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Friday, November 25, 2005

Reasons to Be Cheerful (Part Four) 

We hope you spent a lovely Thanksgiving in the bosoms of your relatives and loved ones, and that they were not conspicuously disturbed to find you there. Here in Zembla, where the holiday is officially known as Croatan Solidarity Day, the festivities began at sunrise with the traditional Auk Roping, in which a plump-but-agile seabird, destined for the holiday table, is hosed down with molten lard (please! No Exxon jokes) and released into the palace courtyard, there to be pursued by a horde of laughing, capering children plucked from among the Zemblan peasantry by dint of their good grades, overall presentability, skill with the lasso, and general viciousness. (The children too are well-greased, and as a result the ritual can go on for some time -- giving the sportsmen and -women of the Zemblan court, who watch from the galleries ringing the courtyard, the chance to place many a lucrative side bet.) This year's winner was a wily urchin whose name was, if we heard it correctly, "Gulliver"; it took him a measly forty-seven minutes to snag the auk with a rope-toss of striking artistry, and he received a vigorous ovation from the onlookers when he brought the hapless creature to the ground and bit out its throat, as tradition demands. And talk about enthusiasm! Why, the royal chefs practically had to pry the hungry little nipper off the spurting carcass.

Gulliver, you will be pleased to know, was rewarded with a one-day stint as Special Guest Taster to Yr. Mst. Bnvlnt. Dspt. at the royal Croatan Solidarity feast, where it was his honor to sample a dazzling array of exquisite delicacies he will doubtless remember, in his dotage, as the culinary acme of an otherwise quite wretched life. (At one point, when he grabbed his throat and began to twitch convulsively, we thought we had lost him, but luckily there were no poisoners afoot that day; it turned out he had merely gagged on a funky bivalve.) Need we tell you that, on the whole, a memorable time was had by all in attendance?

The royal chefs of Zembla are noted for their versatility, but the auk is, as you know, a bird of some heft. As the week drags on and we contemplate an unvarying diet of auk sandwiches, auk soup, auk hash, and auk surprise, we may need an occasional reminder of why we were giving thanks to begin with. Luckily there are many, many reasons, a few of which are here enumerated by our second-favorite libertarian, Karen Kwiatkowski:
This year, beyond the good gifts in our lives, there is also room for a political Thanksgiving as well. For those who crave limited government and human liberty, it may seem that our current American era of war socialism, nationalistic fervor against evil enemies, and the brave new State led by a corrupt plutocracy and standing armies leaves little to celebrate. But when you gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, remember there are at least ten political gifts we have been given in 2005.

1.
Dick Cheney is falling down, and George W. Bush is racing him to the bottom. Most Americans believe that these two lied the country and the Congress into war. They didn’t do it by themselves, but it’s good to know they are finally getting some of the credit.

2. That grand old bird of defense, Grandpa Rumsfeld, is plumb out of fifty-year-old swooning women, and he no longer finds many men, in uniform or out, who admire his substance or his style. The only thing steely about old Don these days is his spectacles. And no, I’m not talking about Iraq – I mean his eyeglasses. And that’s exactly how it ought to be.

3. In 2005, everyone knows what "neoconservative" means. The neoconservative perspective (liberal nationalistic socialism at home, a militaristic nation-shaping program abroad, starting and probably ending in the Middle East) has taken over much of the Republican Party and a good part of the Democratic Party. Most people know this, too. They also know that neoconservatism is simultaneously elitist and devoid of new ideas. Most people also recognize that the main dish served by neoconservatives is leftover anti-communism, smothered in a red panic of Islamo-fascism. If you go to the store, you won’t find Islamo-fascism, bottled or canned. You won’t find it fresh or frozen.
It was invented to flavor something Americans wouldn’t eat otherwise, and in fact is not produced either locally or abroad. Go figure!
For reasons 4 through 10, click here.

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