Why do I loathe Trick or Treat?

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Why do I loathe Trick or Treat?

So its Halloween, the silly scary night. I’m not a fan, in fact I loathe Trick or Treat, largely because in reality this is a hugely commercialised North American event and adds more pressure to parents to “conform” to social pressures. If you don’t participate then you are a bit of a killjoy.. right? there’s something of party-pooper if you don’t join in. Well… I’m past caring. Yes I know for some its just a bit of silly fun, but I still find the entire “trick or treat” somewhat disturbing. It seems that despite all the parenting and citizenship education, we seem quite willing to allow our children to knock on the doors of strangers with a dialogue of extortion to occur on this night each year (ok set aside the politicians, bankers, journalists, financial advisers, police… and anyone else that has at some point been lumped together with unethical “professional” practice who clearly have an all year round the clock approach). Where are calls for individuality and cultural identity when we simply adopt an American one? (to be clear I am not anti-American, I am just not American).

Intimidation is the opposite of co-operationtrickortreat

Trick or treat is essentially open season for intimidation. Obviously for a group of very small children accompanied by adults it’s not such a big deal, but then again….we didn’t send invitations to be door-stepped. Let alone the brazen inference – give me something or I’ll do something that you will have to clean up. Is this the good role model that we suggested we set for children? Is it any wonder young people are confused by our double standards and ability to live them? Look I know its meant to be just a bit of fun, (though based on some very weird stuff) so why not just have a private party? The prospect of several people turning up at the doorstep of say a nervous individual over the age of 80, dressed in a manner that prevents any identification, demanding stuff is rather bizarre. My doorstep – well I’m over 6 feet tall so I’m generally more intimidating that intimidated… but that’s hardly the point.

Taking the pumpkin

I guess I struggle to see the value or purpose in Halloween (Trick or Treat in particular) other than yet another attempt to part people from their money, (about a week before Bonfire night and 7 before Christmas) most of whom have far more important priorities for it, yet we are coerced into stumping up cash which invariably goes straight into the pockets of profiteers. In all other aspects of life, including finance, we would all decry attempts to hide identities and demand things at the threat of “mischief”. If the pumpkin is a warning of anything it should be a warning that we can turn something good (vegetable.. or fill in the blank) into something much more sinister if we simply conform to the crowd.

As ever, happy to listen to alternative points of view and I do recognise that some cultural celebrations get lost in translation.

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA

Why do I loathe Trick or Treat?2017-01-06T14:39:43+00:00

Does social media take life and death seriously?

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Does social media take life and death seriously?

The storm (or lack of) depending on your experience of it generated some interesting insights into the way we express our views. Many experienced no loss or damage, some had damage to property and a small number of people lost their lives. There were many that expressed fairly widespread sentiments that the storm was not really that much of a storm – when we compare it to 1987 or indeed other storms around the world. Whether these views were expressed well or poorly, there were a number of people that pointed out that making light of the storm was inappropriate given that some people had died.

Death is a natural part of lifematteroflifeanddeath

Certainly an unexpected sudden death is a terrible experience for the family and friends of the person that died and anyone that has experienced such a loss would not want it to be taken lightly or dismissed as irrelevant. However, I wonder if chastisements for comments about a storm are really well founded. It seemed to me that we are in danger of policing comments for fear of offending anyone at all. Death is a part of life, we all know this, but few of us live as though this is a daily reality and normal.

Have you heard about the other 1% of society?

The UK population is now estimated at 63.7million by the ONS. The death statistics (sorry I couldn’t think of a nicer term) for the UK were last published to the end of 2010. This revealed that the number of people that died in 2010 was only 1.1% of the population, of which 58% were male and 42% female. Bringing this marginally up to date, 1.1% of 63.7m people is 700,700 people a year, or to put it another way, that’s 1,920 people a day (1,114 males, 806 females) each day, every day (on average). Of course the bulk of these are aged 80 or more, but there is a reasonable difference between males and females. For more women die at an older age, or to put it another way, females live longer. In 2010 nearly 85% of male deaths were aged 60+ but 91% of female deaths. This is primarily because far more men die between the ages of 35-59 than women (12.1% opposed to 7.4%). So back to our figures of averages on a typical day, irrespective of media coverage of mass shootings, crashes, natural disasters, the law of averages in the UK suggests the following will happen today and each day.

Age Range Males Females
Under 15 11 5
15-34 22 7
35-59 135 60
60-79 464 234
80+ 482 500

I am not suggesting that these figures could not alter, but death is not a question of if, but of when. It is as natural as life itself. As a progressive society we do our best not to hasten life or take it, but death is ever present. Some will read this as a rather depressing insight… but an alternative view might lead to taking the opportunities that life affords today and living it fully. In reality these are nothing more than statistics and of course each life should be cherished,we are all more than a number. For the bean counters of you… there is a death in the UK every 45 seconds…how long did it take you to read this piece?

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA

Does social media take life and death seriously?2017-01-06T14:39:43+00:00
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