November 22, 2001
Im thankful for a little red-headed lady known as Mom and
the old guy she hangs out with called Dad. Im thankful for
two guys about my age who carry the tag of Brother and all those
other nice people who are known by the all encompassing catch-all
of Family. Im thankful to everyone who allows me to hang the
albatross title of Friend around his or her neck. Im eternally
grateful for a magical woman who will always be the greatest poem
ever written. I call her Wife. And I like her little dog, too.
Im thankful for the Green Bay Packers, the pickup truck,
soft drinks, beer, hash browns (but not home fries) and the Turkey
which means I owe a few kudos to the dude who came up
with the hamburger, even though I dont eat them. Though I
like to complain about its merits or lack thereof, Im secretly
thankful for television. The Internet aint bad, either.
I want to meet the guy who invented email and buy him a drink and
Im thankful for Kerouac, Ginsberg, the entire beat generation,
Sylvia Plaths tears, Norman Rockwells sappy but still
moving Americana, Route 66 (the road and the song), mystery novels,
the History Channel, ESPN, and Dennis Miller.
Im sending out big love to the electric guitar, the Marshall
Stack, the Blues, every manifestation of rocknroll no
matter how musically lacking, Elvis, country music (even though
it aint really my cup of tea), Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan,
everyone theyve ever influenced, Woody Guthrie, and Francis
Thats right, I said Francis Scott Key and while
Im at it Im thankful for the National Anthem even if
its musically nonsensical and lyrically arcane. Its
the National Anthem, stop bitching about it and learn to sing it.
And then sing the roof off the place no matter how much you may
suck as a singer.
Im thankful for the Interstate Highway system that allows
me to cover big chunks of distance and for the smaller two lane
jobs that allow me to see a rich tapestry of life slowly. Despite
my environmental activism that prompts me to rail against the evils
of petroleum products and pavement I think both are pretty cool
when I get to jump in my truck and drive back to see my family and
old friends for the holidays
though I am embarrassed by my
I dont care if George Washington was a rich guy who never
chopped down a cherry Tree, Thomas Jefferson was a hypocrite, Abe
Lincoln wasnt pure of heart, FDR was an aristocrat, or MLK
was a philandering radical. Name one thing, one thing, just one
thing you have ever done in your entire life that matches piloting
a dream called America through its infancy, writing the declaration
of independence, freeing the slaves and preserving the union, getting
us through the depths of the Depression and the madness called Hitler,
and forcing a largely racist nation to embrace its rainbow quilt.
One thing, Ill wait. Didnt think so. Im thankful
for every wonderfully flawed cell in each one of them.
I am grateful that I not only live in a country that allows me
to choose to spend my money and my time on things as utterly useless
but thoroughly enjoyable as the Frisbee, Lucky Charms, and Twix
but that this same country has a political and economic system that
granted someone the freedom to come up with things as utterly useless
but thoroughly enjoyable as the Frisbee, Lucky Charms, and Twix.
Im thankful that I live someplace where were allowed
to criticize the government. Im thankful for the anti-war
protesters I see across the country even though I dont agree
with them because it makes me think we have won. The real vision
of our founding fathers was that for the first time anywhere the
People formally had the right to complain about the government
if they took this self-government thing seriously they had the obligation
to voice that dissent. America, love it or leave it
is absurd. The greatest gift those radicals that trashed the Articles
of Confederation for the Constitution gave us is that we have the
right and responsibility to live our lives according to America,
love it or fix it. Our individual ideas of what represents
a fix may or may not win but we are guaranteed a chance to get in
and I absolutely revere that.
Now youll excuse me, but Ive got to focus on a left
over turkey sandwich with my name on it.