For all the made for cable talk about a war on Christmas, it’s a war on Thanksgiving that’s been going on for years. It has been undertaken by large companies that are eating up all the vacations that workers should spend with their friends and family, writes Michael Schaffer in this week’s Capital City column.
“If you didn’t notice this war, you most likely have an office job. In white-collar America, the holidays mostly still mean something. But for retail workers, the pre-Covid expansion of Black Friday was just another step in a decades-long desecration of the entire holiday calendar.”
With Presidents Day and Memorial Day long gone and even July 4th made a business day, it was only a matter of time until the Black Friday vortex completely swallowed up the previous day’s festivities.
But this year, there is something to be thankful for: the stores are closing.
Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Old Navy – they were all thankfully closed yesterday. It remains to be seen if the trend will continue in the coming years, when factors such as inflation, worker shortages and lingering Covid fears could have less of an effect. But this year, at least, some of the workers facing today’s shopping hordes were able to spend Thanksgiving with their families.
“Thanksgiving is our biggest holiday precisely because it is egalitarian and ecumenical and endlessly customizable,” Schaffer writes. “You don’t have to buy gifts; it is difficult to make it elegant; it can be secular or sacred. Basically, it’s about recognizing that we’re all in this together and that we all get a little help along the way. What the culture warriors on cable news don’t understand (and neither do the guys on campus who claim the holiday is horrible because its origin story covers up genocide) is that the meaning of the day is far more important than loyally defending or furiously destroying the fairy tale.
“One way to honor that meaning: make sure as many people as possible get their day off.”
Read Schaffer’s column.
“The only wave of red this season will be if our German Shepherd … spills the cranberry sauce on our table.”
Can you guess who said this? Scroll to the bottom to find the answer.**
muskmania… Elon Musk’s erratic management of Twitter has stoked fears of misinformation and even a possible collapse of the site. but it is also encouraged an army of Musk superfans who are drawn to his style and his politics: a fusion of Silicon Valley founder-cult, classic laissez-faire libertarian values, and warring modern Republican culture, writes Derek Robertson.
14 percent… of voters who consider education their top issue identify as vegetarian, compared to just 2 percent of voters overall.
How Democrats can save the Latino vote… As the Democrats lose more and more Latino voters to the Republican Party, some political strategists argue that the party should rush to the middle to stem the bleeding. Not Illinois Rep.-elect Delia Ramirez, whose economically progressive message carried her to victory in a heavily Democratic district with a Hispanic population of more than 40 percent. Instead, she says, Democrats must show working-class Latinos that the party will fight a “rigged” economic system that favors, as she told Minho Kim“a lot of richies”, or rich people.
The World Cup is underway and all eyes are on the host nation, Qatar. Not exactly up to speed on the sporting event or the geopolitical intrigue surrounding it? These tips will make you sound like an expert.
– Qatar’s opening ceremony on Sunday focused on inclusivity, but all rainbow-themed gear had been banned the next day, including the “One Love” armband that seven European teams wanted to wear in protest of anti-laws. -LGBTQ from Qatar.
– National security nerds in particular will be watching the US vs. Iran game on Tuesday. The last time Iran played the USA in a World Cup match was in 1998. Iran won, but the Americans are the favorites this time.
– Iranian players stood silent during their national anthem as their fans held banners criticizing the Iranian regime, in solidarity with nationwide demonstrations against a strict rule requiring women to wear hijabs.
– Half-time is the perfect time to discuss Sunday’s disallowation of the fastest goal in World Cup history, when the VAR (video assistant referee) flagged the kneecap and shin for offside in the opening match between Qatar and Qatar. Ecuador.
– As everyone cheers on their squad, give a moment of thanks to the migrant workers who built seven new stadiums, roads, a subway system, dozens of hotels and an entire city for the last 12 years in Qatar. The foreign workers are said to have suffered serious injuries, an abusive work environment and non-payment of wages, with the Reports of the International Labor Organization that 50 workers died and 500 were seriously injured in 2020 alone.
How Both Sides Abandoned Free Speech… This spring, when Sarah Isgur gave a talk at Yale, a conservative student criticized her for a gross violation: she had hugged the liberal associate dean of students, whom she had known for more than 15 years. “How did we get here?” she asks in this essay about the tense atmosphere surrounding free speech on campus — a problem she sees on the left and right alike.
Last week, President Joe Biden he joined the short list of commanders-in-chief (only three in the last 60 years) who hosted an immediate relative’s wedding ceremony at the White House when his granddaughter, Naomi Biden, married on the South Lawn.
The last was Richard Nixon, pictured here walking his daughter, Tricia, down the aisle of the Rose Garden in 1971. “It was one of the greatest weddings in America,” says White House historian Jennifer Pickens. Around 400 guests attended, with 110 million people watching from home. “They even posted the recipe for the cake,” Pickens says.
Tricia Nixon Cox is said to have come up with the idea of having her wedding at the White House while walking through the Rose Garden at night with her fiancé, Edward Finch Cox, as a light snow was falling. She invited three living First Daughters to the ceremony and more than 500 media credentials were handed out, according to Pickens.
Despite the lavishness of such an event, taxpayers need not worry about the cost of a White House wedding: expenses are billed directly to the president.
**Discusser’s response: That’s right, it was President Joe Biden, mocking the disappointing midterm performance of Republicans in the traditional turkey pardon on Monday. The two birds, Chocolate and Chip, got away with it easily. It is not known if the first dog, Commander, received any of that sauce.