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Samizdata quote of the day

There is also a difference in the begging aspects of the two traditions.

For Guy Fawkes night, kids would club together and build a realistic looking mannekin and a cart to drag it around on. Then they would accost strangers in the street and request “A penny for the Guy, guv?”.

On Halloween, kids band together, dress up in menacing costumes, invade people’s property, bang on their door and demand tribute with the threat of violence.

So which tradition teaches our kids how best to survive in the twenty-first century.

- Commenter Kevin B

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Dave Walker

    Absolutely.

    While the “penny for the guy” tradition is begging, the “with menaces” aspect of the demanding of goods in trick-or-treat makes it extortion.

    “And extortion is so not nice that it’s a criminal offence, children.”

  • David

    “And extortion is so not nice that it’s a criminal offence, children.”
    Except of course when carried out by the state and/or its minions.

  • You do me great honour!

  • Laird

    In answer to Kevin’s question, I would suggest that Halloween teaches the more relevant lesson.

  • bloke in spain

    I’m thinking KevinB’s led a sheltered life.

    “Penny f’the Guy Mistuh a’n we’ll watch yer car.”
    “W…t.. f…’s this? F…..g penny! You ‘avin’ a f****g laff, mistuh?”

  • Buzz Buzz

    On Halloween, kids band together, dress up in menacing costumes, invade people’s property, bang on their door and demand tribute with the threat of violence.

    When a normal, rational person see an 8-year-old dressed up in a fairy princess outfit and her 10-year-old brother in his Spiderman costume walk up to their front door, politely knock, and call out “Trick or Treat!”, that person happily hands out the candy they’d purchased especially for the occasion and purpose. If they run out of candy or if they don’t feel like participating, they simply stop answering the door.

    Apparently libertarians in the same situation huddle in fear of this menacingly-costumed band of plundering invaders roaming the streets, and cravenly offer whatever tribute is at hand in the forlorn hope they’ll be spared violent reprisals and survive the night.

    Pathetic.

    This sort of thing is why sane people don’t pay much attention to what libertarians say.

  • Duane in Texas

    This sort of thing is why sane people don’t pay much attention to what libertarians say.

    Well dickhead, most of the trick or treaters in my burg are surly teenagers and you hear police and fire trucks allll the time on ‘Mischief Night’.

  • Sam Duncan

    Whatever our new best chum Buzz Buzz says, I tend to agree with Kevin. Because – as I was about to say in Brian’s thread yesterday before I got waylaid – Haloween was always big in Scotland and I don’t see much change up here, except that the old tradition of “guising”, which requires the costumed kids to perform a party piece in return for their loot, is being edged out by them simply demanding it. “Menacing” is perhaps too strong a word for ten-year-olds, but the principle of fair exchange is certainly being lost.

    I liked the old Halloween but I’m not so keen on the new one.

  • Julie near Chicago

    What Buzz Buzz said.

    This is the same line of thinking that says allowing kids to play Cops & Robbers (with real fingers, yet!) promotes violence. In fact, allowing them to have books with pictures of soldiers in them, or blunderbusses, also promotes violence.

    Unfortunately, it’s not just the “libertarians” who hawk this comet gas. It’s the PC (Paranoid Control-freak) libs and lefties as well–the ones who think you have to hack off any parts, physical or psychological, of the human which, in a sufficiently wildly-different context, might give rise to attitudes or behavior (whether real or apparent) harmful to the Moral Correctness that should be incumbent upon us all.

    It’s as stupid as the six (maybe only five) fear-struck or anally-retentive “Christians” who see Devil-Worship as the message being spread by Buzz’s fairy princess.

  • Antoine Clarke

    So which tradition teaches our kids how best to survive in the twenty-first century.

    Halloween.

  • Someone

    Buzz buzz,

    Maybe you’re being ironic. But just in case you’re not –
    There’s a thing called “hyperbole”. You should look it up. in the dictionary. There’s also a thing called “humor”.

  • Apparently, according to the Manchester Evening News, Trick or Treaters were getting cocaine in their goody bags.

    Ah, the innocence of youth!

    Last year I had in a bag called “Lots of Lollies!” by Swizzels Matlow.

    No wonder nobody came round this year. Oh, and it was pissing down!

    PS. Julie, Sam – might it be too muh to ask to stick the URL in the comments?

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  • Julie near Chicago

    NickM,

    ?????

  • Paul Marks

    The “All Hollows Eve” of the world was really on November 6th.

    But the monsters will not go now it is daylight – they are staying, and their “masks” are their human faces.

  • Bruce

    Well dickhead, most of the trick or treaters in my burg are surly teenagers and you hear police and fire trucks allll the time on ‘Mischief Night’.

    In my neighborhood in Virginia, it’s a time-limited extravaganza of little kids accompanied by their parents going door to door. Those who don’t choose to participate, and there are a few, generally turn off their porch lights.

    Even people who wouldn’t dream of erecting tacky Christmas decorations put up Halloween displays — many of them with sound tracks and quite elaborate. It’s a social event and the kids have great fun.

  • Guess it depends where you live.
    In this corner of the UK I haven’t seen I Guy or a Trick or Treater in years.