MR WRONG: All in the same gravy boat
INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 185
MR WRONG: Let Thanksgiving Be Your Friend
THANKSGIVING IS NOW upon us! Begun, the Holiday Season has! In response, Indignity will shutter its offices for the Observance on Thursday, which is Thanksgiving Actual, and then also Friday, which is also known as the day after Thanksgiving, which was been codified in The United States of America as Native American Heritage Day, which I think is a sign that maybe somehow part of our Nation is doing things that are appropriate in regard to the History of North America, as opposed to some of the fairy tales I hear from people about the reality of the Country we’re living in, OK?
I always ponder the concept of Thanksgiving before I eat a Thanksgiving, because I am a reflective person. As a child, it took me years to figure out what exactly happened to the people that were living on this perfectly good continent before the people who were trying to live in Religious Freedom and/or escape Royal Taxation or whatever sailed over here and got the ball rolling to wipe out the Native population, while bringing in people who never wanted to be here in the first place against their will. In school we didn’t really dwell on most of that, no big discussion of the raw deal Indigenous People ended up getting. If it was Thanksgiving time, maybe we were told some sorta Story of Thanksgiving, it would be something to the tune of “the Indians were nice to the Pilgrims and they all sat down and had a big feast,” or maybe there was a discussion of how the Pilgrims maybe were kinda starving and weren’t good at living off the land in the world that was New to them, and the Indians were just friendly and wanted to share, and then, well, not much news about the Indians in my schoolbooks beyond some collaborations on both sides of wars between competing colonial groups, stuff like the massacre in the Schenectady Stockade and then years and years to get the straight story on how somebody gave the Indians a buncha blankets with smallpox on ‘em, and meanwhile I’m watching old Western movies on teevee and let’s just say they don’t hold up so good, you know?
[Ed. note: For more on figures like the friendly Squanto, who greeted the Pilgrims, and how he was a survivor of transportation abroad who returned to find his people wiped off the map, and how the actual name he used was Tisquantum, roughly meaning “Wrath of God,” Indignity suggests 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann. ]
But so now at least there's Native American Heritage Day. Wikipedia teaches us:
National legislative history
President George W. Bush signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Calif.), to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day. The Native American Heritage Day Bill was supported by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and 184 federally recognized tribes, and designates Friday, November 28, 2008, as a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.
The Native American Heritage Day Bill encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day, through appropriate ceremonies and activities. It also encourages public elementary and secondary schools to enhance student understanding of Native Americans by providing classroom instructions focusing on their history, achievements, and contributions.
Some individual states have also taken legislative action to recognize this day. For example, Maryland established this day in 2008 under the name American Indian Heritage Day. Further, the State House of Washington approved this measure in 2013.
In addition to calling Thanksgiving the "National Day of Mourning," some Native Americans believe it is "poor taste" for Native American Heritage Day to be on Black Friday—"a day of excess and gluttony and greed and aggressive capitalism"—which itself "falls after a holiday that omits the murder and mutilation of Natives mourn the millions of indigenous people who died as a result of aggressive settler colonialism."
Native American Heritage Day terrifies the book-burners in The United States of America, who say they don’t want to upset The Children with the Truth about America, but these fucking snowflakes just don’t wanna be reminded who got pushed off whose land and stuff like who built the White House. Makes some people “uncomfortable” to hear Facts and stuff!
Thanksgiving is the most overrated Holiday, because people have tried to pretend that History didn’t happen, so the anti-Thanksgiving set is just trying to get folks to recognize facts. Thanksgiving is also underrated, because it is my favorite Holiday, in spite of the dichotomy or possibly trichotomy I just laid out, and also in spite of the attendant Cognitive Dissonance, which is bad for the Mental Health of individuals and large groups of individuals, Nations, even.
The other worst part of Thanksgiving is this “getting together with family” crapola. Don’t buy into that forced family stuff. Family is overrated. Go have “Friendsgiving,” but don’t sell it short by needing to call it Friendsgiving or by holding it in your mind as an also-as kinda thing, it’s Thanksgiving, no need to qualify it, own it, get together, call it whatever you want, be your own Thanks!
I can’t think of anything worse than sitting down for a festive meal of Thanksthinking with one of my racist cousins who have said the most ignorant crapola while sitting at a dinner table. To them I say, Thanks, but no Thanksgiving. Pass! Hard Pass! Meanwhile, Pass the gravy! Just not at a table with any ignorant dipshits who want to say stupid shit! At the dinner table! Where you dine among friends!
Also, I don’t even wanna get into Black Friday, that whole trip is really dumb. It’s one thing if you have to work at a job at some place that’s having Black Friday, but it’s a whole other thing to go out into that whirlwind of Avarice and Panic to get a deal on a big screen TV, you know? Why would you go out into that mess? Stay home and eat some Thankseating leftovers! I reject Black Friday, and all its Pomps, and all its Empty Promises, because on Thanksgiving I will have been plunged into the Ocean of Gravy and been made clean of stress and anger and responsibility, because I will have had a nice meal, and I didn’t have to tell one of my cousins to shut the fuck up already enough with your crap, Amen.
The general Social Pressure of Thanksgiving is not good. I wish people would relax about it and not put the squeeze on other people with their annoying statements and requests that are bleated out under the pretense of trying to make somebody feel like they are part of The Holiday but really it’s just some obnoxious intrusive aggressive projection.
My mom had a friend who was a widower, and he would go to Montreal before Thanksgiving so he could be someplace where Thanksgiving wasn’t happening. I know, I know, they do Thanksgiving in Canada, in October, but the point is November U.S. Thanksgiving made this guy sad, and he felt like he didn’t have anything to be Thankful for, and so he executed a perfectly sound and acceptable Mental Health preservation tactic, which is to avoid something. It’s a legit way to go—he avoided the chance to be made to feel bad, he already had so many other times when he felt bad, he was full, and he didn’t want to be in a world where some jackass was gonna say that he should find a thing to be Thankful for. I hate that shit, you are sitting at a table trying to have a nice meal, and to earn it you gotta participate in this bullshit where some ringleader goes around the room and everybody gets put on the spot to reinforce the premise that there is something they have to be Thankful for?!?! Howabout No Thanks?
Here’s how I work it: I make sure I’m gathered for a festive meal with people I like or at least can tolerate peacefully, and people can get the Spirit and say whatever Thanksful thing they want and nobody has to be Thankful for any goddamn thing other than acceptable company and some vittles! That’s what I’m thankful for, not having to be Thankful!
We also need to consider the Children. You wanna draw a picture of a Turkey for Thanksgiving? Sure, why not, it’s fun to draw stuff and get the kids involved, that’s great, we been doing that shit since we were making images of the animals we hunted down and ate back in the days when we put the art on cave walls, to honor the animals we were gonna eat, or maybe to create Magicks that would guarantee we could go out and run down an antelope or whatever dinner-animal we were trying to knock down, it’s all good, just let’s not sugarcoat it, OK? You drew a picture of a big ol’ Turkey, and we’re gonna eat that thing you have represented with your hand-turkey drawing or non-toxic gouache painting artwork from school, and that Turkey Pardon thing that the President does, that’s a whole other level of disappointment, kids, no spoilers on Santa Claus, but those turkeys were genetically engineered and raised to be slaughtered and consumed, not to be part of a goddamn petting zoo, it’s all lies.
Complete bullshit! Teach the Children well: Moving off eating animals the way we raise them now (the animals) will be good for the Planet and the food-eaters. You don’t have to eat a turkey, you don’t have to make Thanksgiving if you don’t want to, and maybe in the future nobody will want to have a holiday that is de facto about eating too much and then lying around on the rug in front of the teevee in a stupor food coma watching people play football, but that’s where we are right now, junior. It’s too late for me, and I will be cooking a turkey and eating some turkey and eating some mashed potatoes and some pie and whatever else is on the table for the eating. Two kinds of cranberry sauce, the jello’d and the lumpy-berry’d, and some sorta green vegetable, for all the food groups, I guess. If it wasn’t uncouth, I’d probably try and drink a glass of gravy, that’s how much gravy means to me, that’s my Thanksgravy, but I won’t, I promise, drink a cuppa gravy, not this year. Again.
For my Thanksgiving, I remember and reject the bad parts of Thanksgiving, and embrace the good parts of acknowledging Reality, and then I celebrate stuff such as a light pre-feast breakfast, watching the Macy’s parade, watching the Dog Show, eating, having some snacks, watching teevee sports and then eating and then falling asleep on the couch in front of the teevee and then eating some more. Someday football will be illegal or they will figure out how to have football without the players getting brain damage, and deeper still, maybe someday the National Football League won’t cynically wrap itself in the trappings of the Military-Industrial Complex to reinforce the militaristic aspects of the sport to ensure its popularity, but I ain’t holding my breath.
Anybody who wants to be mad at Thanksgiving is within their rights, but if we look at the completely denatured aspects of the Holiday, it’s not endorsing anything other than Sloth and Gluttony, which I contend—and will further contend after the third glass of wine at the dinner table—puts Thanksgiving in an anti-religious category, a hedonistic and sybaritic one, even. Bacchanalist also. More wine!
The MR. WRONG COLUMN is a general-interest column appearing weekly wherever it can appear. No refunds. Write Wrong: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASKED AND ANSWERED DEP’T.
Holiday Special Rerun: What Time Is Thanksgiving Dinner?
A DISCUSSION AND a definitive answer, as true now as it was when first presented in 2018.
Thanksgiving dinner is 4 p.m. This has been What Time Is Thanksgiving Dinner?
YET ANOTHER THOUGHTFUL Gentle Reader of Indignity has sent us Bluesky codes, for people who want to try the still-beta Bluesky social networks. If you haven’t already gotten a code from us, email email@example.com and we will award Bluesky codes to those who respond, one per reader, first email, first served. Thank you for reading this notice, and special thanks to girlynyc for the thoughtful contribution of magic codes.
New York City, November 21, 2023
★ The wind surged noisily through the trees out back. The parka needed to come off its hanger, with its frayed sleeve seam still unrepaired but the paint stain on the placket successfully removed. Under the ever-heavier gray, the colors of the leaves were holding their own. The red of the sumac along the transverse was particularly sharp. Children in the hospital elevator wore matching vivid plaid coats. In the two hours from early to late afternoon, the gray had thickened until rain was starting to leak out. The strengthening rain and deepening gloom and clogged traffic all came together to reinforce each other, in honking and in ambient ill will. Fallen leaves still brightened the ledges on the rock face on the homeward side of the Park. By the younger boy's return from school, with water darkening the toes of his canvas shoes, it was time to close the shutters already against the ruined day. The downpour splattered on and on through the night.
SANDWICH CORRESPONDENCE DEP’T.
IN RESPONSE TO Sandwich Recipes Dep’t., (Indignity Vol. 3, No. 182), Andy writes:
Number 1 was pretty good. My 2 year old wanted a bite and hated it more extravagantly than anything I’ve fed him in recent memory.
We value and encourage sandwich (and non-sandwich) communications from the readers of Indignity! Write any time, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANDWICH RECIPES DEP’T.
WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of select sandwiches from Light Entertaining: A Book of Dainty Recipes for Special Occasions, edited by Helena Judson, Published in 1910. This book is in the Public Domain and available at archive.org for the delectation of all.
GREEN PEPPER SANDWICHES
Prepare a sufficient number of sweet green peppers by removing carefully every seed and the white fibre. Put through a meat grinder. Mix with mayonnaise and a little minced celery. This mixture may be spread direct on the buttered bread, or a small lettuce leaf may be laid on first.
Mix Chili sauce with finely chopped celery. With the scissors cut lettuce or romaine into narrow ribbons, lay on the bread and spread with the mixture.
Take the small young leaves of the nasturtium, also a few petals of the flowers. A few drops of French dressing are sufficient seasoning, as the leaves have a delicious, pungent flavor.
WATER-CRESS SANDWICHES Thoroughly wash the cress and dry it in a cloth; cut it into small pieces, and mix with finely chopped hard boiled eggs seasoned with salt and pepper. Spread between thin, buttered slices of bread, sprinkling the cress and eggs very lightly with lemon juice.
If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, be sure to send a picture to email@example.com.
ATTENTION, BOOK SHOPPERS! We are pleased to announce that we have SOLD OUT the first printing of 19 FOLKTALES. A second printing, which corrects the unorthodox (collectible!) spine alignment of the first edition, is underway, but new orders may be delayed even more than they are under our usual hand-fulfillment system. Some signed copies are available as premiums for Kickstarter supporters of the new FLAMING HYDRA publishing enterprise, which we encourage you to support as it has successfully satisfied its initial kick-starting and is now well into a “stretch drive.”
Totally not sold-out: HMM WEEKLY MINI-ZINE, Subject: GAME SHOW, Joe MacLeod’s account of his Total Experience of a Journey Into Television, expanded from the original published account found here at Hmm Daily. The special MINI ZINE features other viewpoints related to an appearance on, at, and inside the teevee game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, available for purchase at SHOPULA.
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