I’ll be out of town all week, so Happy Thanksgiving a day early.
Today I’m thankful for family and friends. For y’all — comrades in arms, if only virtually. They’re the only things worth being loyal to.
There will be a Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, of course, and it’ll look a lot like it did back in the old days. There will be turkey in the oven and football on tv. Grandmas and Grandpas, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandchildren will gather around the table. Grandpa will have one of his two annual glasses of whiskey and fall asleep in his armchair by the start of the third quarter, like he does every year. Some goofy cousin will bring her new boyfriend — he’s really The One this time — and he’ll try too hard to be funny when we play board games (probably drinking a bit too much in the process). At least one grandkid will be down with a stomachache by four o’clock. Uncle Paddy will try to talk politics, like he always does, and Aunt Mabel will shush him just like always. The fire will be bright, the stuffing will be perfect, and if you try, you can almost convince yourself it’s still America.
But the goofy cousin’s boyfriend will be a mystery meatball, or at best one of those pudgy white kids who wears skinny jeans and ironic facial hair. Uncle Paddy will be extra bitter, because he’s been out of work for five years now, since the plant got outsourced to Mexico. Aunt Mabel’s shushing is a bit slurred these days — Prozac — and all the grandkids are on Ritalin. All the ads during the game will feature Hispanics and homosexuals.
The truth is, America was gone by 1992, when we elected that chicken-fried poonhound and his harridan gangster wife. It was probably gone long before that, to be honest, but by then the rot was unmistakable. I was too young and naive to see it clearly, but a few decades on, I recognize what that vague feeling of discontent was I’d had all those years. I felt like a Romano-Briton must’ve felt, circa 400 AD or so. You know the horrors are on their way, but for now the roads and aqueducts still work and there’s peace, however obviously fragile and short-lived. Here in ex-America we still have heat and light and the Internet and indoor plumbing, and I’m thankful for them… not least because I sure as hell wouldn’t take bets that my grandchildren will have them.
So be thankful for what you have, comrades-in-arms, for as long as you are blessed to still have it. Western Civilization has survived worse than this. We’ll be back… but the night is long, and twilight is rushing in. Be thankful for the light while it’s here. Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless.