Edits, Friday the 18th:
First, I took out “and Small” Business. Small- and medium-sized local businesses could save the country. If we stopped spending our money at the multinationals and rigidly reduced our fossil fuel consumption, we would have enough money to pay our local farmers and goods purveyors what they deserve. It’s the competition from Big Business and their insane tax breaks (which will only go insan-er under our new — gosh, I can’t even write ‘President,’ let alone say it) that cause small business owners to go under. We think we’re saving money at WalMart, for instance, but what we’re doing is killing our own community.
Second, I’m adding this thought: If Thanksgiving is all about family, then why do so many people have to work on that day? I’m not talking about those in the emergency services, but those who work for hotels, airports, restaurants. Do these employees not deserve to be home, too? Then “Black Friday” comes and family is forgotten entirely as the shoppiing frenzy begins. I propose we cancel Thanksgiving unless we can return it to a day of rest and thanks with local loved ones nearby, or helping out at our local homeless and other shelters.
Now, back to our original programming!
Today in the Old Folks Home they’re giving us a free Thanksgiving dinner. I made polite noises to the givers of the feast, but actually I had no intention of going to this dinner, and it wasn’t because I’m a vegetarian, or that they will serve Monsanto’s finest pseudo-food. I will not attend any dinner acknowledging what Thanksgiving has become, especially this year.
“Oh, but it’s about family and about being grateful!” I hear you say. No, that’s what Big Business wants you to think. Grateful people are much more likely to spend money they don’t have, on tons of gifts they don’t want, on people they rarely see, on the obscene perversion of “Black Friday” and the silly selling season that horrific rebranded date heralds.
Thanksgiving originally was to thank the First Nation tribes who kept the capitalist colonists alive that first harsh winter. Little did they know these settlers would unsettle everything they held dear and sacred. Tribe after tribe was pushed into land that the Plunderers deemed unfruitful. Far from honoring Mother Earth, the greedy colonists came to rape and pillage and plunder Her.
And they’re still doing it today. While you sit at your over-laden table congratulating yourselves on how blessed and lucky you are to be white, working, well-clothed and too-well fed, the Dakota Pipeline saga continues. Make no mistake; it will be built. It matters not one whit that it goes through land held sacred by one of the tribes whose ancestors helped the White Intruders three hundred-odd years ago. It doesn’t matter that the drinking water of at least four states will be polluted from the fracking process — long before the pipeline breaks. The pipeline will go through because (a) Big Oil realized that there was “gold in them thar hills” after all, and (b) there is nothing sacred to the pipeline builders but money. If you think otherwise, you are naive — and dangerously so. You and I are not part of the In Crowd of billionaires and never will be. That ship, you might say, has sailed. It was called the Mayflower.
Are you brave enough to stop shopping? Are you strong enough to “just say No” to spending? Are you courageous enough to realize that the real meanings behind Thanksgiving and Christmas have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH MONEY? Indeed, Love never has been about money. Never ever. Neither has Gratitude.
If you do have money — I’m talking cold, hard cash, not credit-card-fake-money — perhaps you would send it to those fighting the pipeline. Or to those opposing a similar project going on in your own city, state, or country. Can you imagine the billions of dollars that would have been spent on tat and crap suddenly showing up to stop the Dakota Pipeline? THEN the pipeline owners would listen. They only listen to money.
Do you really want to show your gratitude this season? Then do something kind for Mother Earth. Stop the rape and plunder, if only within the borders of your own home and within the circle of your own friends and family. Stop driving when you don’t need to. (First you might want to do an in-depth survey of the difference between need and want). If you aren’t brave enough, maybe it would be good to ask yourself why you continue to buy into (and I mean that so literally) a corrupt, amoral greedy system that lets you think you’re free when you’re not. They’ve cleverly covered the cell bars with brightly colored ads for shiny toys. Do you still believe you can resist best by playing their Greed Game? Really?
I am only one, but I am one. It starts and ends with me. I’m blessed by not having money, a car, or credit cards. (The real blessing is realizing having nothing is such a blessing!) Even so, there was a time I did have money, and I was totally swept up in the Capitalist Dream, too. I’m grateful to have woken up. That was no dream; it was a nightmare.
Are you brave enough to join me in saying “No” to Thanksgiving and Christmas, at least the version that’s for sale?