Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time To Ban Thanksgiving

I decided that rather than attempt to come up with something especially fitting, amusing, and /or really original (well, as original as I'm able to anyway); I would instead attempt to foist off on you one of my previous efforts out of sheer laziness.  In my own defense, I did make some changes to this effort, but that's because the original was so poorly written that shame forced me to do so.  Be aware before going on, that considerable sarcasm awaits you!

Thanksgiving will be celebrated tomorrow, as it is on the last  Thursday in November every year (though not the original fourth). In theory, we will commemorate what was three days of feasting with one day of binging, in order to celebrate the voyage of an early group of colonists who traveled nine weeks from Plymouth, England only to coincidentally find themselves in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (Coincidence ... yeah, right.  It's a conspiracy!)  

Many died on the voyage over from disease and hunger, and more still in the harsh winter that followed. (Evidently Al Gore hadn't let them in on Global Warming yet.)  When the spring of 1621 came however, the newcomers planted what they could in land cleared with help of the local indigenous population (who had no idea that's who they were), and with the following fall's harvest they chose to celebrate their good fortune.  Though we now repeat their celebration annually, it was a tradition they themselves never repeated.

Almost 400 years later however, the idea of maintaining a holiday based on the one-time celebration by a bunch of white people seems doomed from the start; and only becomes slightly more palatable (pun intended) if we can give some credit to these 'Pilgrims' for inviting their Native Americans saviors to the party.  (Of course, they probably made them bring most of the food.)  

Consider as well, that while the Waupanoag tribe were largely the architects of this colony's survival; these same Native Americans were, like most others in this country, later driven from their homes and the greater part of their lands by the greedy colonists whose lives they'd saved ... hardly something to remember with pride.  Only adding to the historic difficulty involved with the holiday is finding reasons to celebrate the culture and traditions of the same people who would only 70 years later give us the witch burnings in Salem. 

Speaking of arcane rituals, Thanksgiving has always been considered a semi-religious holiday, since its original purpose for coming into being was to allow these religious refugees from England to thank their GOD for bringing them through the illness and privation of the previous year; and we know how popular religious holidays are in this country.  Adding insult to injury (much like the holiday that follows), the religious nature of this celebration involves thanking only a Christian God; showing a massive insensitivity by ignoring the practices of their Native-American guests, among others. 

Quite frankly, it's amazing that there are not atheist groups across the fruited plain demanding that Pilgrim and Turkey displays on government property be taken down as violations of the separation of Church and State.  (I have more to say on this subject, but not here or today.)  
How anyone can consider continuing a national holiday with religious overtones that ignores both the cultural and religious diversity that has become so dear to the progressive ruling elite of this country is beyond me. 

But if all of this typical, well-documented, and disgraceful history were not enough to put this celebration in jeopardy; consider instead the treatment afforded the main course of this so-called holiday ... the Turkey.  Now Turkeys, for those of you who don't know your history, came within a hair (OK, a feather) of becoming the symbol of these United States. They were supported in this effort by no less than Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who considered the eagle as being little more than a dandified vulture. The turkey is not the brightest of birds however (perhaps adding to its suitability as a national symbol by today's standards), though it does have a couple of rather interesting traits.  Not only does the male seek its mate by showing them its butt (in humans apparently, the trait is reversed), but this bird is also know for being fearless (or stupid) in the face of being shot at.  (Remember however, that these were the days before the 2nd Amendment or gun control.)     

Modern medicine, of course, could easily also demand the end of the Thanksgiving holiday for no other reason than the life-threatening caloric abuses carried out in its name.  The traditional menu in fact exposes the public to a naturally narcotic substance (tryptophan), which often induces sleep in humans. (Much like the speeches in the election season which immediately precedes it.)  This begs the question of how a government attempting to take over healthcare of its citizens can allow them to be exposed to such a toxic substance (turkeys I mean, not politicians)Any minor compensation for the consumption of turkey (the other, other, white meat) over its more deadly alternative of the red variety is far outweighed (literally and figuratively) by the chemically induced somnolence that follows a morning dedicated to the idleness of endless parade watching, followed by an epoch period of Thursday afternoon quarterbacking.  For many, the only holiday exercise apparently permitted is by thumbs manipulating smart phones for fantasy football league results.  

The fact that a single bird is pardoned each year by the President (Yet another religious symbol if you can you say Barabbas.), should be a source of national shame as PETA stands all but idly by while thousands of our tasty animal friends are disposed of (probably inhumanely and after 'aggressive interrogation') in the name of a holiday devoted to supposedly "thanking" the Deity that put these gentle creatures here in the first place.

Of course one might expect little more of something that, while first celebrated by our first president, was not seen as an official national holiday until 1863 as a political expediency to divert attention from the Civil War by President Abraham Lincoln.  (Apparently no one remembers that Lincoln was, after all, an evil Republican)

Today of course, it's easy to see now that the rampant gluttony and consumerism it exemplifies to be something typical of capitalism's staunchest supporters. Consumerism's greatest celebration, 'Black Friday', now not only follows, but has expanded so far as to encroach on the holiday itself, making it little more than a day of capitalist celebration, propaganda, and profit taking.  Far too many this year will be pushing themselves back from the table (assuming that they still actually can), only to begin the full contact shopping and unbridled consumerism of Christmas.  Far too many will gleefully abandon family gatherings for no better reason than a deal on a 60" 'smart' TV (with 3D of course) that will find itself under their own tree. 

We must therefore ask ourselves; what in the end has the Thanksgiving holiday in this country become and why should it continue.  Facts seem to indicate that like so much else of what goes on in this country, it's nothing more than a festival featuring the unwarranted murder of our fellow creatures under the guise of celebrating racism, gluttony, and the onset of soul-sucking consumerism.  As such, it no longer has a place in the caring, politically correct, and progressive society that we apparently long to become in this the 21st Century and should be banned for the bane it is. 

And so I say to those of you choosing to celebrate this week anyway with family and friends, gathering around a table to once more give thanks in the year 2013 (a year that may have fewer reasons than usual for doing so):

"Save me one of those drumsticks, will ya?"

Happy Thanksgiving!


CWMartin said...

Roland sent me over here. And though I'm sure you can guess where we agree and disagree, I will add I think the idea of holidays en masse like this are important for the American psyche. Whether it be to give thanks to He who gave us our bounty, eat a lot of food and prepare for the next holiday, or don't celebrate it other than possibly having a long weekend, I think we need it. And I sincerely hope that holidays such as this and Christmas are days that atheists can find in their hearts to live and let live. We lose too much without them.

Timothy W Higgins said...


Being a natural born skeptic, I consider it my job to cast a cynical eye at any and every subject, regardless of its real or imagined value. As a Curmudgeon attempting to poorly perform in the role of a Court Jester, my vain to masquerade as a wanna-be satirist is likewise a requirement.

All that being said, I'm as soft-headed and soft-hearted as any other grumpy old bastard; which is to say I would never reveal my true feelings on the subject, even under enhanced interrogation.