I wrote this letter to the Puyallup Unified School District, for its cancelling of Halloween festivies for their students
. Why? Because it might be offensive to real witches.
As a fellow American and educator, I would like to convey my disgust and astonishment at your district’s decision to cancel Halloween. According to an ABC News story (re: http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=184701&page=1), your district chose to cancel its Halloween festivities for the following reasons:
1) “Halloween parties and parades waste valuable classroom time.”
If your teachers are unable to keep pace with curriculum by cutting out 30 minutes of one day, then you have greater problems than canceling Halloween festivities. The mark of a good teacher is one who can connect with students and out pace curriculum deadlines. For your #1 excuse to be valid, you are conceding that your educators are inept.
2) “Some families can't afford costumes and the celebrations thus can create embarrassment for children.”
I certainly respect the sensitivity given to the feelings of youths who cannot afford a costume. Nevertheless, this should provide teachers with the opportunity to provide an example of creativity and ingenuity to their students. Permit me this anecdote. When I was growing up in Elementary school, we also encountered such a challenge. Yet my teachers were prepared and would improvise. For the poorer students, they would have fake noses, vampire teeth, and eye masks. If the student had no costume, but was wearing a blue outfit, the teacher would give the student the mask and we’d all create a mythos about the character this child dressed up as. Not only did this solve the problem of a child feeling left out, but it further enhanced the child’s experience, making that child feel special. There are always going to be students who have far more ornate costumes than others; the point however, is the experience. It is unwise and counterproductive to cancel this celebration for everyone when far more fruit can be gained by dealing with such an issue.
3) “The district said Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween costumes might be offensive to real witches.”
This statement is offensive by nature. If I did not know better, I could assume you are directly trying to offend the parents, families, and youths of the district who believe contrarily.
Whether someone wishes to practice Neo-European Paganism (aka, Wicca), is completely up that person; that is his/her philosophical right. Because our U.S. Constitution prevents the federal government from sponsoring a specific religion, such an individual has a legal right to practice his/her religion in addition to his/her philosophical right. All the same, this religion has nothing to do with Halloween. By using the above as a precedent for canceling Halloween, your district evinces its own ignorance insofar as Halloween and Wiccanism are concerned.
People can argue about the origins of Halloween all they want (we shall not delve into this here, as it would be too lengthy). Regardless of what theory an individual holds to the establishment of Halloween, the bottom line is that the practical application of the holiday is about dressing up, goofing off, and eating candy. If someone wishes to communicate with the dead, that is up to such an individual. Similarly, if one wishes to commemorate saints the following day, that is up to such an individual. I can guarantee you that I’ve never experienced a school (nor any government institution) promote contact with the dead or intercession for saints. Halloween is about fun. It is about trick or treating. It is cultural. It is not religious.
No one stopped celebrating Halloween when I, as a wee lad, dressed like a pirate for fear that a real buccaneer may be offended.
Another relevant example can be seen in how I, a Nazrani (Eastern Christian), celebrate Christmas. In the West, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th of the Gregorian Calendar (which falls on December 10th of the Julian Calendar). The real date for Christmas is January 7th of the Gregorian Calendar, and Mor Zokh Myroyo (St. Nicholas of Myra) is an Eastern saint, not a jolly fat man who lives at the North pole with elves. Nonetheless, no one is forcing me to celebrate the birth of Christ on Dec. 25th, nor have they. I celebrate His birth according to the Eastern Christian teachings. I am fully able to distinguish between American cultural Christmas and the religious holiday. American Christmas is indeed about that jolly fat man, halls being decked with bounds of holly, reindeer that fly, and the apex of consumerist culture. Santa Claus in American culture is not St. Nicholas of Myra in history; a witch in American culture is not a Wiccan priestess.
As educators, you likewise have a responsibility to make clear that Halloween is a cultural holiday and nothing more. Let the Roman Catholics who honor All Saints/Hallows Eve teach their followers about the religious aspects. Let the Wiccans teach their follows about Samhain and communicating with the departed. Let the kids have some fun. Let them be children. Let them explore and use their imagination.
i don't have much to comment about it, but thought i'd share.
for those of you who speak arabic, take a look at this khara
. nut cases!
So evidently, some guys in China are getting chest implants
. At worst, they are morphing into Dolly Parton, and at best, they trying to look like macho men with larger pecs.
I will not address the worst case scenario, as I'd be too appalled to comment.
Considering the other argument however, if you are weak and skinny, getting fake pectoral muscles will not make you look buff; they'll make you look like a freak. There are only a few workouts out there which isolate the pecs, and anyone who only focuses on those is an idiot anyway. When one works out his chest, he likewise develops many other secondary muscle groups. What I'm saying is, the chest doesn't get big alone. So if these guys, in order to get more chicks, create a larger chest, they still are going to have a weak upper body. Ever seen a woman with a boob job who works out too much? She has a ver y fit body, with these two mounds clinging to her chest. Very unnatural, very unatractive.
What sort of malfeasance is going on here?! Humping at the Alamo?
Good grief! I mean... it's the fricken Alamo! These jerks will now tell their friends, relatives, descendents, et al. how they "remember the Alamo." They will all chuckle, having a good laugh whilst their chums say "Boy, you sure are crazy! Wish I had the guts to do that!" The laughing will subside and no one will give a crap thereafter.
I'm just trying to understand the mindset here. The couple was 19 and 18 years old respectively, so they certainly haven't been around long enough to spice up their sexual lives [I'm hoping], but I suppose that could be one reason. "Hey baby, let's do it at the Alamo."
Maybe it was the way she looked in the Texas sunlight that incited an immediate erection--the result of which: porking at the Alamo.
Another possibility could be that they are history buffs. Ahh yes, we like history so much that we'll go have a sexual climax at the fucking Alamo!
What started off as a humble Christian mission and later became the rallying cry of the Texican revolution, has now been reduced to the dispatch of pubic hair and vaginal must. I hope you're happy assholes. You blew a load where Davey Crockett died.
Mon, Oct. 11th, 2004, 10:34 am
I don't remember much of this weekend. That can either be good or bad.
Some good points: USC beats Cal. Let's be honest... we barely held on. Cal did a great job and my hat's off to Northern Cal. Did you see Aaron Rodger's performance? Awesome job. Got to hand it to those Butte JC football players. Respect.
Sunday evening I got to see some friends and old acquaintences. It was pleasant.
Fri, Oct. 8th, 2004, 12:17 pm
Long story short. Yesterday was a bit stressful. Then my friend (whose day was far worse) took things out on me, amplifying my stress. I drove to my Uncle's for some peace and quiet and a 64oz double-gulp from the Sikh girl who always smiles big when I come inside their 7-11. Needless to say, the iced tea + hot tea I consumed yesterday kept me from sleeping save an hour of rest last night, where I continually awoke opening one eye, peering around the darkened room. Mr. O (My producer friend) was not availible to read my script, so that pissed me off just a tad.
Nevertheless, there were high points. I got to engage in my sick fascination with reality TV. I'm going to write an article on Donald Trump one of these days. Then whilst upgrading a website, I had the pleasure of talking to beautiful Kate. Awwww.
Thu, Oct. 7th, 2004, 08:27 am
My motor skills are at a low-point... I guess.
I awoke, though my consciousness was probably still in bed, and made a nice spot of tea. Apparently I wasn't really awake enough, so I ended up spilling the hot tea all over my leg. It didn't phase me since I was still a groaning Sonombulus; nevertheless, it was the push I needed to attain consciousness. Within 5 minutes, I completely missed crabbing the handle and smacked my cup, causing the hot tea to lap over the side of the cup and splash onto the table. ينشالله that won't be a sign of things to come. There is always my sick fill of reality TV tonight. Lucky me.
Wed, Oct. 6th, 2004, 12:02 pm
ܫܠܡܐ ܐܢܫ̈ܐ ܐܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ ܐ̱ܢܐ܇ ܓܕܐ ܛܒܼܐ ܠܟܠܟܼܘܢ
Wed, Oct. 6th, 2004, 08:36 am
A horrible reality that we now face in the United States, is that a generation of our citizens are completely oblivious to other worldly events. Contrary to this, we find many in the opposite spectrum who hear NPR once or listen to some dipshit activist and suddenly think they know the world. In reality, such a position is only taken for their own egos, giving them a position to define themselves against the other sheep.
One prime example of this, is the mindset that many have on Iraq. The constant cries of "Bush lied! There are no WMDs!! He lied! He lied!" are really getting on my nerves. Certainly, I have issues with many Bush Administration policies, and the following comments are less in support of his administration, as they are an indictment of shitheadom. But let's think for a moment. Outlined by the famous Bushian appelation, the "Axis of Evil" (Iraq, Iran, North Korea) all presented themselves as gentle misunderstood regimes. All were accussed by the Bush Administration, as a) having WMDs, or b) seeking to create them. Lo and behold, after having gone into Iraq, we now find that the North Koreans do
possess nuclear weapons and guess what, Iran is now attempting to enrich its Uranium stockpiles
For all the pseudo-intellectuals out there, I have a question. In light of the nuclear developments in North Korea and Iran, do you honestly
think Saddam Hussein would never have continued to persue his own nuclear program? (According to the Duelfer Report, these were his exact intentions).
The world is dung.