Observations Along the Road

Theatre Writeups, Musings on the News, Rants and Roadkill Along the Information Superhighway

Change of Venue

Written By: cahwyguy - Tue Apr 01, 2014 @ 8:10 am PDT

userpic=don-martinI’d like to announce that ACSAC site selection has completed for 2015, and we’ve opted for the Mission Inn in Riverside. The conference itself will be held on the grounds of the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris California, about 30 miles south of Riverside.



You got me. That’s not really happening. But I had to come up with something for April Fools. In more serious news, there is a change of venue to announce. I’ve been looking at Cybersecurity opportunities, and decided that LA is not the place to be. It’s time to start exploring moving back east.


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You Out of Luck Today. Banks Closed.

Written By: cahwyguy - Sat Oct 12, 2013 @ 5:35 am PDT

[Today is Columbus Day, and, FYI, the banks are closed. Thus, it is all together fitting and appropriate to remind people why we do this... to give bankers 3-day weekends :-)]

In 1961, the humorist Stan Freberg issued Volume 1 of The United States of America, a musical telling of the founding of America through the Battle of Yorktown (Volume 2 goes through the end of World War I (“They’ll never be another war…”)). The first scene on Volume 1 relates the story of how the Indians discovered Columbus. As today is Columbus Day, I present a transcription of the scene:

NARR: 1492, Madrid. The Queen of Spain grants an audience to an obscure Italian sailor. There, in her chambers, plans are made destined to change the course of history.
COLUMBUS (CC): Alright, we’ll go over it once again. First you hock the jewels, you give me the money and I buy the ships. Then I discover the new world, you dump the king, and I’ll send for you.
QUEEN ISABELLA (QI): You say you’ll send for me, dahling, but will you?
CC: Look, we’ve been all through this before.
QI: I know, but really, you’re such a dreamer. You’ll go out there and sail right off the end of the world.
CC: I will not!
QI: You’re such a charming boy, dahling. Why don’t you forget all this? I’ll set you up with a nice little Fiat agency over in West Barcelona.
CC: I don’t want a Fiat agency!
QI: Then why don’t you go to art school like your friend, Da Vinci? I’ll put you through.
CC: If Lenny wants to starve to death, that’s up to Lenny. Me, I want to discover the new world, carry out my dream. (trumpet fanfare)

ANNOUNCE: His Majesty, King Ferdinand.

QI: (gasp) The King.
CC: Oh, sure, he’ll be at the inquisition all afternoon.
QI: Time just slipped away. Quickly, take the jewels and go, over the balcony. (door opens)
CC: Too late.

QI: Good afternoon dear. How was the inquisition? Amusing?
KING FERDINAND (KF): Dullsville. Same old… say, who’s that?
QI: You remember Christopher Columbus.
KF: You mean old “round, round world”. (laughs). You and your Bohemian friends.
QI: He’s not Bohemian, he’s Italian.
KF: Italian, Bohemian. Look at him in that hat. Is that a crazy sailor?

QI: Crazy? I’ll tell you how crazy. He’s a man with a dream, a vision. A vision of a new world, whose alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears. With purple mountains magestied above the 2 cents plain
CC & KF: (fruited)
QI: Fruited. He holds these griefs to be self-evident, this “round, round world” with Indians and justice for all. Let us then go forward together toward Miami Beach, so that the dream of this crazy Italian boy, indivisible, should not perish from the map. (cheers from crowd)

CC: Is that moving? Was that a great bit?
KF: I always said this girl had a lot of…Wait a minute! I ask a simple question, I get a pageant. Why should Spain sponsor you? Why don’t you go to Portugal?

CC: I did—they bought “The Price is Right”
KF: Oh.

CC: Then I have your permission to sail?
KF: Have you had your shots?
CC: I have.
KF: Permission granted.
CC: Gracias. Areva Derchi
KF: Hasta La Vista
QI: Adios (Mariachi band: Adios Muchachos, Compañareros)

KF: Would you get out of here? (footsteps) Strange, he left by the balcony.
QI: Force of habit I guess.
KF: Yeah, yeah, how’s that again.
QI: Nothing.
KF: Isabella? When are you going to quit fooling around with these nuts?

(on ship) 1st Mate: Admiral Columbus, sir. The men are weary, on the point of madness.
CC: Well, that’s the trouble with labor today. Don’t they realize we’re going to discover the New World?
KF: You’ve been saying that for the last 57 days.
CC: Nobody forced you to come along, your Majesty.
KF: My doctor told me I should go to Florida for the winter.

KF: I still can’t see what you needed three ships for?
CC: I got a better deal on the fleet rate.
KF: I’ll accept that. But we better sight land soon, there’s rumblings of mutiny.
CC: Really?
KF: Come over here and listen

Crew: Rumble. Rumble. Rumble. Mutiny. Mutiny. Mutiny.

CC: I see what you mean. I’ll jump up here on the rigging and speak to them.
KF: You mean on top of everything else this ship is rigged?

CC: Now hear this! This is the Admiral speaking. I know the going has been rough, but if you can just hold out a little while.
Crew: (rumble rumble)
CC: Stop that rumbling down there.
KF: Who can blame them! The whole thing is madness! I don’t like the way the crew is acting!
CC: You’re overplaying it a little bit yourself there.
KF: I tell you the world is flat, and that’s that!
CC: It’s round as your hat!
KF: It’s flat as your head!
CC: It’s round!
KF: It’s flat!

CC: It’s a round, round world
It’s a round, round world

I contend it’s round,
and it’s gonna be found
When all the results are in
It’s a round world now and it’s always been

KF: Flat Flat world
It’s a flat, flat world
I insist it’s flat as a welcoming mat
And he’s sailing off the end
How about our crazy Itralian friend?

CC: Friend, Get hip
Would I climb aboard this ship
If I didn’t have odds the earth was highly spherical

KF: It’s a miracle if it is

CC: Square, square king
You’re a square, square king
If you don’t believe
You’re gonna receive
The shock of your royal life
When the ship pulls in at Miami…

Crew: Yo, ho, ho and a Dramamine
We are loyal subjects of the king and queen
But what kind of nut would you have to be
To borrow a ship and put out to sea
When you don’t know what’s on the other side


KF: All week long on a hardtack bun
Brother, who said getting there is half the fun
Give up my throne for one Navy Bean
No wonder I’m turning three shades of green
How could I go on such a loony trip

CC: Round, round world
It’s a round, round world
I contend it’s round
And it’s gonna be found
When all the results are in
It’s a round world now
And it’s always been


Crew: Crazy kind of scheme
It’s a cockamamie dream
If we don’t sight land we’re gonna scream

CC: Get hip
Would I climb aboard this ship
If I didn’t have odds
The earth was highly spherical

KF: It’s a miracle if it is


Crew: Yo, ho, ho through the wind and rain
There’s a typhoon coming up
But where’s John Wayne?

CC: Square, square crew
You’re a square, square crew


CC: If you don’t believe
You’re gonna receive
The shock of your salty lives
When I take command in the name of…

KF: I feel like a red witch having a wake
How much of the ocean bit do you think I can take
Claim that land in the name of…

CC: Isabella and Ferdinand
KF: That’s Ferdinand and Isabella:

Both: New rulers of this round, round world
Crew: Crazy kind of scheme, It’s a cockamamie dream, but we hope that’s its a round, round world.

KF: Well, for all our sakes, I hope that…
Lookout: Land Ho! (horn fanfare)

KF: What was that?
CC: French horns.
KF: No, before that.
CC: It was the lookout, he sighted land.

Crew: Hurray

CC: Quickly, hand me the glass.
KF: Alright.
CC: No, no, the other one.
KF: Oh? (pause) Oh. (sound of wine pouring)
CC: To the New World!
Likewise (clink)

KF: Alright, alright, give the kid top billing.
CC: I claim this land in the name of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.
Indian Chief (IC): How?
CC: Well, first I stick the flag in the sand, and then I…
KF: Watch yourself Admiral. Natives. They may be hostile.
CC: Well, we’re all a little hostile now and then. Some of us are able to sublimate. Others can’t adjust. You know how it is.
KF: I know, but you better try to talk to him.
CC: Alright. Hello there. Hello there. We white man. Other side of ocean. My name, Christopher Columbus.
IC: Oh, you over here on a Fulbright?
CC: No, no. I’m over here on an Isabella, as a matter of fact. Which reminds me. I want to take a few of you guys back on the boat to prove I discovered you.
IC: What you mean discover us? We discover you.
CC: You discovered us?
IC: Certainly, we discover you on beach here. Is all how you look at it.
CC: Yeah, I suppose. (pause) Well, my men and I were wondering if you could spare a little food.
IC: What kind num-nums you want?
CC: What is that strange looking plant you’re holding there, with the little yellow kernels?
IC: You mean this? (trumpet fanfare)
CC: Yes, what is that?
IC: French horns.

CC: No, no, what you’re holding in your hand.
IC: Oh, corn.
CC: That’s what I thought it was. What else you got to eat around here?
IC: Berries, herbs, natural fruits, and organically grown vegetables.
CC: Just as I suspected. What kind of a diet is that! That’s why I’ve come here, to fulfill my dream.

IC: You have a dream?
CC: Yes I do.
IC: Would you like to talk about it?
CC: I certainly would. My dream is to open the first Italian restaurant in your country. Give you some real
food: starches, spaghetti, cholesterol, … all the better things. That’s called progress.
IC: Hmmm.

CC: Now right here would be a good location for the restaurant, ocean view and all that. Is there room for a parking lot?
IC: You kidding? Whole country is parking lot.

CC: I suppose. Well, I’d like to put a little deposit down on the property, here…
CC: …I only have a few dubloons on me, so if you direct me to the nearest bank, I’ll get a check cashed.

IC: You out of luck today. Banks closed.
CC: Oh, why?
IC: Columbus Day.
CC: Oh, yeah. (pauses) We going out on that joke?
IC: No, we do reprise of song, that help.
CC & IC: But not much… no…


CC: Round, round world
It’s a new found world
And the land looks good
Like a continent should
Complete with a flag unfurled

Indians: Yo, ho, ho and a buckskin sleeve
Now the white man’s here I guess
It’s time to leave
But why go to war and fight like a jerk
Perhaps we can pick up some kind of work

Indians: In an Indian extravaganza
Wyatt Earp or Bonanza

CC: Please don’t call us, we’ll call you

KF: Step aside pal, meet the new
Both: Big cheeses of this round, round world!

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9/11 Post | Post 9/11

Written By: cahwyguy - Wed Sep 11, 2013 @ 8:22 am PDT

9-10 Pictureuserpic=tombstonesAbove my desk at home I have a drawing of a 6 year old girl and her daddy, with a caption along the lines of “My dad and I moved my bed today.” It shows a new daybed, and everyone happy. It is dated September 10, 2001.

Today is September 11, 2013. Twelve years since the planes flew into the towers. I remember the morning well: I had turned on the news before leaving for work, and saw the reports of the planes flying into the towers. I remember listening to the news as we drove the van to El Segundo, not knowing what we would find. I seem to recall an emergency shutdown that day, as everything was locked down (we work co-located with an Air Force Base).

At the time, we were working with Margie Templeton (formerly of SDC) on her database project. Her company lost of most of its marketing people that day.

Usually, I opine. Today, I pine.

I pine for the horrific loss of life we had that day — the loss of the innocents who had no part in the underlying disputes. I feel for their loved ones, who had parts of their lives ripped away for no reason.

I pine for all those we have lost since in the name of revenge, retribution, and fighting the terrorist threat. I agree the threat needed to be fought, but did we approach the fight the best way?

I pine for what our society has lost — civil liberties, privacy, and trust in government. All can be directly attributed to the loss of 9/11. America has been changed for the worse by the terrorist act.

I pine for the loss of the rules of war. War — although horrific — used to have rules that were followed. These included minimization of attacks on civilians. Let the uniformed soldiers fight. Today’s terrorists don’t follow those rules. 9/11 didn’t start this decline, but it has certainly accelerated it.

So on this day, let us pine. Let us remember. In Judaism, the expression is “May their memory be for a blessing.”. On this day, let the memory of who and what we have lost be for a blessing. Let us, shall we say, pray, for the day when the “what” we have lost is restored, as well as “pray”ing that the memory of the “who” lives on in our memories of the good that they have done.

Music: L’il Abner (Original Cast Album): “Jubilation T. Cornpone”

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These United States of America

Written By: cahwyguy - Thu Jul 04, 2013 @ 11:59 am PDT

userpic=political-buttonsToday is the 4th of July. For those of you who haven’t already left for the 4th of July weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate the USA by looking at it in various ways. This post was prompted by a post today of 22 maps that define America. So (as Harry Shearer would say), let’s take a tour of American… through maps…

Music: Under Fire (NYMF) (Demo Cast): “Follow Me”

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Better Get Them To Sign It In The Next Coupla Days…

Written By: cahwyguy - Thu Jul 04, 2013 @ 7:05 am PDT

Every year I post this on the 4th of July. For all that certain groups purport to know what this country’s founders wanted, I think it is best expressed in the sentiment “life, liberty, and the purſuit of happineſſ”. We still have that, for all the complaints. At times we may not like our leadership, and at times we may be frustrated at how our government is working (or not), but it is still the best system out there. Lastly, as much as I get annoyed at what those on the other side of the political spectrum say, I am still pleased to live somewhere where they have the right to say it. Happy Independence Day!

Narrator: The trouble continued to brew. It was a time for action, a time for words. On a hot July night in 1776, Benjamin Franklin was aroused from his work by the call of destiny.

(door knocks)
Jefferson (J) (faintly): Hey, you in there Ben?
Franklin (F) (grouchily) Who’s that, Sylvia?
Sylvia (S): It’s the call of destiny.
F: C’mon, take a look through the curtains.
S: It’s Tom Jefferson
F: What? Again?
J: Pounds on door harder
F: Well, it’s no good, I’ll have to let him in. (walking to door) I’m coming, I’m coming.

(door opens)
J: Hi, Ben.
F: Tom.
(door closes)
J: You got a minute?
F: To tell you the truth, we were just going out of town for the weekend.
J: But it’s only Wednesday.
F: (signs) Well, you know. A penny saved is a penny earned.
J: (pauses) What does that got to do with anything, Franklin?
F: I don’t know. (chuckles) It’s the first thing that came into my head. I was just making conversation. An idle brain is the devil’s playground, you know.
J: Say, you’re pretty good at that, aren’t you?
F: They’re some new “wise sayings” I just made up.
J: Wise sayings?
F: Yeah, I call ‘em “Wise Sayings”.

F: What can I do for you?
J: I’ve got this petition I’ve been circulating around the neighborhood. I kinda’ thought you would like to sign it or something. It’s called a Declaration of Independence.
F: Yeah, I heard about that. Sounds a little suspect if you ask me.
J: What do you mean “suspect”?
F: You’re advocating overthrow of the British government by force and violence, aren’t you?
J: Well, yeah, yeah, but we’ve had it with that royal jazz.
F: Who’s “we”?
J: All the guys.
F: Who’s “all the guys”?
J: George, Jim Madison, Alex Hamilton, Johnny Adams… you know, “all the guys”.
F: Heh, the lunatic fringe.
J: Oh they are not.
F: Bunch of wild-eyed radicals. Professional liberals. Don’t you kid me?
J: You call George Washington a wild-eyed radical?
F: Washington? I don’t see his name on there?
J: Yeah, but he promised to sign it.
F: (laughs) That’s George for you. Talks up a storm with those wooden teeth of his. Can’t shut him off. But when it comes time to put the name on the parchment-o-roonie, try to find him.
J: What are you so surley about today?
F: Surly to bed and surly to rise makes a man…

J: Alright, Alright. Let’s knock off the one-line jokes and sign the petition. What do you say, huh, fellow?
F: Well, let me skim down it here. “When in the course of human events…” so-so-and-so. hmm-hmmm-and-hmmm. “… and that among these are life, liberty, and the purſuit of happineſſ?”
J: That’s “pursuit of happiness”
F: Well all your “S”s look like “F”s
J: It’s stylish. It’s in, it’s very in.
F: Well, if it’s in. (clears throat and continues) “…we therefore, representatives of the United States of America…” so-so-and-so. hmm-mmm-and-hmmm. “…solemnly publish and declare…” hmmm-hmmm-and-hmmm. “…and there absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown.” And so on.

F: A little overboard, isn’t it?
J: Well, uh?
F: You write this?
J: Yeah, I knocked it out. It’s just a first draft.
F: Why don’t you leave it with me, and I’ll mail it in?
J: C’mon.
F: I’ll tell you Tom, I’m with you in spirit. I’m sure you understand that, but I got to play it conservative. I’m a businessman. I got the printing business going pretty good. Almanac made book of the month. I’ve got the inventions. I’ve got pretty good distribution on the stove. And, of course, every Saturday evening, I bring out the “mag”.
J: The what?
F: “magazine”
J: Oh. That reminds me. That artist I sent by, did you look at his stuff?
F: The Rockwell boy? Skinny kid with the pipe?
J: Yeah, that’s the kid.
F: I glanced at it. Too far out for me.
J: Yeah, I know you gotta play it safe. But getting back to the signing of the petition, how about it, huh?
F: Well, uh.
J: It’s a harmless paper.
F: Oh sure, harmless. I know how these things happen. You go to a couple of harmless parties, sign a harmless petition, and forget all about it. Ten years later, you get hauled up before a committee. No, thank you, I’m not going to spend the rest of my life writing in Europe.
J: Ah, c’mon.
F: C’mon what?

(bell note)
J: C’mon and put your name on the dotted line.
F: I got to be particular what I sign.
J: It’s just a piece of paper.
F: Just a piece of paper, that’s what you say.

J: C’mon and put your signature on the list.
F: It looks to have a very subversive twist.
J: How silly to assume it
J: Won’t you nom de plume it,
J: today?

J: You’re so skittish? Who possibly could care if you do?
F: The Un-British Activities Committee, that’s who?

J: Let’s have a little drink-o and fill the quill.
F: It sounds a little pinko to me, but still…
J: Knock off the timid manner
J: If you want a banner, to raise.
F: (banner to raise)

J: You must take (F: I must take)
J: A stand (F: a stand)
J: For this brave (F: for this brave)
J: New land (F: new land)
J: For who wants (F: who wants)
J: To live (F: to live)
J: So conser- (F: so conser-)
J: vative? (F: vative)

F: I don’t dis- (J: he don’t dis)
F: agree, (J: agree)
J and F: but a man can’t be too careful what he signs these days.

(musical flourish, and the song ends)

F: Well, if I sign it, will you renew your subscription?
J: If you promise not to keep throwing it on the roof. If it isn’t on the roof, it’s in the rosebushes or in the mud.
F: My eyesight isn’t what it used to be, you know. Besides, it’s hard to hit the porch from a horse.
J: C’mon, all we want to do is hold a few truths to be self-evident.
F: You’re sure it’s not going to start a revolution or anything?
J: Trust me.
F: OK, give it to me. You got a quill on you?
J: Here you go.
F: Look at this showoff “Hancock”. Pretty flamboyant signature for an insurance man. (signs it)
J: You did a good thing, Ben. You won’t be sorry. Now if I can just get another three or four guys, we’ll be all set.
F: I’ll tell you one thing…
J: What’s that?
F: You better get them to sign it in the next couple of days, before they all take off for the Fourth of July weekend.

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Curses, Foiled Again

Written By: cahwyguy - Tue Apr 02, 2013 @ 4:53 am PDT

userpic=political-signsOK, I’ll fess up. I’m not running for state senator. I didn’t get a lot of “yeah, go for it”, nor do I think I could do the “press the flesh” and raise all the money. Although Kickstarter is a great idea given the success of Veronica Mars, I don’t think you can use it for political purposes. Certainly, you couldn’t give patronage positions via Kickstarter.  P.S.: Another clue was the music on the original post.

Still, I wasn’t joking about the issues of concern, and I intend to keep talking about those. I’m also extremely bothered by the response to the Google Doodle. I do believe our government has gotten dysfunctional, but I think I have too much common sense to ever be elected to Congress, let alone the state legislature. However, if anyone ever wants to appoint me to the California Transportation Commission, I’d give it serious consideration.

But then again, I would still love to see “Cats Don’t Dance” on the stage.

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I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Apr 01, 2013 @ 4:44 am PDT

userpic=political-signsOK, I’ve had it.

I’ve had it with the partisanship of politics — people unable to compromise for the good of the country… people thinking only of their party first, and the country second.

I’ve had it with people putting down solutions without proposing something better. Fine, so you don’t like Obamacare. Before you do a blanket repeal, how about proposing something that achieves the same goals in a better way. For example, if we are to get truly affordable health care, how about we standardize and control the costs of health care. If users of health care were charged the actual cost plus a reasonable profit — across all users, instead of the inflated and arbitrary costs that are done today, we would probably see a net lowering of costs. We should limit insurance companies to reasonable profit, and insist that executives thereof make no money than the doctors.

I’ve had it with how we treat the defense industry. I’ve been working in the defense industry for over 25 years. We’ve gotten so dysfunctional with our budgeting processes that it actually costs more money to make things. Companies cannot plan effectively without a long term funding plan.

I’ve had it with a government that is not serious about cybersecurity. This is true not only at the Federal level, but at the state and city level. We need to ensure there are state procedures to protect all the information collected by the state. The approaches currently taken by the state legislature are a joke; we need people knowledgeable about cybersecurity in charge.

The state needs to do something to repair its crumbling infrastructure. Our road system, which is the backbone of commerce in the state, is crumbling. Bridges and other structures are in disrepair, and it takes far too long to get anything fixed. Further, if we’re going to be spending money on transit, it needs to be on modalities that will be used, are cost effective, and that cover movement of people where they need to move.

I’ve long believed that complaining about a problem is not the way to solve a problem. Given the effects of the sequester, now is as good of a time to do something about it as any. There are cutbacks going on, and everyone is running scared. Further, my state senator just won election to the LA City Council. So, starting today, I’m going to explore running for public office for my state senate district. Anyone want to help? What’s the first step? According to the website, I either need to pay a filing fee of around $960 or collect 3,000 signatures. I also need to file some statements of intent and open a campaign account. I’ll need money. I’m horrible at rubber chicken dinners and fundraising. I wonder if I could use Kickstarter? I could offer some wonderful patronage positions as incentives.

Music: Sammy Davis, Jr. Greatest Hits (Sammy Davis Jr.): “What Kind Of Fool Am I”


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Halloween: A Day When Anything is Acceptable?

Written By: cahwyguy - Wed Oct 31, 2012 @ 11:45 am PDT

Today is Halloween. So, not surprisingly, over lunch I’ve been thinking about Halloween costumes (and customs) in general, and three articles that I read this week in particular. This is something I’ve been thinking about since Saturday night when we went to the theatre in Hollywood on Metro, and were exposed to a large number of revelers in Halloween costumes going to various parties and clubs.

The first article talked about the increasing sexualization of costumes for girls. Basically (and I saw this on Metro), for adult women, the goal of a costume seems to be to expose as much skin as possible. Essentially, take any costume you can think of and put the adjective “slutty” in front of it… and voila, you have a modern costume.  It is no longer just slutty nurses, but slutty witches, slutty Darth Vaders, slutty … you name it. It’s also not just the women; I saw a number of men dress up in equivalently slutty costumes. The HuffPo article was commenting on how this trend has been extended down to children’s costumes. These costumes, which used to be innocent, now show more and more skin and are completely inappropriate for children.

The second article was a CNN exploration of offensive costumes. The jumping off point was a discussion of costumes that emphasized racist stereotypes. Is it reasonable, in this day and age, to go as the “slutty geisha”, the “dumb hillbilly”, the “sexy Latina La Llorona”, the “asian geek”. Is it better if you go as a particular individual? Why is it on Halloween that we are permitted to do racial stereotyping and not consider it offensive, in the name of “fun”.  When dealing with Halloween costumes, where should we draw that line, and why is it acceptable for that line to be drawn differently on Halloween?

The third article was an article from the Daily Cal about a frat house in Berkeley that displayed a hanging man as part of their haunted house decorations. A number of students complained because the mannequin had a dark grey head, and they felt it was too evocative of a lynching. It has since been removed, but it does raise the question of how many of our haunted house images are themselves racist or offensive. I’ve read a few articles on extreme haunted houses (WSJ, LA Times), and these houses are now going to psychological terror that leaves people shaking. There is touching, there are likely images of hangings and gruesome multilations. When does this become sexually offensive? When does this move to pure abuse? Is a simple legal statement sufficient to absolve one of responsibility?

And yet… and yet… I always think of the Kurt Vonnegut story “Harrison Bergeron“. Do we really want a world where no one can be offended or hurt; will it be too bland and prevent people from excelling. Finding the balance is difficult.

As for me, I’ve never been one to really get into Halloween. I’ve never understood the desire to put on a costume and play a character (perhaps this is why I never gravitated towards D&D and role playing)… although I certainly enjoy watching those who do (especially the slutty ones ;-)). My usual costume, when I was younger, was “college student”. Nowadays, it is homicidal maniac. I’d love to really understand the motivation of those who do–especially those who really get into it with elaborate costumes.

I’ve also never gotten into the notion of haunted houses, which to me are more “startle” houses. I guess some people just love the endorphins and adreneline, but I’ve never gotten into it. When I was in college, I used to regularly go to horror movies. I didn’t go to be scared; I went because my girlfriend at the time liked to go, and I saw it as an opportunity to be with her. I still do not find such movies terrifying (I find much more terrifying the scene in Star Trek where the alien insect eats Chekov’s brain). To me, the notion of wanting to terrorize someone (i.e., operate a house) or be terrorized is just a “safe” manifestation of domination/dominated type activities–a chance to explore one’s darker side. Perhaps that’s my problem — I don’t really have a darker side (or if I do, it is limited to the extent of observation only, as I truly enjoy watching people).

So how about you? What are your thoughts on the increasing sexualization of Halloween costumes? About the potential racism and stereotyping of costumes? About the notion of Halloween as a day to drop inhibitions?

P.S.: I’ve updated the WordPress setup to permit you to subscribe to comments. Please let me know if it works, as the plugin is untested with my version of WordPress. I’m open to suggestions for other plugins to add, as well as responses to my other WordPress questions.


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