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Thursday, October 30, 2014

BOO! to Halloween

Well, it's that time of year...time for me to be a Scrooge again. Yes, this rant will be very unpopular among a great many of you, to which I say...BAH HUMBUG!

That's right, I am NOT a fan of Halloween. I hate it. In fact, I would be perfectly happy if it went away and never came back. Wouldn't miss it at all. I would be quite content in a world devoid of this stupid "holiday."

To give you an idea of how I feel about Halloween - I like it even less than St. Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day, and you probably already know how little I appreciate those traditions. (Valentine's is irrelevant to me because I don't recognize the saints of other religions, plus it's 8 days before my Engagement Anniversary, which distracts from that truly romantic occasion; and Patrick's because I don't recognize the saints of other religions, and find it stupid that the color of your attire on that day suddenly makes bullying activities acceptable. Silly, nonsensical fabricated holidays.)

Anyway...Halloween. Aside from being pointless, and yet another day tied to religious observances that are irrelevant to me (All Saint's Day, Nov. 1st), I have specific issues with the tradition.

To wit; I see no value in celebrating the macabre. 

In a world of ever-decreasing light, why focus on and exult in the darkness? I am not perfect in this, but I do at least try to bring as much light into my life as possible. I have no desire to invite darkness into my realm. I see zero value in reveling in sick, twisted, disgusting, spooky, creepy, evil stuff. No, thanks. Don't want it; don't need it. Got no place for it in my mortal journey.

I am not a fan of horror movies, find no joy in blood and gore, do not find traumatic injuries funny, derive no pleasure from sorcery, black magic, or the occult. I would rather work on assisting my kindred dead (through temple work) than making a mockery of them by fooling around with "ghosts" and goblins, ghouls and specters. As a fiction writer, I can appreciate choosing to not live in the real world, but some things are too important to mess around with. There's a time and a place for everything, and I can think of no appropriate time or place for trifling with the sacred.

I cannot fathom why anybody would like Halloween: its promotion of darkness, its making a joke of dismemberment and murder, its focus on demons and wickedness - there is nothing redeeming about it to me whatsoever.

And the whole idea of sending our kids around the neighborhood to collect candy, while handing out treats to those who come knocking? Pointless. As much as I love fall, October 31 is the one blight on the season.

And to those who complain that early Christmas displays are crowding out Halloween? Please. If you're seriously offended that a zombie display is being encroached upon by the Savior of the world, that's indicative of some misplaced priorities, in my opinion. I'd rather celebrate Christmas year-round, personally.

The only reason I continue to observe Halloween at all is for my boy. I mean, who wants their kid to be "the one with the weird parents who don't let him celebrate Halloween"? Yes, that's right, I succumb to vicarious peer pressure - there's something to celebrate. But in our family, we at least stick to costumes of fun characters, and avoid the disgusting stuff. We don't need blood, guts, murder, or Satanic spirits at our home. Star Wars, Minecraft, etc. will have to do. And yes, we still give out candy. *eyeroll* Once the kids are grown, I'm moving to the country and turning off the porch light on October 31 each year.

But don't let my attitude put a dent in your fun. Go...have at it...celebrate the stupid macabre. Just know that I do not understand it.

I'm a fun guy. I like to laugh and be merry. That doesn't mean I have to like every foolish tradition that comes my way.

And Halloween is one foolish tradition that I most certainly do NOT like.

[NOTE: I selected the Ghostbusters logo for this post because it represents my sentiment of "NO GHOSTS" - as for the movie itself, it did have its funny moments, for sure...an 80s classic...but I consider it much more of a comedy than a horror film. Still, given the themes, and the limits on my time, I am uncertain whether I will ever bother to watch it again.]

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fallacious Arguments

Okay, time for what will likely be considered a "controversial" post. Note: this is not an argument for or against homosexual relationships, it is just me pointing out a really bad argument.

I am sick of the false analogy that is constantly trotted out by those who think homosexual products and/or services should be required to be provided by all businesses: they say it's the same thing as denying a black person a seat at your lunch counter.


For a host of reasons. But I'll only focus on one here.

The key problem is the conflation of patrons with products. It is a failure of reasoning to confuse a product with the person who wants the product - and that's why it is a mistake to say that people are "refusing to serve homosexuals" when all they are doing is refusing to create products and/or services that homosexuals demand.

If a black couple wants to sit at my lunch counter to share a ham sandwich, they are not demanding I give them a "black seat" and serve them a "black sandwich." They want the same exact thing that everyone else is getting - stuff that is available on my menu for all patrons. To tell them they can't have it because they are black would be wrong (and illegal).

If a homosexual couple wants to sit at my lunch counter to share a ham sandwich...no problem - they want the exact same thing that everyone else is getting - stuff that is available on my menu for all patrons. To tell them they can't have it because they are homosexual (which I probably wouldn't even know anyway - shouldn't what people do in their bedrooms be their own business?) would be wrong (and illegal).

HOWEVER...if this homosexual couple wants me to create a double-pickle sandwich smothered in fudge - a product I don't make - I'm free to tell them they'll need to go elsewhere to get what they want. NO DISCRIMINATION HAS TAKEN PLACE! I'd tell a heterosexual couple the same thing!

Likewise, a homosexual couple demanding that you bake them a cake with two male cake toppers, or offer your services in officiating over their form of "wedding," is demanding things of you that you do not give to anyone else, and they'll have to go elsewhere to get it. This is not discrimination!

Further, if a homosexual man wants to marry a woman and receive those associated products and services, I doubt there would be a business in the land that would turn them away - because the customer is only asking for the same exact thing afforded other customers...and because the business owner was never discriminating against the customer to begin with, only refusing to provide a product or service that is not on the menu.

The business owner is not within his rights to say, "Sorry, I don't serve homosexuals." But he is entirely within his rights to say, "Sorry, I don't offer that particular product or service."

Unlike the utterly fallacious analogy of the refusal to serve black people lunch, here's an analogy that DOES work: businesses aren't allowed to refuse to serve someone because they are handicapped, but business are not required to sell wheelchairs. That would be absurd...just like these homosexuals demanding that businesses offer the products and services that they want, and (what's worse) trying to get the government to force the businesses to do so under the heinous guise of anti-discrimination laws.

It's time they gave up on this annoying and fallacious argument.