Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why I am not a fan of Thanksgiving, and other thoughts.

I want to set the record straight from the beginning, I like turkey. I use it on sandwiches all the time with a bit of spicy mustard. It's not the turkey that bothers me.
I don't like Thanksgiving because of what it has come to mean. It is one day every year that we are told it is okay to be a glutton. We are supposed to sit on our asses and eat until we explode! It is supposed to be about "family" and so we sit around and watch football and eat! When I was younger I would eat as much as I could, and then I would feel like crap for the rest of the day! I could hardly move.
Many of us complain about having to go somewhere and see relatives that we don't really like. We're told to do it because family is important. So we do it.
I am a little confused. Why is this a holiday anyway?
In school I was taught that we celebrate Thanksgiving because the "Indians" (I went to school before the term Native Americans was in use), saved the Pilgrims from a harsh winter by giving them food. They all sat down together and ate and it was a wonderful thing. And we should all be thankful.
So when did we start killing them? Was it after the big meal, but before dessert? Did the Native Americans forget to bring dessert? In school we are taught all of the ways the Native Americans helped us We have to memorize dates for all sorts of other important things, the Pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock, the founding of Jamestown, but we are never taught the date and the reasons why we started killing the Native Americans. Why is this?
I recently saw a documentary, Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America, that was on the History Channel. And there it was, Massacre at Mystic, May 26th, 1637. The day that a group of Pilgrims attacked an "Indian Settlement" and killed everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean men, woman and children, EVERYONE!
Now why did they do that? According to the documentary it was out of greed and jealousy. This particular tribe, although generous, had a little too much wealth and power as far as some of these Pilgrims were concerned. So they put together a sneak attack and destroyed the entire village before the Native Americans had much of a chance to defend themselves. It was a massacre!
And it put all of the Native Americans on notice, don't mess with the Pilgrims. And by mess I mean, don't be more prosperous than they were. So I guess it's thank you very much for saving us from a severe winter, and in a few years we'll thank you by killing you. At least that's how I read it anyway.
And how do Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving? I have been told that many of them fast on that day. It kind of makes sense.
The other thing that bothers me about Thanksgiving is the emphasis on buying stuff the day after. Apparently we are all expected to get up early the day after Thanksgiving and go to the mall and buy as much stuff as we can. And when I say early, I mean early. All of the stores now are opening up at 4 a.m. so that we can get special deals on sox, or a TV. But this year some outlet malls have decided that we can't wait until 4 a.m. Friday and so they are opening up at midnight on Thanksgiving! Thank God! If I am stuffed with turkey and alcohol and have spent most of the day with family and other relatives that I am not crazy about, and I can barely stay awake then I want to get behind the wheel of a car and go out and buy stuff!
Why is this a holiday again?
Thanksgiving seems to be merely the doorway to Christmas.
And why is Christmas important?
Christmas is important because it is the true measure of how our economy is doing. If we don't go out and buy stuff ( hopefully on credit), then apparently our economy will suffer. So Christmas is about spending money so that our economy will be in good shape so Americans will have secure jobs and health care year round. But most of the stuff we are supposed to buy isn't made here anymore. So where are these products coming from? And who is really benefiting from all of this money that we don't have, that we are spending?
I guess the good part about Christmas is that we didn't kill anyone.
That's right isn't it?
Talk later.


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