Something Else to be Grateful for Today: You Are Not a Tradition-Hating Hectoring Scold of a Journalist

It is one of the reliable aspects of our press corps; crapping all over a traditional occurrence or celebration taking place in this country. Now this is not to say that it is a widespread activity, but any holiday, national remembrance, or other type of gathered observance – especially one the general population enjoys – is sure to have at least one journalist come forward with a wise and lengthy think-piece about all of the problems found in said activity.

Usually, this arrives in the form of an over-educated, under-appreciated scribe with a particular grievance they feel the need to grant upon the populace. Dependably these overwrought diatribes serve little purpose beyond being a self-serving chance to virtue signal to their peers with a “Look how I brought down the (enter participating group) over what they do not know!” 

Well done Journo, you really showed those people unlikely to read your screeching missive!

The latest example arrives, of course, in time to deride today’s national holiday of gratitude. Over at The Nation, they received a submission from Sean Sherman and it is rather apparent they were looking for something of a contrarian piece to run for the holiday – and boy, did they get one. This laughable lecture is declaring that we, as Americans, should “de-colonize” the holiday. If you are wondering how exactly you have previously colonized Thanksgiving, you are not alone in this curiosity.

I do not think we need to end Thanksgiving. But we do need to decolonize it. That means centering the Indigenous perspective and challenging the colonial narratives around the holiday (and every other day on the calendar).

It sure sounds like Sean is priming us for more of these foot-tapping offerings. I for one am looking forward to how we have appropriated Super Bowl Sunday from the Tribal Nations. If you have a meandering curiosity on how you could remove the colonization of your day spent with family, food, and football, Sean offers up a primer. I…think.

By exploring the Indigenous perspective on Thanksgiving, we can not only discern some of the nuances of decolonization but gain a deeper understanding of American history. The sanitized version of Thanksgiving neglects to mention the violence, land theft, and subsequent decimation of Indigenous populations.

You are sure to be a hit around the hearth as you uncork these nuggets, while the rest of the gathering are all sharing updates on how their fantasy teams are doing. Also helpful could be when you go with a lecture on how intolerant the cornbread stuffing is to see, since we appropriated that crop from the Native Americans.

Last month we were dealt another one of these finger-wagging treatises over possibly the most innocuous topic – Pumpkin Spice. 

Yes, seriously. 

At the Washington Post, they went so far as to berate the baristas and their customers over the seasonal flavor arriving in stores. We get told how the base ingredient of the flavoring – nutmeg – has a dark history that we all should be made aware of and then…oh hell, I don’t know, feel shame for ordering a box of pumpkin spice Twinkies, or some such manufactured guilt trip.

The Dutch fleet of 1,655 soldiers and sailors and more than a dozen wooden ships landed at the Banda Islands, an archipelago located in modern-day Indonesia, in 1621.  After a swift Bandanese surrender, the victors rounded up local leaders. They signed treaties that turned the Bandanese into Dutch subjects, then tortured them for confessions revealing alleged plots to attack the Dutch. 
“And it was all for nutmeg.”

Another factor in these pieces is the use of jargon to make things sound official and proper, but just like the dropping of “decolonizing Thanksgiving”, the effect is merely laughable. Here WaPo informs us on what the devious result of this spice grab by the Dutch had become. 

The population of around 15,000 Bandanese was decimated to just a few hundred in a few months. The Dutch company was later accused of carrying out what some describe as the first instance of corporate genocide.

What these articles are attempting to accomplish is truly a boggle, because I cannot imagine anyone soft enough in their character to read one of these gripe posts and feel a need to alter their lifestyle as a result. Nutmeg, for example, has become modernized for centuries. As for the connection to today, there is none. 

That corporate genocide we are all supposed to cry into our lattes over? It took place over 600 years ago. This pumpkin spice craze has only been around for two decades when Starbucks concocted its first Fall-themed drink. I think any of the ethnic cleansing alleged over the accursed flavoring has been worked through in that time. 

The need for these beleaguered souls to moan and carp about what everyone else is enjoying is clearly done for personal edification. These articles that come out are basically public testimonials on how the writers are not invited to family functions. Just let them work out their therapy sessions and we will go on enjoying time with the family and adjusting our injury-plagued digital rosters. These bitter journalists can then get updates on the fun they missed on social media tonight.

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