Brief announcements and best wishes before the eating begins
Last night I tried to remember: have I had a bad Thanksgiving? For some reason I have a whole cerebral lobe full of bad Christmases: breakups, nasty arguments, a medical crisis, a nervous breakdown, and at least three family visits that went on too long. I remember one extraordinary Christmas in which a whole room full of ostensibly celebrating people suddenly became overwhelmed with shame and self-loathing at a pile of torn wrapping paper after the presents orgy, and retired to separate rooms to work out a group depression. Another ended with a girlfriend yelling, “No, fuck you,” and slamming the door so hard on the way out that a store-bought tree decoration shook.
But bad Thanksgivings? I had to have had some, but they don’t stand out. I was alone for one in New York, but found a diner, ordered a Western omelet and an egg cream, and reread Farewell My Lovely. Cue Ice Cube, because it was a good day. The news cliché says Americans today sit seething with irrepressible political grievances. The Washington Post this year published “the facts to help prepare you for your Thanksgiving arguments,” and Talking Points Memo had a special “One state/two state” edition for supposed Gaza-themed blowups, while last year’s “tough holiday conversations” effort from PBS News Hour featured a politically-correct-but-sad picture of an interracial couple frowning and staring in opposite directions, exhausted of patience.
National public media seems to love the “Thanksgiving discord” angle — “How to keep conspiracy theories from ruining your time with family” is another recent PBS offering — but in my experience, people today mostly just pig out and sleep. If you can’t get through the day with nothing but that on the schedule, I’m guessing the holiday isn’t the problem. This day is for easy indulgence and remembering the good things, which in my case surely include readers of this site. Best to all of you and if you’ve got a moment later, let me know if you actually had an argument today. I bet the answer is no. Another myth for the list.
America This Week is off for the holiday, but Walter and I will be back next week, which will be a very busy one. More on that later. In the meantime, stuff your faces, enjoy yourselves, and put away your AK. You won’t need it today. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.