The Spooks Have Become Far Too Real And Dangerous
A Comment on the State of Halloween 2017 by NAL publisher Doug Draper
Posted October 31, 2017 on Niagara At Large
Once upon a Halloween Time, back in the days when parents dressed their kids up as goblins and had little to fear about sending them out trick or treating at neighbourhood doors, there were spooks out there that turned out to be figments of our imagination or just one of our friends dressed up as Dracula or the Wicked Witch of the West.
They would say ‘Boo’, we would act scared and startled, and then we would end it altogether in laughter.
Not that there weren’t always some real spooks out there.
In America in the 1950s, there was the red-baiting, black-listing Senator Joe McCarthy who would go so far as destroy the careers of people as gentle and peaceful as Pete Seeger, just because he sang songs about victims of poverty, racism and war. Later, there was Richard Nixon (some may remember those Nixon Halloween masks) and America’s answer to Darth Vadar, Dick Cheney.
For decade after decade in 20th Century Canada, the Indigenous peoples had individuals passing themselves off as good white Christians who road buses into their communities and drove their children off to concentration camps that they deceitfully characterized as residential schools.
Later in Ontario, we had a premier named Mike Harris who forever polluted the phrase “common sense” as he worked, with relish, to deconstruct program after program that offered a hand to people in need or protected the environment. Harris was followed by his neo-con blood brother Stephen Harper with his ripping up of pacts and programs for combating climate change and his plans for a ‘barbaric cultural practices snitch line’, who is now followed by his little minion, Patrick Brown, who now looks as if he’s locked and loaded to run one of the ugliest, most negative campaigns Ontario has ever seen to become its premier.
These days, we have spooks on steroids that are in our face every day, and are far l too real and dangerous, as are the legions of angry, screaming zombies – call them deplorables, if you will – who, in a collective bond of wilful ignorance and ill-will toward others, enable and normalize them.
There are still a lot of good people out there, but too few of them get up out of their couches or get out from behind their digital devices where they trade a couple dozen no-depth characters with virtual (code for casual, shallow and fake) friends on Twitter or Facebook.
Too few good of them get out from whatever real or virtual walls they are hiding behind and getting engaged in issues that matter to people in the communities and the world around them.
Too few good people seem willing to stand up to the scary creeps and bullies in our region and others that are having their way with our rights and freedoms and values we say we believe in.
Unless or until enough of us stand up and say enough is enough – ‘if you punch us, we are going to punch back twice as hard – to the very real and dangerous creeps and bullies that are out there, they will continue to rule, and what they ultimately do to what’s left of what we hold dear in our lives and communities will be lost to a Halloween nightmare every day.
There are just a few things that I hope others will join me in thinking about as we carve the Halloween pumpkin.
Click on the following, if you want, to see what happened when a parent out shopping with their children showed them a Donald Trump mask. Apparently, many who have clicked on this video to a point where it has gone viral on Youtube think it is unfunny, but I’m not so sure it doesn’t stray in to a zone of child abuse –
.Now here is some recent information from Brock University, offering advice on how to help kids cope with the spooks they cross paths with on Halloween –
EXPERT ADVISORY: How to handle Halloween’s scary health effects
From Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara
When it comes to children’s health around Halloween, education and a bit of planning can go a long way, says a Brock University expert.
Kimberley Zonneveld, Assistant Professor in the Centre for Applied Disability Studies, recommends parents talk to their kids well in advance of Halloween Day.
“Don’t wait until the day of. Parents should be talking to their kids about what’s going to happen and what the expectations are,” says Zonneveld, whose research focuses on the food choices of young children.
She suggests giving kids advance warning that Halloween won’t be a “free-for-all.”
“Let them know that they can have some candy each day, but I also recommend increasing the intake of healthy foods. Talk to kids about what food is — that it’s fuel and that sugary foods aren’t good fuel,” she says.
As for the candy cache that might result from a successful night of trick-or-treating, Zonneveld says parents should be in control.
“Kids don’t know enough about the negative health effects of too much sugar to make healthy food choices, so I personally think it’s important for parents to be in control,” she says.
Andrea Josse, Assistant Professor in Brock’s Department of Kinesiology agrees, saying that parents need to “pull back the reins and be in charge of giving the candy over.”
“I’m all about the mindset of everything in moderation. I don’t like to withhold candy from the kids, because they find it such an exciting time,” she says. “I think within moderation, they can still enjoy the fruits of their labour of walking around to get the Halloween candy.”
However, Josse says she sees nothing wrong with discreetly shrinking the pile. This includes parents going through the candy stash to remove what may be unsafe, such as hard candies without sticks for young children.
“I think parents should dispose of some of it. Where I live, there are a lot of pediatric dentists nearby and some of them will switch the candy out for a toy. Parents can do this too.
“Halloween to me is not just about eating all the candy you can. There are certainly teachable moments around it,” Josse says.
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