NOTE: I typed in Thanksgivoween, as the title of this blog, while thumbing it into my iPhone…and the autocorrect made it Thank Gully Nig
(sounds like a good title- who’s Gully Nig?–I’m sure I’ll come up with a story for that).
So–Today I am thankful that I finally found the love of my life even though we can’t be together right now. I am thankful that I have a nice vehicle to provide autonomy and comfort, and a reasonably comfortable place to live, even though it’s just a lonely hotel and nothing more. I am thankful that I am able to write books, and have just finished one, and am working on another. I am thankful that my money went into the bank today and I could send some to my honey, and that I could also then get my faster net up so we could Skype. That’s plenty to make my Thanksgiving a happy one.
Now let’s talk about this lovely holiday.
This holiday is rather a double-edged sword (or carving knife, as it were). Personally, I LOVE what Thanksgiving evolved into, but certainly not what it’s truly based upon. We should be breaking bread together, and voicing our gratitude for the good fortune we enjoy. We should not, however, let ourselves buy into the mythical propaganda and revisionist history that has us imagining Pilgrims and Indians laughing it up around a bountiful buffet.
I have about 50% Native American blood in my veins (Cherokee), but I was thankfully not a Native American in the 17th Century when the European terrorists kicked in the flap of those teepees and told the occupants that Puritans lived there now, and the indigenous people were no longer free–like some awful Trick or Treat. Happy Thanksgivoween. Sorry, no treats, only tricks. Tricks like the massacre of 700 Native Americans–men, women and children. And did the Pilgrims share their food with the now-homeless and starving Native Americans who remained? No. The story most Americans believe is a lie. So I think that Thanksgiving ought to be about providing food and respect to the Native Americans. Now. And FOREVER.
It’s not that awful, genocidal scenario I celebrate on Thanksgiving. I instead use it to appreciate those in my life who love me and tofeel gratitude for what I have. I try to also remember to be thankful for all that this otherwise great nation has to offer; and for the freedoms and conveniences et al. And for the fact that no one is driving me out of my home or killing me. So to all Native Americans, let me just say how sorry I am that those European fuckers were so hideous to you. At least i don’t have to say they were Americans–as YOU were the Americans. I would love it if the current powers that be would start treating you with the dignity and respect you deserve instead of sticking you on reservations where alcoholism is rampant, poverty commonplace, and only 5 percent of your children will get to go to college.
But let’s don’t kid ourselves–there’s a dark history to be found in every civilization, every culture, every religion, every country. We only think the world has become more violent and unfair because we now live in the global village where we hear about all those things as a matter of course; every sad or despicable action reported in vivid detail from every nook and cranny of the world, when before, we lived in blind ignorance. And the media doesn’t do a whole lot to advertise all the good stuff happening in this world. Good doesn’t sell as well as bad. But my point is, people have always done terrible things, throughout history, and everywhere. That’s more about humanity than about countries. But that still doesn’t make it right. And we, as adopted, immigrant Americans, can do better.
In spite of this dark blotch on our American history, the United States is still, in my mind, the greatest country in the world, overall. Maybe we should reframe and rename some of these holidays we celebrate. For example, we can tell the truth about Thanksgiving, and focus on a little compensation for Native Americans. And we can replace Columbus day altogether, because not only did he NOT prove the Earth was round (guys like Pythagoras and Ptolemy were calling the Earth a sphere a long time before Columbus boarded a ship) Columbus also did not discover North America, nor even set foot on its shores. He was also a genocidal maniac who enslaved the native peoples of the lands he did set foot on. That scurvy bastard should have been hung by the neck until dead. Instead, we honor him with statues and national holidays, which is beyond repugnant.
Don’t even get me started on the real history of Christmas. Will be doing another blog next month to open those floodgates.