Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Much has been made of the so-called "War on the Holidays" in which sinister, unnamed forces have manipulated their behind-the-scenes machinations toward unknown (and possibly unknowable) ends. But how much of this is true fact, and how much is conjecture?
The answer, shockingly, is BOTH!
MYTH: President Harry S. Truman issued the first Presidential pardon to a White House turkey.
TRUTH: Truman never pardoned the turkey; in fact, he probably ate it.
THE WHOLE TRUTH: After dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagano, Truman felt that the "sins of a nation" were upon his shoulders. In the great Jewish tradition of the scapegoat, President Truman transferred America's guilt to the unsuspecting fowl, which was then ritualistically sacrificed according to the ancient traditions of Yale University. Some say this dark rite led to his "surprise" re-election victory over Dewey, a vegan, while others maintain that this was chiefly due to the majority of Electors who voted for him 41 days after the general election of 1948, thus leading to his electoral college victory and subsequent second term.
MYTH: The first Thanksgiving was a religious holiday created by the Pilgrims to give thanks to God for his blessings, peace with the Native Americans, and their freedom of religion in America.
TRUTH: The Pilgrims were religious extremists who were themselves intolerant and disapproved of the natives for gambling and growing hemp.
THE WHOLE TRUTH: Nobody alive today knows the fate of the Lost Colony of Plymouth Rock, but controversy swirls around which group of European Caucasians was the first to exploit the resources and native peoples of North America. Italians and Italian-Americans proudly point to Christopher Columbus as the first white to enslave the indigenous peoples. Others contend that Viking settlers were murdering aboriginal Americans long before the Spanish or the English. In any case, we can all agree that the United States was made great despite the tragic sacrifices of Native Americans who, face it, never built any skyscrapers for themselves on the island of Manhattan.
MYTH: Turkey makes you sleepy.
TRUTH: Tryptophan, aka triptophan or "trips" or GHB, is a central nervous system depressant that is used to relieve pain, particularly at the synapses of the nucleus accumbens. Scientists tell us that no other compound is as effective at pain relief as tryptophan; however, it's side effects (including drowsiness, loss of appetite, and lethargy) and it's highly addictive qualities make it a dangerous compound.
THE WHOLE TRUTH: Most Americans get sleepy on Thanksgiving after eating too much and sitting in front of the television.