Best Of The Web
“Recently I read the average American spends about $88 on Halloween. In 2018 the U.S.A. is expected to spend a total of nearly $9 billion on the holiday; that total includes costumes, candy, decorations, cards, parties and attendance at holiday attractions. Statistics such as these cause my husband annually to shake his head and remark in disbelief with a twinge of nostalgia, “Remember when Halloween was a holiday only for kids?”
When I do my part to celebrate the autumn holidays by adorning our front porch with a few chrysanthemums in hues of amber and vermilion enhanced by a pumpkin or two, my husband will nod and smile, but that’s about as far as we take it with harvest-themed decorating. Around the corner, there are homes with elaborate twinkling lights of crimson and gold along with artificial cobwebs, witches’ cauldrons and a plastic ghost or two. To this my husband begins to describe his mother’s 1950s sensibility and belief that displays of Indian corn near one’s front door were better left to people in the suburbs. With roots in old Baltimore, my mother-in-law’s childhood was spent growing up near downtown’s elegant 1920’s Mount Vernon Place. Both she and my own mother believed that “less is more,” therefore, an artfully carved jack o’ lantern was about the extent of their Halloween décor.
As a baby boomer, I remember fondly the Halloweens of my childhood, and yes, the holiday was indeed for kids. In addition to my father’s annual carving of a pumpkin in our kitchen there were traditions that would most likely send today’s parents into states of panic. I have absolutely no recollection of a single friend with a peanut allergy; candy was tossed into random grocery store bags or pillowcases that served as trick-or-treat bags, and no doubt plenty of that candy contained peanuts. Handfuls of unwrapped candy corn, unwashed apples, even spare change were thrown in also. It was a kinder, gentler time, and no one would have dreamed of x-raying the contents of those bags.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"You are being watched. Right now, cookies are tracking which websites you visit and what you click on while you’re there. Your smartphone is logging your location."
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"If the slow-motion crisis that is Gaza ever has a turning point, then this week’s deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, or what’s left of it, and Hamas leaders, under siege, is what the turning would look like."
"Nicholas Parisi's new biography, 'Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination,' fails to present a complete picture of the legendary screenwriter who did his best work outside the TV show that made him famous."
"Nearly a year after the tax cut, economic growth has accelerated. Wage growth has not. Companies are buying back stock and business investment is a mixed bag."
"By shifting accents, Australian expatriates are seen to be shifting class and status, indicating a sense of superiority to those who remain in Australia. The quickly acquired faux-British accent in particular has been associated with pretension..."
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"Capitalism disadvantages women along several axes. The dawn of the industrial revolution enshrined a division of labor that largely confined them to the domestic sphere."
"In the past five or so years, hosting a Thanksgiving meal among friends a week before the actual holiday has become a standard part of the celebration for many young adults."
"Are these business owners trying to keep out certain customers? What about children? Or people who are paid in cash, or others who, for whatever reason, can’t or won’t open a bank account..."
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"...the more modern form of the movement has its roots in late 19th-century Europe... The sole focus of some missions based in England and the U.S. was the conversion of the Jews to Christianity..."