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Category Archives: thanksgiving

Witness to the Execution

Headline of the day:

Palin pardons turkey then gives interview as other turkeys are slaughtered in the background. Film (everywhere) at 11.

Oh my God. If you haven’t seen the interview, go to youtube (because I’m sure it’s all over the place) RIGHT NOW and watch it. It is unbelievable. Then come back and read the rest of this.

It would be one thing if I thought she was making some sort of bold statement, sending a critical message about animal welfare, challenging America to look at the grisly truth behind our unquenchable thirst for tryptophan naps during this holiday season. It would be one thing if she was at all deliberate in her actions or words during the interview while birds were slaughtered in the background. But she wasn’t.

She spoke of levity and fun with the backdrop of a turkey beheading station complete with a bloodstained worker and equipment. She quipped sarcastically that people would probably find something to criticize about her in that interview while we watched a bird placed in the cage upside down to be stunned, beheaded, and then removed for presumptive plucking.

Just when I think I’m not interested in hearing or seeing any more about Palin, she’s gotta go and do this. Now I’m googling it and looking for clips on all of the news shows just so I can watch her sheer obliviousness in awe. Whether she knew what was going on behind her before she agreed to stand in that particular spot or not is really beside the point. Or actually it makes my point. Either way, she looks like an ass. If she didn’t notice what was going on right behind her, that is just odd and a bit unbelievable. If she did know and didn’t see any need for concern or explanation as to why she chose that as her backdrop, that is either incredibly callous or naive… I’m not sure which. My guess is both!

I wish I could see the mountains of mail she’s going to get from animal rights groups. Don’t get me wrong. I eat turkey and I still will. I’m not so foolish as to think it’s a quiet pretty trip for the turkey from their pens to my plate. And I have plenty of mixed feelings about it. But I don’t want to see it, governor!

This is the part where I go from talking about the governor to speaking directly to her.

Governor Palin, I know up there in Alaska you shoot wolves and moose and drive snow machines and eat caribou sausage. I get that you live off the land and as a result are most likely more familiar and comfortable with the inevitable process of slaughter. And as someone who was raised in the south with a family of hunters, I can respect and even understand that.

But I can guarantee you that most Americans are quite comfortably and purposefully removed from that whole killing part of the process. I’m not saying that makes us right, but I do know that as a result, we don’t want to see it! Are we hypocrites? Maybe we are. But you just participated in a ceremonial pardoning of one of them and declared that you were a friend to all animals! It’s not too far-fetched to say watching the slaughter of the not so fortunate turkeys behind you was a bit unexpected. We don’t want to see that. Especially not when it’s supposed to be a “feel good” story. Most especially not a week before we are all about to simultaneously present countless numbers of them proudly to our families and friends on our dining room table! The holidays are hard enough. We don’t need guilt about the turkey, too!

Regardless of what you might think it doesn’t make you more folksy or endearing or relatable to give an interview while turkeys are slaughtered behind you. It makes you creepy and brings not only your judgement, but the judgement of those around you into question. Seriously who among your staff thought that was an OK, let alone a good, idea?

This bears repeating. Governor Palin, though we might know that the turkeys have to be killed in mass quantities to make this wonderful family holiday a success, we don’t want to see it! We are voluntarily in denial about where all of those turkeys in Giant and Safeway come from and how they got there. We don’t want visual aids or even re-enactments of the process. We most certainly don’t want to watch it actually happen. This is not an Upton Sinclair novel. This is Thanksgiving. As far as we want to know, turkeys come from the magical land of Butterball by sliding down a rainbow and landing in our ovens, not from overcrowded farms by being stunned by electrical shock and beheaded. Got it? Stop fucking things up!

Fucking things up? What things, you might ask. Where to start? First you fuck up things for women by insulting the very idea of feminism with your mere existence as a politician. Then you fuck up things for gays by being closed minded about your understanding of love and your inane drive to “protect” heterosexual marriage. You continued by fucking up things for proponents of that crazy thing called science with your belief that man and dinosaurs roamed the earth together, your refusal to acknowledge the existence of global warming, and your ignorant mocking of scientists studying fruit flies. Why was that ignorant, you ask? Fruit flies have been the key to understanding genetic mutations, like… say… the one that causes Down Syndrome, the cause you claim to hold most dearly. That pesky science. You never know when those crazy studies they are doing might actually be worth something!

But back to how you are fucking up the illusion of Thanksgiving dinner for America! The turkey is the only real thing we are looking forward to! (And the day off of work, of course.) And if the turkey-eating population are upset, one can only imagine how the vegetarians and vegans are going to react. Way to piss off two polar opposite groups in one fell swoop! But then again, you’re pretty good at that.

Governor, you are running out of people to alienate and piss off, which is fine with me because I’d love nothing more than to know that after this post-election news dies down, we will never hear from you again. But I feel a sense of obligation to you as a fellow human being (since that’s really the only common ground I could find) to say this… What are you doing? Since I disagree with you on every topic I’ve ever heard you speak about, I hope you never progress in national politics. But don’t you want to give yourself a fighting chance? Just sayin‘. But hey, “no worries,” right?
(Unless you’re a turkey anywhere near a Palin interview.)