Hanging In There

An alert “06880” reader spotted this, in the window of a Post Road East gallery:

“I realize it’s Halloween,” she says. “And I get the framing reference. But I find this window done in incredibly poor taste. Must be today’s politics.”

What do readers think of the noose and “hangings” reference? Bad taste? An attempted joke that falls flat? No big deal, or an overreaction?

Click “Comments” below. And please be polite. Don’t fly off the (broom) handle.

77 responses to “Hanging In There

  1. No big deal! Just a halloween reference! Chill.

  2. I have 2 comments.
    1 We are too obsessed with political correctness these days.
    2 Having said that this window is in extremely poor taste and it’s attempt at humor falls flat.

  3. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    When did everyone become such little no-humor babies.
    It’s Halloween and this is quite clever.
    Time that anyone with an issue about this find something important to get their silk panties ‘unbunched’.

  4. Sally Campbell Palmer

    I think it’s funny!

  5. Tehnically according to Wikipedia, Hanging has been a common method of capital punishment since medieval times, and the official execution method in numerous countries and regions. So it should be maybe most insulting to criminals!

    That being said, not that funny and the world is on edge right now and will scrutinize everything!

  6. Deborah Oestreicher

    Nooses are not funny under any circumstances. Not just poor taste but evocative of horrors in our nation’s past. Too many frightening acts of racism recently to reinforce the concept. I’m not PC by any means and appreciate the clever connection to Halloween and framing but no.

  7. I agree Sally! For goodness sakes, it’s Halloween!

  8. Clever…possibly. Smart…nope.

  9. With the noose, I think it is in poor taste.

  10. Its not funny, even on Halloween.

  11. I think it is very clever. Not any worse than some of the bloody fake corpses, costumes and skeletons you see adorning houses and trick or treaters.

  12. Marta Campbell

    Offensive! Evokes racism & suicides.

  13. Michael Calise

    it’s Halloween – Enjoy the Horror’s

  14. I give it a big thumbs down. Some signs, some words, some gestures are never in good taste and don’t hide under the umbrella of a holiday IMHO.

  15. Bad taste doesn’t even begin to describe this advertisement! It is thoughtless, hurtful, smacks of bigotry. And yes, might I add, stupid!

  16. Hilarious, love it!!!

  17. Really? Does that need to be discussed? It’s Halloween! Political correctness overkill! What’s next, no more clown costumes?
    I have seen this years ago in the city already in a window of a frame store:
    Shoot the kids
    Hang he family
    Frame the wife
    Happy Halloween!

  18. Sorry, but this “alert” reader needs to lighten up and find something actually important to worry about. The sign is clever, and like many other things are meant to draw people into the store. Look at the positive angle, at least their doors aren’t wide open.

  19. I like it!

  20. If it were just the sign it would be clever and amusing. The noose sends it into a whole other direction and is offensive and disturbing. We have hate crimes happening in Westport! – the noose is totally wrong!

  21. FUNNY — get a grip people. Save energy to correct serious stuff.

  22. Thomas Broadbent

    I think its kind of funny, maybe they should throw a pumpkin in there to give it a more Halloweeny feel and after Halloween I would definitely change the display

  23. Jennifer Mehok

    I don’t find it humorous at all!!

  24. A bad joke that fell very flat!

  25. If there is any lesson from all the harassment (sexual and otherwise) we are learning about it is we should all be more aware and show more consideration to those who might be offended. I am not sure if it is an issue of political correctness as it is offensive to many who will view it that way. If something offends only one person why do it?

  26. Relax. It’s funny. And it’s halloween.

    Can’t we laugh any longer?

  27. Wow, way too many people take life way too seriously in this town. This is creative and humorous. I certainly hope all this criticism does’t cause the gallery to change the window.

  28. Suzanne Goldstein

    Very inappropriate
    Appreciate cleverness but very insensitive

  29. I think it’s a clever hoot and very much in the spirit of the holiday!

  30. funny and clever – where is humor, folks?

  31. Wilhelmina de Haas

    I’m offended!!!!!! But …. only….because I should be right?

  32. Ann Marie Flynn

    Love it……a great laugh for the day!

  33. I don’t have any hang ups about this

    • Rhonda Williams

      Clever response

    • Allan Siegert

      But, I’m changing my mind based on some comments I’m hearing related to suicides. I’m sure it wasn’t intended but it does tap into some dark places.

  34. “It’s,” as they’re saying, “HALLOWEEN!”

    I believe it’s in vogue to overthink everything these days, EXCEPT, oddly enough, some of the most important issues…but, AGAIN, it’s Halloween, so I won’t go there…

    Enjoy the holiday with your children. Tomorrow is another (All Saint’s) Day

  35. It’s funny, at least that was the intention. Whether or not some people find it funny is irrelevant; I’m quite sure those people will admit that not everyone laughs at THEIR jokes either.

    As for the “it’s racist” comments, what a sad place you find yourself in when you [think] see racism everywhere. Is a gun racist, or a guillotine, or the electric chair?

    • Right on the money Jack!

    • Spot on Mr. Whittle! Well said!

    • I’m compelled to enlighten you Jack. Nooses were (are?) used to lynch blacks in “the south”. That’s why they are used to intimidate blacks (nooses in locker rooms/office cubicles) and that is why they can be racist.

      • Yes, nooses were (not are) used to lynch blacks in the South, and have been reportedly used to racially intimidate blacks on occasion. But I am inclined to enlighten you: this does not make a noose, in every other context, a racial symbol or racist statement; neither does a fire hose or a German Shepard (both used horrifyingly in the South against protesting blacks) become a racist symbol in any other context.

        It’s that sort of flawed “I’ve been triggered” logic that leads to other rather absurd claims, such as raw cotton, as found and displayed in craft stores because it is a craft item, is racist.

        • Forget the racist connotations. Take it right out of the equation. Never existed, not a factor. What are we left with here? In what way is the image of the noose in any way clever funny or anything but repulsive? And WTF does it have to do with the fun of halloween, anyway? As an instrument of execution? Really? So we have displays of firing squads, racks, electric chairs, impalement, crosses, IVs and syringes all over town? How about a few of my ancestors hanging at Salem? Or gas chambers, now there’s a funny reference! Got that over at the toy store? Oh, and btw, that is the p poorest excuse for a noose I have ever seen. not even close to correctly tied. Another indication of just how much thought went into the display. Maybe if the artist who did the window had actually researched how to tie one, and why it is tied the way it is, the artist might have had time to let the image sink in.

          • OMG! Buy yourself some humor. Relax and move on. Never seen so many uptight westporters.

  36. The lady is over reacting. The rope was done in the spirit of humor,, and nothing more. I no longer live in Westport, but did a while ago, which is why I follow your column, amongst others. I really feel people need to be a bit more open minded. While I lived in Westport I never saw or felt there was any public display of bad judgement/taste. Questionable perhaps at most.

  37. Janette Kinnally

    I think it is fine. It does not bother me. Good way to get your attention for what they do. Good marketing on Halloween. It is Halloween and people do crazy things on Halloween. This is nothing in comparison to what I see out there. People need to lighten up and laugh a little.

  38. Agree with everyone – its Halloween and they were just trying to be funny. Not saying that worked for them, but its not offensive or a big deal. I have a giant fake spider on my door – is that insulting to spiders or people who love Charlotte’s Web?! Its just H’ween!!!

  39. Dorothy Abrams

    I wonder if the people who think it’s funny are younger and have no recollection of a time when a noose was so very frightening.

  40. Poor taste:(

  41. Spirit of humor, huh? Talk to a die-hard Southerner some time about the “spirit” of honor and “culture” that the Confederate battle flag represents. That’s pretty funny, too.

    • I’m sorry – are we talking about the confederate flag here? Or a bad pun and a noose on Halloween? What will you think of a good Headless Horseman recreation? The confederate flag again?

      • The point is that the intention behind the display is no excuse or mitigation of its offensive. Fans and owners of the Washington DC NFL team attempt the same effect when they explain that the team name is not MEANT as a racial slur, its meant as an expression of our team spirit. Sorry, sports fans but your limited understanding of your own expressions is no excuse for the offense you cause. How do you suppose Westporters would feel if my response to this display were something equally humorously intended such as, oh I don’t know, how about “Yeah, what a gas!! Accompanied with say a Xyklon-B logo”?. Pretty funny, huh?

        • no, sad. I am truly sorry for your affliction; you must be taking great offense at seemingly innocuous things on a daily basis – hell of a way to live life

  42. Spooktacular!

  43. Julie Shapiro

    Yes it’s offensive

  44. Next up, Holocaust “humor” in the window of Fresh Market? Is there no limit?

  45. Joseph Thanhauser


  46. Not my style of humor;(
    Too many kids and other age people,
    Robin Williams etc. lost to hanging;(

  47. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    As expected the holier-than-thou, bunched-up pantie brigade is out in full force on this one…

  48. It’s funny! The rope should be hanging the frame though. 🙂

    Kat Brady

  49. Werner Liepolt

    Perfect litmus test for those afflicted with white privilege.

  50. We need to chill out on this one. It is just plain old Halloween humor!

  51. Hanne Jeppesen

    You can’t be politically correct on Halloween. Although I can see why some find it less than funny and clever. I don’t particular have a problem with it. Also I don’t see how it is racists as far as I know hanging has been used as mean of capital punishment in many countries, and against every race, religion etc. I am against capital punishment, but I do think as a society we are (or some of us) becoming over sensitive, and don’t want to deal with anything unpleasant.

  52. Yeah, Halloween humor! Of course! Um, still trying to figure out a haloween reference for a noose. Let’s see; Haloween … witches. Witches, hanging. Hilarious.

  53. It was a clever attempt at humor, unfortunately it was insensitive and in bad taste. Would have preferred it without the noose. And just because it doesn’t offend YOU, doesn’t mean it isn’t offensive. Let’s practice some empathy people.

  54. Disappointing to see so much white privilege exhibited in this community where the association between a noose and strange fruit should be much better known.

  55. Mary Ruggiero

    Im sure if the shop owners thought it would evoke racist connections they would not have used the noose. I thought it clever, and funny. Too bad some folks see racist and/or offensive meanings in so many things. I guess the best way to ensure no one is offended is not to speak, ever!

    • I am told that the store window was designed by workers when the owner was away. When she came back from vacation she was appalled, and had them remove it.

    • Dan has just told us – as usual – exactly what we need to know. QED. As for Mary’s comment. “thought” is the key word. I am happy the owner had one.

  56. My best friend lost her 15 year old daughter to suicide by hanging. Both of our families are very sensitive to the subject. I think with the number of kids dying by suicide these days is alarming, and don’t think this “joke” is in good taste.