Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Breakdown

Bizarro is brought to you today by Favorite Holiday Memories.

If you're reading this post then you, like me, survived yesterday's holiday here in the U.S. We call it Thanksgiving Day and it's a mixed bag in my book. There are things I both enjoy and despise about TGiving, which I have listed below for your future use and quick reference.

a. Not a religious holiday. This keeps it low-key and guilt-free with no official services to attend to keep your mom from getting upset, no melodramatic speeches by TV pundits about how "our make-believe is being eroded by some other culture's make-believe".

b. Mostly just about food and who doesn't like to eat? (other than super models) Lift food to mouth, open, insert, close, chew. Any moron can do it.

c. Mindless activities like watching football on TV and taking a nap are actually an integral part of the tradition.

d. Somehow, merchants have not commandeered this holiday as they have Xmas, so gifts are not mandatory. What a money saver!

e. Miraculously, TGiving has escaped the hideous novelty songs with which Xmas is plagued for weeks. Ah, the sound of silence!

a. People use it to get sappy about what they're thankful for. I dislike this because I think one should be aware of these things daily. Those of us who are, don't need a national holiday to remind us of what is a fundamental part of our consciousness, and those who do need to be reminded are probably not moved in any substantive manner anyway. To me, it's like having a national holiday to remind us to brush our teeth. If you have to be reminded, it's probably too late anyway.

b. People make it religious by thanking "god" for what they have. Okay, fine, thanking the gods for food, shelter, good weather, a successful massacre of your enemy, etc. is a common human behavior that predates language and any of our modern gods, but I'd like to see us grow out of this superstition eventually. You can be thankful without being thankful to invisible magic people. This country could use a lot more rational thought and a lot less superstitious fear and persecution, God knows.

c. Americans celebrate warm and fuzzy thankfulness by wreaking a grisly holocaust on 45 million innocent birds (in a single day). I get it, it's tradition, it will never change, blah blah. But those of us who have come to see members of other species as someone instead of something lament the needless and cruel slaughter. It goes on 365 days a year, of course (300 million turkeys annually), but on TGiving the slaughter itself is celebrated as part of the experience, complete with goofy, cartoon images of the victims in pilgrim hats.

I'm sure I've missed something, but I'm still reeling from my food hangover. I ate waaaaay too much last night and won't eat again soon. In the final tally, looks like I have 5 likes and 3 dislikes, so all in all, the holiday gets a thumbs up.

Here now, from the cartoon dungeon's archives, is an old Sunday comic I did years ago. (click it to see it bigger) I went through a period around the turn of the century during which I was writing oddball children's poems for an unspecified reason. Eventually, I turned some of them into cartoons.

More later, have a black, black Black Friday.



James said...

Regarding your use of the word "holocaust", I really hope you're not comparing the killing of turkeys for sustenance to the mass murder of Jews and other ethnic minorities out of genocide? Because if that's your implication, well then, you are scum.

Piraro said...

@James...the word "holocaust" is defined as "destruction or slaughter on a mass scale." In modern times, the word is applied most often to the plight of European Jews at the hands of Hitler, but the word was not invented for this event. There have been many holocausts before and after, many on a larger scale.

Even so, to compare the slaughter of non-human animals to the slaughter of humans is not to degrade the deaths of humans but to dignify the deaths of non humans.

Anonymous said...

i was reading james comment, and i said to myself "piraro, you better put him D-O-W-N! " and you did. i totally agree with you on the holocaust part. i find it disgusting that people think birds are just stupid animals that don't deserve anything. I want to kill them. and when people say "can't you just eat some turkey?" and i say i would rather die.thats the truth. so i absolutely hate this holiday.

Urban Garlic said...

Well, this is a bit lame after the 'holocaust' bit above, but I have come to nit-pick your spelling and usage -- I believe you meant to say that Americans celebrate by wreaking a holocaust. Reeking is the one about smelling; wreaking is the lovely archaic one about violence.

What with English being a living language and the internet democratizing writing to an unprecedented degree, I'm loathe to say that your usage is actually wrong, and I suppose in the fullness of time, all English homonym sets will merge, and spelling will be as irregular in the 22nd century as it was in the 18th.

But your usage is out of line with contemporary notions of formal correctness. The principal downside is that it subjects you to comments like mine.

Stephanie said...

@Piraro Very well said and I agree 100%

oroboros said...

Dan, did you mean "wreaking a grisly" holocaust? Hope so. Or maybe you're waxing creatively license-like?

Piraro said...

@Urban Garlic and Oroboros...Thanks for the catch. I've corrected the brain fart and the spelling. :o)

Anonymous said...

Wreaking, reeking, important thing is Dan gets across the important message about the violent, destructive side of the Thanksgiving holiday and does it well. He also does a nice job with the holocaust issue. I hope someday people will learn to celebrate without killing.

Unknown said...

If we only gorged ourselves once a year as an expression of joy than this day wouldn't be so bad, but aren't we always gorging and watching football?!!?
how the hell is something that occurs every weekend also revered once a year?

Johnny Flatus said...

If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?

Piraro said...

@ greg...good point. Long live Bob.

@ Johnny Flatus...good point. Which is also why I've never objected to cannibalism.

Unknown said...

//I'm sure I've missed something//
Really? You can't think of what it might be? How about the massacre of the Pequot Indians by the very Jamestown residents they had helped through the winter?

People can nitpick about holocaust, but there's little room for debate on the genocide of two entire continents of people.

Piraro said...

@BennytheIcepick...right you are. I was concentrating more on the modern experience of the holiday, but you're completely right, the entire thing has its roots in genocide. Reminds me of our current habit of paving over a marsh, building a huge housing development, then calling it "Stork's Nest," or "Egret's Landing."