I don’t want to get into semiotics of the annual turkey pardon (Justin E.H. Smith, a philsopher at Montreal’s Concordia University, did that much better last year anyway), but let me suggest that there are better ways of humanizing turkeys than incorporating them into our criminal-justice system (not known for its humanizing effects). There’s even a better — a more festive, convivial — way to humanize them while still celebrating Thanksgiving with them.
That way, of course, is singing with them. Singing with turkeys.
Click to listen. [Image: Reuters]
QUESTION ONE (POSED BY YOUR DAD): You see that Papa John’s guy? I’m telling you: Obamacare is going to ruin this country. I know Jeff [your 22-year-old brother who is currently insured on your family’s health plan as a direct result of Obamacare] went knocking on doors for our “president” because he’s never had a real job and doesn’t know what it’s like to pay taxes just so a bunch of people can get a free ride. But I’m not mad, because he’ll figure it out, once he gets out into the world, and sees what it’s like to make payroll or buy a house after the government’s gotten through with you.
ANSWER: Here’s what I think about Skyfall. It was an awesome movie — and, wow, Sam Mendes totally brought it — but it wasn’t a Bond movie, you know? It was so cool and Bardem was ah-may-zing but seeing where James Bond grew up? That’s more Batman, right? What do you think, cousin Sam?
Read more. [Image: Norman Rockwell, Reuters]
Manhattan blamed it on the media campaign drummed up by a newspaper known as The New York Times, which Brooklyn had met at a party in, of course, Brooklyn. (Manhattan had not been invited, and so stayed home listening mournfully to Coldplay and thinking of the good old days, when everyone talked about Manhattan, not Brooklyn, when the parties were in Manhattan, not Brooklyn.) After that party, during which Manhattan suspected that something illicit had occurred between the paper and her sister (Brooklyn had notoriously bad taste in men, and was, how shall we say, a bit free with her charms), The New York Times would not shut up about Brooklyn. Of course, Brooklyn had been talked about before; she was quite the social butterfly and knew all sorts of people in high places, but suddenly, Manhattan began to see her sister’s Toms shoe footprints everywhere, in articles about everything from Paris to Nashville to something else entirely unrelated to Brooklyn or even cities in general. Whether it was true or not! Where were the journalistic ethics? Frankly, the phrase Brooklyn-style made Manhattan want to puke. Manhattan tried to be a little more like Brooklyn despite herself. The move was widely criticized. She opened an artisanal water business, thinking it would help matters. Cruel people just laughed.
Read more. [Image: NewYorkMonthlyMagazine]
Most immigrants have to find a place for themselves in a different but already-existing social and national culture that, on at least some level, expects them to adapt and adopt that culture as their own. Indeed, there is often little tolerance for anything less than full and uncritical acceptance and admiration of their new land. But for many immigrants—even those who become citizens and love their new country—the equation is far more complicated.
In some ways, the demarcation line of loyalty for naturalized citizens is clear. You have to swear loyalty to your new home over your native land, even in case of war. But it’s easier to switch a passport than an identity. And while we may want immigrants to view their departure from their country of origin as a never-look-back divorce, I think the process of immigration and changing citizenship is more akin to a single person marrying into an existing family—with all the issues that come with that kind of blended family relationship."
— In anticipation of Thanksgiving, Lane Wallace ponders America’s post-Pilgrim immigration balancing act.