Every year, Americans do what we do best: sit around a table to observe a once-meaningful holiday because we’d look funny if we didn’t.
Me: Hey, Ted from Accounting. Big four day weekend, eh?
Ted from Accounting: Yep, gonna eat turkey with the family and watch some football. You?
Me: Oh, I’m going to Aruba for the long weekend to collect orgasms.
TfA: Well, that makes too much sense. Freak.
Thanksgiving, like every other U.S.-observed holiday, has auspicious, yet bullsh-t, origins. But if you boil that bathwater past the paper headdresses, you find a story that doesn’t matter anymore today: a group of proto-Americans are starving to death, yet finally scrape up enough farming to survive … until winter starts in earnest.
They’re thankful for managing with what they’ve got to enjoy each others’ presence, which ironically helps spread the cholera.
We don’t have that problem anymore. Even if we catch childhood leukemia, we still get an awesome last wish. (That’s only because Leonard Nimoy can’t catch leukemia from his Make-A-Wish cancer kid.) And we don’t really enjoy each others’ company. If it weren’t for Thanksgiving, entire families would never see each other except to marry or bury someone.
And we definitely aren’t just scraping by. Outside of a certain percentage of poor people, the modern Thanksgiving is a modern festival of consumer distractions. The table is full of food that will go uneaten, and those who attempt to finish it off will slip into a gluttony coma on the leather sofa. This happens while everyone watches a parade full of cartoon characters selling toys, the latests must-see TV stars and the pirate of plastic productions, Santa himself. Then there’s football, which features players goosed up on the latest pharmaceuticals beating Vegas odds so the owner can sell more ball caps to guys trying to find cool new ways to cover up bald spots.
Even the idea of a feast in today’s America is ridiculous. The idea of a feast is to celebrate having plenty when you normally have little. Seen those obesity numbers lately?
So, with all that in mind, here’s my list of the things that I am thankful for this year:
Even when I feel my most perverted, I can sleep soundly later that night, knowing that there’s somebody in Tokyo sniffing vending machine-bought used panties to accompany the robot tentacle underage rape porn he’s furiously masturbating to while wearing fox ears.
Which brings me to my next reason: Japan gives us great cars, every working video game system (sorry, X-Box red ring owners), ninjas, robots, “meaningful” tattoos and moral justification for using flamethrowers and nuclear bombs. In exchange, we characterize them as workaholic sex deviants with little penises and horrible cartoons.
Japan, you’ve had a thankless job since 1945. Thank you.
2) Manufactured outrage.
There are so many blights in the world, but nobody notices them until unemployable white people start a non-profit organization.
So how do straight, white-collar Caucasians care about gay marriage, urban poverty, animal rights or African AIDS research? By embarrassing themselves for our entertainment.
Yep, there is nothing funnier than an animal rights activist posing naked to convince people not to wear fur. I mean, sure, cotton isn’t animal-life, but it doesn’t get the point across like half of the Internet touching themselves while the other half calls you a moron, right?
That’s not fair. Everyone thinks you’re a moron. Stupid is the original sexy.
But wait, what about gay rights activists who don’t understand what a stereotype is? They’ll talk about how progressive Will and Grace was, but gloss over the entire character of Jack, the flamboyant, sex-addicted hyperbolic gay man who wants to be a star. Or Grace, the needy Jewish fag hag. Or Will, the quiet white-collar low-key queen who needs to be protected by his friends.
So, part of this thank you goes out to manufactured outrage, which causes hilarious spasms of unproductive moral crusading, and the other part goes to the IRS for making this kind of work tax-free. Let’s face it: if it wasn’t a tax dodge, white people would find something else to do.
3) The end of another presidential election.
People complain about campaigns running for four years. What they don’t realize is that the candidates didn’t start four years ago; the talking points started piling up four years ago.
Once a candidate is elected, the American people go crazy in three different directions. One side celebrates their winnings with their bookie because their candidate won. Another side starts packing to move to Canada. (They stop as soon as they remember there’s a congressional election in two years and another presidential in four.) And the final third just annoys everyone else by pretending they voted in the first place.
During these four years, slogans and moral crises and culture wars ferment like mushrooms. Like a boil, it builds up under the skin, filling with patriotism and paranoia until it forms a whitehead begging to be squeezed. Then we vote.
I, for one, am thankful that we’ve successfully drained the pus again without amputating our heads.
4) Rising airline prices.
Keep them up, airlines. The higher you raise them, the less people I have to stand in line/sit/get frisked with. Thank you.
5) My tattoos.
When I made fun of a CNN article about professionals forced to hide their tattoos in the workplace (see: “manufactured outrage”), I did not expect my entire worldview about my own tattoos to change.
To put this in some perspective, I was convinced that my coworkers didn’t want to see my tattoos on my upper arm and back because that would mean wearing business inappropriate attire. Moreso, I thought many of them would get distracted.
TfA: So, Rick, what does the water stand for?
Me: Water, Ted from Accounting. Could we get back to this conference call, or would you like to describe it to Peggy from Peoria?
The outrage at my post made me realize that I am an oppressed minority. I am a colored person, and by keeping my colored skin hidden from my peers, I am allowing them to tell me how to express myself. In an effort to fit into their world, I have denigrated my own heritage: the heritage of 18-year-olds who don’t realize that they will one day be uncool.
Thanks to all the other oppressed colored people who contacted me, I now walk around shirtless, daring The Man to fire me. I also stopped completing work assignments and started cussing out customers and stabbing the homeless outside of the break room. And they can’t do anything about it because it will only be because of my skin and their bigotry.
And who are they to judge me? What makes them think they can figure out who I am based on symbols I carefully chose to represent important aspects of my personality? (The dragon represents my scaley psoriasis.)
So, thank you, 18-year-old me for reminding the 27-year-old me that everyone wants tickets to this gun show. And thank you, unemployed tattooed people, for explaining in such fine English why you are exactly like Rosa Parks. (Except she could actually ride the bus!)