Every Sunday I head to the store and pick up a copy of the local paper. I quickly discard the ads I don’t need and sections I won’t read. Eventually, I get to the multi-colored jewel at the heart of the paper, The Comics. I love the comics. Well, some of them anyway. A few are simply dreadful, but the good ones, ah the good ones make me howl. Other parts of the paper can make me howl too, but in an entirely different way.
This week’s edition had a couple of major howlers in it. The first was a story concerning Halloween. The lead-in hook consisted of commentary from an Eastern European refugee family. They never celebrated Halloween in their home country, but now that they were US residents they decided to do their best to fit in. The mother of the family said she didn’t quite understand why she was dressing up the kids in costumes but she didn’t want them to feel left out. I kind of like that; the desire to assimilate into a new culture. They have no plans on going back to their old country, so fitting into their adopted home makes a lot more sense than isolation.
Following this was quite a bit of commentary from a variety of people regarding the history and the current macabre nature of Halloween. Some folks advocated getting rid of it. I rather like the idea of a Harvest Festival which some folks suggested. It’s sort of a combo of Halloween and Octoberfest: Cider, a doughnut, and a costume, with skeletons and bats optional. Anyway, the question was asked whether or not all of the death and dismemberment costumery was bad for kids. One local pastor said that he saw no problem with kids dressing up like Luke Skywalker or even Darth Vader, but he “sincerely believe(s) kids reading Harry Potter open the door to the desire to experiment with the supernatural. As long as there’s not that kind of curiosity, let them dress up.” I had to read that twice. Apparently, it has not occurred to the pastor that his entire religion is based on the supernatural, by definition. Now, that was a howler. As it turns out, in a perverse way I agree with him. I wouldn’t want the kids to take the supernatural, especially religion, too serious. Can you say cognitive dissonance Mr. pastor sir?
OK, so I turn the page and there’s a story about a Catholic/Christian “
Where’s Calvin and Hobbes when I need it?