It’s Friday, but more importantly we stand on the cusp of Halloween weekend. I don’t know about you, but I like Halloween. It’s a holiday we can all celebrate comfortably. Halloween doesn’t come with the weirdo baggage of a Christmas or a Columbus Day; it’s a perfectly innocent time devoted to images of death, elision of individual identity and the sexualization of pirates. The best part of Halloween is, of course, the masquerade. For one night of the year and maybe the preceding Saturday, the social conventions that govern dress and age-appropriate behavior are lifted, and we confront the real freedom we possess. Here is carnival in the root sense of the word—a society governed not by mores but by appetites, mostly for Reese’s and Apple Pucker, but also for truth. Paradoxically, we become most ourselves when we put on a costume. This week’s link roundup is all about the truth that reveals itself only in the lie, the confrontation with the masquerade. Also midget tossing. Trick or treat, kids. Why don’t you reach into this sack without really knowing what’s in it?
It’s a disorientingly beautiful day in Missoula, where the sun and light breeze and 71-degree forecast almost distract me from the roaring of the creek, which has gone from eight inches deep to about eight feet. In this way it resembles the Clark Fork river, another usually placid body of water that has decided to erupt in rage and have its way with everybody’s basement. It’s like my father used to say: this whole thing could fall apart at any time. It’s summer now, everything is awesome, but all it takes is one driving mistake or subprime lending crisis or month of heavy rainfall and boom—everything sucks. This week’s link roundup is all about stuff going catastrophically wrong very quickly. You’d think that’d be depressing, but don’t worry: it’s stuff going wrong for other people. Fun, right? I’m sure we personally will be fine.