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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the Great American Holiday, isn’t it?

Now, part of me wants to rant about how it exemplifies the worst of America. The observance of abundance in excess, the centrality of television (both the parade and the ritualized violence of football), and most of all the way the whole thing seems to be reduced to a lead-up to the opening of the stores at midnight for the more important kind of consumption.

On the other hand, Thanksgiving! A moment of gratefulness, which is necessarily humbling. The importance of community and family, the tremendous amount of charitable giving (the grocery stores provide ready-packed grocery bags that they will deliver for you to the local soup kitchen), the exercise of the family football game.

And the parade. Our national celebration of the incredible talent, skill and hard work of the Rockettes and the high school marching bands (the marching bands are my favorite part, tho’ I never actually go to see my local ones perform) and the Broadway musical casts and the random celebrities and television personalities and so on and so forth. And the balloons! The balloons! I mean, the balloons.

Think about America, and how much money, time, creativity, and love goes in to gigantic balloons, and how much joy we get out of them. Think about how many people—seriously, think about how many people are smiling this morning because of gigantic balloons.

If you want something to be thankful for today, how about a society that (for all its craziness and selfishness and screwed-up priorities) is smiling in the millions at gigantic balloons.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,