Did you know that there are people that hate Thanksgiving? There are. I googled it. They write about it with such disdainful contempt that its takes you aback. Gotta admit that not only was I unsure how to react but I was really, really curious. I wanted to know why these America-hating, Howard Zinn-loving, foodie-snobbing, vacation-loathing, self-important douchebags despised it so much. I mean its Thanksgiving, not prostate exam day.
After a short bit of looking, I’ve come to the conclusion that their hate was pretty well articulated by Colin McGuire two years ago in his column In Defense of…Hating Thanksgiving at PopMatters when he wrote that Thanksgiving, “…is without question the most meaningless, annoyingly traditional holiday celebrated.”
Um, what? Most meaningless, annoyingly traditional holiday? Valentine’s Day? Hello? If we’re going to start assigning the terms meaningless and annoying to traditional holidays it seems stunningly obvious that Valentine’s Day already occupies that spot. It was entirely created by Hallmark and the chocolate barons as way to make money in an otherwise meaningless month. And if these Thanksgiving haters have proven anything is that they detest anything as traditionally American as making money.
Regardless, McGuire blasts away at Thanksgiving the same way the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, or T-101, treated the police station when it was looking for Sarah Conner. My entirely subjective and utterly biased summary of his argument for Thanksgiving hate is below:
It’s About Genocide.
Evidently by celebrating Thanksgiving we are not only taking pleasure in the slaughter of millions of native peoples over that last 500 years in the New World, we are also chortling through our bloody fangs at the carnage left by the mass murder of millions of turkeys. Now, I could be wrong but I don’t think I’m alone when I say genocide really wasn’t Abe Lincoln’s plan when he declared the last Thursday of November in 1863 a day of thanks. And I could have this wrong too but didn’t the Pilgrims leave England because they were in search of religious freedom? Or, in other words, they were a bunch of crazy right-wing nut bars who hated the government. Or people who watch Fox News, I guess, to those of you who are Thanksgiving haters. I mean the Pilgrims weren’t walking around with flamethrowers and bulldozers obliterating everything in their line of sight. But I guess, yeah, genocide is accurately blamed on Myles Standish.
Bird, stuffing, and I assume by extension, gravy, crescent rolls, any form of potato, pumpkin pie and beer are all bad. They are bland and without flavor. You know, in America, we’re still free to make our own decisions. Unless its about keeping your own doctor and your own health care plan. Sure turkey is the traditional choice but that doesn’t mean you can’t add something. At my in-laws, they make ham balls. I’m told they’re good. Don’t really know because I don’t like to eat anything that ends in “balls.” Or “log.” And sometimes “loaf” if the word right before “loaf” is “cheese.” How miserable must you be if your reason for hating Thanksgiving is because someone invited you over and made you a big meal of turkey, stuffing and gravy? I’m just spitballing here but my instincts tell me the appropriate reaction to this is WTF…followed by derisive headshaking and an exasperated “you’ve got to be f’ing kidding me.” Or the same reaction you had when you were forced to endure two movies with Timothy Dalton as 007.
Turns out Thanksgiving forces folks to get together with family members who they spend the rest of the year avoiding. McGuire describes the day and the travel and events around the day as “habitual torture.” Torture, at least the way I understand it, is something that is inflicted upon you, not something in which you show up for and voluntarily participate. When I was growing up we weren’t really close to family for a good part of my younger years. So we, brace yourselves, got together with friends to celebrate Turkey Day. And sometimes, in addition to friends, my folks would invite some individuals who they worked with that also were relatively alone on Thanksgiving. And we celebrated with them too. Plus, and I’m totally not joking about this, they sometimes brought over their own contributions to the feast that weren’t within our own traditional menu options. And we, you’re totally not going to believe this, actually ate what they brought over even though it wasn’t traditional. Even though it was from the dude who liked NHL more than college football. And that was hard. So, in the interest of space, this line of reasoning in the hater’s satchel is, well, dung.
I had never heard of Dumpsgiving. Evidently this is a phenomenon that occurs every Thanksgiving week when college freshmen come home and dump their high school sweetheart after spending a couple months at college. Something else of which I have never heard? A single person who gives two craps about this. Dumpsgiving? Shut up.
Apparently when Thanksgiving was designated for a Thursday it was huge mistake because it lands in the middle of the week creating an inconvenience for millions of Americans. What is this so-called inconvenience? The inconvenience of being told to stay home from work. Evidently, the haters love work so much they are repelled, possibly nauseated, definitely offended, by the idea of not going to work. I assume that talking to these people is a lot like listening to Nancy Pelosi while trying to follow her logic.
McGuire finally summarizes his hate with this:
“The practice of celebrating Thanksgiving is old and trite and dull and boring and forced and a slave to a kind of tradition that is borderline intolerable. Outside of it solidifying the fact that yes, the calendar year is almost over, and no, it won’t be warm again for a little while (for those of us in the northern climes, anyway), the holiday itself is nothing more than a hollow attempt for poignancy by people who, in all honesty, would have to spend the next 10,000 years saying “thank you” on a loop to justify all the good fortune they have. It’s a manufactured conscience-clearer designed to trick us into thinking that a higher power actually believes us when we say—a mere one time a year, mind you—that we know precisely how spoiled we are. It’s smothered in the type of empty promises and obnoxious grandstanding that proves exactly how pious and obsessed most of us exemplify with our own exaggerated perception of ourselves.”
Yeah, that right there America is why it sucks to be an elitist know-it-all who condescendingly looks down upon the unenlightened masses foolishly duped into celebrating a backward and offensive holiday. While the sheer volume of pompous sanctimonious smuggery wrapped into that one paragraph is astounding, all it really does is make me hungry. For turkey. And stuffing. And beer.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!