22 November 2007 is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
Thanksgiving celebrates the first harvest by British settlers in Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. The tradition is of family gatherings for a turkey feast. Of course the joy of all social gatherings, under the scrutinizing gaze of anti-smoking, has been lessened. Anti has worked hard to make fear and division traditional for decades now. In 2003 we noted an article from the Iowan newspaper the Ogden Reporter which harked back still further, to schoolchildren’s thoughts on Thanksgiving in 1993, as collected and saved by a local woman. We noted the influence of anti-tobacco on the fifth and sixth graders, and recall this again here, with now fourteen propaganda-laden years elapsed since 1993. Of course anti-tobacco has vastly intensified its zealously prohibitionist campaign in public schools and elsewhere in the interim. While many kids, and adults too, react to this with a defiantly enhanced desire to smoke, the tragic social division Anti has wrought (as for family gatherings: many smokers naturally dodge them now) can only be undone with effort over long years to come. Links for the 2003 article are at the bottom of this page. Our comments of four years ago follow here:
What are grade school kids thankful for in the Anti era? Little Kerry Randolph said she was "thankful for teachers because they give you education, and second thoughts about drinking alcohol, smoking, doing drugs, or chewing tobacco." Two mentions for tobacco, one each, for booze, and hard drugs. Tobacco must be twice as bad as both. So chances are good, if you visit relatives this Thanksgiving, you’ll get wine at the table with your turkey, but an invitation to freeze on the front porch if you’re the black sheep who still smokes. At least that’s the way Anti wants it. Secondhand smoke "peril" is taught of in kindergarten, putting the chill on your dignity, taking some of the warmth out of everyone’s holidays. You could quit and conform. Or you can chill out, on the porch, and consider. Whether you keep smoking or not, resolve for the year to come, to fight against those who seek to divide us. If the weather chills your bones still let the holidays warm your heart. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas too, and here’s to better days in the year ahead.
We add to this today: if you choose to smoke, enjoy it, and never apologize for it. If you are still accepting social humiliation, from anyone, stop it. Instilled fear is not amenable to frank discussion, so choose distance, from relations or former friends who no longer respect you, because they no longer can. Make the distance as cordial, or otherwise, as suits the case, but put it there. Intimate dysfunction ridicules love. It benefits nobody and nothing. It is sick. Put it aside and be well. Invite, and accept the invitations of those who are well, pass on the rest. The social plague of anti-smoking cannot be cured in just a year, but if it is fought, it can be subdued and ultimately vanquished over time. More of us are fighting every day. Every hand and heart is needed. The cause of a decent society has many friends who keep themselves and each other well. Self-respecting citizens can and will reëstablish societies and governments deserving of respect. Be yourself, love yourself, and you will find yourself among us. The original spirit of American Thanksgiving was the celebration of shared effort and its rewards. The upcoming international holiday season is likewise a celebration of brotherhood. When these sentiments are genuinely implemented in our daily lives again, when senseless divisiveness once again receives the ridicule it deserves, the time and place for thanksgiving will be universal.