Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happier Thanksgivings 

Last Thanksgiving, April Winchell posted a Thanksgiving greeting from her nephew which began,

I can't think of a better way to celebrate the Indians teaching us how to survive the winter so we can kill them in the spring, than by stuffing our faces and taking naps.

God Bless America! It's the only country you can be whatever you want to be and be whoever you are and be equal. Well, that's unless you are female, gay, lesbian, Hispanic, Black, Asian, disabled, atheist,overweight, old, poor, middle class, Native American, undereducated, Jewish, unattractive, live in certain zip codes, have ethnic sounding surnames, fall into lower tax brackets, middle eastern, unhealthy, a veteran, convicted of any crime, an HMO member, of non-christian religion, not owed something by someone in power, not sponsored by a corporation, not unionized, have opinions contrary to popular opinion, or honest.

We do have a lot to be thankful for. In addition to having given up literally slaughtering Native Americans and parceling out their land, our society has for the most part abandoned slavery, the execution of "witches", and public floggings.

More recently we've mostly given up lynchings, eugenics, whipping strong-willed children, and reformed the labor practices tantamount to slavery in the mining and textile industries ... and women can vote now.

Even more recently, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allowed our culture to let go of the notion of requiring the consent and signatures of the husbands or fathers of women who apply for credit or purchase property. A marriage license is in most states is no longer a license to rape (In the mid Seventies, New York was the first state to prosecute someone for raping their wife).

Despite the fact that many in the 11 states who recently outlawed taxing same sex couples the same as opposite sexed couples are giving sadistic thanks for their backwards accomplishment*, on days such as today when we are to pause and consider our blessings even black Americans and gays probably feel society is more moral than forty years ago. Or even ten.

Happy Thanksgiving.

* Don't think "marriage penalty", think of the tax-free transfer of an estate to a deceased spouse and the collection of Social Security survivor benefits thereafter.

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