Deb's Monthly Review
October 1997

Special Quote
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius--and a lot of courage--to move in the opposite direction. -Ernst F. Schumacher

The photography of Stephen O. Muskie. (yes, those Muskies) The beauty of the New England area of the United States, both in scenery and people.

Mark and Wendy's Home Page.Discover Australian line dancing and make some travel plans.

Plenty of graphics for your web page, from University of Cincinnati

Quite nicely done.

How to pass time on car trips.I guess this is where I admonish you not to try this at home.
(It wouldn't be the same there anyway).

The Tower of London

Halloween fonts, art, music, and more.

October Events
word festivals for October travelers
September 20-October 5
Munich, Bavaria.
Even if you don't like beer, you have to know how important this festival is. It began in 1810 as a
wedding feast, and now offers activities such as a flea circus, music, costumed parade, and such
enticing treats as chocolate fondue. There are hair-raising rides like suspended roller-coasters
(skip the fondue if you're going to try this). Over 6 million people flocked to this event in recent

September 26-October 19
Held annually at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas.
Auto show, art laser show, fireworks, cooking contests, art and craft exhibits, free and for-fee
concerts, food, and more kinds of animals than you can name (such as Simmental Cattle, Chester
Whites Swine, Miniature Donkeys, and Ostriches). This is Texas, after all, and if you want to
attend a big fair, this is it.
Information 214-565-9931.

October 4-5
Held in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
18th annual celebration. They claim the "World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake".
Tour the cranberry bogs. There are cranberry cook-off events, exhibits, hot spiced
cranberry/apple drink, chili, cranberry mustard, and baked goods. Other activities include a craft
show, weaving and quilt exhibits, and music.
Call for details 715/479-8575 or 1-800-359-6315.

October 11-13
Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Held at World War II Veteran's Memorial Park.
Parade, hand-made crafts, carnival rides, Division Street band, Food Court, Fireworks display.
Information 401-766-1240.

October 11-19
Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Tour historic homes from a bygone era, restored and maintainted with their original splendor. (I
love doing this sort of thing, but I'm also reminded of who did most of that hard work in the first
place - their tour perspective might be a bit different).
Information 601-636-9421 or 800-221-3536.

October 18-19
Pike County, Illinois.
Antiques, flea markets, food and produce, entertainment, welcome booths in several towns.
More information 217-285-2971.

October 25-26
Pleasanton, California.
Held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, 9-5 both days.
Displays and discussions of classic computer equipment from 1950's through the 1980's.
Speakers, hands-on interactive display, plus a swap meet of vintage software, parts, games,
computers, and peripherals.
No contact phone number given, but you can email Sam at

Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Held at the Tulsa International Airport. View military and commercial aircraft, enjoy several
hours of air displays.
Information and tickets 918-843-9900.

halloween confetti SPECIAL REVIEW halloween confetti
black mask SCARED YA -
As a child I felt very confused about the holiday we call Halloween. On one hand, I heard scathingly detailed reports of its origins as some satanic form of cat-mutilating, soul-snatching festival. However, having been educated (or rather, indoctrinated) in a Roman Catholic elementary school, I was also surrounded with the alternate feastdays of that time - the Roman Catholic holydays of All Saints Day (November 1), and All Souls Day (November 2), the latter of which also happens to be my birthday.

My mother, being the creative person she was, only wanted to be sure I got in on the experience of costumes and candy, and so we spent long hours fashioning Renaissance headdresses from rolled-up newspaper cones, and whipping up frothy princess skirts from old sheer curtain valances. I did go dressed as a witch one year, and that was a mistake - I couldn't fit into the car with that pointed hat, so had to remove it and then replace it each time I got out of the car on a new street.

As usual, the truth about such things as I was told about Halloween perches keenly between the extremes, with a few embellishments and urban legends thrown in for effect, by its opposers.

Apparently the Celts and their Druid priests celebrated Samhain at the end of summer and harvest, which was November 1 - this date began the dark half of the year. They also celebrated the feast of Beltane for the light half, beginning May 1.
The Celts weren't so concerned about devils and demons as they were the humans who had departed this world. They believed that on this night, the dead were being released for a time, and that they could move about doing mischief. I'm not certain how this translated into going from house to house for treats, but if they came to a house for that treat, and received none, they would most likely play some trick on the inhospitable inhabitants of said home.

The Romans entered this historical mishmash around the first century A.D., by adding their own festivals and practices. Around this same time, word was spreading of Christianity and its new followers. Still later, Catholic leaders persuaded followers to use November 1 as a day to honor the dead saints. The following day was called All Souls Day.
This really cleared things up, right?

Wrong. Here we are just a short time before the year 2000, and we have mixes of all the above feasts and holydays, plus somehow in all of this, some satanist groups decided to use Halloween night as a special night for their own celebration. And there are pagan groups wishing the rest of us would leave the night alone altogether and let them have it back, if they can be said to have owned it in the first place.

The idea of the dead and the living communicating is a bit strange to a few of us anyway, since groups such as the church I belong to basically believe the dead are in (somewhat) a state of sleep and so they can not communicate with us at all. We believe their consciousness will not return until the second coming of Christ. (You may have a different view - I'm just stating mine to explain that not everyone thinks communication with the dead is even possible, much less something to fear).

And then there are the children, with their Batman masks and treat bags, ringing your doorbell and waiting for that bit of candy.
Does anyone really think they care about Druids and Celts, Samhain and Beltane, and whether or not that pumpkin they just carved is related to the turnips our ancient pagan ancestors carved way back then?

And should we set the little ones down right now and tell them they can't go and do any of this trick-or-treating anymore because it is an inherited practice from an ancient people who worshipped in a different manner than we might now?

For all you really righteous adults who just answered, "Yes!" out there, I would remind you that not a few of our Christian adult rituals and practices have roots in paganism. Do a little research on the early meanings and uses of things like Christmas trees, circular jewelry, crosses, the fowl "wishbone", bonfires, and Sunday. But many of those things no longer hold the original meaning for most people. Before you deny the children their costumes and candy, search your own motives.
If we give up everything we have because it has some distant connection to paganism, and we don't want to be considered pagan, we will be surprised to find what we must discard.

While you work on that task, let the kids have their fun. orange mask


Halloween is often used to show and talk about scary things, so I sat down and thought about some things that can really be scary. Have a look. Maybe you'd like to make your own list.
Those who engage in political pimping to gain elected office (or vice versa).
The cost of groceries - it spooks me a bit when it's getting cheaper to eat out than to cook.
orange mask Dating.
Children dating.
Children having children.

Military initiations which include things like pins stuck into flesh - you'd like these people defending your liberty?

Tragedies such as the one we all associate with the nice town of Waco, Texas, in which too many people died - to what end?

Religious right minds who think human legislation will maintain (their definition of) moral behavior, make everyone love the Lord and support (their favorite) religion - or else!

People who hate their job and yet stay at it for years and years and years.

Child abuse and incest.

The kind of mind that wants this or that made illegal because someone might use it for evil purposes. Would anything be left?

People who handle their shopping carts like Roman war chariots, and then leave the parking lot in their cars, and drive the same way.

Racial hate, prejudice and violence by people who claim to love Jesus Christ.

People who go on talk shows hoping to get their problems solved, spill their personal lives to the whole world, and then wonder why people take advantage of them.

People who buy tabloids and then complain about increasing invasion of privacy in our lives.

Cheap, waxy chocolate (okay, it's not that important, but there are days...)

Invasive medical procedures.

People who choose to smoke around babies who can't just walk away from the smoke.

People who want (and think they can have) a government that will take care of them, protect them from their own lousy choices, and keep all the sordid companies in the world from cheating them, but won't also dominate their lives and suppress their freedoms.

Fashion accessories and lingerie that bind, pinch, leave marks, or limit oxygen intake.
People who go to science fiction conventions dressed in furry (or scale-covered) costumes and make up their own alien languages, and then make fun of soap operas for not being realistic.

Teaching little boys to be like Jesus, but little girls to be like Mary (someone please tell me they don't still actually do this).

What happens when people don't pay their taxes.
What happens even when people do pay their taxes.

Bored people who could change a lot in the world if they would stop focusing on their own needs for five minutes, and reach out to others.

So - what scares YOU?

Trick Or Treat!
black mask
Hhhhhmmmm - next time we'll sweep away this negativity.

Graphic Hunters of the World, Take Note!
All the graphics on this page (except the Home graphic below) are my own. If you want to use any for your non-commercial page, please do. A thanks on your page or even a link back to my home page would be great. Do drop me a line or two of email and let me know where to go and see your page! If you want to use the graphics on a commercial page, contact me first, please, and we'll work something out.

Please don't link back to the graphics on my pages - copy them to your own server! Thanks!

I've started an archive for past Monthly Review Pages. We began only last month, so there is only one Review in the Archive for now.
September 1997

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