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Moderated Forums => Convert Issues => Topic started by: justanotherme on November 01, 2015, 06:00:43 PM

Title: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 01, 2015, 06:00:43 PM
Okay, I have kind of an odd question. Maybe it's not that odd, but I am curious.

I noticed that some within Orthodoxy seem to really have a distaste for fantasy, science fiction, etc. Also, that Halloween dress-up and candy-eating is idolatrous?

It stands to reason that seances, witchcraft, ouija boards, etc. are off limits. Problems with the scarier sorts of costuming with a focus on gore and evil seem equally reasonable.

But, I'm a little confused that this moratorium extends to spooky stories, treats, girls dressed as Disney princesses and carved pumpkins? Our priest seemed particularly upset about this this morning. There was a lady sitting behind us muttering through the service about the priest being wrong. My kids, meanwhile, who can hear dissenting adult voices from a 1000 leagues off...and who had really enjoyed more candy than they probably ought the night before...were a little vexed. And I didn't like being one to shrug with a "I'll get back to you on that."

Looking around, it seems the very reasonable fellow from Bee the Bee isn't bothered. Meanwhile, other sober voices are sounding  an alarm. What's a convert, who really wants to do the right thing, to do? Would it be an act of disobedience next year to allow the kids some trick or treating? Am I risking our souls to read sci-fi?

 :-\

I genuinely like the parish we've been attending and tend to agree with our priest, but I'm feeling a little off balance this afternoon. Any other converts in this boat?


Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: podkarpatska on November 01, 2015, 06:16:30 PM
Obsession with Halloween is silly. Stick with the Be the Bee advice. I think the problem is that in our secular world the innocence of kids and parents having fun is overshadowed by the stupidity of making the vulgar, super frightening, bloody etc...Halloween drinking scare fest so popular. Keep the kids away from that nonsense.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 01, 2015, 06:30:38 PM
Obsession with Halloween is silly. Stick with the Be the Bee advice. I think the problem is that in our secular world the innocence of kids and parents having fun is overshadowed by the stupidity of making the vulgar, super frightening, bloody etc...Halloween drinking scare fest so popular. Keep the kids away from that nonsense.

I don't really get the obsession--in either direction. Whether it's a Chick Tract or an adult spending hundreds of dollars on gory, ghoulish paraphernalia from the local halloween shop to throw in the yard while they dress like Freddy Kruger and hold a spiritualist meeting/drinking bender. It makes me want to tell people to go take a proverbial chill pill and reconnect with whatever tattered shreds their sanity remain.

That said, between the priest decrying the pagan roots of the "holiday" and the congregations general disregard for the message... I think it was confusing. On the one hand, we had the priest saying no, on the other hand, we had the Sunday School kids picking up leftover Halloween snacks marked with bats and the traditional orange and black of the season.

A little cognitive dissonance for the day, there...
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Arachne on November 01, 2015, 06:50:04 PM
In my experience, 'old country' people are more likely to frown on Halloween festivities, simply for not being part of the culture they grew up in. (We're Orthodox; lack of suspicion towards 'foreign' customs can have your card revoked. ;)) Relax, have fun and keep it clean.

As for fantasy and sci-fi, too many people, in striving to avoid the delusions of prelest, swing too far into the opposite direction and condemn all imagination as dangerous. They forget that even the most impossibly fantastical of stories are, deep down, about people, and that what matters is whether or not the way those people interact promotes spiritual health, not what kind of bodies they wear or what kind of worlds they live in.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 01, 2015, 07:13:11 PM
In my experience, 'old country' people are more likely to frown on Halloween festivities, simply for not being part of the culture they grew up in. (We're Orthodox; lack of suspicion towards 'foreign' customs can have your card revoked. ;)) Relax, have fun and keep it clean.

As for fantasy and sci-fi, too many people, in striving to avoid the delusions of prelest, swing too far into the opposite direction and condemn all imagination as dangerous. They forget that even the most impossibly fantastical of stories are, deep down, about people, and that what matters is whether or not the way those people interact promotes spiritual health, not what kind of bodies they wear or what kind of worlds they live in.

I don't even have a card to revoke. I hopped on the train without a ticket, after all. ;)


That makes sense. Maybe some people have more trouble than others. Like the distant relative of mine so afraid of alcoholism he'd only ever hold a glass, to be polite, but never drink any for fear he'd end up such a raging drunk he'd never recover. It makes sense if one tends to get "carried away" that they might be afraid of a particularly entertaining novel. Even so, hearing anyone rail against imagination feels a bit stifling--if not outright depressing. That's the sort of thing I'd expect from some of the particularly sour-faced protestant groups, not Orthodoxy. But, I guess that element is everywhere and in every group.

(I'm guessing you're part of NanoWrimo from the avatar, by the way. Hope the keys keep clicking away all November long for you, brave soul! I've attempted but never made it very far, myself.)
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: NicholasMyra on November 01, 2015, 10:55:04 PM
I noticed that some within Orthodoxy seem to really have a distaste for fantasy, science fiction, etc.
Also, that Halloween dress-up and candy-eating is idolatrous?
Mostly converts from Evangelicalism or misguided extremists from one country in particular.

Our priest seemed particularly upset about this this morning.
Fr. Giryus made a good point recently about people misunderstanding priests who overstate their case, for lack of a better word. But being as demons, etc. are one of his specialties I won't presume to speak for him.

the pagan roots of the "holiday"
The notion that Halloween was a pagan festival was invented a couple centuries ago in order to make Roman Catholicism (and in some cases, Christianity at large) look bad. There are similar fabrications about Easter and Christmas.

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2012/10/how-christians-made-halloween-satanic.html

Even so, hearing anyone rail against imagination feels a bit stifling--if not outright depressing.
The Fathers condemned something that is often translated as "imagination," but it's really something like prideful fantasies. Those who read the Fathers without a knowledge of the nuances of Greek, or the history of ideas, tend to equivocate.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Iconodule on November 02, 2015, 10:16:43 AM
Orthodox culture has given us fairy tales, epic poems, and Nikolai Gogol. Obviously imaginative literature is not anathema to Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Bryan Paul on November 02, 2015, 10:51:39 AM
Okay, I have kind of an odd question. Maybe it's not that odd, but I am curious.

I noticed that some within Orthodoxy seem to really have a distaste for fantasy, science fiction, etc.
...
Clearly, such people would not be a fan of Doxacon (http://www.doxacon.org/).
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 02, 2015, 11:39:50 AM
Quote

The Fathers condemned something that is often translated as "imagination," but it's really something like prideful fantasies. Those who read the Fathers without a knowledge of the nuances of Greek, or the history of ideas, tend to equivocate.

That makes sense. Well, I feel better, because I don't really want to give up my sci-fi and spooky stories. I've always enjoyed them with moderation, anyway.

I guess I get what I get for Googling Orthodoxy and Halloween ;-)
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 02, 2015, 11:44:26 AM
Orthodox culture has given us fairy tales, epic poems, and Nikolai Gogol. Obviously imaginative literature is not anathema to Orthodoxy.

I've always liked Russian folktales. My father got me a book on them years ago with a black lacquer box and a painting of one on the front. I have fond memories of that and playing a board game called By Jove based on mythology. I have very fond memories of fanciful books and stories. I'd hate to think that was somehow evil.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 02, 2015, 11:47:50 AM
Okay, I have kind of an odd question. Maybe it's not that odd, but I am curious.

I noticed that some within Orthodoxy seem to really have a distaste for fantasy, science fiction, etc.
...
Clearly, such people would not be a fan of Doxacon (http://www.doxacon.org/).

That is so cool! I wish one was closer! I did see a girl with a Doctor Who shirt at Bible study once. I thought that was awesome. A fellow Whoniverse inhabitant. :)
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: DeniseDenise on November 02, 2015, 11:49:42 AM
Okay, I have kind of an odd question. Maybe it's not that odd, but I am curious.

I noticed that some within Orthodoxy seem to really have a distaste for fantasy, science fiction, etc.
...
Clearly, such people would not be a fan of Doxacon (http://www.doxacon.org/).

That is so cool! I wish one was closer! I did see a girl with a Doctor Who shirt at Bible study once. I thought that was awesome. A fellow Whoniverse inhabitant. :)


There is one in Seattle.   That's close.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: hecma925 on November 02, 2015, 07:24:23 PM
There was a lady sitting behind us muttering through the service about the priest being wrong.

Pews.....sign of a bad parish.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: NicholasMyra on November 02, 2015, 07:28:16 PM
I guess I get what I get for Googling Orthodoxy and Halloween ;-)
Yep: People who like Halloween typically don't write their view of it online in association with their religion. :P
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: truthseeker32 on November 02, 2015, 08:35:49 PM
Pews.....sign of a bad parish.
It really isn't.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 02, 2015, 09:09:31 PM
There was a lady sitting behind us muttering through the service about the priest being wrong.

Pews.....sign of a bad parish.

No. Sign of a part of the country that didn't get built up until the 2000's. The surrounding area was mostly dirt and desert until the late 80's. And most people stand for the majority of the time. :-)
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 02, 2015, 09:26:51 PM
Okay, I have kind of an odd question. Maybe it's not that odd, but I am curious.

I noticed that some within Orthodoxy seem to really have a distaste for fantasy, science fiction, etc. Also, that Halloween dress-up and candy-eating is idolatrous?

It stands to reason that seances, witchcraft, ouija boards, etc. are off limits. Problems with the scarier sorts of costuming with a focus on gore and evil seem equally reasonable.

But, I'm a little confused that this moratorium extends to spooky stories, treats, girls dressed as Disney princesses and carved pumpkins? Our priest seemed particularly upset about this this morning. There was a lady sitting behind us muttering through the service about the priest being wrong. My kids, meanwhile, who can hear dissenting adult voices from a 1000 leagues off...and who had really enjoyed more candy than they probably ought the night before...were a little vexed. And I didn't like being one to shrug with a "I'll get back to you on that."

Looking around, it seems the very reasonable fellow from Bee the Bee isn't bothered. Meanwhile, other sober voices are sounding  an alarm. What's a convert, who really wants to do the right thing, to do? Would it be an act of disobedience next year to allow the kids some trick or treating? Am I risking our souls to read sci-fi?

 :-\

I genuinely like the parish we've been attending and tend to agree with our priest, but I'm feeling a little off balance this afternoon. Any other converts in this boat?

I think fantasy fiction or any "genre fiction" or subculture is one of those things that parents rightfully and intuitively understand as a "potential trap" that can enable a kid to turn into an escapist, like rock and roll, video games, TV, amateur art and other secondary expressions that can lead to an "easy outlet" for escape.  The trick is for a parent not to over react or condemn things as such.  There is nothing wrong with sci-fi, or whatever itself it's about proper development of a child.

As for Halloween itself, I never noticed anyone caring.  Maybe if someone in my family or parish or local community joined the occult and made Halloween a big deal, there may have been a higher alert about it...but that never happened.  From my experience everyone was more concerned about proper safety.  Even my Catholic school had Halloween parties and parades. Our Orthodox parishes may have had similar events (like SOYA trips to haunted houses, scary movies, and corn mazes).
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 02, 2015, 09:36:19 PM
Orthodox culture has given us fairy tales, epic poems, and Nikolai Gogol. Obviously imaginative literature is not anathema to Orthodoxy.

Any good piece of literature or any good story is real, certainly more real than a 28yr old academic philosophers "existential thesis" on A Critique of Critical Criticism: The Othery Otherness of Other (such a thing may be incantational voodoo death magic that will lead a boy to the dark monastic cloister of Academia).  The imagination from a good piece of sci fi is not the "bad" kind of fantasy or imagination.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 02, 2015, 10:17:51 PM
Okay, I have kind of an odd question. Maybe it's not that odd, but I am curious.

I noticed that some within Orthodoxy seem to really have a distaste for fantasy, science fiction, etc. Also, that Halloween dress-up and candy-eating is idolatrous?

It stands to reason that seances, witchcraft, ouija boards, etc. are off limits. Problems with the scarier sorts of costuming with a focus on gore and evil seem equally reasonable.

But, I'm a little confused that this moratorium extends to spooky stories, treats, girls dressed as Disney princesses and carved pumpkins? Our priest seemed particularly upset about this this morning. There was a lady sitting behind us muttering through the service about the priest being wrong. My kids, meanwhile, who can hear dissenting adult voices from a 1000 leagues off...and who had really enjoyed more candy than they probably ought the night before...were a little vexed. And I didn't like being one to shrug with a "I'll get back to you on that."

Looking around, it seems the very reasonable fellow from Bee the Bee isn't bothered. Meanwhile, other sober voices are sounding  an alarm. What's a convert, who really wants to do the right thing, to do? Would it be an act of disobedience next year to allow the kids some trick or treating? Am I risking our souls to read sci-fi?

 :-\

I genuinely like the parish we've been attending and tend to agree with our priest, but I'm feeling a little off balance this afternoon. Any other converts in this boat?

I think fantasy fiction or any "genre fiction" or subculture is one of those things that parents rightfully and intuitively understand as a "potential trap" that can enable a kid to turn into an escapist, like rock and roll, video games, TV, amateur art and other secondary expressions that can lead to an "easy outlet" for escape.  The trick is for a parent not to over react or condemn things as such.  There is nothing wrong with sci-fi, or whatever itself it's about proper development of a child.

As for Halloween itself, I never noticed anyone caring.  Maybe if someone in my family or parish or local community joined the occult and made Halloween a big deal, there may have been a higher alert about it...but that never happened.  From my experience everyone was more concerned about proper safety.  Even my Catholic school had Halloween parties and parades. Our Orthodox parishes may have had similar events (like SOYA trips to haunted houses, scary movies, and corn mazes).

I was kind of surprised by the reaction, because that has been my experience elsewhere. When we attended the RCC the Dia de los Muertos was a big thing, too. To the point that it unnerved me a bit. With Santa Muerta being a thing around here, I didn't think it was too thrilling to have sugar skulls and death makeup all over the churchyard. It put me off my tea a bit.

As far as escapism goes, I think people can escape reality in a lot of ways. My father loved math and rationality so much that the reality of God is very distant to him. I guess my  feeling is that anything, taken too far, can be dangerous: literature, academics, art, exercise, eating... I understand the concern, but it seems like moderation is important and the ability to discern where to draw a hard line.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 02, 2015, 10:19:42 PM
Orthodox culture has given us fairy tales, epic poems, and Nikolai Gogol. Obviously imaginative literature is not anathema to Orthodoxy.

Any good piece of literature or any good story is real, certainly more real than a 28yr old academic philosophers "existential thesis" on A Critique of Critical Criticism: The Othery Otherness of Other (such a thing may be incantational voodoo death magic that will lead a boy to the dark monastic cloister of Academia).  The imagination from a good piece of sci fi is not the "bad" kind of fantasy or imagination.


I'm pretty sure you're right on the whole voodoo death magic. Reading something like that would certainly zombify me in a hurry.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Onesimus on November 02, 2015, 10:55:14 PM
First, I hope your Halloween was good...  :D

I guess the question I have is;

Why not simply talk to your priest one on one about this?   In such a conversation he might be able to nuance what was probably  a general commentary on culture or give you some food for thought regarding what we often consider benign influences on our children, but are much more formative than we'd expect - both individually and culturally. 

I guess the bottom line is that the relationship and discussion would be more fruitful if you and he were to discuss it and he could make it pastorally relevant to your situation.   Or...you could come away convinced he's wrong.   either way at least there is communication and relationship with someone accountable before God for His advise to you.   no one here hhas that relationship or responsibility towards you.

Orienting ourselves to this issue through opinions on OC.net is hardly the point I think....while establishing a personal relationship with your spiritual father (I assume your priest...but not always) IS.     
Make an appointment with him.   Talk to him about why this confused you and put you off balance.    Let him explain.   


Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: NicholasMyra on November 02, 2015, 11:36:32 PM
rock and roll, video games, TV, amateur art and other secondary expressions
I think I have a sense of what you mean by secondary expressions, but if you could get underneath it for me, please do. What are primary expressions?
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: NicholasMyra on November 02, 2015, 11:40:19 PM
certainly more real than a 28yr old academic philosophers "existential thesis" on A Critique of Critical Criticism: The Othery Otherness of Other (such a thing may be incantational voodoo death magic that will lead a boy to the dark monastic cloister of Academia). 
You've spent too long on the post-Heideggerian English Prof-as-Philosopher ride, my friend. Such things are on the wane these days.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 03, 2015, 12:46:57 AM
First, I hope your Halloween was good...  :D

I guess the question I have is;

Why not simply talk to your priest one on one about this?   In such a conversation he might be able to nuance what was probably  a general commentary on culture or give you some food for thought regarding what we often consider benign influences on our children, but are much more formative than we'd expect - both individually and culturally. 

I guess the bottom line is that the relationship and discussion would be more fruitful if you and he were to discuss it and he could make it pastorally relevant to your situation.   Or...you could come away convinced he's wrong.   either way at least there is communication and relationship with someone accountable before God for His advise to you.   no one here hhas that relationship or responsibility towards you.

Orienting ourselves to this issue through opinions on OC.net is hardly the point I think....while establishing a personal relationship with your spiritual father (I assume your priest...but not always) IS.     
Make an appointment with him.   Talk to him about why this confused you and put you off balance.    Let him explain.   

It didn't seem like something to bother him with...more a passing curiosity about a "didn't see that one coming" moment of mild disagreement. (Note: there are things I'm opposed to which are a attached to Halloween, as I mentioned. So, insofar as Ouija boards and gore and occultism are concerned ...I'm in 100% agreement. That's a big fat NO any day of the year.) I'm not the best at interpersonal relationship and I'm not yet 100% comfortable just calling to chat...he's busy, has a family, I don't want to be a nussance over something like this. I mean, when someone has been in the hospital or I'm at my wits end trying to be a better parent, I will call. Typically I feel guilty and awkward and attention-seeking even in those moments. Sometimes it helps me to just be able to kind of have a sounding board where my anxiety won't get the better of me...and calm me down about things I know aren't half as big as my brain is suggesting. Hate to say it, but I like being in Church and around people...but interaction is really hard for me. I like to be quiet, at the back and out of the way 99% of the time.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Onesimus on November 03, 2015, 12:52:05 AM
I get it.   That makes sense.  I always feel bad about being a "burden" to my priest.

Just take what we say here with a grain (or a dumptruck) full of salt.     :D
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 03, 2015, 02:53:55 AM
rock and roll, video games, TV, amateur art and other secondary expressions
I think I have a sense of what you mean by secondary expressions, but if you could get underneath it for me, please do. What are primary expressions?

Funny, this isn't really easy for me to answer.  I think I'm just thinking of the way high school and college people develop into adults (and perhaps this affects men than women) and the way subcultures and easy entertainment can trap therm.  Think of weird things like fandom cultures to music subgenres with specific styles...and all of these have young adults as their primary targets that create an isolated group. 

It's true anything can trap a person, but I get why parents may be a bit put out specifically by the act of their kid playing dungeons and dragons , reading only a very specific kind of book, or dressing and acting like a specific "genre music" culture. It's an easier thing to be on guard about, then your kid being a good athlete, good with people, or good at math. I also don't know how much of this kind of clickiness is more modern, perhaps our parents generation never dealt quite with these kinds of specialized clicks and isolated subcultures the way we do.

So I think what I mean by a primary expression would mean something you are already engaged and working hard at (which very well could be writing sci-fi books), a secondary expression is someone looking for an easy exit, or easy praise.

That may be a really confusing answer.  I'll try and unpack it more if you want.  But my main thoughts are focused on school age growing pains and those trials and tribulations.  I don't really mean to disparage sci-fi or rock or whatever...these are neutral things in and of themselves.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 03, 2015, 03:04:18 AM
certainly more real than a 28yr old academic philosophers "existential thesis" on A Critique of Critical Criticism: The Othery Otherness of Other (such a thing may be incantational voodoo death magic that will lead a boy to the dark monastic cloister of Academia). 
You've spent too long on the post-Heideggerian English Prof-as-Philosopher ride, my friend. Such things are on the wane these days.

That's great news.  I had great English and Humanities teachers throughout my life....until college, that killed the humanities for me.  A great English teacher can make a person who never reads remember vividly the books they read when they were a sophomore in English class.  The English "Philosophy" Teacher ruins everything.  A bad humanities department is where fun goes to die, in.the most "profound" Germanic way possible.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: NicholasMyra on November 03, 2015, 04:08:51 AM
rock and roll, video games, TV, amateur art and other secondary expressions
I think I have a sense of what you mean by secondary expressions, but if you could get underneath it for me, please do. What are primary expressions?

Funny, this isn't really easy for me to answer.  I think I'm just thinking of the way high school and college people develop into adults (and perhaps this affects men than women) and the way subcultures and easy entertainment can trap therm.  Think of weird things like fandom cultures to music subgenres with specific styles...and all of these have young adults as their primary targets that create an isolated group. 

It's true anything can trap a person, but I get why parents may be a bit put out specifically by the act of their kid playing dungeons and dragons , reading only a very specific kind of book, or dressing and acting like a specific "genre music" culture. It's an easier thing to be on guard about, then your kid being a good athlete, good with people, or good at math. I also don't know how much of this kind of clickiness is more modern, perhaps our parents generation never dealt quite with these kinds of specialized clicks and isolated subcultures the way we do.

So I think what I mean by a primary expression would mean something you are already engaged and working hard at (which very well could be writing sci-fi books), a secondary expression is someone looking for an easy exit, or easy praise.

That may be a really confusing answer.  I'll try and unpack it more if you want.  But my main thoughts are focused on school age growing pains and those trials and tribulations.  I don't really mean to disparage sci-fi or rock or whatever...these are neutral things in and of themselves.
I think you've hit the truth. What makes this all more complicated is that geek culture, despite being a major market nowadays, still has a sort of special moral authority in many minds because it was once the culture of the underdog. It's easy to translate "I resent you for pointing out my escapism" into "you're just stomping the underdog again," or whatever popular variant.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Iconodule on November 03, 2015, 10:21:03 AM
I like a lot of stereotypically geeky things- roleplaying games, fantasy, scifi, etc.- but "geek culture" has definitely become more and more an exercise in consumerism. It seemed to me that geekdom used to entail being smart and creative, and not just a matter of consuming certain niche entertainment commodities. Nowadays someone is a "geek" by virtue of watching Game of Thrones while not creating anything or contributing a single original thought.

I'd be much more interested in seeing a conference of Orthodox writers, painters, musicians, etc. than a conference for connecting our faith to the approved authors and TV shows we consume.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: NicholasMyra on November 03, 2015, 01:54:43 PM
The English "Philosophy" Teacher ruins everything. 
Exactly. Often what passes for "interdisciplinary" is really just a way to excuse oneself from the canons of excellence in one's own discipline.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Bryan Paul on November 03, 2015, 03:13:23 PM
Orthodox culture has given us fairy tales, epic poems, and Nikolai Gogol. Obviously imaginative literature is not anathema to Orthodoxy.
Every story that contains a bit of truth contains a bit of Orthodoxy.
I think Leo Tolstoy said it best: "“All great literature is one of three stories; a man goes on a journey, a stranger comes to town, or Godzilla vs. Megashark.”
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 03, 2015, 09:21:26 PM

Quote
I think you've hit the truth. What makes this all more complicated is that geek culture, despite being a major market nowadays, still has a sort of special moral authority in many minds because it was once the culture of the underdog. It's easy to translate "I resent you for pointing out my escapism" into "you're just stomping the underdog again," or whatever popular variant.

That's the truth. Also, as someone who has gotten involved in the convention scene, locally, I've seen a major shift over the years. The creative element still exists, but it's nothing like it once was. Oddly, on a creepier note, William Shatner mentioned at one of these that "fandoms" were like a new mythology for a secular/pluralistic age. He probably stole the idea off of someone like Joseph Campbell or similar, but whatever the origin, it isn't a nice thought. I definitely don't celebrate the idea of some weird pagan religiosity attached to consumersism/pop culture. Creativity, yes, but whatever that weird hybrid beast is.....no, definitely not.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: justanotherme on November 03, 2015, 09:24:00 PM
Orthodox culture has given us fairy tales, epic poems, and Nikolai Gogol. Obviously imaginative literature is not anathema to Orthodoxy.
Every story that contains a bit of truth contains a bit of Orthodoxy.
I think Leo Tolstoy said it best: "“All great literature is one of three stories; a man goes on a journey, a stranger comes to town, or Godzilla vs. Megashark.”

That Tolstoy certainly was a prescient one...
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on November 04, 2015, 07:55:22 AM
May be your priest was unhappy because kids chose trick or treating rather than Great Vespers.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Ainnir on November 04, 2015, 12:28:29 PM
May be your priest was unhappy because kids chose trick or treating rather than Great Vespers.

Hopefully (or not) the parents chose, not the kids.  My boys would choose just about anything over services.  They like the food, though.   ::)  My parish does not often offer vespers services, and didn't this past Saturday.  Would we have gone?  I'm not sure.  It's possible; what we tend to do could easily be worked around it.  I never even heard Halloween mentioned on Sunday, though.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: DeniseDenise on November 04, 2015, 12:31:57 PM
We had a pre-vespers game night for kids and adults alike.  With food. Costumes (non spooky) allowed.


then Vespers (no costumes allowed)

Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Iconodule on November 04, 2015, 12:37:35 PM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: RobS on November 04, 2015, 12:40:45 PM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.
Wow.

Only had 6 kids stop by for candy, all of whom before 8pm.

I remember when parents really got into it, turning their houses into haunted tours and acting out whoever they dressed up as. It was an awesome event as a kid.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Mor Ephrem on November 04, 2015, 01:01:07 PM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.

That's horrible in a way few things are.  I'm not sure how to describe the feeling I have right now.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Mor Ephrem on November 04, 2015, 01:03:03 PM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.
Wow.

Only had 6 kids stop by for candy, all of whom before 8pm.

I remember when parents really got into it, turning their houses into haunted tours and acting out whoever they dressed up as. It was an awesome event as a kid.

Last year, I don't remember anyone coming by, so I didn't bother with candy this year.  When the doorbell rang and I opened and saw a little girl in a princess costume, I wanted to weep. 
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: DeniseDenise on November 04, 2015, 01:04:09 PM


I remember when parents really got into it, turning their houses into haunted tours and acting out whoever they dressed up as. It was an awesome event as a kid.


I spent most of my formative years, working in such a home-haunted house....and the rest of the year helping with ideas and prop making...

crazy babysitter went so far beyond -all out- that we used mannequins, and all sorts of other things....psycho bathroom anyone?


(and yes, this explains a lot)
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Cyrillic on November 04, 2015, 01:06:37 PM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.

It was only a matter of time before helicopter parenting became that extreme.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Arachne on November 04, 2015, 02:22:48 PM
Trick-or-treating is not very widespread over here, mostly because of the way suburban neighbourhoods are planned. There's a general consensus that you can knock only on the doors of houses that have pumpkins or other decorations out on the lawn - windows don't count. The young one only went to four houses; when we first started, four years ago, he would go only to one, an elderly couple who had personally invited him.

Last year, one of the neighbours mounted an amazing pumpkin dungeon on the lawn, complete with chains and makeshift torture devices. Young one sulked because this year they didn't do anything. ;D
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: biro on November 04, 2015, 02:40:10 PM
It's about a month 'til they start putting together those hugs Christmas lights house displays. :)

Where I live, most areas will have one or two big houses that do that, and everybody else puts little light things on the front yard plants. It's pretty common to take a trip to the big displays and take pictures. Some of the families even hand out candy canes.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 04, 2015, 04:54:41 PM
I like a lot of stereotypically geeky things- roleplaying games, fantasy, scifi, etc.- but "geek culture" has definitely become more and more an exercise in consumerism. It seemed to me that geekdom used to entail being smart and creative, and not just a matter of consuming certain niche entertainment commodities. Nowadays someone is a "geek" by virtue of watching Game of Thrones while not creating anything or contributing a single original thought.

I'd be much more interested in seeing a conference of Orthodox writers, painters, musicians, etc. than a conference for connecting our faith to the approved authors and TV shows we consume.

I just kind of want to clarify I'm talking about youth culture/subculture in general and the creative acts they engage in that is specifically "youth oriented", I love some "nerdy" things too. And no doubt things are even worse for kids in high school now because it's even more "consumeristic" and a form of passive entertainment than when I was in high school.  But I'm also thinking of "cool" things like the "art rock/pop" scenes (which I was involved in) that develop around youth culture and things like that.  If I can appeal to your intuition: there is a bigger threat of a trap reading comic books or playing rock than there is reading works that would be in an English class, or learning music the way you would in school or your local community.  I think that's what I'm really thinking about...certain things can really play to a kids sense of alienation at that time, if the kid is already alienated.  I think the best analogy I can think of is comparing these things to drinking; it's fine..but it's not for everyone and there are more obvious perils with it.


And as NicholasMyra pointed out, there is kind of a resentiment that happened with all these cultures over the past decade, which is strange.  AND there are definitely pitfalls with this mentality and someone wanting to use Orthodoxy to retreat.

One of my favorite writings by Fr. Schmemmann really hits on what I'm thinking about:
http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/betweenutopiaandescape.html

I think this is what I'm thinking about, and I think it's a somewhat recent phenomenon.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 04, 2015, 05:08:55 PM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.
Wow.

Only had 6 kids stop by for candy, all of whom before 8pm.

I remember when parents really got into it, turning their houses into haunted tours and acting out whoever they dressed up as. It was an awesome event as a kid.

Chicago, Ohio, and Michigan still have that stuff.  Even in Chicago, people will make pretty elaborate hunted porches if they just have apartments.   I can't speak about Halloween alarmism though.  I thought when I was a kid in the early 90s that was the height, and everyone still had loads of fun without incident, and I lived in the Detroit area where Devils Night actually was something of an issue.


Halloween alarmist myths we have all heard:
http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/halloween/a/Is-Halloween-Candy-Tampering-A-Myth.htm
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: NicholasMyra on November 04, 2015, 09:13:39 PM
Only had 6 kids stop by for candy, all of whom before 8pm.
Eight here, and none after 9. My buddies and I used to be out until 11 with pillowcases.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: hecma925 on November 05, 2015, 12:03:28 AM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.

It was only a matter of time before helicopter parenting became that extreme.

Please.  I haven't heard anyone getting their kids' candy X-rayed as in the late'80s, early '90s.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 05, 2015, 12:09:35 AM
Do they still pass out the paper to children to take home to their parents about strangers who hand out superman fake tattoos laced with PCP and LSD?
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: TheTrisagion on November 05, 2015, 12:14:32 AM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.

It was only a matter of time before helicopter parenting became that extreme.

Please.  I haven't heard anyone getting their kids' candy X-rayed as in the late'80s, early '90s.
You haven't heard about it because it is no longer an oddity. Its mainstream now.

http://www.today.com/parents/paranoid-parents-x-ray-halloween-candy-crazy-or-smart-1C7398127
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 05, 2015, 12:44:11 AM
This is it:
http://www.halloween-website.com/blue_star.htm

Our school used to hand that flyer out every year
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: hecma925 on November 05, 2015, 12:47:38 AM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.

It was only a matter of time before helicopter parenting became that extreme.

Please.  I haven't heard anyone getting their kids' candy X-rayed as in the late'80s, early '90s.
You haven't heard about it because it is no longer an oddity. Its mainstream now.

http://www.today.com/parents/paranoid-parents-x-ray-halloween-candy-crazy-or-smart-1C7398127

Kids are more likely to die from getting hit by a car on Halloween night than being poisoned by the Texas Lucifer worship group.  What a bunch of wusses.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: hecma925 on November 05, 2015, 12:49:28 AM
Do they still pass out the paper to children to take home to their parents about strangers who hand out superman fake tattoos laced with PCP and LSD?

That was a scare tactic announced every year at the local IFB church.  Rather, bring your kids to blow snot in a bucket of water and apples here in the church parking lot so they can all get sick.  Candy corn will be handed out.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: William T on November 05, 2015, 12:58:11 AM
Our whole public school system handed them out, and it was announced on our local news.  It was a widespread thing I think.  If I remember correct, the public school handed them out, our Catholic school may not have.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Iconodule on November 05, 2015, 10:51:14 AM
(I'm guessing you're part of NanoWrimo from the avatar, by the way. Hope the keys keep clicking away all November long for you, brave soul! I've attempted but never made it very far, myself.)

If you want to write, just write, IMO. Don't tie it to gimmicks like NaNoWriMo. Commit to something measurable and consistent, e.g. at least one paragraph a day. Even if it's crap, that's part of the process. I'm starting my third novel now.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Agabus on November 05, 2015, 11:16:00 AM
Don't worry, trick or treating will be a thing of the past soon, or a rare novelty act, like caroling. Parents are getting increasingly paranoid and protective and have started imposing simulations of the activity on their kids, at earlier and earlier hours. Kids near me were made to settle for a "Trunk or Treat" where the parents formed a circle of trunks in the parking lot of the school and the poor little wretches were compelled to go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. This is the pathetic, miserable, sniveling future of our country.
Wow.

Only had 6 kids stop by for candy, all of whom before 8pm.

I remember when parents really got into it, turning their houses into haunted tours and acting out whoever they dressed up as. It was an awesome event as a kid.

Last year, I don't remember anyone coming by, so I didn't bother with candy this year.  When the doorbell rang and I opened and saw a little girl in a princess costume, I wanted to weep.

Our street gets mostly passed over because the front end is grumpy old people and the back a dead end with a church and an old plantation home that people in this town really seem to believe has haints. You'd think that would serve as a Halloween attraction, but nope, which is just as well because the lady who owns it is super religious and convinced Halloween really is the Devil's Christmas.

Anyway, we go over to my father-in-law's neighborhood, and pass out candy to hundreds of kids while ours walk the loop.

The police block the neighborhood off and just about the entire town has free reign of a five- or six street area until 8 p.m., when the cops shut it all down for everybody who doesn't live in the subdivision. I've always felt that was excessively early, but this is an area that still gets swept up in Facebook panics about Muslims poisoning Coca-Cola, so maybe it's for the best.

Anyway, most of the folks who live in that neighborhood seem to enjoy it, and my kids get free candy and to spend time with their grandpa, so I'm OK with it.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Arachne on November 05, 2015, 02:14:23 PM
(I'm guessing you're part of NanoWrimo from the avatar, by the way. Hope the keys keep clicking away all November long for you, brave soul! I've attempted but never made it very far, myself.)

If you want to write, just write, IMO. Don't tie it to gimmicks like NaNoWriMo. Commit to something measurable and consistent, e.g. at least one paragraph a day. Even if it's crap, that's part of the process. I'm starting my third novel now.

NaNoWriMo is measurable and consistent - 50K in 30 days, 1667 words a day - so there's enough workable crap before collapse. It also offers a support network, pro tips and tools that can help with publication. An aspiring writer can do a lot worse than tackle NaNo, like going it alone.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: podkarpatska on November 06, 2015, 03:09:02 PM
There was a lady sitting behind us muttering through the service about the priest being wrong.

Pews.....sign of a bad parish.

That comment about sitting and pews is neither constructive nor funny. Or true.
Title: Re: Converts, candy and fiction... any other converts confused?
Post by: Thomas on November 06, 2015, 06:33:05 PM
I am locking and closing this topic as "Halloween" is over and the discussion is rapidly deteriorating awauy from the original request.

Thomas
Convert Issues Moderator.