11.23.2006

Happy Thanksgiving

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.

6 comments:

  1. You know how much I loved your last post. Upon reflection it would make a great regular feature

    Have a little faith Wombat. The clean up hasn't begun yet. It will be messy, and to be truthful I think there's more than a bit of Adolph in W---but we have begun to prove that democracy works

    The next two years will be difficult, and I so wish Gore would run exhibiting the personality he finally showed in the after election

    When I was your age there was Nixon, and Wombat getting rid of him made the rest of my 20's so much more enjoyable

    We managed to find somebody worse, but the people really did speak.

    The other night I was talking with some friends about Katrina--if it had to come why hadn't it come just a year earlier? It really was the turning point. No American with any compassion could listen to Bush say "good job Brownie," without wanting to puke.

    I hope that those three words are what W is remembered for

    I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am very thankful to know you

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  2. I hope your day was spectacular.
    Regular feature, great idea and as you do it so well it would almost be a travesty for anyone else to try.

    There is good to be seen, we just see it, there is good to be done we just don't do it.

    The people along the sand
    All turn and look one way.
    They turn their back on the land.
    They look at the sea all day.

    As long as it takes to pass
    A ship keeps raising its hull;
    The wetter ground like glass
    Reflects a standing gull.

    The land may vary more;
    But wherever the truth may be---
    The water comes ashore,
    And the people look at the sea.

    They cannot look out far.
    They cannot look in deep.
    But when was that ever a bar
    To any watch they keep?

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  3. Hear ye, hear ye... I read this much earlier but my damn connection goes on the fritz these days and I couldn't comment... hope this goes through...

    I have a problem with setting days aside for things that should be a given... and brushing over such gruesome history is more of an insult than anything else... but having said that, the meaning behind things change over time and what such celebrations mean to society, on some level, is besides the point as when it comes to our private lives it is all about what we make of it... and so I hope you had a special day with your family amigo mio!

    As for making it a regular feature? YES! But I would rather be in the comments, chiming in to your brilliant words because I second the Coop... you are a hard act to follow and the fun part of it, for me, is to ride off what you say... so HAH! Get to work amigo and make it happen! And you thought you could get a blogging break! P-SHAW!

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  4. pattycake!!!!! i know i'm a day late, but..

    Happy Thanksgiving =) i miss the shit out of you! you still have the same #? probably not. Email me with a # where i can bother you =0)

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  5. pia: Nixon was removed from office, but his snarling spirit is unmistakably present in Bush. I'm wondering if both of them are just symptoms.

    If the textbooks don't tell that story it will be the time for action

    Cooper: Honestly I think you'd do it just fine.

    I loves me some Frost

    Miz B: There was a time when there were feast days. I very strongly wish that that time was now.

    Don't know how much material I'll have. Maybe I'll just leave it open that if anyone wants to contribute they can drop me a line. Part of what I would want to do with this is all about having different people doing it. Not so much following an act as saying, "hey, how about this?"

    Dylann: To you too! Glad to hear from you I miss you too. I'll be sure to.

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  6. I'm so behind on blogging... I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving!!!

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