The Wonder of Fear

Fear may be as old as life on Earth. It is fundamental, a deeply wired reaction that evolved over the course of eons to protect organisms against threats, real and imagined. Fear may be as simple as a cringe of an antenna in a snail that is touched, or as complex as existential meltdowns in […]

After Saturday, Dark Tourism Is On My Mind

Over the weekend my daughters and I spend a bit of time explored the haunted places in our city. There are, evidently, far more than I had supposed. And as it turned out, there were far more people interested in the topic than I had thought. Ghost Tourism has boomed over the past decade, propelled […]

Here comes Krampus

When I told a friend and colleague about Krampus a number of years ago, before the legendary creature had captured the hearts of the world, I received an earful about the damaging nature of such a myth. I learned that Krampus was, it turned out, as bad as violent video games, eating too much salt […]

As Halloween Approaches (Even in September)

Halloween is more than two months away, but already I’ve seen products and displays going up in a few places. For better or worse, the holidays creep further and further out from their actual date as retailers see opportunities to sell their goods. And to add to the impending spookiness that awaits us, I spent […]

Halloween is Over and It’s a Damn Shame

Halloween is behind us and it’s a pity. Of course, there is the simple issue of any grand event coming to the end, but reflecting on the socio-cultural significances of Halloween I can’t help but think about it as a reflection of cultural transformation, even if it is a single night. A few years back, […]

Cheering the Death Penalty

I, like so many people, sat through the Republican debates the other night, listening to the same old lines that pour forth from contenders during any election cycle, regardless of the party. The dogma is rehashed, centrists and extremists are more clearly defined and the theater unfolds in fairly predictable ways.  But there was a […]