Thanksgiving

November 26, 2009
Posted by Jay Livingston

Last year’s post-Thanksgiving post, was a response to a repost at The Situationist fretting about the conservative framing of Thanksgiving (The Situationist reposted it again this year.). The high priests of our society exhort the poor and downtrodden to give thanks for a system that is screwing them. Don’t question or rise against, is the message, but rather be thankful for the few crumbs it brings. The holiday is an exercise in false-consciousness.

From a Durkheimian perspective, I argued, that is the nature of all rituals not just Thanksgiving. “All rituals are inherently conservative. They idealize and uphold the society as a whole and promote the attachment of individuals to that whole.”

I added.
I just wonder whether godly conservatives, those who “recognize that everything we have is a gift from God” included the election of Obama as one of those gifts . . . and gave thanks for it last Thursday.
This Thanksgiving, I’m less sure that the spirit of Durkheim reigns in the land. My guess is that the thanks we hear from the right side of the table will come mixed with a generous portion of snark. The “Pray for Obama” campaign, hawked on everything from bumper stickers to teddy bears, is a recent example of the sort of thing we might get.

Psalm 109, verse 8 is: “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.” And in case it wasn’t clear what “days be few” means, the next verse spells it out: “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”

Clever, isn’t it? Doesn’t it bring a smile to your face in this holiday season?

Conservatives know how to avoid false-consciousness. So expect more of this today. I hope someone else is reading the right wing blogs and watching Fox so I don’t have to.

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