Heading out in a little less than five hours to hop on a jet plane to go see figmentj for Thanksgiving.
Actually, I take that back. I’m not hopping on a jet plane, I’m hopping in a jet plane. Screw riding on the plane; it’s too cold for that.
I’m told it’s rather cold in New Jersey at the moment as well, so apparently a good part of the vacation will be spent watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In my entire life, I’ve seen one episode all the way through, and parts of another two or maybe three episodes; this is apparently a horrifying and appalling state of affairs which figmentj intends to set to rights.
In the past, I’ve tended to be a little cynical about Thanksgiving–that national holiday where we celebrate the arrogance and poor planning of the early Pilgrims, who came to this land in search of freedom from religious tyranny so that they could impose their own, even more brutal brand of religious tyranny, and whose spectacular failures to make any sort of reasonable preparation for the winter meant that their sorry asses needed to be saved by the generosity and good will of their local neighbors, whom they would one day repay in kind by exterminating. This early experiment with socialism is mirrored today in a government that’s hanging out $1.5 trillion dollars, or nearly $5,000 for every American man, woman, and child, to financial institutions in order to reward them for a decade of corruption, greed, and recklessness on a scale that would make Ken Lay blush.
So, yeah. Down on Thanksgiving.
But really, the fact is there’s a great deal in my life that I am thankful for, and I don’t always acknowledge those things. So maybe a day of thanksgiving isn’t necessarily such a bad idea, religious persecution and extermination of entire classes of indigenous people aside.
In no particular order, the things I am thankful for include:
– My sweeties, each of whom enriches my life and each of whom I am privileged and honored to be able to share some part of my life with. figmentj, for her constant reality checks that help keep me intellectually and emotionally honest. zaiah, for opening doors that I never even knew existed and for teaching me things about myself even as she has allowed me to explore her. Shelly, one of my own personal heros, simply for being who she is, and for acting as a shining light of courage, dedication, and resolve that helps to show us some of the best of the human condition. joreth, for an unswerving dedication to intellectual rigor in a society awash with anti-intellectualism. Gina, for being an unexpected treasure in my life who’s helped show me whole new interests. dayo, for exploring with me, dancing with me, traveling with me, and just generally being one hell of a sexy woman.
– The small handful of IT abuse people who actually care about their networks and their servers, and who restore my faith in humanity so badly battered by the likes of iPower and ESTdomains.
– The fact that I live in a time, in a society, and in a position where I need not fear going hungry, and have enough leisure time to pursue those things that interest me. This is something that the overwhelming majority of human beings who have ever lived can not say, and even today the bulk of the people on the planet can not say.
– The fact that I have not (yet) been imprisoned for my religious, political, or sexual views, which is something that even today many people can’t say. (Though it would seem that, particularly for sexual views, that’s something that is best not taken for granted; apparently, cartoon drawings of sex can sometimes get one prosecuted in this country.)
– My circle of friends, even though most of you are long-distance now; I have surrounded myself with smart, independent people of the highest integrity and character imaginable, and I’m grateful for it.
-The existence of an instantaneous, always-on global communication network that allows me to disseminate ideas and connect with like-minded people in a way that has for almost all of human history been impossible.
– The existence of the James Randi Educational Foundation and other efforts to free society of flim-flam, superstition, and anti-intellectual gobbledygook in all its many guises.
– Bacon. Mmm, bacon.
– Infrastructure. We spend far too little time acknowledging the efforts of the people who make our toilets flush and our garbage go away, even though, in a direct and literal sense, our lives depend on what they do.