Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Thanks

"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." -Mark Twain


Thanksgiving Day: based on a historical lie, made an official State holiday by Abraham Lincoln and his handler, Secretary of State William H. Seward, pressed into corporate service by industrial agribusiness and the food products industry, adopted by the religious right to prop up the myth of American theocracy: a truly American celebration.

Since we Americans cannot be encouraged to be thankful each and every day, to open our hearts and our homes to family and friends throughout the year (it might discourage individual consumption), we have set aside this special day (and four day weekend) for a celebration of conspicuous consumption, gluttony, animal cruelty, violent entertainment and sloth.

The colorful panoply enacted every year in schools and churches across America repeats the lie of Pilgrim generosity to the Indian inhabitants of the new land the Pilgrims called home. In reality, the Pilgrims slaughtered the natives most cruelly, drove them from their homes and fields, took over their farm lands and infected them with diseases for which they had no natural immunities.

In the fifty years from 1621 to 1671, the Native population of the northeastern coast of North American was decimated by as much as 90%, through a combination of disease and massacre brought to these shores by European invaders. The Europeans would not have survived their first winter in the New World without food and shelter provided by the local Natives, yet the first Pilgrim Thanksgiving was given in thanks that the natives were rapidly dying out, leaving more land and provender for the new inhabitants.

Today, as the United States government - their government, not my government - continues to kill local innocent men, women and children in far off lands, its seems proper to gather together to celebrate our "good fortune," to give thanks that our skin is pale, that we live in America and not in some hot and dusty place underlain by crude oil, that we are blessed with the approval of a white bearded, light-skinned god in flowing robes, not some foreign-tongued god of uncertain visage.

We give thanks that the oil we kill for flows freely in our own country, providing fuel for trucks to carry the dead carcasses of tortured animals to nearby markets, to serve our gluttonous feasts.

We give thanks that our economy is strong, propped up securely by giant corporations that manufacture bullets, bombs, missiles, tanks, airplanes and ships that destroy those who resist American imperialism and global totalitarianism.

Many remember those husbands and sons, wives and daughters who have been sent to die for the cause of American business interests, and those whose families are yet intact give thanks that their loved ones have yet to be sacrificed on the killing fields.

Our Thanksgiving today celebrates the defeat and decimation of the Native people of other lands as our modern American Pilgrims set their sights on a new frontier. Pilgrim's Progress consists of denying everyone else the freedoms America professes to defend, to the point of killing anyone who dares to defend their own homes.

American Thanksgiving continues the tradition of our forefathers, giving thanks for 384 years of death and destruction visited on the human and animal inhabitants of this planet.

The twin prospects of Peak Oil and global climate change will once and for all put an end to this insane human society based on greed, avarice and unlimited growth. On this Thanksgiving, I give thanks that Nature bats last and is ultimately just.

Michael Lewis
Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate