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Is American culture slipping away?


poptart

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Is it me or are parts of American culture dying.  Most of my friends didn't have any trick or treaters this year, Christmas is just rampant consumerism and the overall good feel of the holidays is just, well going away.  I remember as a kid watching Charley Brown, Garfield and what not, trick or treating and when I was older swapping out the treat for more "trick".  (I was never as gutsy as a few of my friends were, never did the brown bag one...)  I dunno, seems like a lot of the things we took for granted are gone, what happened?  Are people so busy, broke and well, disconnected from traditions past that it just doesn't matter anymore?  I ask because I'm starting to wonder if people have forgotten or just don't care.  If mom who was born and raised outside of the mainland has a better grasp of these things than a typical millenial parent I have to wonder.  I talked to mom about this and the only thing we can figure is millenial values aside, neiborhoods just aren't as safe as they used to be.  People don't value the safety of children like they used to, ever since the market tanked 10 years ago parts of our culture that fostered community (like halloween) have slipped away.  I remember having to check candy from time to time but nothing like nowadays.  Here in CO you have to worry about someone handing kids drugs, not cool.  I have no qualms with the devils cabbage but that's just not right.  This place is swarming with parents (No offence), input? 

 

P.S The human growth and development class I'm in is an eye opener, I would not want to be a parent in the mainland US, the stuff you guys have to put up with is just plain scary.

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I've never cared much for Halloween.  I did it as a kid, but only because it was expected by my peer group.  As soon as I could swing it without offending my friends, I stopped doing it.  

I currently live in the UK, and while Halloween is celebrated here now (didn't used to be when I lived here briefly in the 1970s), we didn't get any trick or treaters this year.  My step-daughter took her kids out for it, even though she doesn't like Halloween either.  So there is that.

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6 minutes ago, poptart said:

Is it me or are parts of American culture dying.  Most of my friends didn't have any trick or treaters this year, Christmas is just rampant consumerism and the overall good feel of the holidays is just, well going away.  I remember as a kid watching Charley Brown, Garfield and what not, trick or treating and when I was older swapping out the treat for more "trick".  (I was never as gutsy as a few of my friends were, never did the brown bag one...)  I dunno, seems like a lot of the things we took for granted are gone, what happened?  Are people so busy, broke and well, disconnected from traditions past that it just doesn't matter anymore?  I ask because I'm starting to wonder if people have forgotten or just don't care.  If mom who was born and raised outside of the mainland has a better grasp of these things than a typical millenial parent I have to wonder.  I talked to mom about this and the only thing we can figure is millenial values aside, neiborhoods just aren't as safe as they used to be.  People don't value the safety of children like they used to, ever since the market tanked 10 years ago parts of our culture that fostered community (like halloween) have slipped away.  I remember having to check candy from time to time but nothing like nowadays.  Here in CO you have to worry about someone handing kids drugs, not cool.  I have no qualms with the devils cabbage but that's just not right.  This place is swarming with parents (No offence), input? 

 

P.S The human growth and development class I'm in is an eye opener, I would not want to be a parent in the mainland US, the stuff you guys have to put up with is just plain scary.

I think that the more commercialized things become the less special they are.  Or in other words the more monetary value is place on a holiday that there is a corresponding decrease in its cultural significance. 

8 minutes ago, poptart said:

People don't value the safety of children like they used to

I'm not sure I understand this.  If anything it seems like safety is becoming so paramount that we're afraid to let children be children and have some fun.

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4 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I've never cared much for Halloween.  I did it as a kid, but only because it was expected by my peer group.  As soon as I could swing it without offending my friends, I stopped doing it.  

I currently live in the UK, and while Halloween is celebrated here now (didn't used to be when I lived here briefly in the 1970s), we didn't get any trick or treaters this year.  My step-daughter took her kids out for it, even though she doesn't like Halloween either.  So there is that.

Halloween was huge here, still kind of is.  Haunted houses, parties, trick or treating and once the teenage years happened, trick was emphasized lol.  Egging, toilet paper and what not.  I was pretty tame but wow some of my friends were not.  Mostly harmless stuff, the kind of pranks you would associate with goblins, wee folk and what not.  Man some of the other kids we knew were not so nice, the kinds of kids you kind of knew would not go far in life.  It was a different time, even the poor kids were kind of looked out after.  I look at how the holiday is now and it just seems, well, soulless. 

Think the other thing is the holiday really took off with Gen X, the first of the latchkey generation.  I'm right on the millenial cusp so I caugh the tail end of the halloween fun.  One reason why the holiday was so loved was it was fun, no judgement just plain fun.  Most of my friends growing up came from horrible families, we were the throw away kids.  Holidays were pretty miserable for us due to bad family situations so it was a way to let loose.  Will add that you do see a lot more adult halloween parties nowadays, it's mostly older adults (Gen X again...) getting drunk, misbehaving and substituting the fun with a lot of alcohol and in some cases drugs.  It's sad really, it's like looking at what's left of the cool kids we all knew growing up slowly poisoning themselves.

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16 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

I think that the more commercialized things become the less special they are.  Or in other words the more monetary value is place on a holiday that there is a corresponding decrease in its cultural significance. 

I'm not sure I understand this.  If anything it seems like safety is becoming so paramount that we're afraid to let children be children and have some fun.

Ops, that should be society as a rule doesn't care about children like they used to.  You're right, lots of parents are worried, I hardly see kids go outside anymore, not like I used to growing up anyway.  You even have stuff like this happening nowadays, not sure if stuff like this is being talked about, it happens more than people think.  Remember when I was in WA someone murdered their GF then posted photos of it online, the womans child found the body, was pretty scary.  I feel for parents, mom tells me that she's happy she has no grand kids here, the mainland isn't so nice anymore.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/19/us/wisconsin-missing-girl-jayme-closs/index.html

Edited by poptart
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1 hour ago, poptart said:

Is it me or are parts of American culture dying.  Most of my friends didn't have any trick or treaters this year, Christmas is just rampant consumerism and the overall good feel of the holidays is just, well going away.  I remember as a kid watching Charley Brown, Garfield and what not, trick or treating and when I was older swapping out the treat for more "trick".  (I was never as gutsy as a few of my friends were, never did the brown bag one...)  I dunno, seems like a lot of the things we took for granted are gone, what happened?  Are people so busy, broke and well, disconnected from traditions past that it just doesn't matter anymore?  I ask because I'm starting to wonder if people have forgotten or just don't care.  If mom who was born and raised outside of the mainland has a better grasp of these things than a typical millenial parent I have to wonder.  I talked to mom about this and the only thing we can figure is millenial values aside, neiborhoods just aren't as safe as they used to be.  People don't value the safety of children like they used to, ever since the market tanked 10 years ago parts of our culture that fostered community (like halloween) have slipped away.  I remember having to check candy from time to time but nothing like nowadays.  Here in CO you have to worry about someone handing kids drugs, not cool.  I have no qualms with the devils cabbage but that's just not right.  This place is swarming with parents (No offence), input? 

 

P.S The human growth and development class I'm in is an eye opener, I would not want to be a parent in the mainland US, the stuff you guys have to put up with is just plain scary.

Culture changes, always has, always will.  Some of them are bad, some are good.  We each must be on top of getting our personal culture moving in an upward direction. 

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5 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Culture changes, always has, always will.  Some of them are bad, some are good.  We each must be on top of getting our personal culture moving in an upward direction. 

My cousin gave me hope, he said he had some very adult looking children trick or treating in his neiborhood, maybe they'll turn a blind eye to adult trick or treating soon.  Considering many of us don't and most likely won't have children they might as well, those twixt and three musketeers aren't going to eat themselves. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

An American tradition is anything that happened to a Baby Boomer twice.

Yeah but wow, parents nowadays sure have to worry about things the boomers never did. 

32 minutes ago, mnn727 said:

People don't know their neighbors like they used to, kids don't go out and play like they used to. Too many busy-bodies calling CPS if you let your kids walk to a park 2 blocks away.

It's spooky, you can live someplace and it's like your neighbors think you're invisible.  Lots of busy-bodies, have a friend like that.  Seems like people are either busy bodies or just don't care.

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If Halloween is on it's way out, then Utah will save it.  I had no idea the levels of Halloween celebrations possible until I moved to Utah.  People spend thousands of dollars decorating their homes for Halloween here.  Three different people in my two block neighborhood had parties going on last night, complete with outdoor movies playing on their garage doors, fire pits in their driveways, and life-sized animatronic figures.

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29 minutes ago, bluebell said:

If Halloween is on it's way out, then Utah will save it.  I had no idea the levels of Halloween celebrations possible until I moved to Utah.  People spend thousands of dollars decorating their homes for Halloween here.  Three different people in my two block neighborhood had parties going on last night, complete with outdoor movies playing on their garage doors, fire pits in their driveways, and life-sized animatronic figures.

I guess the jig is up. They are right. We are the demon worshipping degenerates many try to make us out to be. :( 

On the bright side while everyone else gives up the warding powers Halloween bestows we will survive while all their souls are devoured by the things that go bump in the night.

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31 minutes ago, bluebell said:

If Halloween is on it's way out, then Utah will save it.  I had no idea the levels of Halloween celebrations possible until I moved to Utah.  People spend thousands of dollars decorating their homes for Halloween here.  Three different people in my two block neighborhood had parties going on last night, complete with outdoor movies playing on their garage doors, fire pits in their driveways, and life-sized animatronic figures.

Okey, do you have people egging/tp-ing houses, doing ye old flaming brown bag a la ding dong ditch prank, going to cemeteries with ouija boards etc.  Alfred packers grave is like 10 minutes south of where I live, for a while they had kids digging the grave up for the skull.  They sealed the grave and said they buried him elsewhere, doesn't stop anyone.

Trick or treat isn't just treat, it's also trick lol.

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3 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I guess the jig is up. They are right. We are the demon worshipping degenerates many try to make us out to be. :( 

On the bright side while everyone else gives up the warding powers Halloween bestows we will survive while all their souls are devoured by the things that go bump in the night.

Dude capitalize on that, you'll get more people interested in the Church.  Have a ouija night at a ward, you would totally get people like me to show up.  I'd be trying to summon LDS prophets so fast.

In case you didn't guess halloween does have more of a pagan meaning to me, it's a time when the veil between the living and the dead is thin.  Granted I'm more of a yule fan but hey, i'm flexible. 

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27 minutes ago, poptart said:

Okey, do you have people egging/tp-ing houses, doing ye old flaming brown bag a la ding dong ditch prank, going to cemeteries with ouija boards etc.  Alfred packers grave is like 10 minutes south of where I live, for a while they had kids digging the grave up for the skull.  They sealed the grave and said they buried him elsewhere, doesn't stop anyone.

Trick or treat isn't just treat, it's also trick lol.

No, our kids seem to be much nicer than that.

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7 hours ago, poptart said:

Is it me or are parts of American culture dying.  Most of my friends didn't have any trick or treaters this year, Christmas is just rampant consumerism and the overall good feel of the holidays is just, well going away.  I remember as a kid watching Charley Brown, Garfield and what not, trick or treating and when I was older swapping out the treat for more "trick".  (I was never as gutsy as a few of my friends were, never did the brown bag one...)  I dunno, seems like a lot of the things we took for granted are gone, what happened?  Are people so busy, broke and well, disconnected from traditions past that it just doesn't matter anymore?  I ask because I'm starting to wonder if people have forgotten or just don't care.  If mom who was born and raised outside of the mainland has a better grasp of these things than a typical millenial parent I have to wonder.  I talked to mom about this and the only thing we can figure is millenial values aside, neiborhoods just aren't as safe as they used to be.  People don't value the safety of children like they used to, ever since the market tanked 10 years ago parts of our culture that fostered community (like halloween) have slipped away.  I remember having to check candy from time to time but nothing like nowadays.  Here in CO you have to worry about someone handing kids drugs, not cool.  I have no qualms with the devils cabbage but that's just not right.  This place is swarming with parents (No offence), input? 

P.S The human growth and development class I'm in is an eye opener, I would not want to be a parent in the mainland US, the stuff you guys have to put up with is just plain scary.

We still do things the old fashioned way here in Provo, Utah.  You could move here . . .

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17 hours ago, poptart said:

Is it me or are parts of American culture dying.  Most of my friends didn't have any trick or treaters this year, Christmas is just rampant consumerism and the overall good feel of the holidays is just, well going away.  I remember as a kid watching Charley Brown, Garfield and what not, trick or treating and when I was older swapping out the treat for more "trick".  (I was never as gutsy as a few of my friends were, never did the brown bag one...)  I dunno, seems like a lot of the things we took for granted are gone, what happened?  Are people so busy, broke and well, disconnected from traditions past that it just doesn't matter anymore?  I ask because I'm starting to wonder if people have forgotten or just don't care.  If mom who was born and raised outside of the mainland has a better grasp of these things than a typical millenial parent I have to wonder.  I talked to mom about this and the only thing we can figure is millenial values aside, neiborhoods just aren't as safe as they used to be.  People don't value the safety of children like they used to, ever since the market tanked 10 years ago parts of our culture that fostered community (like halloween) have slipped away.  I remember having to check candy from time to time but nothing like nowadays.  Here in CO you have to worry about someone handing kids drugs, not cool.  I have no qualms with the devils cabbage but that's just not right.  This place is swarming with parents (No offence), input? 

 

P.S The human growth and development class I'm in is an eye opener, I would not want to be a parent in the mainland US, the stuff you guys have to put up with is just plain scary.

I don't think it is so much that American culture is dying, it is that the media has fostered a culture of fear and preys on those fears in order to keep people glued to their media. This creates a perception that society is less safe than it once was, which causes people to be more cautious in their interactions within their own community.

In your post, you make the claim that "neighborhoods just aren't as safe as they used to be," which is factually and statistically incorrect. If you look at actual crime rates, violent crimes in the United States have plummeted since the 1980's and early 1990's. I was a kid in the 80's, and we thought nothing of leaving the house early in the morning, unaccompanied by an adult, and spending hours playing at the park or hiking or running through the neighborhood, even though statistically, American society was a much more violent place during that time. But today, you have CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and every local news station keeping you updated on the latest murder, assault, robbery, police chase, etc., making one think that these activities are more common than they used to be, when actually, and factually, they are less common. When looking at crime rates, we are much safer now than we used to be, even 30-40 years ago, but the media thrives on fear, because that shock brings more viewers, and the 24-hour news cycle that is essentially an invention of the last 25 years makes such shocking stories seem commonplace and more frequent, when in fact, they are actually less frequent than when we were kids in the 80's. Combine that with the prevalence of the internet and the false stories and half-truths that are plentiful there, combined with social media hysteria and you can see how American perception of reality when it comes to crime and community has been skewed in the wrong, and factually incorrect, direction. 

The result is a general distrust of our neighbors and community, and thus less interaction with the outside world, and ultimately, less celebration of our cultural values as a whole as we turn inward and fear the culture outside the walls of our homes.

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18 hours ago, poptart said:

Is it me or are parts of American culture dying.  Most of my friends didn't have any trick or treaters this year, Christmas is just rampant consumerism and the overall good feel of the holidays is just, well going away.  I remember as a kid watching Charley Brown, Garfield and what not, trick or treating and when I was older swapping out the treat for more "trick".  (I was never as gutsy as a few of my friends were, never did the brown bag one...)  I dunno, seems like a lot of the things we took for granted are gone, what happened?

Dressing up for Halloween originated in Vancouver, BC, 1898. The first recorded instances of "Trick or Treat" was in Lethbridge, Alberta, 1927. Stop appropriating Canadian culture, yah hoser.

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16 hours ago, poptart said:

I knew some deliquents as a kid, I was kind of one too, a harmless, huckleberry fin variety.  I blame the devil, he made me do it.

I was just terrible in my teens as far as Halloween goes...but m small town really expected something!!  We took out houses to the ball park and burned them...stole peoples gates and put them up on the elementary school flagpole...toilet papered...and moved a haywagon on to the road so the school bus couldnt get around it the next morning!!  Took kids up to the shining headstone...

One year, a couple of neighbors got out their shotguns and fired....the next year cops were called.....it was the darn highlight of my life!!  Move to Rush Valley!!!

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5 hours ago, Walden said:

I don't think it is so much that American culture is dying, it is that the media has fostered a culture of fear and preys on those fears in order to keep people glued to their media. This creates a perception that society is less safe than it once was, which causes people to be more cautious in their interactions within their own community.

In your post, you make the claim that "neighborhoods just aren't as safe as they used to be," which is factually and statistically incorrect. If you look at actual crime rates, violent crimes in the United States have plummeted since the 1980's and early 1990's. I was a kid in the 80's, and we thought nothing of leaving the house early in the morning, unaccompanied by an adult, and spending hours playing at the park or hiking or running through the neighborhood, even though statistically, American society was a much more violent place during that time. But today, you have CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and every local news station keeping you updated on the latest murder, assault, robbery, police chase, etc., making one think that these activities are more common than they used to be, when actually, and factually, they are less common. When looking at crime rates, we are much safer now than we used to be, even 30-40 years ago, but the media thrives on fear, because that shock brings more viewers, and the 24-hour news cycle that is essentially an invention of the last 25 years makes such shocking stories seem commonplace and more frequent, when in fact, they are actually less frequent than when we were kids in the 80's. Combine that with the prevalence of the internet and the false stories and half-truths that are plentiful there, combined with social media hysteria and you can see how American perception of reality when it comes to crime and community has been skewed in the wrong, and factually incorrect, direction. 

The result is a general distrust of our neighbors and community, and thus less interaction with the outside world, and ultimately, less celebration of our cultural values as a whole as we turn inward and fear the culture outside the walls of our homes.

Your quote reminded me of Utah's Free Range Parenting law that is in affect. I've no idea about other states in the US or the other countries. But that's good ole' Utah for ya.  And I remember the days of running free like you mentioned as long as I came in by 10:00 at night. Poor kids now can't even be free because they have cell phones and parents call or text, or they have some kind of trackers on them, but if it's needed I guess it's wise. 

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2 hours ago, Jeanne said:

I was just terrible in my teens as far as Halloween goes...but m small town really expected something!!  We took out houses to the ball park and burned them...stole peoples gates and put them up on the elementary school flagpole...toilet papered...and moved a haywagon on to the road so the school bus couldnt get around it the next morning!!  Took kids up to the shining headstone...

One year, a couple of neighbors got out their shotguns and fired....the next year cops were called.....it was the darn highlight of my life!!  Move to Rush Valley!!!

Jeanne, your post has really got me stumped and very curious to know what you mean by taking your houses to the ball park and burning them. And stealing people's gates and putting them up on the school's flagpole and taking kids up to the shining headstone? 🤣

A really fun lady I knew growing up, she was around my mom's age, use to live in Tooele, and she told me they had so much fun growing up but that they were hellions. She told me the high school seniors always pulled a big prank at the end of the year. I guess she and others got loads of potatoes and put them all in the school's hallways, unless I'm remembering wrong. 

If I could, I would move to Rush Valley!!!

 

And the 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Jeanne, your post has really got me stumped and very curious to know what you mean by taking your houses to the ball park and burning them. And stealing people's gates and putting them up on the school's flagpole and taking kids up to the shining headstone? 🤣

A really fun lady I knew growing up, she was around my mom's age, use to live in Tooele, and she told me they had so much fun growing up but that they were hellions. She told me the high school seniors always pulled a big prank at the end of the year. I guess she and others got loads of potatoes and put them all in the school's hallways, unless I'm remembering wrong. 

If I could, I would move to Rush Valley!!!

 

And the 

At  the time, in the early 70's some people still had outhouses in back of their homes....we hauled a couple a way and set them fire...and we were the good kids!!  The town lived a couple of miles from the railroad tracks...for some reason, everytime a car went over the tracks...it shined on a old white stone.  Eeery....still there.😵

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In my high school years Halloween was a time for destruction . Fires were started, houses vandalized, etc. Police and fire department were on full alert. I was a part of a group of Halloween nerds. We got a bunch of some magnesium compound and piled it on an intersection and lit it on fire. There was a huge white flame and the fire dept and cops came roaring up just as the fire went out poof. The authorities all stood around looking for the burnt hay bales, there was nothing there. We sat in a car half a block away and laughed at their confused head scratching.

  Now I just sit at home with the lights out for a couple of hours until all the little ones have left. This is mostly because I have a couple of noisy dogs that go nuts whenever the doorbell rings. I am also a bah humbug guy at Christmas. It's so hyped from early November on I get sick of the season. Introverts should rule....but they don't want to stand out. :rolleyes:

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I remember some years ago a African family moved to our ward and they had like 8 kids or something. Halloween was entirely new to them and it totally blew their minds that you could dress up in any costume you wanted and people gave you free candy, you could go out as long as their were lights on and you could get pillowcase full of free candy😲

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