A fool must now and then be right, by chance. — William Cowper
We Gather Together: Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow U.S.-ers and belated greetings of the season to our Canadian friends who celebrated a few weeks ago.
I’m hearing a lot of complaints about Thanksgiving this year. It’s become the holiday everyone loves to hate. It’s superficial, hypocritical, ahistorical, politically-incorrect, gluttonous, cruel to animals, too religious, too secular, and on top of everything, it’s the national springboard for that spasm of capitalistic boorishness, excess, and commercialism, “Black Friday.”
So, Thanksgiving. Thankgiving for what?—families we can’t stand, wealth we don’t deserve, food we shouldn’t eat, bills we can’t pay, and freedom we don’t appreciate? Thanksgiving to whom?—a God we disbelieve, parents we disrespect, heroes and heroines with feet of clay, ancestors we’d prefer to forget, or perhaps some nebulous, arbitrary, random “good fortune?” How about thanksgiving for war, terror, riots, plague, poverty, ignorance, injustice, fear, and suffering?
Boy, it’s easy to board that grim little train. Here’s one journalist’s satiric image of how our media would cover Thanksgiving from the perspective of an outside observer.
There may have been happier periods of history, but there certainly have been much worse. Life isn’t perfect. Of course it isn’t perfect. But it’s life. If nothing else, I’m compelled to thank God I’m still drawing breath. This is the ultimate privilege possessed by all human beings regardless of race, creed, color, age, gender, intelligence quotient, political affiliation, income, culture, sexual orientation, social class, body mass index, or any other arbitrary distinction currently in vogue that I’ve omitted. Let’s all take a moment to check this privilege. Still breathing? Thankful you are? Me too. If you’re having trouble with Thanksgiving, start there. Everything else is gravy.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Declined to Comment: The mayor of Seattle pardoned a tofurkey this week. I also decline to comment.
Randomer than Thou: All random numbers are not created equal. Most computer software that claims to generate random numbers actually produces pseudo-random numbers based on a mathematical formula whose outcome can be predicted, given enough expertise and effort. But fear not, seekers of true randomness—Randomness and Integrity Services, Ltd., has you covered! Go to www.random.org for random numbers generated from our planet’s very own atmospheric noise, which is the most random thing ever. The website offers a variety of utilities that provide sets of random numbers tailored to many common applications, like card shuffles, dice rolls, lottery draws, coin flips, and the order of your mailing list. Give it a spin and savor the power of absolute unpredictability!
Because Cartoons Are Always Relevant: Via CartoonBrew, your source for any and all things toony, here’s a collection of classic animated shorts featuring Meleagris gallopavo, lauded by Benjamin Franklin as “a Bird of Courage.”