06 November 2010

Manic street preachers exposed

Hallowe'en is big in America. And it is probably biggest of all in Salem, Massachussetts, where my blogging friend Phil Wyman usually tries to lay on some special events at his church, often in collaboration with the local pagan community.

This year, however, there were some encounters with manic street preachers who threatened to expose him, but ended up being exposed themselves: Phil Wyman's Square No More: You Will Be Exposed! Threats from Fundy-ville. Quite an amusing story.

Hallowe'en has never been big in South Africa, and most of what I knew of it as a child came from Nancy and Sluggo comics. What was big at this time of year was Guy Fawkes night, when everyone was in competition to have the biggest and best fireworks, and the shops had boxes of Ronden's fireworks in various sizes from the cheap and miserable to the droolingly unaffordable. The best ones had big rockets with conical caps that reached the apex of their trajectory and spat out brilliant coloured stars.

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot.

Well, this year it was forgot.

I didn't hear a single cracker in our neighbourhood. And the following snippet from a neighbourhood crime watch circular suggests a reason for its being forgot:

We have been fortunate. As far as I could detect nobody celebrated Guy Fawkes last night. It is, however, the beginning of the BIG BANG season. Shooting of fireworks in a residential area is an offence, unless a permit has been issued by the City Council. Please report shooting of fireworks immediately so that we can request the Metro Police to deal with the offenders.

Well, I must say it made life a lot happier for our dogs, and a lot of other people's dogs too, no doubt.


James Higham said...

One has to be very careful when one supports a crackdown on public expression. Too many in society go along with government cracking down on something they personally don't like - because another's freedom is of no interest to us, is it?

This is the thin edge of the wedge leading to oppression.

bigbluemeanie said...

When I was in year 5 at school a friend at school blew one of his eyes out with a cracker on bonfire night. I think restrictions on firework displays are appropriate for the safety of children as well as pets.

Here in the UK it is not as restrictive as in South Africa. My neighbours set off fireworks in their gardens, but there are also public displayed organised by Rotary in most towns.

Halloween is also pickup up steam here. I had a few kids ringing my doorbell 'trick or treat'ing. I wasn't prepared, so gave them money.

Well first of all I answered "oh, treat please!" and then listened to a long explanation about the concept.


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