Re­al­ity can be more fright­en­ing than fic­tion

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LIVING - Tony Leodora Colum­nist

Boo! In case you hadn’t no­ticed, it’s Hal­loween.

As a kid, this was one of the fa­vorite hol­i­days of the year. Dress up as a pi­rate, or a mon­ster, or a cow­boy. Come to think of it, that last cos­tume is still in play on cer­tain oc­ca­sions (see Face­book pho­tos).

Many peo­ple grow out of the fas­ci­na­tion with Hal­loween … but some never do. They dec­o­rate their houses and lawns, plan a new cos­tume … and revel in watch­ing hor­ror movies.

As kids, the hor­ror movies were rel­e­gated to Satur­day af­ter­noon mati­nees at the movie the­ater – mostly re­runs of clas­sics from pre­vi­ous years. Maybe a short or two, a pocket full of candy … then pre­pare to be scared to death.

There were the mildly scary movies – such as “Ab­bot and Costello Meet Franken­stein.” And there were the ones that kept you up at night – such as “The Blob” … or the 1951 clas­sic “The Thing from An­other World.” Or the 1968 ver­sion of “Night of the Liv­ing Dead,” which started the en­tire zom­bie phe­nom­e­non.

Many of these movies have been per­pet­u­ated through­out the years on week­end late night shows, such as “Dr. Shock”. This Philadel­phia char­ac­ter, played by ma­gi­cian Joseph Zaw­is­lak, was cre­ated as an on-air host for the tele­cast of B-rated hor­ror movies on WPHL Chan­nel 17. It ran from 1969 to 1979.

In later decades, the man­tle of week­end hor­ror movie host fell on “Sven­goolie”, a Chicago-orig­i­nated show that has been around since 1970. In re­cent years it has been dis­trib­uted na­tion­ally on MeTV. Orig­i­nally, the part of the host was played by Jerry Bishop. Since 1979 the part has been car­ried by Richard Koz.

Want to be scared … watch these old movies.

Don’t want to be scared … change the chan­nel.

Un­for­tu­nately, in to­day’s real world, there is no op­por­tu­nity to change the chan­nel. The hap­pen­ings of ev­ery­day life are scarier than any­thing that ac­tors Bela Lu­gosi or Boris Karloff ever could have de­liv­ered.

Don’t be­lieve it … then pre­pare to be scared.

Here is a list of some of the scari­est head­lines of re­cent months. Some you may have seen. Most are prob­a­bly undis­cov­ered … be­cause the main­stream me­dia of­ten avoids top­ics that do not fit with their po­lit­i­cal agen­das.

••• Amer­i­cans used to be known for their work ethic. It was the back­bone that helped build this coun­try.

As of the lat­est gov­ern­ment sta­tis­tics, one in ev­ery four house­holds in Amer­ica now has no­body liv­ing in it that is em­ployed. ••• The im­plo­sion of Oba­macare, the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion’s sig­na­ture health­care plan, con­tin­ues.

Ac­cord­ing to CNN/ Money, pre­mi­ums for 27-year-old en­rollees in the 39 states that use the fed­eral health­care. gov ex­change will go up on an av­er­age of 22 per­cent in 2017.

Those who live in Penn­syl­va­nia are on the bad side of the av­er­age. Their pre­mi­ums will rise 53 per­cent. In Ari­zona, the in­crease is 116 per­cent.

Re­mem­ber, the suc­cess of the over­all Oba­macare plan de­pends on sign-ups from these healthy 27-yearolds, who will sub­si­dize cov­er­age for the old and sick. Good luck.

In the mean­time, in­sur­ance

com­pa­nies and hos­pi­tals are pulling out of the Oba­macare net­work at an alarm­ing rate. ••• So many good par­ents have worked hard and saved for many years, so they can af­ford to give their chil­dren the best col­lege ed­u­ca­tion avail­able. To­day that “best col­lege ed­u­ca­tion” can come at a price tag of $50,000, $60,000 or even $70,000 a year.

At the same time, many learned and ra­tio­nal voices of rea­son – syn­di­cated ra­dio show host Dennis Prager is one of the most out­spo­ken – tell us that these col­lege ed­u­ca­tions are one of the WORST in­vest­ments peo­ple make. They cite a lot of rea­sons, but a lack of un­bi­ased and bal­anced view­points from those teach­ing on the col­lege level is at the fore­front. Bal­anced? The lat­est Har­vard Law Study sta­tis­tics show that Democrats out­num­ber Repub­li­cans, among col­lege pro­fes­sors, at an as­ton­ish­ing

12-to-1 rate.

Jour­nal­ism pro­fes­sors – the ones who pre­pare the next gen­er­a­tion of sup­pos­edly un­bi­ased “watch­dogs” – have a 20-to-1 statis­tic of Democrats vs. Repub­li­cans.

And his­tory pro­fes­sors – the ones who are now lead­ing the charge to re-write Amer­i­can his­tory – are tipped to­ward the Demo­crat party at a 33-to-1 rate.

In any group­ing of peo­ple, this kind of stag­ger­ing one-sid­ed­ness is scary. Rather than pre­sent­ing an in­di­ca­tion of group en­light­en­ment, it un­cov­ers a pack men­tal­ity that over­comes rea­son­able logic and dis­course.

P.S. – us­ing this barom­e­ter, the lead­ing left­ist univer­sity in Amer­ica: Brown Univer­sity, with a 60-to1 ra­tio of reg­is­tered Democrats vs. Repub­li­cans on the fac­ulty. ••• Po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness runs amuck.

On a re­cent trip to Ver­mont, one of the most left­ist states in Amer­ica, jaws dropped

dur­ing a dis­cus­sion with a bar­tender. It was dis­cov­ered that the tra­di­tional “happy hour” was out­lawed through­out the state.

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials de­ter­mined that it was dis­crim­i­na­tory to of­fer re­duced prices for drinks at cer­tain times of the day be­cause the dis­count was not avail­able to peo­ple who had to work dur­ing those hours. The tra­di­tional 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. “happy hour” is not ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple who work un­til 9 each night … or to peo­ple who have to sleep dur­ing those hours be­cause they work odd shifts.

Ver­mont does al­low what is called a “Happy Day” – spe­cial pric­ing on a cer­tain day of the week for al­co­holic bev­er­ages. ••• And the scari­est story comes cour­tesy of a very scary per­son.

In 2009 Eva Brunne was in­stalled as the first openly les­bian bishop of a main­stream Chris­tian de­nom­i­na­tion in the world. Since that time she has served as

bishop of the Lutheran Church of Swe­den.

A coun­try of only 9 mil­lion peo­ple, Swe­den has been strug­gling with its open bor­ders pol­icy. More than 190,000 refugees have been ac­cepted into the so­cial­ist coun­try – putting a huge strain on the econ­omy. Lately, Swedes have voiced out­rage over what is hap­pen­ing to their coun­try.

In­stead of fo­cus­ing on the tribu­la­tions of her con­gre­ga­tion, Brunne took a dif­fer­ent stance. She has be­gun a pro­gram ask­ing all churches in the coun­try to take down crosses and other Chris­tian sym­bols. Ac­cord­ing to a Stock­holm-based news out­let, the move was de­signed to “avoid of­fend­ing Mus­lims … and make the coun­try more invit­ing to vis­i­tors of other re­li­gions.”

Imag­ine an imam be­ing asked to re­move Mus­lim sym­bols from a mosque, so as not to of­fend vis­it­ing Chris­tians.

“If you think this story sounds too bizarre to be true, then you haven’t ac­quainted

your­self with the pro­gres­sive ‘utopia’ that is Swe­den,” writes Paul Joseph Wat­son, a U.K.based writer. “This is a coun­try in which some politi­cians have called for giv­ing free hous­ing, jobs and wel­fare to re­turn­ing ISIS ji­hadists – all a tax­payer ex­pense.” ••• Had enough of a Hal­loween scare?

Un­for­tu­nately, there is no way to turn off this steady stream of scary events in to­day’s world.

The only hope is that it is all a bad night­mare … and the peo­ple of Amer­ica will wake up and re­dis­cover the prin­ci­ples that make this coun­try great.

Tony Leodora is pres­i­dent of TL Golf Ser­vices, host of the weekly GolfTalk Live ra­dio show on WNTP 990-AM and host of the Trav­el­ing Golfer tele­vi­sion show — as well as ed­i­tor of GolfStyles mag­a­zine. He is for­mer sports ed­i­tor of The Times Her­ald. Send com­ments to tl­go­lf­ser­vices@aol.

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