22 November 2004

Twenty Years Ago

11-22-84 Today is Thanksgiving, the day on which several Pilgrims are supposed to have met with a group of Indians to enjoy an autumn feast more than three hundred years ago. Legend has it that the Pilgrims and Indians gave thanks to “God” for the bounty of their harvest. This is undoubtedly a myth, however, for there were seldom any good feelings between the intolerant Europeans and the suspicious Indians. Today, the holiday is celebrated by having a large meal and by watching football games on television, at least in my family. We always had a large turkey on the table and an assortment of side dishes, including cranberries, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and desserts. Mom went out of her way to make the day special for us. Now, of course, I do not eat turkey. It is wrong. Before I left school yesterday, I wrote on the blackboard in the T.A. office: “Have a nice Thanksgiving; but remember, eating turkey is wrong.” I take my moral commitments very seriously. But on television this evening, there was this bit of inanity by a reporter at a turkey farm: “If you’re having second thoughts about eating your turkey this Thanksgiving day, don’t. These turkeys are DUMB!!!” The point, I take it, was that if something is dumb (read: unintelligent), then it has no moral claim on our behavior. This is false, else people would be eating their infants and senile parents on Thanksgiving Day. I am sick of the ignorance and callousness that permeates this society.

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