Thursday, November 28, 2013


Something that kind of took me by surprise this week was Pope Francis' "Apostolic Exhortation" where he talks about saying "No to an economy of exclusion." He did say yes to continue  to exclude women from the priesthood.
I'm not a Catholic anymore, but hey, neither is God.
My first thought when I read about Pope Francis and his concern about everyone being so fixated on the stock market and not giving a damn about homeless people dying of exposure was, yeah, many billions is the Vatican sitting on in priceless art and artifacts?
In this season of giving, a gesture like selling the Sistine Chapel and giving the proceeds to the poor would put the money where his mouth is.
Thanksgiving is a bipolar holiday. There's been quite a backlash about employers forcing their employees to work on what was always a family holiday, now, of course, we're supposed to worship the Thanksgiving sale! What would the Puritans think of that? I've never read anything about the Puritans being capitalists, but you would think they were, right? Because now retailers are trying to turn Thanksgiving into a shopping extravaganza.
And why not? Since capitalism is the best "'ism".
Party On Powhatans!
No one knows what really happened back in 1621 when 52 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans decided to hang out and celebrate. Everyone seemed to be getting along until the Indian Massacre of 1622, when unarmed Powhatan Native Americans came to some kind of party with food and suddenly grabbed every weapon in sight for no reason and proceeded to have a "masacree." (for you Arlo Guthrie fans)
 By 1623, there was a switch from communal farming to PRIVATIZED farming.
You don't really hear anything about how these people in the "New World" got their land. First they lived on their Mayflower ship, then they "magically" are farming. From what I've been reading, relations between the Native Americans "deteriorated" because Pilgrims and Puritans kept coming and Native Americans were pushing back against people who just decided to take. There you have it, "Thankstaking"
So now we have a day where people are eating the "free" turkey that has been granted by our retail overlords. (That is, if you have that kind of "reward" at your grocery store) Meanwhile they've jacked up the prices for other "trimmings" for this annual moneymaking "feast". Now I go back to the bipolar part where we stuff ourselves silly and wonder why there's an epidemic of obesity here in 'Merica. Then in order to work off all this extreme eating we do some extreme shopping on Black Friday. Because it's time to give back to Wall Street and spend, spend, spend, so we can have another consumer driven holiday that has everything to do with impoverishing people who are barely surviving and worshiping the Golden Calf, as Pope Francis says. We'll all be watching the market rally with tidings of great profits while our fellow Americans are trying to deal with cuts to the food stamp program.
Who's going to be scratching their head at the Thanksgiving table wondering what the hell we're really celebrating? How many Americans are going to be thinking of the Native Americans living in poverty on the "Rez" what do they have to celebrate? Talk about an"Economy of Exclusion."
Pass the cranberries and have fun shopping tomorrow. Happy Thankstaking.


  1. Pat,
    Hooters is open today from 4-10 PM.
    I am boycotting the place today.



  2. Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for -- annually, not oftener -- if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.

    - Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume Two

  3. Happy Thanksgiving,Sarge and Kirk. Sarge, I know how fond you are of the ladies, I hope your boycott (girlcott?) isn't too much of a burden.
    Kirk, I need to brush up on my Mark Twain. I am thankful for all of you.

  4. New Zealand doesn't do Thanksgiving. There is no "gee, thanks for helping us out; now we're gonna take your land" commemoration day. They do have a Waitangi Day, which was the date in history on which a representative of The Crown (aka: an English guy) managed to get a bunch of Maori tribal chiefs and elders to sign a treaty but that observance arises in February and is regarded as the starting date for the country, sort of a 4th of July but really not so much - and there is hardly a soul on either side who is really thankful for it. But that is a story best told elsewhere. Anyway, here's hoping your Friday wasn't too black after Thanksgiving..