In reply to the haters. Happy holiday, everyone
Uhm, excuse me Matt, "family" is a white Christian heteronormative construct invented to oppress intersectional feminists, and support for the concept proves you're on the Wrong Side of History.
... kidding, obviously. I'm gonna go cook with my parents and then probably watch a Mel Brooks movie with them. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
My mother is from Mexico and she grew up beyond dirt poor as migrant farmers.
The story as I'm told when she brought me as a baby to my grandfather in Mexico in which he ran all through town boasting to everyone he didn't owe money to and even then some of them that his grandson "He's an American! He'll be president!!!"
I was always rather embarrassed by the story growing up never understanding why it was a big deal.
"Son where I'm from you don't escape who you are, we are Lozano's everyone knows that we aren't good for our debts. He saw a child by virtue of just being born in the States could be free of that. Be his own man and however improbable maybe even be President"
That's what what I'm grateful for today.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and safe travels!
Thank you for this. Strange times when the irreverent, non-conformist, toothy-smirking, levity-promoting independents are the ones urging us to enjoy *Thanksgiving*, *tradition*, and *family*, while the official airwaves issue mirthless scoldings by the most desiccated souls clinging to long lost relevance. The notion that we ought to hang our head in shame over genocide is laughable. There are descendants and survivors of genocide who came here in order to, you know, be rescued from genocide. There are immigrants here whose counties and lives in those countries were destroyed *by America*. Imagine how deranged you have to be to tell these people that they must reflect upon how they bear the stain of America’s sins. I don’t care what anyone says. Even Columbus’ own children don’t bear the sins of their father, much less 300 million people unrelated to him, hundreds of years later. And news flash, every one of us descended from some genocidal maniac or other. No one is ancestrally blameless and pure.
And you’re wrong about one thing, Matt. America is exceptionally good. It’s under attack by an evangelizing rot on the inside. This rot aims to make America the horror show it claims it always was. But this is my home, my country, and those who defy the rot far outnumber the rotevangelists. I’m thankful that I got to immigrate here, become a citizen, and make a good life for myself, a life entirely out of my reach (what a euphemism) in my native country.
Here's the thing: throughout the existence of homo sapiens, stronger groups have taken from, abused, and killed weaker groups (whether because of technology, superior strategy, or sheer numbers). The word slave comes from the Latin for Slavic people, whom the Romans vigorously enslaved. Slavery existed in Africa for millennia before Europeans came. Tribes in the Americas waged war on the others long before Columbus or Cortez (see, Aztec wall of skulls in Mexico City). The history of Europe is mostly a history of war and bloodshed from prehistory through WWII. None of this is meant to be an excuse, but to say that the issue is not a unique feature of America but a feature of humanity. By nature we're much more like chimpanzees than bonobos. If the tables were turned and the Apache had guns and cannons and sailing ships and armies and large numbers and came to Europe where those things were unknown, how would that have played out? Similarly. It's a tragedy but humanity is doing somewhat better these days and we need to stop the self flagellation, and stop the hubris of thinking that the sins of 200 years ago are unique VS the sins of 1000 or 2000 or 10,000 years ago just because they are fresher in memory.
Remember kids: “we’re uniquely bad” is just as much American Exceptionalism as “we’re uniquely good.”
Our firm represents the estate of the late EA Kline.
Tragically, Mr. Kline joined the choir invisible this morning.
His wife reports that when he read the line “…the People’s History could have been titled ‘Hitlers and Baby Seals’” it engendered such paroxysmal laughter that within a couple of minutes he asphyxiated.
Paramedics attempted to restore normal breathing rhythm by reading David Brooks columns, but to no avail.
While our firm wishes you all due respect as a writer, we must advise you that writing this funny can be hazardous to vulnerable segments of the population.
Our staff of associate drones will be spending their Thanksgiving drafting a Wrongful Death complaint, naming you as the sole defendant, since you so arrogantly decided to leave behind the world of Legacy publishers.
Please advise if you will accept service by mail, or if we have to track you down wherever you may be hiding out during this joyful holiday season.
The Law Firm of Your Tragic Misfortune Is Our Path to Unseemly Riches, LLC
I went to Gettysburg a few weeks ago. It's hard to imagine the magnitude of the sacrifice when you arrive in bucket seats listening to satellite radio. The melodramatic Burns-esque slide show was hardly able to convey the bitter sadness of one death let alone thousands. But it did show us sacrifice on a scale most of us have only read about. When the show was over the doors open opposite the cavernous gift shop. I was jolted into our present retail reality. It's a huge gift shop with all sorts of over priced reminders of ones trip to someone else's hell, someone else's sacrifice. It was defiantly a "money changer in the temple" moment for me. I felt like the "litter Indian" of Madison Avenue fame. The national parks of my youth had a few post cards and trinkets. This was a gift shop super market.
Back at home I dove back into the culture wars that we should hope to G_D never break out into open warfare. We have it awfully good in the here and now.
I grew up as one of 9 kids in a family where we cut up the few pork chops we could afford. We thought everyone cut up there pork chops. I still enjoy a good lettuce sandwich. We learned that there is always someone worse off. We learned that we have to be the sunshine on the rainy day; that we are only as happy as we want to be. My one sister always gave her birthday ice cream to the birthday boy or girl.
We're all between 60 and 75 now. My mother would never allow us to "not talk to" one or the other. She saw how that went in her generation; so we all mostly get along - eye roll.
The Zinn people violate one of the rules my mother taught me. You can't wear someone else's sacrifice as your own. Go out and sacrifice something in private and have it discovered by accident.
Thanks to Matt for reminding me. Sorry I went off topic. Good thing Matt doesn't mark these rants.
One of the reasons that Cortez was able to defeat the Aztec Empire was not guns, germs and steel, but simply that Aztecs were deeply hatred by their neighbours - the Mizteca, Olmeca, Tolteca and a dozen other tribes who banded together with the Spanish under the (mistaken) impression that nothing could be worse than the Aztecs.
The Aztec gods required constant human sacrifice on a massive scale, preferably of the denizens of subject tribes. The Aztec armies proved entirely unsuitable because they aimed to take prisoners (for human sacrifice) rather than to kill the enemy outright. The Spanish soon understood and modified their tactics accordingly
Thanksgiving is the best holiday, in part because it's so unapologetically American. Thankfulness and gratitude are the best human attributes, in part because they lead to humans who are worth being around.
That Thanksgiving triggers the tearing of hair and rending of garments makes it even better. So I guess I'm thankful for all these performative crybabies!
I read you for sane takes, and I enjoy this piece because I had a similar experience yesterday.
My niece, whose mother is Caucasian and non-involved father is African American, told us last night that the white music teacher at her school told them she doesn't do Jingle Bells because it's "racist." How is it racist, you ask? The man who wrote it wrote for minstrel shows and so it could have first been performed by people in blackface (not was, could have). And this white teacher points out my niece as an example of one who should be offended. Now, my niece is nine. Yes, she has a handle on the fact that she's not as light skinned as her classmates and she lives in a majority white area, but other than little incidents here and there when she was younger, her heritage is a non-issue, and if you ask her, she'll tell you she's "brown." Everyone loves her because she has that kind of personality and no one treats her differently than any other child. There are some other children of mixed backgrounds, and as far as I know they have the same experiences. They're all just children. And then you have this teacher come along and start signaling her virtue by pointing out to a child why she should be offended and how her teacher saved her from that offense.
I checked. The teacher is right about the author of Jingle Bells, but my question is who the hell cares? We all love the song. It's easy to sing, easy to learn, and easy to play and speaks to a simple time of horse and sleigh rides. Why would you even do that to a child other than to signal your own virtuousness, telling us that you're really so bigoted that you think some child, simply because of the melanin in her skin is too weak to handle what she does not even know about? It's insane.
The left wants you to believe that human history consists entirely of aggression by white people. They fail to understand that world history is essentially the story of peoples migrating from one place to another and running into another people who may or may not be civilized according to the definition of the migrant culture. Irreconcilable cultural differences create tensions and often violence ensues.
This goes for Indian tribes in North America who often fought against each other and killed their prisoners indiscriminately. It goes for African tribes also who frequently warred with each other and enslaved those they had vanquished.
When a stone age culture meets immigrants from a more advanced culture, there will be tension and inevitably conflict. The stronger culture will win. There is no right or wrong. It's how history proceeds. It's how cultures evolve.
Progressives want you as an American to feel guilty about your history. Study it, learn it, but feel no guilt.
Somehow lost in the spin cycle of the media is that it was Abraham Lincoln who declared that the last Thursday in November would be a national holiday of Thanksgiving. In his proclamation creating the national holiday of Thanksgiving, President Lincoln said:
"The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
"In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.
"And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.
"In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
"Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth."
Thank you Matt. This is one of your best. You encompassed all of America in a genuinely fair and balanced way. In the words of the teacher from 'A Christmas Story': A++++++++++...
Thanks Matt for some of the best and funniest sentences I've read lately. I have always loved and admired Americans for their innate generosity of spirit, which comes through loud and clear here. As a Canadian watching you guys do the same stupid stuff in the name of all kinds of woke-isms as we are doing, please remember what H. L. Mencken said: Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly...
Thank you! Direct descendent here, there are 20 million of us worldwide. Some returned to England. I grew up with "aren't we great" then learned more of the story and more of the results of my ancestors actions. I fell for the Howard Zinn outlook for awhile. Now I see the good and the bad and accept all as it is. I treasure those old people for their toughness, for their surviving really harsh conditions. I wonder at them for them thinking this land was uninhabited yet full of savages, not getting the flaw in their thought processes. I love this holiday not for it's history but for the presence of family, friends, neighbors and good old fashioned comfort food. Happy to be here, grateful to be here.
People who refuse to celebrate America in any way are basically saying all those who thought they hit the jackpot when they got here were deluded assholes.
Hitler got his eye on you? Family starving? Country destroyed? Family permament peasants? No education for your kids? Cossacks lining up? Targeted for your religion? In jail for speaking your mind?
Doesn't matter. From the security of a place your ancestors felt blessed to call home, you sneer that it's a hypocritical nightmare.
Beyond your ancestors--the millions who'd give anything to get here today are even greater fools, right?
You smug, entitled, spoiled, sanctimonious dicks. We've done a lot wrong. But also a lot right. And that's whst we celebrate.