With all the patriarchy I’ve been blaming over the past few years, I’ve somehow drifted away from my roots. That is, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a photograph of my lunch.
Who among us right-thinking honky Americans is not conflicted (“conflicted” meaning the discomfiture experienced when it becomes necessary to juggle opposing concepts in order to avoid rocking the boat. It is a funny word the use of which I cannot advocate, but which has nevertheless crept via some sinister psychotic impulse into the spinster vernacular. But what preposition to use? Is one conflicted with, by, or over a thing? Stupid ungrammatical word) on accounta Thanksgiving? Like all holidays, it is riddled with horrors. Smallpox blankets. The spurious Squanto mythology. Genocide. The expectation that one manifest a hearty, convivial mood in the bosom of the fam despite the fact that the whole binge is (a) quasi-godbagious, (b) a shitload of extra work for the womenfolk, and (c) poultry-based.
Regale me not with sanctimonious tales of your tofurkey, by the way. It’s not like the soybean industrial complex isn’t a major player in the megatheocorporatocracy.
And you know? All the vegan Thanksgiving feasts the details of which many of you will not be able to resist posting in the comments section? Still no good. That’s right. Because feasting of any kind, while fun-filled on the surface of it, cannot, in this culture, be accomplished without guilt.
I don’t mean pop-psychology “white” guilt; without question millions of Americans are perfectly capable of greasing their colons with the traditional 37.8 pounds of fat without giving the the American honky’s role in world hunger the flicker of a thought. I also don’t mean the self-imposed I-shouldn’t-be-eating-this-delicious-fatty-meal-
because-of-social-pressures-to-be-thin-and-”healthy”- type guilt. Maybe gluttony isn’t of the highest philosophic importance, but capitulation to patriarchal beauty mandates is the worst possible reason to modify your relationship with the feed-trough.
When I say you can’t feast without guilt, I mean actual guiltiness. It’s the privilege principle. When the stuffing of the maw at Thanksgiving is experienced as oppression by Native Americans and atheists and factory turkeys and the millions of humans globally who are screwed by honky American excess, it is irrelevant that your intent is innocent, or that you are a “good” person, or that a nice dinner party with good food and good friends is what makes life worth living and who am I to cast aspersions, or that if you’d blown off Thanksgiving dinner your mom would’ve been pissed. None of this shit matters. The reason we are able to exist the way we do is that somebody else isn’t able to.
Not that anything will fix it.
Well, revolution maybe.
This complaint is not specific to Thanksgiving feasts, of course. Guilt obtains twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s like the Eyes of Texas. You cannot get away.* I blame the patriarchy for the whole lousy set-up.
Thus, my leftover stuffing and ativan lunch.
* The University of Texas fight song is a creepy stalker’s anthem.