What disgusting horrors markets are

I have never had much liking for the tawdriness of secular Hallowe’en. If there was ever an indication of the corruption that markets can perpetrate upon a festival that once had a very different meaning to that now ascribed to it, Hallowe’en delivers it.

As well as being suitably pompous for Snippa it is also factually incorrect – appropriate for Snippa. Halloween is the modern day irruption of Samhaim back through the Catholic Church’s attempt to obscure it by appropriating it into All Soul’s Day.

Mumming and guising was a part of Samhain from at least the 16th century and was recorded in parts of Ireland, Scotland, Mann and Wales.

How dreadful that markets, mere undirected peeps doin’ their own thing, allow the old ways to reappear from underneath that centralised control. No wonder he hates it.

51 thoughts on “What disgusting horrors markets are”

  1. one thing i’ve noticed over the decades. costume quality has infinitely improved compared to the mum/aunt/sister made ones. We can thank our bangladeshi trade partners for that.

  2. ooh..reading back felt a little pang…so course my mum’s ones were quite good, but i shudder to think how much time was spent on them when she could’ve been out gathering turnips.

  3. OT but just heard that Sir Sean Connery has kicked the bucket.

    He was an icon of 20th century masculinity and cool, a charismatic man’s man with raw sex appeal dripping from his endlessly imitated Edinburgh lishp. He effortlessly elevated every movie he was in, even high camp like Highlander.

    So long and thanks for all the films, Sir Sean.

  4. Steve said:
    “He effortlessly elevated every movie he was in, even high camp like Highlander”

    Even Zardoz? Or does convention forbid us to mention that until he is buried?

  5. Steve, heard it too. My dad’s favourite actor. Time to bring out that dusty On the fiddle (1961) dvd.

    In my village there are two clever pumpkin/halloween puppets, one has pumpkins as a lovely cleavage ie knockers, the one next to it is mooning, two pumpkins as arse cheeks. Put a smile on my face.

  6. My favourite Connery film is the one with my top5 favourite actor, Ian Bannen, The Offence. “you’re a sad little man”.

  7. What is it about men over 50 that turn into curmudgeons, always upset that with the yoot and their pleasures. Is it because he knows he isn’t able to pull Halloween totty anymore? Is it the weight of his failures weighing him down and envy of those two young to not have had those failures (and successes) yet?

    Is it rage he feels at the trickle of kids coming to the door, happy, and the social expectation that he open the door with a smile and a gift instead of sitting moping in the dark, falling asleep in front of the tv once the beer kicks in, in an empty house?

  8. Diogenes, those were lovely weren’t they? Warren Beatty used to “double bag”…yep, I recently learned what that means, I am such an innocent soul.

  9. Hmmm… You’d think that with his Quakey background he would be dead set against Samhain anyway.
    Pagan festival and all..

  10. My fave Bond quote was by Connery:
    Booby bird rocks up to casino table.

    She: “Hi, I’m Plenty”

    Shean after swift look at cleavage: “Sho I shee”

    She: “Plenty O’Toole”

    Shean: “… named after your father, no doubt”.

    I used to think it was Sir Rog’. But no.

  11. Richard – Even Zardoz?

    Yesh.

    Jussi – The Hunt for Red October is probably my favourite Connery film (Tim Curry, another national treasure, is also wonderful in his supporting role).

  12. I’ve made a similar comment re Zardoz on The Times in response to an “I loved everything he did” post. But, to his credit, he managed to keep a straight face through all that ludicrous campery.

    A great life, RIP. Pity he’ll never be able to return to his ‘beloved’ Scotland now – I can’t imagine why anyone might prefer life in the Bahamas.

  13. Steve

    “…even high camp like Highlander.”

    Well…there can only be one.

    Chris M

    “Pity he’ll never be able to return to his ‘beloved’ Scotland now – I can’t imagine why anyone might prefer life in the Bahamas.”

    His support for the SNP was deluded at best and hypocritical at worst.

  14. Don’t forget the Time Bandits.

    Back to the OP. A lot of Halloween imagery used to owe a lot to 1970s Hammer Horror movies. Scary movies have advanced since then but still have a lot of influence.

    I went to the chippy today and the serving girls were dressed in sexy devil costumes. This made me happy.

  15. Tim,

    All Souls’ Day is on November 2nd. I think you meant All Saints’ Day which is November 1st.

    In contemporary Western Christianity the annual celebration is held on 2 November, and is part of the season of Allhallowtide that includes All Saints’ Day (1 November) and its eve, Halloween (31 October). —Wikipedia

  16. My memories of childhood Halloween in 1970s Yorkshire was hacking the insides out of turnips (*never* pumpkins, none of that foreign muck), wedging a candle inside and attaching a string handle. Then I think three-ish kids walking up and down the crescent in the spooky dark. In retrospect, probably with an adult at the end of the road watching us.

    I remember one year a get-together of some sort – probably a 1970s adult ‘dinner party’ thing tailored for the children – with apple bobbing.

    If I try and remember anything in more detail it merges with memories of bonfire night – the neighbours with the big back garden that they could set up a bonfire, waving sparklers, catherine wheels nailed onto the garage wall, little hammers and bonfire toffee. Again, an adults thing organised for the kids. Us outside ooooing and ahhhing, them indoors with wine and nibbles and whatever parents did in the ’70s.

  17. jgh said:
    “My memories of childhood Halloween in 1970s Yorkshire was hacking the insides out of turnips”

    Yes, I remember doing that too, in Lancashire. Pumpkins are certainly easier.

    But I wouldn’t blame the Church for the passing away of old Hallowe’en customs; they generally let these things continue so long as there was a decent Christian veneer over the paganism (and some historians think more of it came from Catholic practices of praying for the dead than from Samhain). Protestants tended to be more against it (those who don’t believe in Purgatory struggle with the concept that souls need to be released from it into heaven), so things like soul cakes largely disappeared.

    Overall I would put the blame for the loss of older traditions on the Puritans and later the Victorians, who generally stamped out that sort of jollity.

  18. I must admit that as a boy my favourite Bond scene was from a Roger Moore effort: the Bottoms Up club in The Man With The Golden Gun.

  19. Impressive that James Bond lived to 90.

    Q. What kind of wood doesn’t float?

    A. Natalie.

    Relevance? Plenty O’Toole was played by Lana Wood, Natalie’s sister.

  20. Wood? Coffins

    Sean Connery dies aged 90
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW1MOXkNLgE

    90 – a good innings

    Insta shrine being constucted by woke in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. Nearest shops doing roaring trade in flowers & candles, nearby Kwik-Fit new pop-up flower stall opens 8am. SNP declare 1 week of mourning natiional lockdown

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    Connery was a very good Bond. Perhaps the best of them all. Maybe no need for the perhaps. But his taste in films was not only poor but spectacularly poor. He needed a better agent. Post-Bond, not many Bond actors work, but he did and they are almost uniformly bad.

    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
    Allan Quatermain
    2000 Finding Forrester
    Forrester
    1999 Entrapment
    Mac
    1998 Playing by Heart
    Paul
    1998 The Avengers
    Sir August de Wynter
    1996 The Rock
    John Patrick Mason
    1996 DragonHeart
    Draco (voice)
    1995 First Knight
    King Arthur
    1995 Just Cause
    Paul Armstrong
    1994 A Good Man in Africa
    Dr. Murray
    1993 Rising Sun
    John Connor
    1992 Medicine Man
    Dr. Robert Campbell
    1991 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
    King Richard (uncredited)
    1991 Highlander II: The Quickening
    Ramírez
    1990 The Russia House
    Barley
    1990 The Hunt for Red October
    Marko Ramius
    1989 Family Business
    Jessie
    1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    Professor Henry Jones
    1988 Memories of Me
    Sean Connery as Lt. Col. Alan Caldwell (uncredited)
    1988 The Presidio
    Lt. Col. Alan Caldwell
    1987 The Untouchables
    Jim Malone
    1986 The Name of the Rose
    William von Baskerville
    1986 Highlander
    Ramirez
    1984 Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    The Green Knight

    He is good in Entrapment, although that may be the reflection of my feeling about Catherine Z-J’s arse. He was very good in Indiana Jones – it is hard to out act Harrison Ford. He was good in the Untouchables but then he was gifted with the best line of all. He was passable in Red October, but by then he was too lazy to, you know, *act*. Much less do something about his accent.

    I am fond of The Name of the Rose even though it is not remotely as good as the book. But if you find yourself out acted by a grab bag of random European freaks, you have a problem. Although I do not hold it against him he could not compete with F Murray Abraham who I think is really underrated.

    The rest of them could be swallowed up in a massive Californian earthquake and the world would be better off. I would say no serious cultural icon, which he was, has ever done so many pieces of crap.

  22. I would say no serious cultural icon, which he was, has ever done so many pieces of crap.

    Tosh. Lots of really good British actors will do any old muck for the money.

    Michael Caine did any part that came along, most of them far worse than Sean Connery’s output. Alec Guiness only stopped because Star Wars made him so rich he never needed to again. Ben Kingsley made plenty of trash (including the worse attempt at an accent ever recorded, in Ender’s Game).

  23. SMFS is correct about the crap later films and in his choice of those from the period that were good. The Offence is his best film and his performance in The Hill also.

    Theo– “His support for the SNP was deluded at best and hypocritical at worst.”

    Kettle , pot etc from a top supporter of those “bulwarks against Marxism” whose “Leader” copies Sturgeon. With even more brazen lies than Wee Krankie.

  24. I have never had much liking for the tawdriness of secular Hallowe’en.

    He’d prefer the thoroughly sectarian festival it’s largely replaced? If the English had taken that one a bit more seriously, his professed membership of a quirky protestant cult wouldn’t carry much weight against his name & Irish passport. His subversive little web site could have been the ticket for a height adjustment on the rack & a pile of kindling.

  25. It seems to me that this reveals a taste in the general public for what USians call holidays. Just a date when you DO something. Have a party, dress up, give chocolate, burn effigies, whatever. Just some pleasurable activity you don’t do every day. Witness the seeming rise of ‘Black Friday’, although we don’t have Thanksgiving*, to kick off the Christmas shopping season.

    * We do, but it’s on July the 4th.

  26. I never thought of him as quite what Bond was supposed to be; a scottish english gentleman. Alan Clark would’ve been closer (albeit not an actor- but was it really acting?). Mind you on SMFS point – the Bond films are better than the books which are mush. Name of the rose and man who would be king are my preferred non bonds.

  27. Random Sean-Con thoughts: Zardoz. Yes, it was a pile of old wank, but it was also more imaginative and daring than all the trillion-dollar silly superhero movies of modern times. If Connery hadn’t been in it, we probably wouldn’t still be talking about it nearly 50 years later.

    Plenty of his movies were guff, but most flicks are disposable anyway. Even Larry Olivier did silly roles for cash. Like Olivier, Connery was always eminently watchable even if the film wasn’t very good.

    Hypocrisy – yarp, if we’re looking to mummers and song-and-dance men for political advice, we’re looking in the wrong places. Just enjoy the show.

  28. I bet the cheques were uniformly good.

    Or as Michael Caine, since somebody mentioned him upthread said about the Jaws movie he was in, “I have not seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. I have, however, seen the house it paid for, and that is magnificent.”

    Caine also willingly did lousy stuff for the paycheck so that he could take the underpaying roles in prestige movies like Hanna and Her Sisters that won him an Oscar.

    You’ll note as well that SMFS ignored the movies Connery made after quitting the Bond franchise the second time (ie. after Diamonds Are Forever). There’s a lot of good stuff there, like The Anderson Tapes, The Man Who Would Be King, or The Great Train Robbery, for starters.

  29. So Much For Subtlety

    Chester Draws November 1, 2020 at 4:58 am – “Lots of really good British actors will do any old muck for the money. Michael Caine did any part that came along, most of them far worse than Sean Connery’s output. Alec Guiness only stopped because Star Wars made him so rich he never needed to again.”

    I was going to mention Michael Caine but I think his output has been to do any old crap that pays and occasionally one of them is good. Apart from Zulu what did he do that people will remember him for? Alfie?

    Guinness is different. Star Wars was in 1977. He had been acting since 1934. Around the mid-70s he seems to have needed some money and went to Hollywood. He had stayed mostly clear of it up to then. He didn’t do many before he hit it rich. Then he went on to do some really good work – can anyone think of anyone else being George Smiley? So you have a man who has been in virtually every important British film since the war and he did one or two Hollywood films. Then very little.

    “Ben Kingsley made plenty of trash (including the worse attempt at an accent ever recorded, in Ender’s Game).”

    Yeah but who gives a shit? Sir Ben is mostly a waste of time.

    Hallowed Be November 1, 2020 at 10:10 am – “I never thought of him as quite what Bond was supposed to be; a scottish english gentleman. Alan Clark would’ve been closer (albeit not an actor- but was it really acting?).”

    If someone had taught Clark to kill he probably would have been good as Bond. Interestingly Connery is the only one who tried to get even vaguely close to the character in the book, until M died blowing up some rather nice Scottish pile. He showed Bond did Oriental languages for one thing.

    Steve November 1, 2020 at 11:08 am – “Plenty of his movies were guff, but most flicks are disposable anyway.”

    Bond as a doctor searching for a cure in the Amazon isn’t disposable. It is toxic.

    Gamecock November 1, 2020 at 11:54 am – “I bet the cheques were uniformly good.”

    I can’t believe anyone paid for most of those roles. Who would have paid to see The Presidio or Dragonheart?

    Would he have needed the money after Bond? Perhaps. My rule is anyone before Thatcher was paid pennies and taxed in pounds. No one got rich if they worked before then. Never Say Never Again was in 1983. Diamonds Are Forever 1971. Maybe he did need the cash.

    Ted S, Catskill Mtns, NY, USA November 1, 2020 at 12:21 pm – “You’ll note as well that SMFS ignored the movies Connery made after quitting the Bond franchise the second time (ie. after Diamonds Are Forever).”

    You mean the first time?

    “There’s a lot of good stuff there, like The Anderson Tapes, The Man Who Would Be King, or The Great Train Robbery, for starters.”

    Each to their own I suppose. I would have liked to like The Man Who Would Be King a lot more.

  30. Apart from Zulu what did he do that people will remember him for?

    Off the top of my head, and not being a film buff: The Italian Job; Get Carter.

  31. rhoda klapp
    November 1, 2020 at 9:20 am

    It seems to me that this reveals a taste in the general public for what USians call holidays. Just a date when you DO something. Have a party, dress up, give chocolate, burn effigies, whatever. Just some pleasurable activity you don’t do every day. Witness the seeming rise of ‘Black Friday’, although we don’t have Thanksgiving*, to kick off the Christmas shopping season.

    Oh, you poor, sheltered, souls. Thanksgiving doesn’t kick off the holiday season around here anymore – Christmas shit is up for sale *in SEPTEMBER* now.

    * We do, but it’s on July the 4th.

  32. You mean the first time?

    No; the second time. He quit after You Only Live Twice and George Lazenby did On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

    As for Caine, he won two Oscars and beyond that should also be remembered for Get Carter, The Italian Job, and playing Harry Palmer.

    Oh, and Escape to Victory too. 😉

  33. @rhoda
    “burn effigies”

    “Remember, the 5th of November….” it doesn’t bode well for Bozo and his clowns…..

    Can we UKians organise a Mass Rebellion on 5 Nov? Please, pretty please. Big bonfires: PHE HQ, Imperial College, BBC, SAGE, Hancock, Holyrood, Wales HQ – we could watch occupants like Wicker Man

  34. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Wales November 1, 2020 at 4:23 pm – “Off the top of my head, and not being a film buff: The Italian Job; Get Carter.”

    Michael Caine is never going to go down as one of the great film actors. But I fully admit to those two. As Ted said, he was good as Harry Palmer. In fact he really made that role. The Italian Job is interesting because it has such a big cast – and I don’t think MC was vital to the role in the way SC was to Bond. But then, they remade both of those films and Alfie. They really should not have done that. All three of them are so bad. Maybe he is better than I think.

    Just for the record – I got something else wrong. It is not that Connery tried to be more like Bond. Apparently Fleming came around to SC and wrote Bond’s history to make him more like Connery. Being Scottish for one thing. That is an impressive endorsement. However SC did not do Oriental languages at Oxford. Some have claimed that he went to the other place, but then Bond was a patriot and not a Soviet spy so I doubt that.

  35. ‘I can’t believe anyone paid for most of those roles. Who would have paid to see The Presidio or Dragonheart?’

    With Connery’s name on the marquee, plenty.

  36. Being an actor is a job, just like any other: better to have work than no work, do a competent job and you are likely to get more work, when there is more than enough work you can afford to turn down the least rewarding.

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