When I was a kid (yeah, a long time ago in a galaxy far away), we used to "celebrate" halloween simply…a pillow case in hand, a fun costume and a night going trick or treat in the neighborhood. Nothing too bad about that! There would be pumpkins around and sometimes some sort of stereo "soundtrack" of "scarey" sounds but everyone knew what halloween was about – kids and candy and neighborhood fun. For something a bit more "diabolical", there was Devil’s night (the night before Halloween) where the older kids in the neighborhood got a bit routy but it was still only a preclude, in fact THE only preclude, to halloween. Well, I just finished walking my dog around the my new neighborhood here in Boise and it was beginning to look alot like halloween ALREADY. It has been growing over the past years, but now people are decorating their homes, yards, and blocks like many of us remember doing for Christmas. In fact, this year it looks like we have more halloween decorations up already than we had for all of last Christmas. It kinda snuck up on me…the culture is "celebrating" death, horror, skulls, fear, etc. more than Christmas. I know it has to do with a bit of political correctness…I mean, you can’t talk too much about Christmas in public schools, etc. without being seen as a religous bigot but evenso, what has filled the void? Halloween? Come on! It is hard to believe sometimes. Just when your mind starts to doubt whether there really are cataclysmic cultural shifts occurring in the 21st century, you look around and they smack you in the face. I tell you, I much prefer manger scenes and reindeer and snowmen to skulls, tomb stones, huge spiders and nooses hanging from trees…which are, by the way, what is being proudly displayed in my neighborhood on October 12th of all things. Dude!