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Halloween and Stranger Danger

[bostonreview.net – 10/31/19]

Do you believe in the boogeyman?

This is the pivotal question of the Halloween movie franchise. The tension around naming the movies’ antagonist foregrounds the problem of seeing him: “it” or “him,” “thing” or “human,” “The Shape” or “Michael Myers”? Even if you have never seen the original 1978 movie, you know the plot. On Halloween 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers kills his older sister after she has sex with her boyfriend. Cut to 1978, and Myers, after being locked in an asylum for fifteen years, escapes back into the neighborhood to repeat his crime on teenagers who, like his sister, use the freedom of babysitting to have sex with their boyfriends. Myers’s brutality answers the sexuality of these young women. The story is a morality tale embedded within a coming-of-age story: enjoying themselves as sexual beings without heeding the dangers costs the girls their lives. Only the heroine, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), bookish and virginal, is able to defy Myers, fending him off with a knitting needle and a coat hanger, domestic objects that reinforce her identity as both a good babysitter and a virtuous girl.

The national “stranger danger” campaign—and the Halloween franchise, with its monster who escaped from an asylum—came, not incidentally, on the heels of a deinstitutionalization movement that a decade prior had freed juvenile offenders and mentally ill patients, placing them in community-based care facilities. As public policy, deinstitutionalization began with John F. Kennedy’s Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963, which aimed at combating abuse, neglect, and misdiagnoses in asylums, and was sustained by the invention of psychotropic drugs. The massive influx of former asylum patients into established communities, however, without proper infrastructure or public education, stirred up distress and stigmatization. As a commentary on the deinstitutionalization movement, Halloween proposes that mental illness is akin to criminality, and specifically sexual predation.

These fears remain with us to this day.

Read the full article

 

Join the discussion

  1. Bill

    It’s nice to see some fair and balanced reporting on Registrants instead of furthering the distortion of truth.

    We need more articles like these!

    • Bill

      @InSanDiego

      Another area ripe for lawsuits. Just wait for it…

    • Will Allen

      Everyone is just so “on board” with using the hate label “sex offender”. What an effective weapon of war that has been. The immorals have really been able to conveniently group the pariahs and very effectively marginalize them. Their apartheid campaign is effective.

      I really think moral people need a label for the douches who support Registries and to use that label all of the time. Really, moral people need one. If 1,000,000 people plastered it all over the place for years, it will become known. It doesn’t even matter so much what the label is (as long as it is derogatory, of course). People will come to learn it and get a clue that people are fighting back and retaliating.

      So what should the label be? I have been using “Registry Nazis/Terrorists”. I think that is appropriate and conveys the exact message I’m interested in. And it gets attention. Could use just “Nazis” or “Terrorists” but I kind of like the way “RN/Ts” looks. It is more unique and makes people ask questions.

      I did notice that this article has 0 comments. No one cares. I would post one but it requires Facecrook. I really, really need to create 50 more Facecrook accounts. All of mine are suspended. I’ve been so busy with life though. Should I really be wasting much of my time with this nonsense? Seems that few people are.

      If a person believed the lies that the point of this Operation Boo and this article was for public safety, then SURELY they would realize just what a giant failure it is!!!? The reason why it is a massive public safety failure is that they never point out, even one time, that the people they are “checking up on” are a very, very small percentage of all the people who are listed on their hit list. Statements like “Parole officers make visits to registered sex offenders’ houses several times a year …” really mislead people to believe that “registered sex offenders” are being monitored. Nothing could be further from reality. And if any of this were actually for safety, that is a monster failure of an almost inconceivable magnitude. They are dumb.

      It is very unfortunate that Agent Martin Jacobo said, “Usually it is a very pleasant interaction.” That is too bad. I wish it were a very unpleasant interaction. Every time. But people who are on parole have to remain inbounds.

      • Bill

        @Will Allen

        Your life before the Registry how well informed were you about the inequities and the injustices of our flawed system?

        What were your early thoughts of the term $ex offender before you got swept up into this nonsense?

        • R M

          Bill, you obviously don’t know how the US is collecting, data-basing, punishing, and using tax payer money to finance their wealth.

          If you want to know a person’s thoughts, become one of those title 50 USC “patriots” who assassinate/kill/murder people. Otherwise, go mind your own business.

        • Will Allen

          @Bill:

          Geez, that was so, so long ago that I really don’t think I know. I don’t think that I thought a whole lot about it. And “$EX offender” was not a thing then. That term had not been weaponized yet. I don’t recall people even using it.

          The Registries themselves were nothing. No one paid any attention to them at all. I did find it funny in the beginning just how insanely incompetent the criminal regimes were at just simply maintaining their Registries. They immediately struck me as just a bunch of really stupid people who have a hard time doing even simple things intelligently. I don’t think that has changed.

          Before I was arrested though, I did really seriously support law enforcement. I was just a really firm believer in good laws, people obeying laws, and being punished if not. Getting arrested opened my eyes to what a bunch of scumbags most law enforcement people are. I mean, the arresting officers stole property from me! Worth around $1,000 and I am 100% sure of it. So it started right at the beginning. I don’t trust them any more than active criminals. They are active criminals to me. No difference.

          I don’t know, it’s 4:30 AM and I’m sure I’m not up for much analysis right now!

    • jason

      During Operation Boo, my friend who had a telescope in his backyard that he used to monitor the fires as they creep towards his home in CA. During this compliance check he was arrested because the officer said the telescope that was in the backyard could’ve been used to look at a high school that was a few miles away. Thankfully the Judge ordered his release and told the angry DA and the arresting officer that it was not a crime in America to have a telescope, nor is it a violation of probation. My friend made a mistake, he’s in 80s and is remorseful, but seriously arresting someone for a telescope? I wish he could fight back.

      • SD

        Where was this? Like what city/county.

      • R M

        Fuck idiots. Anything in public view or recording is NOT private/NOT private/not protected/not any fucking ones concern. “the telescope that was in the backyard could’ve been used to look at a high school that was a few miles away…”. Yeah so?

        “My friend made a mistake” what mistake?

      • norman

        Time for your friend to see a lawyer and see if there is any grounds for a lawsuit (for the unlawful arrest and detainment)…and if there is..sue the @#$% out of em…

        • Jason

          @norman

          Sad part is his PO didn’t even know that they were doing compliance checks. He was arrested on a Thursday, and because it was a holiday he was stuck in jail for a week. I wish he would consult with an Attorney about this, but he doesn’t want to stir the pot and bring unwanted attention to him while he finishes 3 more years of formal probation.

      • Bill

        @RM

        I don’t know where you’re coming from with that comment but I feel compelled to explain myself.

        The questions that I had directed toward Will Allen were rhetorical by nature. I was not interested in the data or information about him.

        It is in regards to his comments about the masses ignorant about the label $ex offender and the fallacies of the Registry. His anger directed at them I found understandable yet felt missed a critical point:

        Why SHOULD the masses care about the inequities and injustices done to Registrants let alone educate themselves about the Registry?

        I say this because I was one of those masses, ignorant about what is wrong about the Registry and the horrible label of $ex offender. I mean I knew about them but they were in the periphery of my awareness because I, like most people, was caught up in chasing the American Dream.

        Why should I give two sh!ts about it let alone educate myself?

        It wasn’t until I got swept up into the system that I begun to understand what is wrong with it.

        And I believe that is true with most Registrants if not all.

        So I can’t abide by this contempt for the masses by virtue of ignorance because that is an American trait.

        And seriously I think it is unnecessary for you to defend Will because he is very outspoken and does not care who knows what’s on his mind.

        • C

          While I understand Will Allen’s anger and frustration, I’ve gotten in the habit of scrolling right past his comments which I’ve grown to expect are a long-winded, unhelpful diatribe of little value.

        • Joe

          Same here, I can’t really fault people for being ignorant about the registry. The best thing to do is somehow make people aware of just how wrong and ineffective it is.

        • Will Allen

          @C:

          Yeah, I am definitely often too long winded. But I hate things that are ambiguous. I can’t have that in my business and I’m sure it spills into my personal communications.

          And I do too much ranting. But on the flip side, at least I am accurate, something this witch hunt is lacking on both sides. And there are also direct, inside facts in my posts. Lastly, I feel that real communications often takes a good bit of work and effort on the writer and reader.

          America isn’t too much into effort these days. Few people have any significant attention spans. They want their “facts” in a Tweet. Americans are lazy and that is why most of them are stupid and struggling.

          But I agree with you that long posts aren’t going to affect many people. I do think a bunch of really good memes and pictures would. I should probably try some of that.

        • Will Allen

          @Joe:

          I suppose you are probably right. I can’t really fault people that much for being ignorant about the Registries and not paying much attention to them. But I also think that the vast majority of people living in America just really don’t care much about other people. We are a hateful, callous nation that loves imprisoning and controlling people.

          I don’t think you are going to get anywhere by trying to “educate” people. If an American hears “government Registries” and they don’t immediately reject that idea, there is no education that can fix them.

          And BTW, the point of about half of everything I say is just to piss people off. I’m glad when Registry Nazis are angry. They don’t deserve to live in peace. If you don’t care about my family, I’m certainly not going to care about yours.

  2. NPS

    No news on trick-or-treaters getting assaulted by registered citizens, but I did read an article about a 7-year old who was shot while trick-or-treating and is in critical condition. The assailant, a 15-year old. https://www.4029tv.com/article/7-year-old-critically-injured-after-being-shot-while-trick-or-treating-in-chicago/29660016#

    But hey, I’m sure that Butts County sheriff would still sleep well at night had this occurred in his jurisdiction.

    • LS

      Ya here in California an entire family (Mom, Dad and 3 yo son) were run over by a 20yo DRUNK driver (the legal drinking age in California is 21) killing the Dad and son and leaving the Mom in critical condition in the hospital. I couldn’t help but wonder if the police (and others) were across town conducting their entirely useless “Opetation Boo”. So sad.

      • NPS

        I’m also a California native (NorCal), but I heard nothing about that. Where did this happen? Link?

        I think it’s important to keep data on how trick-or-treaters are harmed in myriad other ways and not by anyone on the registry. Enough with the wasted tax dollars on Operation Boo. Use those resources on keeping the streets safe.

  3. Jack

    “More barbaric than those we fear.” ain’t that the truth.

  4. Mike

    So, I know there is always a lot of build up to Halloween. Several articles on here and I think something like a 6 hour phone call. Did anything happen? I assume they did Operation Boo like every year for people on parole, but did any people not under the watch of parole/probation have any issues? I really don’t even think about police at this point, but I’m sure there are some communities that have overactive law enforcement who push constitutional lines.

    • Registry needs to still go away

      While that maybe true, the limited interactions with police once off paper, the registry is still causing you harm in its existence by placing other limits on you such as work, school, IML, etc. It still needs to go in entirety.

      • Mike

        Okay? Doesn’t really related to my comment or answer my question. I agree with you that it would be better if we didn’t have the registry.

  5. Bill

    @Will Allen

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your past insights of your life before you got swept into the Registry.

    I was the same way before I got swept up. Before then I was not focused nor passionate about these issues. I was busy following my career, paying my taxes, voting, car payments, and so on.

    My passion and priorities were elsewhere then.

    The Registry is like cancer. No one cares about it until they get it. Celebrities all the sudden become advocates for cancer research AFTER they get sick. People start educating themselves about cancer AFTER the fact.

    So unless everyone gets swept into the Registry (or cancer) most people are happy in their ignorance and pursue their little lives. Just like most if not all Registrants before we got swept up.

    Unless your Janice Belluci. She’s one of those rare advocates that didn’t need to be personally affected by the system in order to care.

    She is awesome.

    • Will Allen

      Not sure how insightful it was.

      I am a danger today though because of the Registries. I recognize that I have a problem and have to work to control it. I find it hilarious when all these criminal regimes talk about gun violence and “red flags”. The idiots wouldn’t know a “red flag” if it smacked them in the face and knocked them out. The Registries are literally creating “red flag” people and terrorists, I’m certain. All for nothing useful.

      I think one of the reasons that I am so dangerous today is that when I started Registering, the lie of just “informing” people was almost true. Everyone was required to be listed for 10 years. Then that was changed to life. Then they tried to kick my family out of the home that we owned. Then they bullied my children. Etc., etc., etc. All over something pretty trivial and for nothing useful.

      The big problem today is that I’m extremely successful and have a great life. I don’t accept people causing me problems. I don’t accept things that interfere with my life. I don’t accept “no” or people telling me what to do. The Registries have caused me to be hyper Type A. I think if you are accustomed to a good life, you don’t accept shit.

      I also have very low tolerance for stupid. I’m not a genius but America is a dumb place full of dumb people. My patience with that is over.

      There must be war.

      • Bill

        @Will Allen

        Somewhere in the future history will bear out who stands victorious in the national dialogue of the Registry.

        Will it be through be through rational discourse or blunt force trauma?

        Or is there a third option?

        Either way Will we’ll see how this plays out.

  6. C

    So, while cops in California and across the country were busy wasting valuable resources on Halloween to keep close tabs on RCs, this happened:

    https://abc7news.com/5th-victim-dies-after-shooting-at-halloween-party-at-airbnb-in-orinda/5663845/

    Surely, such tragedies will shift the focus toward real threats like drunk driving and gun violence next year, rght?

    • NPS

      To be fair…I live close to Orinda. It is a very upscale/exclusive area. This is the Bay Area We don’t have any presence or residential restrictions and no Operation Boo. Out here, you do see a police presence with their directing of traffic on Halloween night (as it should be).

      In this Orinda case, the police had been called due to noise complaints placed by the neighbors. The AirB&B guests, most party goers and victims were from the Antioch area, which is a crime infested area. Several issues here related to its gang problems, gun violence and its “snitches get stitches or found in ditches” mentality. Unfortunately it spilled into what is a sleepy town.

  7. C

    Welp, if the cops spent less time with BS like Operation Boo-like crap and more time fighting gang violence, this might not have spilled over into your neck of the woods.
    Likewise, if Airbnb spent less time screening out RCs and more time screening gang banging scum bags, well you get the idea…

    • NPS

      Did you not read the part that says we don’t have Operation Boo or any presence/residency restrictions in our neck of the woods? Your point is moot.

    • Will Allen

      Nah, if DUI was dangerous we would have a national, public, lifetime Registry for it. We’d subject those people to forced therapy. We’d force them to take polygraphs. We certainly wouldn’t allow them to be driving near schools, parks, or anywhere that children congregate!! Certainly wouldn’t allow them to live near schools! How dangerous would that be! We couldn’t have them going to schools either. That would be insane. And we’d have to warn foreign countries if those people planned to visit there. I mean, of course they would drink there. I bet they would even be planning on driving.

      Nope. DUI is not nearly as dangerous as a person sitting in his/her home and looking at bad/illegal pictures. Not pictures of people being murdered, mind you, because there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m talking $EX pictures.

      DUI is not nearly as dangerous as a person seeing a penis that he/she did not want to see. That is dangerous! And offensive. It is only a matter of time before that kills someone.

      I think DUI is fine as long as $EX isn’t involved. Pretty much anything is.

      • someone who cares

        Will ~ I like the way you think :-). Your forgot one thing, though, when it comes to the non dangerous people who drive drunk. They don’t ever have a passenger in their cars as they drive drunk, let alone children. They solely harm themselves, right? Those innocent passengers never have to worry about a thing, and they are totally safe in the car of the drunk driver.

  8. USA

    I’m appalled at how Offenders have been portrayed as perpetrators or a threat during Halloween? PATCH (family oriented website) each year posts a Sex Offender Map so children and parents can avoid these locations? I emailed 2 of the articles in 2 different locations? They have (per their response) no idea if a child/or adult has been victimized during Halloween and they have no statistics to support we pose a threat?

    Her response:

    Hi,
    Thank you for your inquiry. I do not have the statistics. Given the heavy police presence on Halloween, I imagine the numbers are low … but that’s just a guess.

    So, the police must know? Duh

  9. USA

    Here is another response (she never addresses that her article portrays sex offenders as dangerous). I guess? I guess?

    Please read: As mentioned, I do not have the stats. That said, high police presence, safety awareness, “trunk-or-treat,” etc., in my opinion, have made it less likely that a child will be harmed on Halloween. Not sure about your neighborhood, but in my I did not see one trick-or-treater. Not saying that’s a good thing, mind you, but statistically speaking if kids aren’t out there they are less likely to get physically harmed.
    It’s definitely an interesting topic. Feel free to call me if you have some thoughts. You can also submit a letter to the editor if you would like.

    • Will Allen

      It does seem as if there are less trick-or-treaters every year. I think the sheeple are buying into the big government propaganda of “if your children trick-or-treat, they will be molested”. That’s fine with me. I hope that people who think Registries are acceptable live in fear. It’s deserved. I hope they alter their lives.

      And what’s this “safety awareness” nonsense that she is talking about? Does she think people are only paying attention to that lately? I wonder if she means the Registries and/or awesome patch.com click-bait, fear mongering? Because as a parent, I never did need any “safety awareness” or anything from big government Registries or patch.com regarding my children trick-or-treating. It seemed a hell of a lot more about common sense and responsibility to me. But I’m a good parent.

      Same with that “high police presence”. Ughhh, where exactly? It could never be high enough to hinder or even slow down whatever molestations were going to happen on any given day, including Halloween. And I know that where I live we have more police per capita than probably 99.9% of the rest of the country. I was out all over on Halloween and I actually did not see a single patrol car. Perhaps they were in stealth mode? Looking for “$EX offenders” with their License Plate Readers, LOL? Instead of sitting at dangerous intersections in their patrol cars and actually trying to protect the public.

      Lastly, the whole thing is stupid anyway. What does it matter if you know where Registered People live if they aren’t there and you don’t know where they are? You are doing people a disservice if you lead them to believe they are there.

      These criminal regimes need to hurry up and get some more “laws” passed. They can force Registered People to be at their homes on Halloween, like the criminal state of Missouri does. Maybe they could put a cage in each Registered Person’s front yard and put them in it? Then they wouldn’t even need “no trick-or-treating” signs, no lights, etc. either! People could take their children past the cages to look at the real Halloween horrors. Would be fun and all the neighbors could meet.

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