Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Something/Someone Old
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My Something Old today is the first Thanksgiving.

The story is a little different than the one we know. Meet Tisquantum, commonly known by English speakers as Squanto:

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Squanto is arguably responsible both for the survival of the Pilgrims in the New World and for the feast between indigenous people and European colonists that became known as Thanksgiving:

The story began in 1614 when a band of English explorers sailed home to England with a ship full of Patuxet Indians bound for slavery. They left behind smallpox which virtually wiped out those who had escaped. By the time the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay they found only one living Patuxet Indian, a man named Squanto who had survived slavery in England and knew their language. He taught them to grow corn and to fish, and negotiated a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation. At the end of their first year, the Pilgrims held a great feast honoring Squanto and the Wampanoags.

I got this rendering of the story from the website of Manataka: The American Indian Council (http://manataka.org/page269.html). I found it a bit confusing on how Squanto got back to North America, and found the rest of his (known) story on Wikipedia, under the entry for his people, the Patuxet:

Some European expedition captains were known to increase profits by capturing natives to sell as slaves. Such was the case when Thomas Hunt kidnapped several Wampanoag in 1614 in order to sell them later in Spain. One of his captives, a Patuxet named Tisquantum, anglicized as Squanto, was purchased by Spanish friars; they freed him and instructed him in the Christian faith. After he gained his freedom, Squanto was able to work his way to England where he lived for several years, working with a shipbuilder.

He signed on as an interpreter for a British expedition to Newfoundland. From there Squanto went back to his home, only to discover that, in his absence, epidemics had killed everyone in his village.[2]

After having been kidnapped and enslaved, and, upon returning home, finding that everyone he had known and loved was dead, Squanto decided to show mercy and kindness to European settlers, though it was European settlers who had kidnapped him, enslaved him, and infected his people with illness (admittedly, I'm not sure whether that last part was clear to everyone at the time.) It's pretty much considered fact that without him the Pilgrims would surely have perished:

Squanto was instrumental in the survival of the colony of English settlers at Plymouth. Samoset, a Pemaquid (Abenaki) sachem from Maine, introduced himself to the Pilgrims upon their arrival in 1620. Shortly thereafter, he introduced Squanto (presumably because Squanto spoke better English) to the Pilgrims, who had settled at the site of Squanto's former village.[2] From that point onward, Squanto devoted himself to helping the Pilgrims. Whatever his motivations, with great kindness and patience, he taught the English the skills they needed to survive, including how best to cultivate varieties of the Three Sisters: beans, maize and squash.

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He did more than just help them find and grow food. He also served as a vital political intermediary and diplomat, speaking on their behalf to neighboring tribes:

Although Samoset appears to have been important in establishing initial relations with the Pilgrims, Squanto was undoubtedly the main factor in the Pilgrims' survival. In addition, he also served as an intermediary between the Pilgrims and Massasoit, the Grand Sachem of the Wampanoag (original name Ousamequin [10] or "Yellow Feather"[11]). As such, he was instrumental in the friendship treaty that the two signed, allowing the settlers to occupy the area around the former Patuxet village.[2] Massasoit honored this treaty until his death in 1661.[12]

He even helped organize the celebration feast between the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims that has passed into our history as Thanksgiving:

In the fall of 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast. This three-day celebration involving the entire village and about 90 Wampanoag has been celebrated as a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans.[13] The event later inspired 19th century Americans to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the United States. The harvest celebration took place at the historic site of the Patuxet villages. Squanto's involvement as an intermediary in negotiating the friendship treaty with Massasoit led to the joint feast between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag. This feast was a celebration of the first successful harvest season of the colonists.[2]

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This is the reason I have a mighty resistance to people who express contempt for Thanksgiving, or see Thanksgiving merely as a form of racist hypocrisy--a view that is popular on the left. I've recently seen a poster that said "Thanksgiving: When We're Thankful For All We've Gotten Through Genocide." But in fact, Thanksgiving, properly celebrated, is nothing of the kind. It's a historical signpost on the road not traveled: the road we should have walked. It's what we did instead that caused genocide.

And it's a remarkable story. You have a person exchanging a mighty good for a mighty evil--although perhaps Tisquantum did not identify all white-skinned European colonists as being the same, and saw the Pilgrims as entirely different from those who had enslaved his people. There's no way to know whether this was, for him, an act of amazing forgiveness or whether he simply didn't see the Pilgrims as being to blame. Either way, it was an extraordinary act from someone who had, arguably, lost everything at the hands of people who at the very least looked like the starving Pilgrims and spoke the same language!

Then there's the response. For once in our history, the European settlers came correct: they responded with humility and gratitude to the people who had saved their lives. The original thanks they're giving is to the people with whom they're eating. Of course, if you look at the quotation on the picture of Squanto above, you can see that it didn't take long at all for Europeans to start reframing the unbelievable generosity and compassion of this indigenous man into the idea that he was God's tool. Calling him "God's tool" obviously takes away any virtue or decision-making power he might have had, and it also puts us well on our way toward being thankful to God on Thanksgiving, rather than to some human beings, one in particular, who had embodied the best and highest to which a human could aspire: choosing to act out of compassion rather than a quite justifiable hatred or bitterness. It also helps bolster the notion that God really, really wants white English-speaking settlers to thrive on the North American continent. So instead of being thankful for the grace of a human being and the people he convinced to help the settlers survive, we're grateful that God sends tools to make sure we stay in this land which divine will says is ours.

Perhaps this is the reason there is so much cynicism on the left about Thanksgiving.

But I, for one, am not willing to toss Tisquantum's generosity in the trash can like that, using his work as one more thing for me to be cynical about.

How about this: he showed us the right way, and for a little while, we followed his lead. Apres lui, le deluge.

Something New
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Then there's this:

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Arguably at the opposite end of the spectrum of human behavior is Black Friday, an orgy of greed on the one hand, and selfishness born of both greed and economic desperation on the other, where people trample one another in order to reach the sale items first.

The real story of Black Friday is neither to do with slaves (a recent story that's gained traction) nor to do with stores finally being "in the black" (what most believe). It comes from police in 1950s Philadelphia.

This is from the History Channel (http://www.history.com/news/whats-the-real-history-of-black-friday):

The true story behind Black Friday, however, is not as sunny as retailers might have you believe. Back in the 1950s, police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year. Not only would Philly cops not be able to take the day off, but they would have to work extra-long shifts dealing with the additional crowds and traffic. Shoplifters would also take advantage of the bedlam in stores to make off with merchandise, adding to the law enforcement headache.

I'm not usually overly sympathetic to police, but the fact that they couldn't take the time to be with their families blows. I point it out here because that quality has survived in the modern "celebration" of Black Friday.

By 1961, “Black Friday” had caught on in Philadelphia, to the extent that the city’s merchants and boosters tried unsuccessfully to change it to “Big Friday” in order to remove the negative connotations. The term didn’t spread to the rest of the country until much later, however, and as recently as 1985 it wasn’t in common use nationwide. Sometime in the late 1980s, however, retailers found a way to reinvent Black Friday and turn it into something that reflected positively, rather than negatively, on them and their customers. The result was the “red to black” concept of the holiday mentioned earlier, and the notion that the day after Thanksgiving marked the occasion when America’s stores finally turned a profit. (In fact, stores traditionally see bigger sales on the Saturday before Christmas.)

Why am I not surprised that "Black Friday" became a nationwide exercise in the late 80s, right about the same time the League of Women Voters abandoned the attempt to run our Presidential debates because the behavior of the two political parties was so disgusting they were unwilling to lend their name to the affair?

The late 80s was a bad time in many ways.

It's worth knowing the origins of "Black Friday" because the complaint of the 1950s cops that they were unable to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with their families has become, arguably, the point of the exercise. The right wing likes to talk about a so-called war on Christmas; if any national holiday is being assaulted, it's clearly Thanksgiving. The beginning of "Black Friday" has been pushed back earlier and earlier. In many places, it begins at midnight. This means employees must be at work at the stores for hours previous to the midnight opening. Other stores, like Walmart, begin their "Black Friday" sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, meaning that workers essentially have to be at work by Thanksgiving afternoon.

Look at this article from 2014 (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/12/walmart-black-friday-2014-than...):

BUSINESS 11/12/2014 12:05 am ET Updated Nov 13, 2014
Walmart To Kick Off Black Friday Sales At 6 P.M. On Thanksgiving

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Walmart is joining other retailers in turning Black Friday from a one-day shopping bonanza to a multiday event, the company announced Wednesday.

The big-box chain will kick off its deal spree just after midnight on Thanksgiving at Walmart.com and will offer doorbuster events at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at all locations on Thanksgiving itself. Then beginning at 6 a.m. on Black Friday — the day traditionally reserved for post-Thanksgiving shopping — the retailer will offer more discounts on everything from iPhones to Fisher-Price toys.

“Black Friday is no longer an event for customers who wake up at the crack of dawn to get good deals,” Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer at Walmart U.S., told reporters on a conference call Tuesday, adding that the event has really turned into “Black Friday week” at several retailers.


Though Walmart has offered Thanksgiving shopping hours since 1988,

There's those pesky late 80s again!

it did not come under much criticism for doing so until more recently, when a number of other retailers began keeping their doors open on the holiday as well. Critics say the day should be set aside for spending time with family.

I bet those critics are funded by Russia. They're trying to foment division among our people. No real American would believe that they should have time off.

Something Borrowed

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Meet the Norfolk Black turkey. Highly prized nowadays by turkey aficionados, the Norfolk black got its name because the Earl of Orford borrowed a whole bunch of them from the North American continent, and raised them around his estate.

From Wikipedia:

In her written memoirs Lady Dorothy Nevill[25] recalls that her great-grandfather Horatio Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford imported a quantity of the American turkeys[25] which were kept in the woods around Wolterton and in all probability were the embryo flock for the popular Norfolk turkey breeds of today.

You can find this history in Lady Nevill's memoirs, entitled Mannington and the Walpoles, Earls of Orford.

This is actually more complex than it sounds, because actually what Walpole did was to import turkeys from America which were then interbred with turkeys that were already in Europe, having been brought there by Spanish explorers. The Spanish got turkeys off the Aztecs and imported them; Walpole liked American turkeys and imported some directly from the New World; they eventually were bred together and created the highly-prized bird I pictured above.

Something Blue

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Blue willow plates!

I believe my grandma once had plates like this. I've certainly seen them somewhere before:

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They look festive with the pumpkin, don't they?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May we be thankful for our blessings, most importantly the blessing of people who act out of compassion rather than bitterness, generosity rather than greed. And may our thanks never be misdirected by those of evil intent. It's important gratitude reach its right destination.

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Comments

dkmich's picture

Thanks for the history lesson. Guarantee it wasn't the one I was taught in school. Squanto who?

The plates are beautiful.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich Yeah. I never heard of Squanto, or Tisquantum, till a few years ago. Appalling.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

lotlizard's picture

@dkmich  
when I was in public elementary school in Honolulu.

In those days, before TV became widespread, all that poor “local” kids in Hawaii knew about North America was what we could read in (or have read to us from) books.

Our third grade introduction to Thanksgiving included the book Squanto and the Pilgrims from the “American Adventure” series by A.M. Anderson, which filled a whole shelf in the library:
https://www.librarything.com/series/The+American+Adventure+Series

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard I'm glad they taught it somewhere.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
this little thing that happens in Fur Trappers of the Old West.

This fur trapper is telling a friend about seeing two beavers use sticks to — snap, snap! — trigger traps so the jaws snap shut on nothing. And then, he could swear, they turned to each other and — wink, wink! — grinned.

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enhydra lutris's picture

The history of Squanto and the Pilgrims is also a great history and a model for how things should be and should have been between then and now.

All the same, there are some bothersome things about "Thanksgiving". There have been numerous "day of thanksgiving" declarations in colonial times. Some were for despicable, horrible reasons, though I don't have the time or energy to track any down in order to be able to provide links and such. Two that come to mind were for a victory in an attack on a native American village aimed at driving them out and taking their land and the death of a village full of native Americans from disease obviating the need for such an attack.

Be that as it may, the national holiday was first declared by G. Washington at the request of Congress. I don't know why Congress wanted it but George decreed it "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God." and I suspect it was unrelated to the pilgrim celebration. It was a one-shot deal, and the one we now celebrate was declared by Abe Lincoln. This was allegedly an attempt to generate a feeling of American unity (in spite of the civil war)and was the last Thursday in November. It later got codified as the 4th Thursday in November.

All that aside, it predates the colonies and is a remnant of religionist traditions brought over from the old world, including the Puritans desire to eliminate all regular recurring holidays and replace them with special days of prayer and thanksgiving. The various day of thanksgiving rituals and traditions there, plus special ones here (one in Virginia was for getting here safely) were then also confounded with various and sundry harvest celebrations some of which probably are tied to good old celtic cross quarter days.

Just raw information, not to rain on any parades. We celebrate it in our house with food and wine and all that, and my relatives all ritually give thanks and say some specifics for which they are thankful. I play along though, as host, I am tempted to quash the ritual recitations, because of etymology and the like. One is thankful, thanks or gives thanks, for gifts and benefits and directs such thanks and such to the giver of those gifts and benefits. In the ceremonial fersion this is clearly "god almighty", and as an empiricist, I really can't go there.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris I note with particular interest this:

All that aside, it predates the colonies and is a remnant of religionist traditions brought over from the old world, including the Puritans desire to eliminate all regular recurring holidays and replace them with special days of prayer and thanksgiving. The various day of thanksgiving rituals and traditions there, plus special ones here (one in Virginia was for getting here safely) were then also confounded with various and sundry harvest celebrations some of which probably are tied to good old celtic cross quarter days.

So, as usual, Christians tried to hijack the holidays related to the earth, (either as part of earth-based religions or just secular holidays that people celebrated because they were, well, living on the earth). And, as often happens, the earth-based part of it reasserted itself, because you can't utterly destroy earth-based rituals and customs with Christianity. Only capitalism can do that, usually with the aid of industrialization and other forms of tech.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris

It was a one-shot deal, and the one we now celebrate was declared by Abe Lincoln. This was allegedly an attempt to generate a feeling of American unity (in spite of the civil war)and was the last Thursday in November. It later got codified as the 4th Thursday in November.

Including the Land-Grant College Act in 1862, that led to the creation of all the state universities and colleges we have now. Also the Trans-Continental Railroad, which started construction in 1863.

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Thank you for the history. I didn't know that. You are right, it's very much worth knowing the original intent of the thanksgiving celebration and the circumstances surrounding it. Humility and gratitude for help. Had we only continued with that sort of ethic in our dealings with other people and with the land itself we would be in a different place now.

I have been enjoying your Wednesday pieces for several weeks now but have not commented because I've seen them after the conversation is over. I just wanted you to know that I've enjoyed them. The blueberry one was so nice as was the bicycle one (along with that bit about the sting ray). So thanks!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@randtntx You're welcome! Thank you for letting me know. It's always nice to know that there's more people out there enjoying this stuff. Smile

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Last night I got the first good night's sleep I've gotten for almost a week. I feel like a new woman!

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13 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

gulfgal98's picture

about the story of Squanto. Thanksgiving can be a day of truly being thankful for what we have or it can be an orgy of consumption or spending. I prefer the former. This year is a quiet and low key Thanksgiving for us, just the two of us, although we have a house guest coming in on Thanksgiving night.

I love your beautiful, blue willow plates. I hope you and yours enjoy a peaceful Thanksgiving.

BTW, I love the Q quote. I am still following this story. I do not know where it is going, but I am hoping it ends well for we the people.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98 Sadly, they aren't my blue willow plates, but I could have sworn my grandma had some. I bet my mom has them, if I'm remembering correctly.

As for the Q quote, it sure as hell has become current again, hasn't it?

Somehow without Communism even being around.

As for we the people, I think what we have to accept before moving forward is that getting power out of the hands of the tyrants can't actually be initiated by we the people. That's something most Americans are not going to be able to swallow, and even fewer could conceive of that as a starting point for action. There are ways out of this (fairly improbable, but not impossible), but it can't be started by us. If it were started from any of a few other sectors, there could come a time when we could be helpful in the process. The best we can do, in my opinion, is to put ourselves into the best position we can for helping later, if the opportunity arises. That's way too little to motivate most people to act--but there's a sweetener to the deal; the same things that would put ourselves into the best position to act later also would definitely make our lives better for whatever time we have left.

The real issue for me, as an activist, is that we are extraordinarily resource-depleted. That's another thing about Americans; we tend to think that we don't need resources, only will power. Therefore all we have to do is refuse to give up and work harder, all we need is gumption, and nobody (right or left) pays any attention to what resources we actually have. To be honest, the right is marginally better at assessing resources and strategizing based on realistic assessments of such than we on the left are, but they're still not that great at it. I'm talking about the populist, little-guy right wing, of course, not the corporatist 1% right.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

CS in AZ's picture

Interesting take on the Thanksgiving holidays. I was just reading elsewhere about Canadian thanksgiving, which is in October and has been around since long before ours here in the US. I never knew that either. I'd always heard it was a uniquely American holiday (by which is meant the US of course).

Thanksgiving was always an enormous amount of hard work for the women and girls in my family. The men got the day off to eat, drink, and watch football. We didn't! We cooked and cleaned and then cooked and cleaned... from the day before through evening on thanksgiving day. Exhaustion is how I remember it. And drunk relatives. Ha. For a long time I was always in line to volunteer to work the holiday because I hated it anyway.

Now we go to an annual potluck thanksgiving day gathering with a group of friends from our communities here, our chosen family, and the day is one of shared work, rest, great food and celebration of all that we have. Much better! My spouse is recovering from recent hernia surgery and probably will not be able to attend this year.

We always avoid all shopping and stores from Thursday through Sunday, and this year will probably not even leave the house all weekend, other than to attend the community feast on our behalf. I read about one retailer who is closing for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Something called REI. I don't even know what they sell! lol. But for people upset about stores opening on the holidays, maybe you'd want to give this place some love on Saturday and Sunday.

Thankful as always for c99% and grateful to each of you who worked to create it, and all who help keep it going.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ Good old REI! Hip hip hooray! That's a small, but great, piece of news!

They sell excellent, but a bit expensive, camping gear.

I'm gonna be in the market for some more camping gear in not too long; this news may have decided me on the more expensive option of getting REI gear. Thank you for letting me know!

I hope your spouse recovers well from the surgery.

As for Thanksgiving, you are, of course, right about the gender split there. Holidays generally are hard work for women. But I genuinely enjoyed working with my mother (and my grandmother and great aunts when they were alive). It was the Christmas gift-giving I hated. It was an annual attempt to guess, unsuccessfully, what people would like--and the female part of my family, apart from my mother and I, seemed to be engaged perpetually in a contest to see who could give the most successful presents, and receive the fewest. Talk about ingratitude and bad manners! That part of Christmas was more like counting coup than anything else.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Eagles92's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Yes, REI has been doing their "Opt Outside" thing for at least the past few Black Fridays. Cynically, I could view this as straight-up PR -- and part of it is -- but the basic intent is good: give employees the day off to spend with their families, and encourage others to eschew consumerism in favor of healthy activity. Hats off to them for that.

Another thing to like about REI: they're a co-op. And every so often, they have INSANE sales!

I tend to purchase "technical" clothing from them because, as a taller sort, I like that I can find pants in longer lengths. Smile

Thanks for the column, and a happy Thanksgiving to all C99ers!

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Eagles92

Yes, REI has been doing their "Opt Outside" thing for at least the past few Black Fridays. Cynically, I could view this as straight-up PR -- and part of it is -- but the basic intent is good: give employees the day off to spend with their families, and encourage others to eschew consumerism in favor of healthy activity. Hats off to them for that.

In very deed! REI stays on the "OK" list!

Give rose

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

gulfgal98's picture

@Eagles92 What I love about REI is that not only are they a coop, but they stand behind what they sell. Several years ago, hub purchased a very expensive back pack for a one week trip with friends. On the second day, one of the buckles broke. Along with some help from one of his friends, he was able to rig a substitute closure to complete the trip. Afterwards, he took the back pack in to REI and they gave him a full refund. The other thing about REI is that everyone who works there is exceptionally knowledgeable.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ I too am not going out till Sunday at the earliest.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

gulfgal98's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal is the monthly gallery walk downtown. We have a real downtown with filled with local merchants, galleries, and restaurants. So we will be going out and that will be fun. Otherwise I lay low during the shopping frenzy.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98 You're in FL at the moment! Excellent!

For how long?

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

gulfgal98's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal I am not in FLorida. I am in Brevard NC! LOL

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98 No, I meant Brevard like this:

Unspoiled beaches of Brevard County.JPG

And this:

takeoff.jpg

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ And, on behalf of all of us Founding Sisters and Brothers, you're welcome! Heh. Smile

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

And, on behalf of all of us Founding Sisters and Brothers, you're welcome! Heh.

To this day I'm orgulously proud of my user number (339)!

Smile

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

thanatokephaloides's picture

@CS in AZ

Thanksgiving was always an enormous amount of hard work for the women and girls in my family. The men got the day off to eat, drink, and watch football. We didn't! We cooked and cleaned and then cooked and cleaned... from the day before through evening on thanksgiving day. Exhaustion is how I remember it.

Perhaps because I hail from a restauranting family, I remember a far more balanced share-out of the labor. Everybody cleaned and those who were competent cooked, regardless of how plumbed.

Wink

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

detroitmechworks's picture

than I do of Christmas, even with all the bells and whistles of the advertising season. Maybe because my oldest daughter was born on Thanksgiving.

I have gotten quite good at making Turkey over the years, and it's always been a fun thing to do from an economic standpoint as well. (Making one Big Turkey is pretty cheap for a small family, and you can eat it for a week at least.)

So, honestly, I will always associate Thanksgiving with a pleasant, family holiday. I always avoid politics on the day and instead focus on what it means to me. Holidays are a living, breathing activity, and I strongly resist the drive to turn this one into a shopping day. For me, the day will always mean Cheesy Movies on TV (Even before "Turkey Day" I watched Harryhausen films on Thanksgiving, Always), good filling food, warm drinks and time with family.

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You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks Holy shit, I totally forgot to include that! Another wonderful Something Old. I loved Turkey Day.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Because I tuned in my first year when instead of doing the Host segments they ended up just shooting a fan get together somewhere random.

After that they thankfully NEVER did that crap again.

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2 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

thanatokephaloides's picture

@detroitmechworks

So, honestly, I will always associate Thanksgiving with a pleasant, family holiday. I always avoid politics on the day and instead focus on what it means to me. Holidays are a living, breathing activity, and I strongly resist the drive to turn this one into a shopping day.

Did you catch this video when I posted it to c99, DMW?

(Long live Bob Kuhn!)

For me, the day will always mean Cheesy Movies on TV (Even before "Turkey Day" I watched Harryhausen films on Thanksgiving, Always), good filling food, warm drinks and time with family.

As a fan of The Godfather series, I'm never at a loss for Thanksgiving movies to watch (thank you, AMC!)

Smile

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

detroitmechworks's picture

@thanatokephaloides It's a good song.

And it sums up the point rather succinctly. Smile

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You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

riverlover's picture

but not that the association continued. Best not to know about someone's goodness?

A turkey breast, thawed and ready to roast. I hope my daughter comes through with green bean casserole, but I suspect she works tomorrow. I would trade with turkey for her hub. Whatever. I still have garlic to put in the ground. Today is not the day, light snow and raw. There may be another warmup that I don't sleep through.

My rumdum phone company has scored again. DSL works, dial tone works, but does not connect. So through a long weekend with no fiberopttic phone service? It's not the first.

Happy Thankgiving. I cringe now that my husband wanted us all to state what we were happy for, while holding hands. I will light a candle. And eat turkey.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

thanatokephaloides's picture

Before I start my comment, please allow me to offer my highest compliments and praise to your brilliant defense of today's Thanksgiving Holiday, CSTMS! I, too, advocate for "celebrate the good values and shitcan everything else", but you did a far better job of it here than I've been able to do thus far! So I am thankful for you and your writing, and that, because of c99, I get to read it!

SmileGive rose

Now, to my Comment:

Of course, if you look at the quotation on the picture of Squanto above, you can see that it didn't take long at all for Europeans to start reframing the unbelievable generosity and compassion of this indigenous man into the idea that he was God's tool. Calling him "God's tool" obviously takes away any virtue or decision-making power he might have had,

!!$*%##^&!$@!! CALVINISTS!! DiabloBomb

Denial of the all-important free will possessed by human beings is, unfortunately, a keystone tenet of the Pilgrims' Calvinist religion. No one decides anything for herself; it's all either God or the Devil. Everything is predetermined in advance.

What a crock of shit! No wonder James I/VI wanted the Pilgrims (and the Puritans) neutralized. The Pilgrims had cause to give thanks that James was willing to entertain other solutions to their diseased religion (as Sir Thomas Overbury called it) than had been employed by his predecessors!

I ask my readers to remember that Pilgrims were Puritan Calvinists who maintained that the "mainstream" Calvinist Puritans in Britain weren't fundamentalistic enough.

As for Overbury, here's a taste of his "A Puritan", fully applicable to the Pilgrims as well:

A Puritan is a diseased piece of Apocrypha: bind him to the Bible, and he corrupts the whole text; ignorance, and fat feed are his founders; he nurses, railing, rabies, and round breeches; his life is but a borrowed blast of wind, for between two religions, as between two doors, he is ever whistling. Truly whose child he is, is yet unknown, for willingly his faith allows no father: only thus far his pedigree is found.

source

I'd like to mention that most moderns who claim Calvinist roots for their faith steer clear of many of these aspects. "Sane Presbyterians" usually maintain that although the Will of God determines the ends, man has a free-will choice whether to co-operate or not. But the Pilgrims and Puritans had no such humanism in their faith, much like modern hyper-fundamentalist evangelical Protestants. The former command my love and respect; for the latter, CSTMS, I fully share your contempt!

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides thank you very much indeed, Than!

As for the Pilgrims/Puritans--

Yes, I really can't stand the Calvinists. I've even considered writing a science fiction story in which the whole thing starts because John Calvin was abducted by aliens (read some of his writing sometime. It could actually fit).

It's one of the worst sets of religious ideas I've ever seen. Maybe not quite as bad as the Wahabbists who think that if they hear a woman's footsteps their soul is in peril, but it's a tough call. What the hell kind of stupid idea is predestination and the elect anyway? Theological offal.

One day I was looking for an image to upload to an essay here, and I noticed with great delight that my images database had arranged itself so that this image:

im-stupid.jpg

was to the immediate left of this image:

Jonathan-Edwards-the-Use-of-Your-Time.jpg

I have made sure that my images stay organized just like that ever since.

When I went to Yale to attend a conference on religious activism against climate change (most of the people there were Christians), I saw John Edwards' ugly mug adorning the wall. I thought "I wonder if he's what went wrong with Yale?"

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides The thing about the Pilgrims is that I often forget to consider them Puritans because I'm sorry for them (they were starving) and, unlike most of their brethren, they basically came correct and acted like decent human beings, at least for about 60 years--with the exception of reframing the whole thing as "Squanto was sent here as an instrument of God."

But you're right--they were among the more extreme of the adherents of a really shitty set of religious views.

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0 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

On the spirit of thanksgiving. Squanto's story exemplifies that in a beautifully poignant way. I hope you don't mind if I share something I received from a friend a few days ago. It's a Buddhist "homily" about the meaning of grace and the life affirming ability to create value out of adversity that dovetails nicely, I think, with Squanto's story:

A story from Sujatin, a Buddhist nun who asks, when it comes to adversity, are you like carrots, eggs, or coffee?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it; she was tired of fighting and struggling and wanted to give up.

Her mother took her to the kitchen where she filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. When the pots came to boil she placed carrots in the first, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil for about twenty minutes, then turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and put them in a bowl, pulled the eggs out and put them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee into a mug.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “What do you see”.

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee, the daughter replied.

Her mother asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, they could see the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.She smiled as she smelled its rich aroma, then tasted its full flavor. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?' Her mother explained that the carrots, eggs, and coffee beans had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. After being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile, its thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior. After the boiling water, however, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed it.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I?

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studentofearth's picture

@zoebear can effect others and the world around us. Remaining ourselves the coffee bean does not change visually unless ground and still effecting the environment around us with our essence. Unless the water is looked specifically at no change may be noticed.

thanks for sharing

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My top political priorities: 1) Healthcare - Medicare for All, 2) The right to grow food, 3) copyright & patent reform (especially PHARMA)
Live for today, you may not be here tomorrow. Plan for the future, you may live to a 100+.

mhagle's picture

@studentofearth
@zoebear

And then it gets even better with SOE's interpretation of the story.

Thanks to all for an enriching read all the way down this page.

I wish for all here a Thanksgiving Day that brings you some unexpected beauty. Smile

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Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@studentofearth this reminds me of something I like very much from the Christian faith:

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

studentofearth's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Taking what your have, growing and creating an environment others can benefit. Did not require dying.

"It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. " Luke 13:19

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My top political priorities: 1) Healthcare - Medicare for All, 2) The right to grow food, 3) copyright & patent reform (especially PHARMA)
Live for today, you may not be here tomorrow. Plan for the future, you may live to a 100+.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@studentofearth That, too, is a marvellous metaphor.

Jesus, or whoever said/wrote those things, was a smart one.

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2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Who, as I understand it, actually "dissolves" into caterpillar juice (for want of a more scientific term) inside the cocoon before becoming a butterfly. So, in its way, it does "die", but I like to think of it more as a transformation.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear Yes. The old self dies, and is multiplied. That's definitely transformation.

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

The old self dying, and a beautiful and colorful one reborn (and one that can fly too!)

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear The jury is out on whether it's gonna be carrots or coffee.

My heart hasn't hardened. That's all I can say for sure at this time.

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I'm still in the brewing stage of my own brand of coffee. Have decided that until I actually make the coffee, I'll die trying. My feelings fluctuate, of course, but when I work at keeping myself in a high life condition, my heart knows I must find a path to create value out of what was given and taken away from me.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear Zoe, thank you so much for sharing this parable!

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q