I have mixed feelings about today. On the one hand, I love the way this holiday works. Good food, good company, and if you're down for it, football and a parade. On the other hand... Well, I'm wondering if Nazis would be celebrating the signing of the pact between Hitler and Stalin if they'd won the war. Probably.
And I know drawing metaphors with Nazi Germany is a faux pas on the internet, but it's all there. Backstabbing, genocide... "Manifest Destiny..."
It's ironic. One holiday, which had it's origins in custom and celebrations in the pagan Yule and Roman Saturnalia before it came to be the observation of the birth of a man who gave his life spreading the message that maybe it would be a great idea if we'd stop being jerks to on another, has become over the years utterly overrun by commercialism and moneygrabbing.
The one that's remained the most wholesome is associated with one of the two great dark spots on the American conscience.
I don't mean to be a killjoy; far from it. I do, however, think that we should ponder these words of Mark Twain:
There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.
Of course the Irish in me would be happy to blame the Puritains, who started the mess in the first place, especially since my first ancestor to arrive here did so long after we'd taken the west coast and after we'd done our worst to this land's indigenous people. But the attitudes that led to the idea of Manifest Destiny are still alive and kicking today. And there is still blood on our hands to clean.
But that isn't what today is about. The truth is we don't get enough days to appreciate and enjoy what we have. Our family, our friends, our health. We'd be fools not to celebrate, if for no other reason than that we can. Every moment that can be spared to spend with the people we love ought to be. And every moment that we do spend with the people that we love ought to be cherished. But we should remember also how grave a folly it is to spurn he who offers a helping hand. Let alone a saving grace. Let this Thanksgiving be a tribute to what should have been, and a celebration of what still may be.
My best wishes to all of you. I may post later on during the day as I cook, but I had to get this out now. I doubt you'll be reading any of this any time soon anyways.
Also. I've decided that because I liked my last post so much and it seems some of you did as well, I'm going to make it a feature of some sorts. I may even spin it into a guest feature. Maybe once or twice a month have someone come on and tear into something cherished by posterity that they just can't stand. If anyone's interested, don't be a stranger.