Sunday, November 19, 2006

Is hedonism really something we want to teach kids?

Entry for Monday, 31 October, 2005


I happened to be watching the Food Network Channel yesterday when a show came on and the host said something to the effect of "don't bother with storebought candy - make these treats for the trick-or-treaters." And I thought to myself, "Why in the world would anyone do that? They would just end up being thrown away. No one lets their children eat home-made stuff anymore."

Now, for the record, we began a tradition several years ago where we take the family to the movies on October 31st. It's always been a great experience. Two years back we got to see a double-feature, two movies for the price of one, and had the entire theater to ourselves. It was great. This year they have decided to see Wallace and Gromit (I hope I spelled that correctly). We have a video tape of three episodes of W&G, and we all love it. So I have no doubt this will also be a nice evening.

But back to the point - I wonder how many people really wouldn't let their kids eat a home-made treat obtained from someone they didn't know? I speculate, though, that while many of us might eat one ourselves while no one was looking, we wouldn't give it to the kids.

Several hospitals in your area, no doubt, offer free x-rays for bags of candy. I personally have never heard of anyone finding any booby-trapped candy here in our town. Every year you hear rumors of someone that found a razor blade or whatever - but nothing that ever hits the nightly news. So - question, class - is this fear of non-vacuum-packed candy real, or is it hype? And if it's hype, who's benefiting from it?

It seems plain that if some nut really wanted to poison a whole neighborhood full of children, they wouldn't do it with homemade items - that would be way too obvious. They'd inject something toxic into store-bought machine-wrapped chocolates. And x-rays, of course, would never see it. So why do we "trust" name-brand candy and "dis-trust" the granny down the street?

And if there is really so much danger, why do we have trick-or-treating in the first place? Is it really a good idea to play Russian-Roulette with your children's lives? What's wrong with this picture?

I see some of the same phenomena when christian people realize that "christmas" is actually the birthday of the sun god Mithras, and "easter" is in honor of the pagan goddess Ishtar. They read in the Tanakh that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob says plainly that it is wrong to adopt the customs of heathen peoples, and to adopt their dates and ways of worship and try and apply it to Him. They know it's wrong, but they do it anyway - so "the kids aren't deprived of their opportunities" or some such. Yes, someone actually said that to me.

Opportunities?

As if teaching children that when an opportunity comes to indulge in hedonistic gratification they should not only do so - but rush through as many streets as possible to make sure they get the most that they possibly can?

What's wrong with that picture, class?

Oh, and don't even get me started on "christmas." Parents tell children the lie - yes, LIE - that "good" children whom Santa Claus "loves" will get gifts - which means, of course, whether it's ever stated aloud or not, that children are taught that poor kids, whose parents can't afford the fashionable expensive gifts, MUST be "bad." It also teaches kids that their parents are liars - which they are. (And then they wonder why their kids become teenagers and disrespect them.)

Is a custom founded on lies, deceit, judgmentalism, and class discrimination really something we should be passing on to our kids today?

And since when is nihilism a desirable character trait? Actions speak so much louder than words, class. Your little brothers and sisters, your nieces and nephews, and your own children are not, in fact, stupid. They have eyes and they can see. And all those things you ignore and pretend do not matter - well, they do matter. And you knew that when you were a child, when somebody else got all those great gifts that you didn't get. When someone else got a trip to somewhere great and you didn't. When someone else looked down on you because "santa" obviously doesn't love you as much. It's time to remember and repent of our sins. Sadistic children's "opportunities" need to be flushed down the toilet where they belong. So go to the movies. Go to a soup kitchen and volunteer. Or stay home and play a board game with your kids for a change. Be a rebel.

(And when your friends and relatives attack you for your rebellion against the status quo - just smile and know they feel guilty for not having so much principle themselves. Viva La Revolution.)

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