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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Soundbites: Nov. 25

Wildcat columnists sound off on their favorite Thanksgiving stories, traditions, and experiences.

Howard Zinn on Thanksgiving

In a recent interview with the Wildcat on the subject of popular holidays such as Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving, eminent historian Howard Zinn remarked that, as Americans, “”We celebrate the wrong things.””

Veteran’s Day is too often celebrated with a love of war and militarism. Columbus Day is often thought of (if at all) with reverence for Christopher Columbus’ mythic heroism along with a so-called “”spirit of discovery”” he and many like him represented ­— which was, in reality, the unleashing of mass genocide, disease and European imperialism upon the land that would become America.

In this sense, Thanksgiving (or “”thanks-taking,”” as a friend of mine refers to it) is the all-American holiday. But instead of the usual mass gluttony and mindless consumerism, this Thanksgiving we should try to understand what the coming of the Puritans and other white Europeans meant for the indigenous populations of North America (and what it still means today for indigenous peoples all over the world, from Palestine to our regional neighbors, the Tohono O’odham people): extermination, displacement and ongoing repression.

Then perhaps we can think about what each of us can do to transform meaningless waste and mediocrity into meaningful change and social creativity.

— Gabriel Matthew Schivone is a media arts junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

An Australian’s experience with Thanksgiving: Eat heartily

I’ve been exposed to enough American media to know that Thanksgiving has something to do with Pilgrims.

It’s not that I don’t care what its origins are, but it’s been exclusively presented to me as a holiday during which my only real task will be to eat as much as I can. But this, in itself, should not be looked down upon. The extent of my culinary experience in the States has been negotiating a vegetarian burger with the staff at Jack in the Box and wondering whether the consumption of cereal should really be restricted to breakfast time.

My Thanksgiving will be spent trying to scam an invitation to my housemate’s family dinner and fulfilling the obligation I have, representing my own country, to eat a lot. The time before then, however, will be spent researching an answer as to what I give thanks for, because I’m still not sure whether I need to mention Pilgrims.

— Dunja Nedic is an Australian exchange student. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

Bon voyage to out-of-state travelers

I feel for any out-of-state student who has to endure today’s airport chaos. Today is the busiest traveling day of the year, and students will have to arrange their day with that in mind. It’s advisable to arrive at the airport two hours before departure. That way, travelers will have time to print their boarding passes if necessary, check any luggage, remove their shoes, place all liquids in plastic bags, take their computers out of their cases and proceed through security. Lines will be long, people will be irritated, flights will be completely full, and stewardesses may be stricter than usual.

Any student who has to fly anywhere this afternoon will need to prepare for the insanity that comes with it — and I say this under the assumption that no flights are delayed or canceled. Even those who drive home for the holiday will probably sit through traffic and suffer heart palpitations as a result of all the crazy, impatient drivers on the road. But in spite of all the negativity surrounding the journey home (or elsewhere) for Thanksgiving, the break should nonetheless be a brief release from academic burdens and responsibilities.

— Laura Donovan is the opinions editor. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

The joys of sports and dining

Turkey and football go together like … well, turkey and football. Fittingly, the greatest Thanksgiving tradition is the Turkey Bowl. No amount of exercise can completely restore the caloric balance of a true Thanksgiving dinner, but a hard-fought game of football can do something to decrease that waistline. Grab as many friends as you can and set up an epic football showdown.

Those staying in Tucson for Thanksgiving will have perfect weather for a few hours of fresh air, exercise and trash talking. It’s nice to just toss the pigskin around, but a true Turkey Bowl is played to the bone, since the victors enjoy bragging rights for the entire weekend. Nothing acts as a catalyst for competition like a wager deeming the losers do all the dishes.

When inevitable Thanksgiving bickering ensues, winners can use their victory as a trump card, ultimately making Thanksgiving a much more pleasant experience. As everyone settles down to watch the last football game, everyone must be reminded of a cold fact of Thanksgiving: some in life get to be the Dallas Cowboys; others have to be the Detroit Lions.

— Dan Sotelo is a political science senior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

The Superbowl of eating in America

Well, it’s finally Thanksgiving week. There are some things about the holiday that allow no negotiation. For example, if your stuffing doesn’t have fresh apple slices or cranberries in it, don’t even talk to me about it. If you want to expound on early European settlers in America and the terrible events that followed their arrival, tell it to someone else. But if you want to stuff your face so much that you have to wait three hours just to eat dessert, now you’re talking about some tender family bonding — and who doesn’t like that? I already eat too much every time I sit down for a meal, but this is the Superbowl of eating in America. If only the games on TV were as good. For the sake of my already upset stomach, I’ll likely skip watching the horrible Packers vs. Lions and Raiders vs. Cowboys matchups. No, instead I’ll likely spend that time participating in a more recent Thanksgiving tradition among my friends: playing football on a muddy park field in what has lovingly been dubbed “”The Turkey Bowl.”” The benefits are twofold. Not only is it an opportunity to see friends on a happy holiday, but it’s an amazing way to work up your appetite into a frenzy before hunting down the best part of the turkey, the dark meat. Just kidding, that’s gross, but whether you like the legs or the breast (I’m a thigh man myself, having never seen a bird without a boney ass) one thing is for sure; that bird doesn’t stand a chance.

—Christopher Ward is an English junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

 

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