I realized over the Thanksgiving Holiday that I shorted you all a Fun Friday post so here is a little quick laugh and for all of you parents out there, aren’t you happy he’s not your kid.
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Tags: all saints, christians, demons, ghosts, guy fawkes, Halloween, holiday, lemuria, masks, pagan, samhain, witches
Now several years ago working at a college I won’t name I had several of my Christian student raise a stink over the fact that we were celebrating Halloween by decorating the office. Their main objection was that we were celebrating a Satanic Holiday. I disallowed their complaint and did a quick history lesson with them about Halloween. So here in a little more detail with a few links are, as best as I can figure out, the origins of Halloween.
First the date is essentially another co-opted Celtic Pagan holiday that Christians took over. Early Christians very smartly incorporated their traditions onto Pagan holiday dates, also often incorporating some of the traditions as well as a way to more easily gain Christian converts. It worked, there are a lot more Christians than Pagans running around these days. The holiday the Christians stole was Samhain which was a harvest festival that was also rumored to be a time when the past, the spirit world and the present often co-mingled. A link to the history of Samhain is below:
There is an even tighter connection to Christianity and Halloween thanks to early Christians, most religions and cultures have a day where they celebrate the dead. Another Pagan festival Lemuria a time in which the Pagans drove the unwanted spirits from their homes occurred on May 13 which the Christians co-opted it in the 7th century to be All Saints Day, you can read more about Lemuria below:
Then to try to drain the strength out of the Samhain holiday the church moved All Saints Day to November 1st and it became known as All Hallows Day, thus turning the evening of Samhain into All Hallows Evening and eventually shortened to Halloween. So this is the origin of the name of Halloween and how the holiday kept it’s connection to the dead. Priests also asked the faithful to pray for souls in Purgatory during this time, so on Halloween, poor children would beg door to door for soul cakes, and in return they would pray for souls in Purgatory. Sounds a lot like trick or treat.
So where do our iconic Halloween images come from? Witches are an easy one as this comes from the witch scares, particularly in the 1600s. The things associated with their homes make up the cliché witch, the hat was what a country woman’s hat looked like in 17th century Europe, cauldron’s were fireplace cook pots and brooms of course were part of the household. Finally cats, well heck, single outcast women living alone always have cats, even today.
The rowdy and masked elements of the holiday most likely come from rowdy All Hallows Eve beggars who drank ale as they went door to door and as the night wore on got more demanding and caused trouble, masks helped retain their anonymity. Guy Fawkes lent some help to the mask bit as his November 5th attempt to blow up parliament was celebrated each year with masks and fires.
As immigrants came to the new world they brought snippets of their individual traditions around this holiday to the new world and they were incorporated into Halloween celebrations. At the time of the Civil War, the massive amount of death as well as people lost, not knowing if they were dead or alive led to many ghost stories related to the missing and dead from the war. Add into this mix the Bogey, brought by Scots from their lore and legend and now we get the Bogey or Boogeyman. The Jack O’Lantern mythology comes from Europe as well and transforms from kids hollowing out turnips in Europe and uses what was more at hand in the US, pumpkins which are harvested the same time of year. A link to some of the legends and history of the Jack O’Lantern is below.
Additionally Scots and Irish immigrants also brought the begging and rowdy prank filled Halloween celebrations of the old country with them.
The turn of the twentieth century saw artists starting to use the images of fear, ghosts, skeletons, witches and devils. All which drew from the images of death, ghosts wrapped in their death shroud, pumpkins carved to resemble the rigor mortis smile and triangle nose area of a corpse. This really finalized the look of Halloween that we still have today.
Halloween has also at times gotten out of hand with pranks that derailed street cars, release livestock, and as most of us aware even continues to this day in places like Detroit where hundreds of fires often occur over the three night period referred to as devil’s night, a link covering the history of devil’s night is below:
As a response to the vandalism and rowdiness of Halloween cities began looking for ways to distract and engage kids on Halloween. So up came Halloween parties, costume contests, parades and bobbing for apples lots of the Halloween standards we all know. Finally, in the early 20th century people began doing open houses where they gave away treats to keep from getting pranked on Halloween and thus the phrase and the tradition of “Trick or Treat” was born.
In scanning the web today I happen to find someone who has outdone Joe Barton, Jan Brewer, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin combined and the best part she’s a candidate for office and may actually win! Last week she had a huge list of positions on: assassinating Harry Reid; God’s position on Abortion; those spoiled people on unemployment and much more. Check it out here since it’s reported she’s changing her website and her positions:
Tags: bowl, football, lane kiffin, ncaa, pac-10, reggie bush, sanctions, sec, tennessee, trojan, USC, vols, volunteers
A little note to Lane Kiffin, head coach of the currently disgraced USC Trojans. Hey Lane, I bet Knoxville looks pretty good right now doesn’t it buddy? So much for that dream job out in LA. As you may have read the USC Football Trojans have been banned from the post season for the next two seasons. They’ve lost 10 scholarships per year for the next three years and juniors and seniors can transfer to schools outside the PAC-10 without the normal one year sit out policy. What schools I wonder will benefit from this? I bet Tennessee will look long and hard at some of those players.
So the big mouth bad boy that landed in Knoxville, antagonized every school in the SEC, got warned by the NCAA for his actions and then one year later bolted for his dream job just got slapped. The NCAA’s penalty will seriously impact USC’s football program and it’s just starting. First how motivated is the team going to be for the next two years knowing that they can’t play in a bowl game. Secondly, how many of those incoming freshman are right now on the telephone to schools they turned down talking about sitting out one year at their new school. Given that it is now legal open season on USC’s junior and seniors for teams outside the PAC-10 I imagine some of their phones are ringing off the hook. Finally, Lane Kiffin, who fancies himself a magnificent recruiter is really going to struggle to draw anyone to that program for quite some time. So effectively, the USC football program is doomed for the next four to six years. Coaching at USC, definitely a dream job.
I really wonder what the conversation sounded like at the Kiffin household tonight, is his wife second guessing the family dash out of Knoxville? Does Lane seem like the genius coach he perceives himself to be? Hell to be perfectly honest, I bet sitting at his kitchen table the only thing he can truly be happy about tonight is that he has a screaming hot wife, for now.
Tags: Armstrong, cycling, doping, epo, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, Tour de France, tour of california
I’m a cycling fan and I watched what at the time I believed to be one of, if not the, single greatest day in the history of American professional cycling. Watching Floyd Landis pound out a massive ride that brought him from well behind to victory in the Tour de France was amazing. It was a Rocky moment, you’re pulling for this guy that nobody thought could win, the ride embodied everything good and wonderful about the underdog, never give up nature of our country. I cheered at home in my living room and jumped up and danced around when it was over, I was so proud of what that man did.
But he cheated.
When the first positive test result came out I held onto hope, surely Floyd didn’t cheat. The second test confirmed it and then Floyd started acting like a guilty man in denial and I knew it was gone, I felt cheated. He’d given me and millions of sports fans what I thought was an amazing gift, one of those rare moments in cycling like the look, or when Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon battled within seconds of each other on the last day of the tour. But it was a sham and instead here was another doped cyclist bringing shame on the sport and shame on our nation.
So now Floyd has come out to say hey I cheated, it was all a lie, I was a doper throughout my career, oh and by the way the most famous cyclist in American history is a doper too! Armstrong has been tested incessantly and has never tested positive, until he does test positive, he is innocent until proven guilty that’s how we roll in the United States. So I ask you Floyd is this how you clear your conscience? Is this how you think you make us respect you, by accusing others of cheating as well? First Floyd, you have NO credibility left and if you were an honorable man you would stand up admit your wrongs and not use the oldest public relations trick in the book, deflection. So instead of coming clean and taking your lumps with the public you try to deflect the attention onto someone else. In short Floyd, you’re a punk and when I saw you doing your warm up laps last year before the Tour of California’s prologue, I wish instead of snapping your picture I’d spit on you, you jealous, petty, little cheating man!
Tags: children, gitmo, megan's law, sex, sex offender, sex offense, supreme court, violent crime
Seriously folks, let me say what all of the Megan’s Law supporters and apparently our US Supreme Court Justices and a large number of you believe as well, let’s just execute all the sex offenders. If you are convicted of a sex crime let’s just kill you since it is obviously the most heinous crime that you can do. I mean you can deal drugs to children, massacre a family, torture animals or rape someone who is 18 years and 1 day and still do only your sentence no matter how long it may be. However commit a sexual crime against children and that includes our example above 2 days earlier, so someone who is 17 years and 363 days old and you can be held indefinitely regardless of what sentence you are given. So my friends let’s not be hypocrites, let us stop pretending that child sex offences are crimes that we feel there is an appropriate penalty for and just do what we believe and execute all sex offenders.
This means we have decided that there is no rehabilitation even after a first offense, no penalty stiff enough short of the ultimate so why bother with sentencing, once convicted just line them up and shoot them! Let’s not worry about the 18 year old who has consensual sex with his 17 year old girlfriend, the many false accusations that have occurred against childcare givers or cases of mistaken identity. The risks to our children are too great so just execute the bastards.
This is obviously the next step in the process. Step 1 commit a sex crime be sentenced and confined to prison, be given counseling or chemical castration and be controlled by the state for the length of your sentence and register with the state as a sex offender. California has had a registration law on the books for fifty years. Not good enough. Step 2 was Megan’s Law, do all of the things you did in step 1 and then make sure your registration is on the internet and broadcast worldwide. Step 3 do all the above but when a sex offender reaches the end of their sentence, deem them too dangerous for society and leave them in jail indefinitely, maybe we can ship them to Gitmo. But why waste our time with the current step 3, on to step 4 execute the bastards.
Now let’s be clear, sexually assaulting a child is reprehensible were I to come upon it occurring I would probably execute the bastard on the spot, but then I would be subject to the legal system and I would accept my penalty. What is completely unfair is to assign a penalty to a crime and then ignore that penalty. Reverse it, just let people out before they have served their time and we all scream, so why is the converse alright. Is it because the world is so much more dangerous these days for us and our children? No, in fact in 2008 the violent crime rate was 3% lower than it was in 1999.
The problem here is twofold, first the pure hypocrisy of giving one sentence and carrying out another. The second and much more ominous, is that this is the second time in the last 5 years where the United States of American, the supposed bastion of freedom on this planet has allowed human beings to be kept in prison indefinitely either in spite of their sentences or without the benefit of a trial in the first place. What’s next my friends, what crime, offense, word or thought will be the next to be deemed of such a threat that your primary rights as an American are suspended?