A woke guide to winning the annual familial debate “Thanksgiving”
Thanksgiving is coming up and preparation is crucial don’t let this be like last year when your uncle tricked you into admitting that “Yes Mussolini did make the trains run on time I grant you that ok.”
First you want to make sure your mind and body are clear and ready for intellectual combat. Start your morning with a session of mindfulness meditation which has been scientifically proven to increase brain activity and sharpen reflexes. Seven minutes should do. Next stimulate your body with a series of wind sprints to simulate a traditional flight or fight scenario.
When you arrive at your parents house DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL which will leave your reasoning cortex dulled and subject to emotional outbursts. Instead stay hydrated with seltzer water from the Sodastream. Most people don’t know turkey meat contains a drug called Tryptophan which is basically the same as taking a sleeping pill. Don’t eat the turkey instead periodically snack on the organic beef jerky you packed ahead. Overeating in general will render you sluggish and subject to your cousins’ many logical fallacies including the appeal to ridicule.
Now that you are properly prepared you have a much better shot at carrying out your game plan. On to the arguments!
Your dad and uncle are watching football. Your dad sits up from reclining position on the couch making a spot for you “Hey buddy you’re late we were worried you weren’t gonna make it this year. We’re watching the game take a load off.” Probably the best thing to say here is “Yeah sounds fun if you like head injuries and colonialism. Where’s mom?” Your dad slumps in his seat deftly defeated. “In the kitchen cooking with Ellen.” he acquiesces.
You enter the kitchen “Hi mom… smells good in here.” “Thanks honey me and Ellen have been cooking up a storm.” Fuck. Off on the wrong foot already. “Hi Ellen good to see you.” It’s okay there’s still time to salvage this dialectic. “Women in the kitchen cooking while the men lay around watching gladiatorial contests in the tv room huh typical America I guess.” “Well your father is doing the bird he even brined it in a tub overnight. He’s very proud of himself!” Time to cut your losses, go outside and smoke an american spirit to regroup.
Shit, your cousins are outside talking about restaurants. You could try blurting out “Sushi is actually just one small aspect of Japanese cuisine.” I guess. They seem impressed. “While most Americans consider ramen little more than dorm room fare for cash strapped students in Japan it has a long and storied cultural history and significance.” They stare blankly at you then start giggling. Idiots. Cody hands you a vape pen. “Sour diesel bro hit that shit it’ll help you deal with the colossus of fuck brewing in there.” DO NOT SMOKE THE WEED. You inhale the vapor and sit silently listening to Emily talk about the music festivals she went to this summer. She saw Radiohead twice. Bitch. “Native headdresses are cultural appropriation.” you interject. They continue talking about Avicii.
Inside Cody hands you a Sam Adams. “Fake ass corporate craft beer.” you counter. “Actually Sam Adams was instrumental in kicking off the craft brewing revolution and while it’s maybe not as forward thinking as some of the smaller breweries I find it an overall well balanced, decent session ale, you should give it another shot.” “It’s still a vector of late capitalism but I guess technically it tastes ok.” Well played. Remember in intellectual combat it’s as important to cultivate allies as it is to defeat enemies.
Just then the ultimate adversary, racist uncle Jim, emerges from his american football induced coma. “Hey bud put’er there how’s graduate school going. I can kinda remember graduate school. Back before there was a sun. I think I had a good time. Worked hard, maybe found a minute here and there to play hard too hah.” He has an MBA. “What’re you studying again? Nomad transvestites in Africa or something?” He hits you on the back at the exact moment he says Africa and Sam Adams blooms from your nose. The entire kitchen is in hysterics. “Oh leave him alone Jim it’s an important…” Your mom can’t finish her defense of your academic pursuits because she’s laughing too hard. “I’m just kidding buddy. Actually I’d love to read your dissertation, it sounds interesting. Almost finished?” You are having a panic attack. Excuse yourself to the bathroom.
Breathe. Formulate a line of attack. You emerge from the bathroom 45 minutes later to find the family seated at the table already eating. They’re looking at you wearily. “Dark or light meat honey?” your mother asks. “It doesn’t matter I’m just trying to get through this colonialist nightmare.” Your father looks at you pitiably “Hey man the whole family is here, the food is good, at least try to enjoy yourself come on.” “I just feel like thanksgiving represents everything wrong with this garbage world.” you say seemingly disinterestedly. “Thanksgiving definitely has some pretty messed up historical connotations but that doesn’t mean we can’t gather together and share each others’ company. Like most things it’s not all bad or all good.” says your wretched racist baby boomer uncle fuckboi who’s btw drinking unreasonably expensive wine. “Well IMHO thanksgiving should be banned.” you reply cooly. “You know who else wanted to ban cultural practices he didn’t like?” Cody says. “ Hitler.”
The table is silent for what seems like an eternity. Everyone is watching you. You take a long draw off your bottle of Sam Adams before intoning.
“Hitler… had some good ideas.”
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