A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016*

Since November 8 I resigned myself to the idea that I could not get into the spirit of the holiday season.  However, the initial shock of this year’s election has worn off and the usual November rush of taking open enrollment calls took my mind off the world at large.  This month usually ends up speeding through as a blur and everyone at my job is usually three weeks behind in our cases.  This translates into a lot of opportunities to make up the work for the remainder of the year.

Also known as sweet overtime at time-and-a-half.

So I find that I am thankful for a few things.  At the risk of sounding like I’m taking it all for granted, I’ll say that I am thankful for the usual suspects.   A good home, an opportunity to do good in the world and get paid just enough to satisfy my needs; my wife, my cats, and my sanity…and not necessarily in that order.

The sanity will become a particular challenge in the coming months and years.  Despite the polls, kvetching about the Electoral College, protests and dread of a conservative slant to our governing, I suppose it behooves me to be thankful for all of it.   Regardless of the winners and losers, we should agree that there was once again a clear victor: democracy.  Our peculiar brand of American democracy triumphed again.  Many people in the world don’t even have the choice of who runs their lives.  We should be and are grateful.

I am thankful for cable television, that brand of anything goes entertainment which was once the upstart child to the major networks.  Once there were community standards which ruled what certain things could be broadcast and what could be taboo.  It started as subscription networks in the 70s (HBO) and has since slowly encroached so that everything tawdry and indecent can be celebrated alongside the reverent and profane, or at least what was considered profane back in the era of VHF television.

Still, there is an odd feeling about this medium.   It can elevate the ghastliest of people to near sainthood (witness our President Elect), yet we have not seen a commercial for cigarettes since 1971.  Don’t’ get me wrong:  I abhor the product, but the commercials were so damned entertaining!  Go figure!

Cable television has and will continue to allow me to escape my ill-conceived and mislaid dread of things which are beyond my control.  For example, today one of the networks is running back-to-back showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I will escape reality and perhaps view Rocky Horror at least once more before the day is out.  I may even try to teach our basement cat Oreo how to do The Time Warp. 

There, get that image out of your mind.  I dare you!

This marathon makes me long for the days of Comedy Central’s Turkey Day Marathon of wall-to-wall episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Ah, those were the days!  I am grateful that we MSTies have had countless hours of enjoyment since the 1990s.

Given recent events I did not think that there could be anything new to be thankful for this year.   Then I had an epiphany.   So now I will give thanks for the social advances we attained in the last eight years.

The notion of same-sex marriage is an abomination to some and a symbol of the last great civil rights struggle for many others.  In the last eight years, we have seen remarkable strides forward on this front and the notion that marijuana should be legalized for legitimate medical purposes.  True today we are staring in the mouth of the beast which may reverse this progression, but this will be the challenge for all of us.  While many of us in the blogisphere rightfully dread what might happen to our friends and family, we also need to acknowledge (albeit begrudgingly) that this political blowback is a normal reaction to progress.  The pendulum of social justice is swinging away from the progressives, and we can only hope that it will swing back in our direction soon.

In any case, I am grateful for the progress we did accomplish in the last 8 years.  We proved to ourselves that we could do this, and we can pray that we won’t have to redo it.  If the worst case scenario happens, then we know we can do it because we have done it before.  We are now experienced, thank you very much Mr. Hendrix for asking.  

I know: I am a heterosexual white male who, theoretically, has nothing to fear for my own personal standing in society.  My type has always been at the top of heap…and, honestly, where has that gotten us?  In any case, that is not the point if we are honest with ourselves and TRULY want all to be included in all opportunities life has to offer. 

We have only the challenge to convince our brothers and sisters that their revered, narrow way of thinking needs to be broadened.   We should be grateful for the challenge.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

*Or Giving Thanks and the Coming Madness

(Thank you for reading.  Um, anyone up for a serving of Manos: The Hands of Fate?)


Blogger Ur-spo said...

I am thankful for you two.

November 24, 2016 at 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Janey Frank-N-Furter said...

May I come over and join you in doing the Time Warp? ;-)

November 25, 2016 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you Spo for checking in.

Of course Janey! It wouldn't be the Time Warp without you!

November 25, 2016 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

If I 'pass' before you, would you give my eulogy?
Beautiful thoughts, and Thankful for them.

November 26, 2016 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Fearsome Beard said...

Like Spo thankful for you two as well.
Have we figured out a way to do the time warp in a fashion that actually warps time yet? These days warping time might be most beneficial.

November 28, 2016 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you jimmy for your thoughts. Actually I think I am better on paper than in public speaking.

It sounds tempting Fearsome Beard, to jump ahead to 2020, but someone on the right will surely gripe and we'll never hear the end of it. no, it is perhaps better to slog through all this in real time. Who knows? We, the resistors, may come out stronger from it.

November 29, 2016 at 6:46 AM  

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