can have is one where you get loads of sweets doesn’t work for me at all. Dressing up is great fun, parties are cool – it’s not that I’m anti-fun, far from it. It’s just a shame that the fun seems to revolve around filling kids’ stomachs with borderline inedible sugar and chemical concoctions in vast quantities. No wonder there’s a childhood obesity crisis in the US and the UK.
So whether it’s threatening people who don’t give you sweets, judging neighbours by how much candy they produce or filling your face with millions of nasty sweets, it just doesn’t work for me on any level, and certainly doesn’t seem to be setting up these kids for any kind of positive view of anything. I’ve come full circle from when I was a kid – we’d do none of the ghost stuff and all of the sweets and toffee apples… now, I’ve got no problem with the ghost stories, but will avoid the gluttony at all costs…
…maybe we should all just celebrate samhain instead?by