The joke of the season is that Thanksgiving is a nightmare: interspersed among frantic culinary thrashing, multiple culinary disasters and terminal end-of-festival drunkenness comes what is called "political arguments".
I can authoritatively attest to the validity of the first three: the family I grew up in laid down the master template for those things.
In fact, here is a little snippet from a novel that I am thinking about writing:
“She threw the turkey on the floor and then the cast iron frying pan. The turkey slid over to the cat food dishes; the cast iron, after an amazing low range gong note, spun in place and slowly split into two pieces: a third and two – thirds. It was beautifully asymmetrical.”
“So what did she do for dessert?”
“Funny you should ask; she threw the cocoa divinity cake into the sink. After we put the pieces back together and pasted it up and back together in several pieces with frosting it was the best cake she ever made.”
“The cat went after the turkey, of course; but the pan hit the floor so soon after the turkey that he made a big tail and left with a shriek. He never was quite the same after that, which was good; we never liked that cat much anyway.”
“Most of the dressing stayed in the bird.”
“That was the first year using nutmeg in the dressing; we always thought it was the nutmeg, not the slight infusion of Puss ‘n Boots that made the dressing so special; but we were never really sure.”
So I can talk with authority about part of the horror that is thanksgiving.
I still have nightmares.
My father, with a dull knife trying to carve the turkey is a recurring nightmare theme.
It always ends even more badly than one might expect.
After I made this post my younger sister, who was still at Thanksgivings long after I had escaped into adult life, read it and reacted:
“I read your blog. It’s funny. Sometime in grade school I wrote an essay about the Thanksgiving my father went to carve the turkey and it slipped off the table and out the dining room window. That never actually happened exactly like that, as I believe your story did, but certainly similar things occurred. I remember my teacher commenting that I had such a wild imagination….”
I just had to include it here; I’m not making this stuff up!
So I submit all that in support of the first three Thanksgiving nightmare activities.
But number four?
We have merely devolved into a culture which shouts at one another armed with our various forms of ignorance, misinformation and prejudice.
That's not politics; it's anthropology.