Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Some coping mechanisms:

Sarah Vowell thinks we should fuggedabout the "Mayflower-cruising Jesus freaks" but instead commemorate the deaths of 11,000 Revolutionary War patriots in a British prison ship on the East River in NYC. Daily Show clip here (I have no control over the introductory K-Mart Doorbusters commercial -- sorry!)

Wednesday Addams explains the meaning of Thanksgiving, with Danish subtitles over which I also have no control.  This beautifully horrid little girl grew up to play a 60s Pan Am stewardess on TV.  Sometimes these precocious types burn out. 

If you're still wondering about the true meaning of Thanksgiving.... don't ask me.  But for those of you in a curmudgeonly mood, here is a festive holiday read called "Why I Hate Thanksgiving".

From Reader Will comes Jon Stewart giving the cop who started the whole pepper spray craze his very own show!
And last penultimate but not least, listen to the 2003 Thanksgiving radio interview  that the late historian Howard Zinn gave to Tavis Smiley. (Some readers were having trouble linking to the NPR site, so thanks to Jay - Ottawa for sharing this Zinn page.)

Last but not least, DreamsAmelia sends this link to Greg Brown singing "I Don't Want to Have a Nice Day." 

Have a Nice Day!


DreamsAmelia said...

The family is all sleeping, but these dang cats don't know it is a holiday, and insist on waking me up for their breakfast! They didn't need to read their little kitty blogs to decide to stage an all-out bedroom protest and revolt--and yes, I caved to their demands, got up, and fed them....hmmmm...does protest really work after all?

And I am glad I did because you have got to GOT TO read these hilarious Amazon Pepper Spray reviews that are going viral on the blogs:

--the icing on the cake to your very fine TG reading list, lest we ever forget the minefield of hypocrisy we all travel every day, just by waking up in the morning on the land of the earth, which the universe declares is free for all time, while some men in their fallacy claim it is "owned," whilst transforming it to grounds for a lifetime of servitude and debt--though in reality, no matter what the deeds or the MERS(who can't produce the note)( bits/bytes say, we are, by cosmic law, merely borrowing it for our short span on earth, as equally as we are borrowing from the soup of the cosmos and stuff of the stars and seas the atoms that are so kind as to lend form to our body in accordance with the laws of quantum mechanics.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jay - Ottawa said...

A long 'Amen' to the sentiments expressed on and under "Buy Nothing Day" and "Happy Thanksgiving."

Had trouble downloading (on an old Mac) that Howard Zinn talk, Karen. So I went googling for alternate links to it and found many sites where one can hear -- for free -- this sorely-missed master of American history speaking on a variety of topics. Unlike most of his fellow academic historians who focus on the 1%, Zinn focused on the 99% long before OWS made it popular.

For example, here's one site with lots of Zinn:

On ways to occupy Christmas:

It occurs to me than in this season of sharing and giving we might try to share more ideas and less stuff -- by indirection, especially with friends and relatives we might find it difficult to broach political and cultural issues. With your email holiday cards slip in a gift subscription to Sardonicky or one of the links in the blog roll, like the NYT eXaminer. Could become one of their favorite things.

James F Traynor said...

I have a new Mac and still can't get that link to Zinn to work. Get there but can't get it to open. Have long been an admirer of Zinn and probably have already heard it, but it is frustrating. Unlike many of the scientifically and technically educated, I am somewhat interested in the humanities, at least history. Though I must admit I got there for more or less practical reasons, not a love of knowledge.

How did I get here, I've onions to peel, my valiant contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. I will try Jay's suggestions this evening.

"Cat" will do said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Karen. Here's my take on Turkey Day from south of the mason- dixon, a new perspective for me. It's a day of mixed feelings for sure. Here's to better days.

Will said...

Christina Ricci was born to play the role of Wednesday Addams. She absolutely cracks me up. That scene is one of my all-time favorites in any comedy ever.

I'd like to give a special thanks to you for all the belly laughs you've given me this morning reading the Amazon Pepper Spray reviews!

Don't forget to check out the even funnier customer images for the product too. Move over Tony Baloney; there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is John Pike.

P.S. Now that he's hit the big time, I wonder if Johnny Boy will get his own TV series like Tony:

Will said...

Here's the link for Tony's TV show again:

This time it'll work. I hope.

Will said...

I solemnly swear this is my last try. The link cuts off for some reason in my other posts, so just put it together so it ends like this:


Neil said...

Happy Thanksgiving all! Thanks Karen for the links, especially the Addams Family Thanksgiving. Here’s another classic, the Thanksgiving Prayer by William S Burroughs

And watch Obama pardon a turkey, an executive action that could not wait for congressional approval, he said, lest the turkey end up next to the mashed potatoes and stuffing.

Kat said...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Valerie said...

While I normally don't partake of such things, which in the past have seemed so shallow, I want to say that this Thanksgiving I am genuinely thankful for two things - beyond the many other blessings in my life.

I am thankful for the Internet, without it democracy wouldn't stand a chance. I have always been quite cynical of technology and its (so called) benefits to our society, but I have learned this year how it is really our last shot at getting the truth out there.

And I am thankful for all those protesters who go out there day after day, getting arrested and pepper sprayed, in order to change the national discussion. This movement is in my opinion our last hope for saving our country. It is a small hope at this point, but this time last year, I had no hope.

And without wanting to sound too corny, thank you Karen for your insightful posts and so many of you, who I now think of as friends, for your thoughtful comments and links. I have learned so much from you and dare say I am a better and wiser citizen for it.

Valerie said...

Did you know that a group calling themselves Patriotic Millionaires has gone to Congress and asked that their taxes be raised? Check out their website and watch their TV commercials. It looks like only PBS and Al Jazeera have bothered to interview them on TV. There is a short article on MSNBC in the business section -

The only people willing (and eager) to meet with them on Capitol Hill were members of the Progressive Caucus.

Anyway - It totally lifted my spirits to listen to them speak. Let's get the word out!

Kat said...

Thanks for the laughs DreamsAmelia.
For your consideration I offer you these reviews. nothing political here-- but pretty funny. Bless those Amazon reviewers.

Denis Neville said...

This post-Thanksgiving morning, thinking of mindless stampedes and the many Bob and Barb Cratchets, who have already been toiling for hours through the night…

I am fascinated by this story and the “Buck up!”/“Man up!” responses to it:

“Take this job and be glad you have it,” editorializes the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“Some Americans reject the rampant materialism of Black Friday. They see it as a distortion of holiday spirit, and they choose to stay home as a way of rejecting the consumer culture.

Others view Black Friday as a second holiday — a time to hit the malls with friends and family in search of the best bargains. They look forward to the frenzied shopping experience and, given the threat posed by the competition, Target and Wal-Mart employees should welcome them with open arms.

Once again this Thanksgiving, Americans are shaken by uncertainty about the country’s financial future. Too many people are out of work, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Many are lacking health insurance and foregoing staples that in different times were a given.

So please, protesting retail workers, stop whining about having to work holiday hours.

Be grateful to have a job.”

Money! How it dominates man’s mind, how it humiliates and degrades his soul. Money is every thing, man is nothing. Our nation, so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears now rule.

“If you’re bourgeois, money is it. It’s all the questions and all the answers. Ain’t no E-flat or color blue, only $12.98 or $1,000. If it isn’t money, it isn’t nothing.” - John Coltrane

Neil said...

Thanks Valerie for the link to the Patriotic Millionaires. Their Statement to the Press of Nov-16-11 is great! The statement makes the oft-overlooked point that "We want EVERYONE in the country who is fortunate enough to make more than a million a year to pay a higher tax rate. This ‘everyone’ will include the 50% of congress people and senators who are millionaires. The Patriotic Millionaires also point out "we are NOT the 1%, we are the 0.1%"

Last week Republican Kristi Noem, the U.S. Representative for South Dakota's At-large congressional district (and dubbed the new "Tea Party Princess), was on C-Span decrying the estate tax. Noem told a story of her father who was killed in a farming accident when she was 22 years-old. Noem left college to run the farm in his place, and she and her family decided to take out a loan to pay taxes owning on the estate rather than sell off land, noting that "for 10 years that loan really impacted our ability to make a profit". Sounds compelling, right?

Then I read Noem’s Wikipedia page, that shows "The property has also received $3,058,152 in USDA farm subsidies from 1995 through 2009. Over the years, Noem added a hunting lodge and restaurant to the property, and all of her siblings have moved back to assist in expanding the businesses."

I’m sick and tired of the self-righteous (and Evangelical Christians like Noem) who either inherited wealth, or got millions in corporate welfare from the government, then wave a finger at the rest of us who are not so fortunate. Where does Noem think the $3,058,152 in USDA farm subsidies came from? Thin air? It came from the pockets of the 99%, either directly from taxes, or indirectly from under-compensated work that props up the 1%. (and perhaps from thin air too, thanks to the Federal Reserve, but that’s another story).

Kristi Noem is such a hypocrite: Inherited wealth, plus millions in corporate welfare from the government, she made it the old-fashioned American oligarch way.

Neil said...

And to follow-up my earlier post on Kristi Noem and the other millionaires who complain about the estate tax, there is a private sector remedy: Estate planning and life insurance.

Anne Lavoie said...

This Thanksgiving I gave my thanks to Democracy Now and Sardonicky in the form of contributions. They have both been vital to the birth of the Occupy movement which has given me a great deal of hope.

Anyone who has followed Karen's writings over the past year or two, as I have, would know that she was one of the few who lit a lot of sparks and kept at it until it finally caught fire as OccupyWallSt.

In the spirit of civic duty, I also planned to write a letter of interest to my city to offer my services to the city Tree Board, UNTIL I discovered they restrict members to only those who own property or a business in the city. I thought that property requirement stuff went out long ago!

They decided that riffraff renters such as myself need not even apply, even though I have served on the same kind of board in a nearby city. My new city seems to think I am a second class citizen because I am not a member of the ownership class. Boy are they going to be surprised.

So I spent part of my Thanksgiving writing a letter to the Mayor, and you can probably guess what I said in my lengthy letter. The petty aristocracy here is going to learn something about history from Mrs. Thomas Paine. She is not going to take this sitting down. (In small, right wing towns it pays to stay anonymous).

Speaking of Paine, let's reflect on one of his most famous quotes:

"These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."

And lastly, thank God Thanksgiving is over! One hyped up consumer celebration down, two more to go.

Karen Garcia said...

Thank you Anne and thank you everyone for your kind thoughts, humor, links and inspiration.

Anne, please keep us posted on the Tree Board kerfuffle. It is unconstitutional to restrict democracy to property owners. But lately, the Constitution has been deemed optional, hasn't it?

Valerie said...

Yes, Anne! You are so right. Karen and Democracy Now have been so instrumental in getting the truth out there.

And YOU GO GIRL! on the civic action!