As the celebration continues and the cynicism mounts, a delivery was made to me. I thank William S. Burroughs for his Thanksgiving Prayer. I am grateful to bzbb of My Left Wing fame. S/he shared the text and resource with me.
After reading my Thanksgiving story of genocide, some decided that they knew I loathe the holiday; I do not. I do have disdain for humans that knowingly hurt other humans. I am disquieted when I realize that man, woman, or child intentionally commits crimes against nature.
When people speak against "evil" and then act in ways that I think they might deem "sinful" I am confused. While, I personally do not believe in either concept, I wonder why those that do think these constructs are valid behave in ways that could be defined as wicked.
As I listen to William Burroughs and read the text of his musings, I am miffed. What are we giving thanks for on this the fourth Thursday in November? What do we welcome in the days that follow? I offer the Burroughs prayer so that we all might ponder.
By William S Burroughs [1914 to 1997]
American Novelist, Essayist, and Social Critic
Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons,
Destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts.
Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.
Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.
Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin leaving the carcasses to rot.
Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.
Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until the bare lies shine through.
Thanks for the KKK.
For n****r-killin' lawmen feelin' their notches.
For decent church-goin' women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces.
Thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" stickers.
Thanks for laboratory AIDS.
Thanks for Prohibition and the war against drugs.
Thanks for a country where nobody's allowed to mind the own business.
Thanks for a nation of finks.
Yes, thanks for all the memories-- all right let's see your arms!
You always were a headache and you always were a bore.
Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.
I cannot thank William Seward Burroughs II enough. My mind would never travel in the places his did. However, perchance, you dear reader might relate.
If nothing else, I think this performance might provoke a deeper pondering. I invite each of us to reflect, to meditate, and contemplate, what does Thanksgiving Day mean to us. What does the holiday season connote?
How might our past relate to our present and what will our future be.
"Those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them."
~ George Santanya
"What’s past is prologue."
~ William Shakespeare
Consider Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and Korea. Is there talk of occupation or might we overthrow regime after regime?
Look within your local cities. Are there slums, ghettos, gangs, and girls walking the streets to make a decent wage? Perhaps, workingwomen are not the only ones looking for work. There are those that lost their employ so long ago they are no longer counted by government tallies. They dropped off the rolls, and have since dropped out of sight. In actuality, these persons are still visible; look out your window. There they are, on the avenue.
What occurs in your home or that of your neighbors? Is communication prevalent in your abode, or in that of those living adjacent to you? Is care evident and flourishing or is this concept one you and others crave, but only dream of. I wonder.
What did you give thanks for yesterday and what will you be grateful for tomorrow?
Thanksgiving. The Past, Present, and Pondering