Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts

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Are we beginning to forget?

I’ve been following the Syrian Refugee Crisis tag in my Reader, and I’ve noticed a steady downturn in the number of posts dealing with the subject. Whereas in the days immediately following the first gubernatorial declarations new posts were published by the second, now, in the midst of Black Friday madness and the fading general food coma, they have dwindled to one or two per day.

But this is still happening. They still need our help. And the doors are still closed.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a wonderful meal with wonderful people whose wonderful faces I’ve seen far too little of over the past few years. Good food, good conversation, warmth and love and family togetherness. For all this, I am more than thankful.

But this is still happening. They still need our help. And the doors are still closed.

Today, you may make it home with a really cool new possession bought on the cheap, and you may enjoy your new toy for months to come, and there’s nothing wrong with that…so far as it goes. Five thousand channels, high def, a movie theater in your living room. Or the newest iPhone: makes phone calls and cappuccino, while you wait. Another distraction in an over-stimulated life.

But this is still happening. They still need our help. And the doors are still closed.

I don’t mean to judge; I don’t mean to place myself on an undeserved pedestal. I forget, too. Out of sight, out of mind. And there are so many things to watch on Netflix. I get it; it’s my addiction, as well. Boy, howdy, is it ever.

But this is still happening. They still need our help. And the doors are still closed.

This is simply a gentle reminder, to all of us, that in times like these we can’t afford to forget, lest we be forgotten. I leave you with the words of Percy Bysshe Shelley:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Spread the word:
Open the doors!!!

Happy Thanks-Spending!!!!

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Here’s a thing: go to your WordPress Reader page, to the Explore Tags search, and type in Black Friday. Go ahead; I dare you!!

Deals. Deals!!! DEALS!!!! Look, Charlie Brown! It’s such a beautiful sight…

We have a serious problem in this country: our priorities need a swift kick in the ass, another to the head, and then yet another well-placed kick to the buttocks. We want to have our turkey, eat it too…and then take away somebody else’s, based on the notion that our access to discounts is more important than their access to quality family time.

Hear me now: You do not need to shop on Black Friday. Especially the part of Black Friday that’s been moved to Thursday.

Are we really so caught up in the machinations of that “invisible hand” that we cannot stay away from department stores for one damn day? That the only suitable end to a wonderful day with family is to go beat up other people’s families over toys and TVs? Seriously: what is wrong with us?

We have been hypnotized by our own greed. Yes, you heard me: GREED! We have allowed our day of thanksgiving to be co-opted by profit-seeking corporations: where once we were thankful for life and warmth and the love of family, now we’re thankful for low, low prices and discount DVD bins. We have decided that it’s okay to haul other people away from their own celebrations so there’ll be somebody to ring us up when we march up to the cash registers with the blood of other shoppers still fresh on our hands, triumphant warriors in the kingdom of Consumerism.

We have turned into a nation of grubbers, because the political class has convinced us that grubbing is the highest form of patriotism. With one breath, they tell us that the collapse of the nuclear family is America’s most pressing problem, and that the best way to save America is to leave our families at the dinner table and go buy some more stuff.

All hail the United States of Stuff!!!

For once, let’s tell Target and Best Buy and Wal-Mart and whoever the hell else to shove it. To leave us in peace while we give thanks for real stuff: love, life, family. Real things. Things that last. Things that money cannot buy. Let’s tell them by just not showing up: they can’t co-opt our thanks if we don’t let them. For once, let your money do some actual talking by not letting it talk at all.

But…since what I’m asking isn’t really likely…

Happy Thanks-Spending, everyone!!!!!

Counting Down

Thirty days hath November. Not so hard
to remember all the things I’m thankful for–
just four weeks, and two days more.
Other months have thirty-one, and there’s a
challenge can’t be won.

December now. I guess I’m done.

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