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Some holidays are strange

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by stratovani, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks to the deity of your choice for all the good things in your life by killing a bird and eating it! Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of a man in Ancient Israel 2000 years ago by spending obscene amounts of money on gifts of all kinds, then making pretend a fat man in a red suit riding a sled pulled by flying reindeer slides down the chimney and put those gifts under a small evergreen tree decorated with lights and ornaments.

    Ever wonder why aliens don't invade us? That's because the word is out in the Galaxy - don't bother with humans, they're just too weird! ;)
  2. Ironbar


    Aug 24, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    You don't have to give thanks to a deity to be thankful for all you have.
  3. True, but I'm just saying that for illustration purposes.
  4. If aliens ever come they will be here to harvest us unmercifully.

    Be thankful if your "too weird" theory continues to work out for us.

    And turn off those SETI transmitters.

  5. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    SETI antennae are receivers, not transmitters. It may come as shock that any aliens in the neighborhood will actually be getting information about us from radio and tv broadcasts. The Mickey Mouse Club will likely be our ambassadors.

    As for holidays, check out my sig from a fellow TBer. Ever repeated a word or phrase to yourself until it lost all meaning and just seemed like guttural sounds? Say "The cat slept on the mat," over and over and over. Eventually you will question not only the meaning, but why you are saying it, if you concentrate on what you are actually physically doing with your brain and mouth muscles.
  6. **Whew**

    I feel better now.

    But once Gilligan's Island breaches the interstellar void, they'll be here jonesing for Mary Ann, no doubt.
  7. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    I'd like to know if it's truly universal that Mary Anne is better liked than Ginger. ;)
  8. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    The most reasonable theory I've ever heard is that we are under quarantine, because we are a bunch of mean little jerks down here, whose most noble plan for the galaxy seems to be to treat it like we've treated anyplace else in our search for More.

    That said, yes, I do wonder about some holidays. Actually, Thanksgiving is the only one I really do understand. Or tell myself I do.
  9. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    That's certainly NOT what "Christmas is all about." Many of the most overt and popular celebrations and images of Christmas have unfortunately degenerated into what you're talking about, but that doesn't make it Christmas.
  10. lots of incorrect in that OP.
  11. Dale D Dilly

    Dale D Dilly Monster

    Jul 1, 2008
    I'd say we get back to all the old celestial and agricultural festivals that underlie everything else, but most of our lives are so removed from food production or the changing of the seasons that they're pretty much irrelevant.

    Besides, which user would we pick as the TB Wickerman?
  12. I had a "dream" twenty years ago and while I was being "examined":eek:, the "examiners" all looked like MaryAnne. They obviously could read my mind.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I was going to say ...
  14. How so? :confused:
  15. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    I don't think startovani (sorry for talking about you while you're right there, man) meant to start a "Christmas is too commercial/consumerist/out of touch" thread. I think he was just making an observation that if certain customs were looked at objectively from outside of their influence, they may seem strange, supposing you were an outsider.

    For instance, if you didn't know any of the post-Jesus history behind Christmas, going from the nativity to putting a fir tree in your living room would seem like a non sequitur. It's just an observation. Not really an argument for or against anything.

    Am I getting that right, strat?
  16. You got it. To me it just seems strange that we give thanks by butchering a bird and stuffing our faces. We should be giving thanks as a matter of course, without the need for any customs or accoutrements. Same thing for Christmas.
  17. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    I see what you're saying now. Of course, there are many excellent examples of selflessness to go along with the face-stuffing. In my town of Sacramento, CA, an estimated 28,000 turned out for the annual Run To Feed The Hungry. In another instance, 300 turkeys were stolen from a food pantry, and were quickly replaced with about 4 times as many, thanks to good Samaritans. And I'm quite sure none of it will go to waste, just as none of the Thanksgiving food in my house, or in most homes, will go to waste. If you object on the grounds of being a vegan, vegetarian, or PETA member or sympathizer...well, that's another argument.

    Thanksgiving and Christmas run much deeper than gratuitous eating and Santa.
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member


    David Sedaris on explaining Easter in French class. HIGHLY recommended.

    Eating together is a traditional form of celebration in almost every culture. The older, traditional (more religious) holidays cluster in the cold months because that's when you slaughter the livestock, so you don't have to feed it with no grass to graze on. Secular, state holidays come in the warm months, because they were available, I guess.
  19. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    It seems that you're missing the possibility that Thanksgiving dinner is symbolic of what the Pilgrims ate, from the Fall harvest. Turkeys were plentiful and, since they're so stupid, are easy to grab and kill (had one running into me while I tried to help it into my neighbor's yard, so it couldn't be THAT smart). I would be surprised if they ONLY ate turkey, since deer would have been easy enough to kill, too. Since a lot of people no longer hunt, they think deer=Bambi and they can't bring themselves to eat wild game, it's not on the menu. It was about giving thanks for their survival in a new place and for the bounty they received through grace. Remember- this was over 350 years ago and they had not only survived a long period of the Plague, they were in the major cooling period known as the Little Ice Age.

    As far as Christmas- that's completely out of control, IMO.

    We know radio travels out of our atmosphere, through space- I think the aliens watch our TV shows and one of them, 'Soylent Green', has become a major 'classic'. They use it like a cooking show and they're just waiting until the right time to come here. Their interest was initially piqued when they heard Chuck Heston say "Soylent Green is.....PEOPLE!" and now, they all repeat this part, followed by "tasty, tasty people". "Now, with BACON!".
  20. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Not really. The Pilgrim Thanksgiving thing is largely a grade-school myth that has little to do with the modern holiday. In Puritan churches, there WAS a practice of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving to acknowledge some good event or stroke of fortune (understood to be a blessing of providence), and the Pilgrims did call one to celebrate their first successful harvest. I have no idea if they ate turkey at it or not. But that didn't become a regularly scheduled holiday, and days of thanksgiving were proclaimed ad hoc or celebrated as separate state holidays until Lincoln proclaimed the current holiday in 1863, following Gettysburg, in hopes of using it to promote national unity.

    People don't eat more game simply because there isn't enough game to feed 300 million Americans. Large birds are traditionally eaten at holidays because a family at the table can eat a chicken or duck or, if an extended family, a turkey, but eating a full-grown pig or cow (or deer) requires a village. Before refrigeration, you pretty much had to eat the whole animal soon after slaughtering it. Salting or smoking meat could only go so far. In the 19th century, when Thanksgiving was becoming a holiday, western society was become more "private" and sentimental and focused on the household rather than the whole community, so the traditional holiday fare shifted to what a family could eat, not the whole town.

    Plague was not particularly relevant to American colonists and no one at the time was aware that there was something called a "Little Ice Age," that's a discovery of more recent climate history.