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Tony Grist

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Please To Remember... [Nov. 1st, 2006|01:03 pm]
Tony Grist
The shops used to carry Guy Fawkes masks. This year I haven't seen a single one. There probably weren't any last year either, but I wasn't looking.

Oldham used to mount a  big civic firework display in the park. That was dropped several years ago- round about the beginning of the millennium- and no-one seems to have complained- or even noticed.

Bonfire Night has been edged out by Halloween. Ghosts and witches instead of Catholic terrorists with Van Dyck beards. It's understandable. Ghosts and witches are perennially fascinating; most of us stopped being frightened of pointy-bearded Catholics a while ago.

I did wonder whether V For Vendetta might reverse the trend. Apparently not. Alan Moore's novel is a period piece- which could be why the film didn't do that well. No contemporary freedom fighter would think of wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. Apart from anything else, he wouldn't be able to find a shop to sell him one.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-11-01 10:48 pm (UTC)
The whole trick or treating thing feels alien to me. Over here a lot of older kids seem to regard it as a license to go round demanding money with menaces. One year I had some young thug try to put his foot in the door when I wouldn't give him what he wanted.
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2006-11-02 01:14 am (UTC)
Good grief, that's not right. And certainly nothing what I've ever experienced growing up in the States. While hooliganism does happen here on Halloween, it's rare.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-11-02 09:12 am (UTC)
In the USA trick or treating has deep historical roots. Over here it's just suddenly appeared- and no-one- neither the trick or treaters nor the householders- really understands the social compact on which it's based.
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2006-11-02 02:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it does seem anchorless. I have no idea where youths got the idea to demand money they way you describe. That's nothing I recognize from an American Halloween.

If the holiday sticks across the pond, hopefully it will evolve into something tamer. Right now it sounds less like a chance for children to dress up and get candy, and more an excuse for hooliganism.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-11-02 01:22 pm (UTC)
Once I had adults, without costumes but holding out a pillowcase, knock on my door on Halloween.

They were eerie--didn't even know (or bother to use) the "password" of "Trick-or-Treat!" They were unsmiling and silent.

I had a passing thought that they might want something like actual cans and boxes from my pantry, or even jewelry or small pieces of furniture! But I gave them a lot of candy and they left, without a thank-you.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-11-02 01:43 pm (UTC)
That is weird- and not in a good way.

I'm a shy, private person. I don't like strangers coming to the door.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-11-02 02:23 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way about strangers at the door, so I only keep my porch light on until about eight, when the children who are accompanied by parents have finished up for the evening. The older children--some teenagers--come to the door later, so I turn off my lights and read in a back room.

Sometimes I leave candy on the porch, to forestall people knocking loudly.

But I do think Trick-or-Treating is dying out here slowly, partly due to the efforts of community organizations to find safe alternatives.
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