Halloween Candy Paranoia
The Halloween paranoia is up again. Warnings of only eating store bought candy, and avoiding anything home-made are once again circulating around social media. When greeted by these annual spectres, I was reminded of Adam Kotsko’s musing upon this practice. He notes that Halloween candy filled with razors is a myth, something that has never happened, noting further that:
The fictional razor blade in the Halloween candy is a kind of quilting point for all the paranoias that led to the loss of any freedom for the children of the white middle class. If they’re left to wander the neighbourhood, someone might abduct them! Coming from the other direction: if they’re left with any unscheduled time, doing anything that can’t be slotted into an immediately recognizable section of the college application, their life chances may be thwarted. In either case, the parents are losing control of their activities and thereby their destiny — and only disaster can result. The helicopter parent and the razor blade in your candy are correlative phenomena.
While I was thinking about Kotsko’s observations, another related idea came to mind: that Halloween candy fears are also an outgrowth of social alienation as well. People aren’t as intertwined and connected to communities, and are not necessarily reliant on neighbours for help. Within a suburbia of anonymity, who can you trust?