Thursday, November 24, 2011

FTT Off-Topic: The War On Thanksgiving

As always with FTT O-T, it's a big wide Internet and this isn't going to be sports. Read or bail.

A funny thing happens to you -- well, OK, a million funny things, but this is the one that's in my head today -- on holidays when you get older and have children; they matter to you in ways that they didn't before. I always have liked Thanksgiving, since, well, what's not to like? The meal isn't usually that expensive, you don't have to go anywhere, there's football and no work, there's nothing to divide the country more than the way you prepare your food, and the happy sentiment is pretty universal. So long as you are above the ground and breathing, with some semblance of your mental faculties and nothing particularly agonizing going on, you give thanks. You live in an economically advantaged country in a time where technology allows for amazing things, with relative security and opportunities. It's not that hard to find things to be thankful for.

Of course, being a nation of people who compete in all things and multi-task and can't leave well enough alone... we are well on our way to ruining it.

I'm talking, of course, about the encroachment of Christmas (specifically, Black Friday) on this holiday, if indeed Christmas can be said to still be encroaching on anything less than back to school sales.

As I write this, in another 12 minutes, my gym will open, for no reason other than they want to get in on the Black Friday madness. Stores across the country will open, filled with bleary-eyed workers that will console themselves with the fact that they have a job, even if it's a crappy one that causes them to leave their families on one of the few days of the year when politics and wealth and the politics of wealth go away, for just a little while, for the relatively simple joy of a shared meal.

People talk about the War on Christmas, as if this is actually a thing -- when what's really happening is a war on Thanksgiving, with Christmas on the other side. Christmas is too important now to our economy, too important to convince people that don't have enough to spend anyway, and to get our kids into teenager status as quickly as humanly possible, and to keep adults there, because no one spends money faster or with less critical thought than a teenager.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

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