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This Thanksgiving, more than ever, I am deeply grateful for the large, strong, loving heart of the average American. That heart beats within those who love this country enough to die for it. It is also a tolerant, forgiving, and gracious heart. But there are limits to how far it can be assaulted. It has a voice and we are beginning to hear it speak. At first it was a murmur, then a rumble, then— as the tea parties assembled and the buses and trains and automobiles began to roll toward the hundreds of town halls and open parks and street corners— it became a shout. As we pause, heads bowed, to give thanks for all we have and all we are, let’s remember to enjoy it, for it may be the last quiet moment we will have for some time. –“Symposium–Counting Our Blessings: Things to be thankful for,” Lucianne Goldberg (et al.), National Review Online
Video: happy Thanksgiving from PETA (“thank you for when they burn their tongues off when they’re still alive”; related slideshow: nasty-looking turkey substitutes);
the carbon cost of a turkey dinner;
editorial: this nation of gluttons doesn’t deserve to give thanks
(actually, the Thanksgiving calorie-count has gone down nearly 500 calories from 1956 [if you watch your portions]);
turkey-cooking safety myths;
Leslie Harpold on how to cook Thanksgiving dinner, 2003: (“About this time someone will call you in tears. The holiday is now officially under way.”);
baking the White House piecrust;
poem: “The Struggle Between Plenty and Thankfulness”
with six crows
In the end, it seems that only the English dispensed completely with both the American and the Indian origins of the huexoloti. English importers dealt with the same Turkish merchants who exported the huexoloti to Russia, to Iran, to Poland, to The Netherlands, to Sweden, and even to India. But the English, being English, did not need all of the pedigree words that came along with the bird. They could not be bothered with all of that linguistic falderal. The birds came from Turkish merchants—“135 of the creatures bought at 4 shillings a piece” in 1555—and, to describe what they were in his ledger, the English importer created a new English word—“Turkies” (OED). And, once again, the elastic vacuum cleaner that is the English language got a new word and the huexoloti got a new and permanent name—at least for the English speaking world. –“Our Turkish-American Thanksgiving Bird,” Larry E. Tise, History News Network
Summary of academic research about Thanksgiving (“The stuffed turkey represents the Native Americans, sacrificed and consumed in order to bring civilization to the New World.”);
did they have Thanksgiving in the middle ages?;
working at Starbucks on the holiday;
Ask Metafilter discusses Thanksgiving
with a small oven,
or without an oven at all,
or with a turkeyphobe,
or without turkey,
or without any meat,
or with too much cranberry sauce,
or with cranberry sauce inside your digital camera,
or by yourself,
or when you’re busy,
or after a loved one dies,
or with a new boyfriend
(and where should people sit?)
It is worth noting that Thanksgiving Day, first celebrated in the autumn of 1621, derives from the Jewish harvest festival of Tabernacles (or Booths), the annual eight-day ceremonial anticipation of the great Messianic ingathering of all nations to occur at the end of time. The Puritans’ self-identification as Israel Reconstituted gave rise to the notion, now long-embedded in our national psyche, that America is the darling of divine Providence, a (the?) chosen nation whose every aspiration is underwritten by the Almighty. Wrong. The Church, not America, is the New Israel, the fulfillment of the promise that Israel would be “a light to the nations” (Isa. 49:6), the center to which all nations are destined to converge in order to see the glory of God. While I love my country, I do not hesitate to add that America is one nation among many, no less loved by God, but no more. Texts facilitating a misunderstanding of the one People of God (for which there is no plural) do not belong in our liturgical books. –“Thanksgiving Day Mass? No, thanks,” Fr. Thomas Kocik, The New Liturgical Movement (as excerpted from the June 2004 Homiletic and Pastoral Review)
(“I’m grateful for the laughter of children/The sun and the wind and the rain”) Related video: William S. Burroughs, “A Thanksgiving Prayer” (“Thanks for the wild turkey and passenger pigeons destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts. Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.”); how to safely fry a turkey
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount by which a typical good-looking U.S. worker will out-earn a typical ugly one over a lifetime:
A Japanese inventor unveiled a new invisibility cloak that uses a material made of thousands of tiny beads called “retro-reflectum.”
A couple at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, left their waitress a note telling her “the woman’s place is in the home,” in lieu of a tip.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."