Today is Thanksgiving Day here in America and while I want to go on record as being thankful for all the usual suspects like my precious wife, health, etc., I want to spend a little time talking about some of the things I’m thankful for that may seem a little unusual.
For instance, I’m thankful I live in a country where a police officer can do his job — even if that job means shooting and killing a suspect — and not end up going to jail for it. Killing someone is always difficult and he’ll have his own version of prison in his mind for the rest of his life and I can speak with some authority about prisons of the mind.
At the same time, I’m also thankful to live in a country where people who think a police officer SHOULD go to jail for doing his job when that job means shooting and killing a suspect can riot in the streets and burn public and private property while discharging firearms willy-nilly WITHOUT going to jail as well. Rioting, looting, and destruction of property has a long and venerated history in the United States. One of the seminal events in the founding of our nation was the destruction of an entire cargo of valuable tea by masked men called patriots.
Oh, as long as I’m talking about our founding patriots, I’m thankful to live in a country where racism is not only LEGAL, it was ensconced in our sacred Constitution of the United States for over 100 years. Thankfully, I can hate anyone I want to for their race or religion or, to quote the inimitable Oscar Wilde, “for the color of [their] hair” and they in return can hate ME for any or all of the same reasons and it’s just fine with the government.
Anyone who thinks I’m being facetious about this needs to realize I truly AM thankful to live in a country where the freedom to gather in mass and lose our collective s$%& over something we don’t agree with and not die is protected. For people who think this isn’t a real freedom, I have two words for you: TIANANMEN SQUARE. I’m not naive; our government kills people too, but at least it has the common decency to do so either quietly and privately or wait until they are in some other country.
Speaking of killing in other countries, I’m thankful I live in a country where I can believe in and worship God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Ganesha, Odin, Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster and be perfectly safe. People might make fun of me for being a Christian myself, but at least if I’m let’s say Presbyterian, the Southern Baptists won’t take up arms against me and my family, lay siege to my hometown, starve our congregation, and finally break into our Children’s Church and cut the precious babies’ little heads off in front of their parents before beheading the parents as well . . . on video, because — you know — Allahu Akbar!! No, those pesky Baptists might not believe like I do, and they might not speak to me in the liquor store, but at least they won’t kill me for my heretical views of Calvinism.
I’m thankful to live in a country where I get to start spending obscene amounts of money I don’t have to buy things I really don’t need ON SALE just as soon as I finish gorging myself on enough food to feed an entire West African village. Of course it sucks for the people working at the retail stores who have to wait on my L-tryptophan laden carcass when they would much rather be home eating their own village-worth of food with their families and other loved ones, but them’s the breaks. If you don’t want to work from 6 PM to 1 AM at the mall then get back by 5:00 AM (yeah, that’s 4 hours later) to deal with the screaming hordes, then you need to use the tons of opportunities the average wage slave has to rocket up the corporate ladder so you can be a CEO and order people away from their homes and families to work on a great holiday so you can get that awesome seven-figure bonus check! This IS America after all, you know? The LAND OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY!
Oh, on the subject of opportunity, I’m also thankful to live in a country where a man can rape a woman at a party and blame her for it, shoplift a cartload of seafood, and screech profanities from atop a table in a crowded public place WITHOUT ANY CONSEQUENCE as long as he can throw a football for a top program. Of course, he may have as his idol some politician. After all, politicians can let their dates drown in a wrecked car in cold water and go on to become “American Icons” as long as they are from the right family.
Finally, I’m thankful to live in a great country where half the population has the RIGHT, nay the DUTY, to be royally pissed off at the OTHER half of the population almost constantly. In other countries, they’d call these camps “insurgencies” or “rebel factions” but here they’re just the members of whatever political party is out of power at the moment. Instead of blowing up bases or marching with torches and pitchforks in the streets, we just wage wars of words every two years in November and have REALLY big fights every four years just to get the opportunity to elect people who are going to do the EXACT SAME THING as the people already holding those positions . . . they’ll just call them by another name. Maybe.
So that’s it for this year’s thankfulness. Now it’s time to get ready for my feast and the following three games of American football where I can watch guys run up and down the field for millions of dollars playing a child’s game while sitting between my two favorite people who happen to be teachers and barely make a living wage to educate our next generation. Later on, we’re going SHOPPING to line the coffers of the CEOs. After all, we all have to do our parts or they won’t get that new yacht they’ve had their eye on this year!
Love y’all, Happy Thanksgiving, and Keep those feet clean.