Wholesome American Guts: Your William S. Burroughs Thanksgiving Prayer 2015
We began posting this Thanksgiving Prayer by William S. Burroughs and Gus Van Sant back in 2006, and a lot of things have changed since then. The deadpan list of Bloody American Triumphs is as relevant as ever in our terrible Anno Domini 2015, especially as we stumble into War On Terror 2.0, complete with serious debates over registering religious minorities and bringing back torture.
The stuff that drove Burroughs nuts -- “thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business, thanks for a nation of finks” -- is still here, of course. For that matter, it's become automated, courtesy of the NSA. Our Fox News-inspired busybodies keep a close eye on complete strangers' grocery carts, scanning for welfare crab legs being bought with an EBT card. This makes little girls ashamed of their moms buying any food at all.
It has been an especially big year for the people in our favorite line: "for decent church-goin' women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces." And their menfolk, too. Both American Types have been having a banner year in reaction to the Supreme Court's cramming marriage equality down America's throat like so much wild turkey and passenger pigeon. Thanks to this intolerable extension of equality to people who love the wrong people, we had a severe outbreak of those decent church-goin' women, and one of them got her mean, pinched, bitter, evil face elevated to the status of folk heroin by a Hucksterish preacher man. At least we can be reasonably certain that her days as an object of Fox News veneration are numbered; the courts don't seem inclined to unmarry any gays, and polls keep finding that most Americans are fine with people marrying who they want and think those church ladies should shut the hell up.
Like last year, we still need to pause here:
Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until the bare lies shine through.
Thanks for the KKK.
For nigger-killin' lawmen, feelin' their notches.
This Thanksgiving week, Americans have been shot by white supremacists while protesting the police shooting of an American in Minneapolis. And Chicago is on edge after a cop was finally charged with murder for shooting a 17-year-old American 16 times, with most of the shots being fired after the kid was already lying bleeding on the ground.
This Thanksgiving, a full year after 12-year-old American Tamir Rice was shot dead by a Cleveland cop two seconds after arriving at a playground where Rice was fooling around with a toy gun, both lawmen involved in his killing are still walking free, regardless of whether they took the time to put a notch in their guns.
While we're on the topic of vulgarizing and falsifying the American Dream, we can't help but think that William Burroughs might be inspired to write a whole new poem on the booming candidacy of the greatest short-fingered vulgarian ever to grace a major party's debate stage. We can only assume that Burroughs would say Donald Trump is the candidate America has been working toward for decades, maybe centuries. Burroughs would also appreciate that we've got an entire political party that seems intent on finally sandblasting that pesky poem off the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. To be honest, we prefer people who aren't tempest toss'd or wretched refuse. We like winners.
And yet. For all the morons and cheats and petty churchy bastards who've forgotten Jesus was quite insistent that we must care for our neighbor, who is anyone who needs our help, we can still be thankful there are people who refuse to be shouted down by the idiots who are afraid of little kids. We can be thankful that sexxxy sportsball quarterbacks are willing to tell refugee haters to go get sacked. We can be thankful that there are tiny babies who we can welcome to our big messy world with Mr. Rosewater's one rule for living on Earth: "God damn it, you've got to be kind."
So we'll be thankful anyway, even if at times we can only be thankful it's not worse than it is. We've got each other, there's a highly evolved descendant of a dinosaur in the oven, and the bed is covered with the winter coats of people we love -- or can at least tolerate for a few hours. If people are getting married and having babies in this crazy stupid world, then there must be hope. For all the petty small-minded terribleness and evil out there, we still have the option of laughter, because it sure as hell beats giving in to the bastards.
A happy and safe Thanksgiving to all Wonkers everywhere, and remember to Buy (almost) Nothing tomorrow.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.