Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Start of a Beautiful Relationship...or a Declaration of War?

Goofing off on Facebook, I came across this article from BuzzFeed titled 24 People Who Are Really Nailing ThisParenting Thing. Number 10 was especially touching. One parent-whose kid suffers from seizures and is on a special, candy restricted diet-mailed out toys to different houses in his neighborhood just before Halloween so his kid wouldn’t miss out on the fun. Everyone was moved by this, discussing what a nifty idea it was until one of the commenters admitted to a most egregious sin: She passed out toothbrushes and pencils instead of candy or toys! The horror! Of course, this caused a shit storm of controversy—especially between two commentators, Kira Ader and Zvonko Katic. Guess which comment was mine:

Karen Sumpter: I've passed out toothbrushes and pencils in the past.

Kira Ader: And everyone hated you for it. The kids hated you because they wanted candy and the parents hated you because they then had to listen to their kids whine about not getting candy. Halloween is a candy holiday. It exists in its present form for no other reason than to run around like crazy and enjoy a rare day of pure indulgence. You must be another one of those weird alien tourists from the planet Xerxes who doesn't understand basic Earthling concepts like 'fun'.

Zvonko Katic: Hahaha, poor Karen, the Halloween-Nazis attack just because she isn't Willy Wonka, and so very American to get upset it's not celebrated as a "candy holiday", whatever the sod that is, when the true origin is celebrating harvest and/or remembering those who passed away.

Kira Ader: Yes...the true origin of Halloween. Because holidays and causes for celebration are static, unchanging monuments to human history that are carved from marble. If you're going to be pedantic about it, you should refer to the holiday as Samhain, which as far as historians can tell (because reliable records from the period are hard to come by), was a celebration of the final harvest before the fields were allowed to go fallow as well as a symbolic death of the Earth, which led into connection with the departed. Much drinking and feasting was enjoyed by all. We no longer celebrate in this manner because we are not a pre-industrial agrarian society for whom a successful harvest means the privilege of continuing to live.

 It wasn't until Christianity became the predominant religion of Western Europe that Samhain became All Hallows Eve (All Saint's Evening), a much more somber event with a more religious and ritualized feeling. It went out of favor with separation of the Protestant Lutheran church from the Catholic church and the puritanical movement that wound up populating the present day USA. It was revived by Irish and Scottish immigrants in the USA as much more lighthearted holliday in the late 19th century, because the Irish and Scots had a really hard time of it and needed to celebrate to keep from going insane.

 But what do I know? I'm just a stupid American.

Zvonko Katic: Someone's spent an hour doing Wikipedia research, but I can't be arsed reading past the first sentence because the point's obviously missed with a hundred miles anyway. The point with celebrating something isn't, however, to be a big dick on the Internet about it and act a Roman dictator emperor telling people how shite they are if they don't do it their bloody way. It's funny the only line I could be bothered reading mentions it's not static which was exactly what you proposed it should be, a laughable, commercialized bullshit candy giving event and nothing else. Anything else you're going to recite like the moron at the bar in Good Will Hunting?

Kira Ader: Nope. No Wikipedia, just a very eclectic religious upbringing. Though since you couldn't be arsed to read beyond the first sentence, how were you able to determine I only copypastaed the Halloween Wiki?

Also - first I'm a stupid American and now a Roman dictator? Would you mind picking a single straw man character and sticking with it?

Zvonko Katic: I've not called you stupid. That's something you acknowledged all on your own.

Karen Griffin: Just kiss her already! Jesus H. Christ, the sexual tension on this forum is killing me!!!


  1. Hahaha, how the hell did I end up here? / ZK

    1. Is that an existential question or a plea for directions?

  2. Anonymous8:12 AM

    Hahaha, how the hell did I end up here? / ZK