Thanksgiving is almost upon us. As I will be on the road to Baltimore on Thursday, and tomorrow is Horoscope Day, I thought I'd take some time today to spread a little love around and let the world know about all of the things for which I'm giving thanks this year. That is, after all, the purpose of this holiday, along with gluttony, retail sales and forced proximity to one's family.
So, for 2004, I am thankful...
...for Oprah's Favorite Things. There was a time in my life when I didn't know what I should buy. There're so many choices out there. It's easy to get confused. But Oprah takes away that awful indecision. All I have to do is buy what she buys. Thanks, Ms. Winfrey!
...for tax cuts. Sure, most of the actual cuts went to those who are at the top of our economic food chain--status which they all deserve, by the way--but I know that, when they spent their money, some of it trickled down to me. I couldn't tell you exactly how these tax cuts have benefited me, what with the crappy job market, lack of universal health insurance and generally depressed economy. But I know that they have helped. Otherwise, why would the president say they have?
...for sportsmanship. It really does my heart good to look at fine, upstanding young professional athletes and to know what a positive role-model they are for our nation's youth. Take professional basketball players, for example. They're always so thoughtful, so gentle, so refined. Thanks, basketball players, for not being short-fused, overpaid thugs. Bless you.
...for local television news, without which I'd never know when something in my house was actually deadly. If it wasn't for local news, who would harass small businessmen in need of a good shaming? And how would my curiosity about a network television show's behind-the-scenes story ever be sated? Thank God, says I. Thank God for those hard-working, witty news teams. Especially the AM Wake-Up shows. They're the best.
...for No Child Left Behind. Before this landmark piece of legislation, we had no way to truly quantify a child's learning. Sure, the teachers could observe their students and get to really know them and where they were at in their learning. And, yeah, the teachers gave grades. But how were we to answer the all-important question of how a child performed when you told him/her that a half-hour multiple choice test would determine if they flunked or passed? It's so much better to base the money a school receives on how children react to incredible pressure.
...for In-Touch Magazine. Looking back, I truly can't figure out how I ever lived without knowing which celebrities were dating someone new or how a panel of fourth-tier comedians felt about particular outfits. During Mary-Kate's nightmarish ordeal this year, it was only In-Touch, with their unrelenting coverage, that kept me sane. If only other magazines modeled themselves on In-Touch. Well, it sure would make that dreary ol' Newsweek a whole lot more enjoyable.
...for the Gentleman Politician. It's comforting to know that the men who are running our country--oh, yeah, and I guess there's a couple of women; that's just so cute--are upstanding, intelligent people. The intellectual debates they have, the respect they have for each other and their abiding sense of fair play make them icons of integrity. I salute you, men of public service. (Okay, and the ladies, too. Snicker.)
Have a lovely Thanksgiving. Enjoy the Macy's Commercial Parade, featuring balloons and floats with all the product placement nearest and dearest to your hearts. And don't forget to get out and shop, shop, shop the day after. Sure, it's a crowded hellish clusterfuck in every mall and department store, but you'll be doing your part to keep our economy running strong.
Ha! I love the In Touch section as only you can possibly know, Mr. Wack. I used to buy it and hide it. Now, thanks to your commentary, I'll proudly march around NYC waiving it around for all to see. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing.