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A Shift to the Extreme is Everywhere

October 11, 2016  | 
A Shift to the Extreme is Everywhere by Clare Piro

{3:12 minutes to read} My first ritual of the fall entails my husband and I getting a flu shot, going out for brunch, and then going shopping for Halloween.

Just in case there is an area of the yard or a surface in the house that is not already adorned with Halloween decor, we are always on the lookout for interesting pieces. At this point we seek out things that are unique, clever, or attractive, like some vintage pieces or Day of the Dead figurines.

While we both rule out anything that is too “cutesy” like smiling pumpkins or ghosts, I also draw the line on things that are too creepy. My bottom line is always “nothing that would scare small children, or me.” So, legs meant to be the Wicked Witch of the West with Dorothy’s red shoes coming out from the side of the house like the house fell down on her is okay. Severed hands coming up out of the front lawn are a definite no.

This year, however, I saw quite a few items on a whole other level. They were extreme and gory, just for the sake of being extreme and gory.

  • A disturbing and graphic zombie toddler, holding a bloody baby doll.
  • A touch-activated zombie head, munching on a rat, which is waving its tail frantically and emitting a squealing noise as it is being devoured.
  • A noise activated figure of an obviously dead, ghost-like young girl in bloody pajamas, eerily crying out “Momma.”

The fact that these horrific pieces were being displayed in stores frequented by children was mind boggling to me. By comparison, the Freddie Kruger and Jason characterizations from years past are quaint. These newer “decorations” are just so gross that I find it hard to believe that they are acceptable for retail.

I guess that now to be shocking and get attention means that you do have to be ever more extreme. Like some of the comments that are posted online, some think that you have to go beyond acceptable to be noticed. Or, sadly, like some of the outrageous things said by politicians and their surrogates.

When I litigated, I saw that extreme positions could be rewarded. I’m glad that I now work in a profession in which parties don’t have to be more unreasonable and more extreme than the other to get what they want. I prefer to work with people who are trying to understand the other and work towards a resolution that meets both of their interests.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
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