ON THANKSGIVING –
…when Thanksgiving is secularized, what’s lost is precisely the Object to whom we would render gratitude. In other words, we end up being thankful for “gifts” without being able to recognize the Giver.
So we come up with a substitute Giver, which is something like the idea of “America”–the land of the free. And our current climate would rather think of “America” as the product of force and might (as the national anthem prefers). So if we are thankful for America, we’re thankful to the military who, proverbially, “protect our freedom, ” “keep us free,” “make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” etc. Soldiers are thus revered as the warrior-priests of freedom.
And what are we free for? Well, to shop. And so the best expression of thanksgiving is precisely Black Friday, that Dionysian display of consumerist passion when people literally die in the frantic pursuit of consumer goods.