Friday, November 29, 2013

The Myth of Thanksgiving

I received this "e-card". Be sure to open it in a new tab, and then come back here to read my comments.

If I suppose that this is a colonial-era scene, the family gathering is set against the slaughter of Indians and the expropriation of land. So I live outside of the myth. If I bring myself into this scene, I am the laborer, bedding in the barn, the vagrant still tramping the road looking for a place to live and prosper, I am the slave who brought the grain the previous spring for the farmer to plant.

Do I yearn for such a home? Of course! If the Earth were infinite, growing as we grow, if I could have had ten children and fed them all on the bounteous landscape? Of course! As I live today, I take advantage of unsustainable systems such as gasoline fueled transportation, electricity on demand, and food shipped in to central locations where I harvest my international dinner with minimal labor at minimal expense. Do I wish it were so? Do I wish I could unwind the illogic, the wastefulness, the violence? Yes, of course. What do I really want?

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