Saturday, November 27, 2021

Thanksgiving at anchor

 2 days out, we're down to some turkey scraps in the fridge of the HQ here at HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/Home for tryptophan recovery. 

Thanksgiving was actually really nice. We had a *huge* meal, and as we were out at our mooring area at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, and had 3 other barges rafted up to us, after dinnertime there was a lot of visiting and everyone tried to pawn off leftovers to everyone else, in an effort to collect complements and, I dunno, be crowned King of Thanksgiving or something. 

 I do know that I didn't eat for 24 hours after that. No need. 

   I grew up a couple of towns over from where the first Thanksgiving was, and out on the edge of the Irish Riviera where I grew up, Thanksgiving was always a big deal. This year we're really getting the collective ancestral guilt trips by people who also weren't there, though. Like everything else, they hate our traditions and values, and as such, must try to ruin all holidays because they hate everything including themselves. 

     The revisionist history du jour now is that suddenly the Indians DIDN'T try to bribe the pilgrims to commit genocide against all other tribes in the area by taking the pilgrims and their guns under their wing. This despite a very clear history and clear and unambiguous writings of the people involved. Food for genocide against all non-wampanoag, especially those fucking Pequod.  Say what you will about the Pilgrims, they were a bunch of pacifist communists right up until they realized they could either starve,  join their hosts in endless wars as a mercenary force, or pull a Nancy Reagan and Just Say No. 

  We actually used to get taught in Massachusetts about what utterly shitty people the pilgrims were, and also how horrible the Indians were too. These says it's all White Man Bad, of course, and masturbatory fantasies of the  Noble Savage. 

 You know what happens when children learn actual nuanced history instead of a propagandized fantasy? They develop critical thinking skills. Why has Massachusetts been lagging so far behind in handing out Free Shit to anyone with Indian blood?  Education.  This is changing, of course. 

    Now, I grew up in the Irish Riviera, the area south of Boston where the Wampanoag used to call home. 90ish percent  of the population is less than 3 generations removed from Ireland. It is the most dense population of Irish ancestry outside of Ireland. Being that the potato famine started this diaspora and the potato famine displaced Catholics almost exclusively, no surprise that until recently there were  3-6 large Catholic churches in every town in the region. Hell, the church I grew up in was the smallest one in the area, serving only 5-600 or so families  And by families I mean Irish Catholic families, with plenty having 6-12 kids.  

 I say this only to note that this is the area that provided the bulk of the fiscal support for the Irish Republican Army right up until the Good Friday Agreement, not so many years ago.  This is a people who famously carry a grudge across generations,  to whom the name of Margaret Thatcher still sits in good company with the names of Stalin, Mao and Hitler.  For a people who still bad mouth British Protestants regularly, and even have their own holiday to do so ('Evacuation Day' is a holiday in Massachusetts) , the people of the Irish Riviera, having been educated about the realpolitik of the first Thanksgiving, side with the British.

 And thus, in our modern era, with there being a risk of no side being able to claim victim status, and worse, no delicious self-guilt for the spiritual descendents of Calvin to get their rocks off,  the story of the First Thanksgiving must be changed, history expunged until we have only a constant present and no past, except where it is beneficial to do so to destroy the sense of community and bonds of tribe and of shared values. 

    Whatever, I moved out of the area.  I've long since come to accept that despite their limitations, British people are OK. It's been a generation since the Good Friday accords. Nobody, literally, is worth hating for their past. Even Margaret Thatcher is not worthy of my enmity anymore. It is long past the time to stop seeking amends from people who did nothing to incur our grudges, merely on the basis of genetics. The people who do so are the worst sort of scam artists. I believe that there is a word, starts with R, ends with 'acist' that describes people who blame innocents for perceived slights based on their genetic makeup. 

 Seriously, fuck those people. 

 At Thanksgiving out at anchor, we sat, a 2nd generation refugee of Irish descent from the People's Republic of Massachusetts, several men who were the descendants of slaves (one of whom, and this is cool, being a great great grandson of Newt Knight, the man who started a rebellion and founded the Free State of Jones during the Confederacy). There was also a Cuban who as a teen swam 90 miles on a rubber pool toy to Miami, another guy is the son of an Orangeman, and there were others, and none of that political bullshit mattered. We are away from our homes, dealing with loneliness for pay, and we shared what we had so that everyone could eat their fill, then overeat their fill too. Things get real simple real fast when you stop looking for a reason to hate, and stop looking for a scapegoat for your own decisions. 

    I'm grateful to have had such good company on a day that can be a bit lonesome. I'll say it. I LIKE Thanksgiving. 


No comments: