Monday, October 31, 2016

Good Story 145: The Halloween Tree

Julie never knows what to cook for the mummies in her closet. Scott soars on the tail of a kite which is harder than you'd think since he's dressed as a gargoyle. Together they go to unexpected places on the trail of The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury.

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  1. Thanks for the shout-out guys! Great show. - Brandon Vogt

  2. Good timing as I was listening to the audiobook again today. Just one of those book that get better each time you read it since you discover another prose phrasing that strikes you.

    Yes there is bit of syncretism to the story, but not really an overt one. No doubt it does reflect a bit of Bradbury's view of religion. Still the part on witches is not that way at all as it denies they have any real power.

    I find there is also certainly some thematic overlap with this story and "Something wicked ...", or maybe just indicative of his storytelling imbued with qualities of childhood experiences.

    Author Rod Bennett says of Bradbury that he was a man who embraced both the past and the future. I have found that a good key to him. He can be nostalgic to an extent without falling into a "everything was better before". Seeing both the past and a path to the future.

    By the way I listen to Rod Bennett each week on Mark Shea's podcast. Just love listening to him. He knew Bradbury and once got to spend an extended conversation with him. Bradbury was a fan of Rod's Wonder Magazine. Through Rod I also found about Bradbury's and Harryhausen's life long friendship and their Science Fiction League. On the podcast they cover lots of territory from Church history to Hammer Films. Oh and his book of stories and essays "The Popcorn Cathedral" is right up both of your alleys.

    Oh and the reference to Black Mirror, already on my list to watch. Still the recap of the first show reminded me of that episode in Community where they had an app to rate everybody.

    1. I was just relistening to our two other Bradbury episodes and had the same thought about the thematic overlap between this and Something Wicked. I have been meaning to get Bennett's book and had no idea that Mark Shea had that podcast. I see that Steven Greydanus is also a regular guest. Am downloading now to try out. Thanks for the tip!

    2. Also downloading Mark Shea's podcast, thanks Jeff! Anything else you listen to regularly that you'd like to mention?

      Hope you enjoy Black Mirror - I've only seen that one episode but will watch them all.

    3. I loved that episode of Black Mirror too. I'm looking forward to the rest of season 3. I feel I should warn you about one of the earlier episode. The first episode of season 1 has a beloved member of the royal family kidnapped and the kidnapper, as his ransom, wants the prime minister to have sex with a pig on national television. The look at how public opinion shifts around is fascinating and horrifying, but they do go there and I sincerely wish I could unwatch that episode. I felt sick for days afterward. If I had seen it first I would have given the show a pass, but I started with season 2 (which has an awesome first episode, the best of the show in my opinion). The third episode of season 2 deals with a cartoon character running for political office, which was both very funny and very dark, and perhaps very appropriate for our upcoming election.

      The great thing about the series is that it doesn't show technology as evil, but how our use of it can go so wrong. The "rating people" thing could be totally benign like Pokemon Go but the way people use it to manipulate and judge others, yikes!

  3. Scott, just watched the first episode of S3 - that was pretty intense.

    Well just to list a couple of current favs.

    Pints with Aquinas.
    Catholic Production - lame name, but such a great scriptural look at the Sunday readings.
    Fr. Spitzer's Universe - EWTN. Fr. Spitzer is so great to listen to. Physics, sociology, theology, etc.

    1. Hey I'm glad you watched that episode of Black Mirror. We are so close to that kind of thing, but I think we've always been. The ratings just aren't as easily seen.

      Thanks for these podcasts. I love Pints with Aquinas and will check out the other two.