Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween This...

Every once in a while I'll read something that makes me laugh at loud. The response you are about to see is not my own, nor can it be found anywhere else on the web except in a "comments" section of a relatively unknown blog.

This apt and sagacious retort was penned by one Cpt. Jared B. Gable, answering a question by James Canterbury about the study that showed minorities tend to trick or treat in far fewer numbers and percentages than white kids.

I warn you, dear reader, that you may want to block-off some time to laugh and make sure no food or drink is in your mouth whilst you read. Without further adieu, give a big salute to....The Captain:

1. The story itself fails to send any message to me personally other than telling me something I already know. The more telling thing here is your willingness to draw attention to a story like this. Message received: James Canterbury hates poor black people.

2. I do not feel compelled to act in any way. I tend to despise the action of trick-or-treating, and Halloween in general. Here's why:

Children are stupid and clumsy regardless of their race or the social status of their parents. Sometimes I try to think how I would describe certain things to an alien (Martian, not Mexican) who was experiencing our culture and customs for the first time. Halloween would be difficult to explain. This one night every year, I am subjected to the constant, unrelenting bombardment of unsolicited minors coming to my home in disguise and begging for food items which will destroy their teeth and increase the likelihood of childhood obesity, diabetes and irreversible heart damage.

Then there is the incomprehensible phrase that must be uttered, "trick or treat." What am I to make of this overtly ambiguous exchange? Is this a question they are asking me? Do I have an option of whether or not to provide someone else's child with candy? Or is this a not so subtle threat levied against my household if I fail to provide the child with the candy required to complete the transaction?

What if the child is a perpetual behavior problem? Am I to reward bad behavior with candy? This isn't my child standing here at my door presumptively asking for a treat. There is no naughty/nice list for Halloween that I am aware of, which seems like a terrible way to teach children about justice in an increasingly unjust world. And if I give this child the candy simply because they are here at my door asking for it, will they begin to feel they are entitled to candy at other times?

Am I not telling these children that they can get something of great value for essentially doing nothing at all? What kind of message does that send to the children? If all that weren’t bad enough, there is the problem I mentioned before: children are stupid and clumsy.

What happens when one of these little wonderkids enters onto my property without invitation and injures himself when he trips over the solar-powered light which is intended to light the path to my door. These children already have a difficult time with the more complex motor functions like walking, but to make it worse they are likely on some kind of sugar high which impairs their judgment even more.

The child probably has some developmental disorder as well which has caused his skull to be weaker than a normal child’s would be. As a result of the fall which could have been avoided if the child were intelligent enough to stay off the grass and simply walk along the path which I begrudgingly afford him to my front door, he sustains major injuries to his head which force his parents to incur substantial medical bills to provide for his care.

Months later a sympathetic jury feels pity for the injured child with the poorly developed skull and holds me accountable for the child’s malformed cranium to the tune of some ridiculous amount of money I don’t have because I placed the solar-powered lights three feet apart instead of the recommended 2.5.

Consequently, insurance companies begin to offer Halloween coverage for situations like mine and I am forced to contemplate that million dollar idea while I’m working my four jobs in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.

Happy Halloween everybody.


Jared Gable said...

I approve this message; in fact, I think it is awesome.

James Canterbury said...

Looking at Halloween through the eyes of a lawyer...priceless!

I would, however, like to take the opportunity to state my reasons for drawing attention to this article.

I'd also like to apologize but not for the reasons you (you -- audience, not Jared Gable.) might think.

It is important for the author of any piece to clearly communicate why he wrote what he wrote. I did not offer that full disclosure therefore I apologize.

Jared nailed it right on the head when he said (paraphrasing) "this article doesn't tell me anything I don't already know".

That's the point.

If everyone with reasonable common sense can come to the conclusion that poorer neighborhoods are generally less safe, the need for an article to tell you so is moot. Therefore, there must be another reason this work made it past the editorial staff and onto the front page.

My reasons for bringing this yahoo.com article to the forefront of the Front Porch was to shine the light of truth on an effort of slanted journalism. The original piece was not meant to tell you what you already know, it was obviously meant to guilt a portion of society for having safer neighborhoods and more money. Oh, and for being white.

The inclusion of figures and percentages were not harmless, but rather, makes an attempt to affirm John Edwards' idea of two Americas. Furthermore, it underscores that you should feel ashamed if you are apart of the first America (filled with opportunity and promise) when the kids of second America don't get as much candy as yours do.

This Associated Press article failed in its shoddy attempt to pour sympathy on a minority under thumb, but succedded at revealing its distain for what it sees as "white success".

I will not apologize for being a white male in America.

I WILL laugh my butt off everytime I rundown Jared's soliloquy on Halloween!