Got the curry? Not to worry!

Yeah, I’ve ranted about this before. I think it bears repeating.

What is Thanksgiving for? Really?

If it’s supposed to celebrate national identity, we’ve already got a zillion holidays for that, Veteran’s Day and Independence Day for starts–and some that some of you out there wouldn’t consider as days of national pride like MLK Day and Labor Day.

Is it really for gratitude?

Well, this I could understand for the Puritans but, it wasn’t God that saved them. There was no divine providence that saved them from the fate of the Roanoke Colony–starvation, exposure and death. It was the Native Americans who saved them. It was the Native Americans who taught them what local foods were safe to eat and taught them farming techniques that would work in this strange land. If anything Thanksgiving should be a day of gratitude towards the nations of Native America, not God. Yes, thanks to the natives for providing a modicum of challenge and danger. (Thank you William S. Burroughs!) On the other hand, from the native prospective, Thanksgiving might be a really depressing day, marking the beginning of the end.

Is it really a religious holiday? Is it a religious holiday of gratitude towards the sky demons for not killing us once again in the onset of winter? No religion is short of those. Organized religion mostly consists of holy days about stuff like that–so no shortage there.

And again, who should we be grateful to? Really? Sky demons? We should be grateful to and for each other. Grateful for the help of friends and strangers who get us through the rough spots. We try–not that well actually, we are such slackers in this regard–to keep each other warm in the endless, timeless cosmic dark. That is the only place where the gratitude should go. The rest is blind chance. Why be grateful for blind luck?

The food sucks. If only founders of this country had come from Italy, Arabia, Thailand, China or India then, I’d almost want to believe in divine providence!

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2 Responses to Got the curry? Not to worry!

  1. Toby says:

    what you don’t like Turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes?
    you should have come to the 5 star Thanksgiving buffet I went to in Bangkok with my friend Pui- they had every kind of food under the sun… and I was thankful!
    we went to the Imperial Queen’s Park hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22 for their buffet dinner (which is apparently regularly on offer) – in addition to the thanksgiving layout the spread was outrageous with a vast array of foods on hand- western, Asian, you name it: cheeses, soups, meats, BBQ, salads, fruits, noodles, more cheeses, tacos!, a massive dessert table, breads, oh my! it was 1100 TBT/ person. Speaking as someone who has pursued food around the planet I would have to rate it very high. I thought the price very reasonable as I ate at least 400 baht worth of cheese alone. The Turkey was awesome and they had ham and roast beef as well.
    But this holiday being quasi secular and all about consumption is very very American… and it has a kind of calendric significance in that it ushers in the ‘holiday’ season
    and it is a very family oriented holiday, perhaps more so than xmas…
    I arrived in Phnom Penh yesterday to find millions of Cambodians in revelry celebrating their water festival. what does this mean to them? I will try and write more on this…
    but if you don’t like Turkey, what about Ham? and your mom is a good cook and as I recall her and Marci used to whip up an awesome feast– so I am curious, what it is you are complaining about… 🙂

  2. Pace Arko says:

    Yes, in my not so humble opinion about the lameness of holidays, there is only so much you can do with t-day food. Even if cooked by the best chefs in the land, it’s just lame. It doesn’t have the requisite amount of capsaicinoids or other forms of zippiness to get my attention.

    No denying that Marci is a damn good cook (My mother never was a good cook. All you tasted at those dinners years ago was all Marci. She kicks ass and takes names on the food bashing front. It’s quite creepy really. Her son Vernon is a good cook. Her sister Tina is a good cook. In her day, her mother Mrs B was a good cook. Saida, after she went to cooking school, is likely one now too. It’s like nearly everyone in that damn clan has this atavistic urge to show the food who is boss. Well that’s not entirely true. Jason isn’t. Unky isn’t. Don’t know about Gary or Uncle Joe. But I’m getting way off the point here.) but if I’m already predisposed against the taste of the food in the first place there is little she can do. There are lots of damn good cups of coffee out there too but, if you don’t care for coffee at all, it doesn’t matter.

    I guess I can get behind the whole gratitude to your friends and neighbors thing. It’s good to have a holiday based around that–to remind us to be grateful for our friends and helpful strangers. That’s a cool idea and I support it.

    But the food itself is just lame. Put some wasabi on it! Mustard sauces! Salsa! Vinaigrette! Something to shake it out of it’s boiled, baked, beaten blandness! I’ve only got two taste buds that work now, spicy and non.

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