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I'm sitting in the dark having a late Thanksgiving vodka and
cranberry, listening to Jude and enjoying the last few minutes of this, my favorite
My holiday started yesterday when I took my half day at work ("Lord, what a generous
company I work for!") and went and saw the new James Bond flick. I had a good time,
it gave me what I look for in a Bond film these days - well, the most I can reasonably
expect in a James Bond film these days. (I will talk more about this tomorrow since it
featured probably the worst performance I've ever seen captured on film.) I then had an
incredibly satisfying evening writing, followed by my staying up late watching Pushing
Tin. Not a bad film, not a great film. It fell apart in the second hour, but there is some
fun to be had. And if you ever doubted the luscious Cate Blanchett's range... Damn.
Today I did not go up to see my mom (she
had plans) but instead spent the whole day cooking and drinking and talking with M. We
watched the very funny Jerry Seinfeld HBO special on tape and made up a sex dice game and
watched Carol give birth on ER while eating pumpkin pie.
And as the clock ticks off the last few
minutes of the day, I want to leave you with the SF Chronicle's fabulous columnist Jon Carroll's annual Thanksgiving
column. (Printed without permission but I know the guy so I don't think he'll be too
A few years ago I wrote a Thanksgiving column that
people seemed to like, so I've reprinted it annually.
Here it is again, slightly revised:
THANKSGIVING HAS ALWAYS been my
favorite holiday. It is comfortably free of the strident
religious and/or militaristic overtones that give the
other holidays their soft emanations of uneasiness.
At Christmas, for instance, we are required to deal
with the divinity of Jesus -- I know some of you
folks have made up your minds about that one, but
not me -- and on the Fourth of July we must wrestle
with the question of whether all those simulated
aerial bombardments represent the most useful form
of nationalism available.
At Thanksgiving, all we have to worry about is
whether we can wholeheartedly support (a) roasted
turkey, (b) friends and (c) gratitude. My opinions on
these matters are unambiguous; I am in favor of
them all. The Squanto-give-corn stuff has been
blessedly eliminated from the iconography, so the
thrill of Thanksgiving is undiminished by caveats,
codicils or carps. That alone is something to be
THANKSGIVING PROVIDES A formal context
in which to consider the instances of kindness that
have enlightened our lives, the moments of grace
that have gotten us through when all seemed lost.
These are fine and sentimental subjects for
First, there are the public personalities, artists and
entertainers and philosophers, who have been there
when they were needed, whether they knew it or
not. Let us think kind thoughts about Mary Carrillo
and David Grisman, Doug Sahm and Mark Danner,
the Kitchen Sisters and the Flying Karamazov
Brothers, Haruki Murakami and Cynthia Cooper,
Garry Wills and Russell Crowe, Spike Jonze and
Arvo Part -- this is my partial list; feel free to create
And the teachers, the men and women who took
the time to fire a passion for the abstract, to give us
each a visceral sense of the continuity of history and
the adventure of the future. Our society seems
determined to denigrate its teachers -- at its peril,
and at ours. This is their day as well.
EVEN CLOSER. COMPANIONS. We all
learned about good sex from somebody, and that
person deserves a moment. Somebody taught us
some hard lesson of life, told us something for our
own good, and that willingness to risk conflict for
friendship is worth a pause this day. And somebody
sat with us through one long night, and listened to
our crazy talk and turned it toward sanity; that
person has earned this moment too.
And a moment for old friends now estranged,
victims of the flux of alliances and changing
perceptions. There was something there once, and
that something is worth honoring as well.
Our parents, of course, and our children; our
grandparents and our grandchildren. We are caught
in the dance of life with them, and, however tedious
that dance can sometimes seem, it is the music of
our lives. To deny it is to deny our heritage and our
And thanks, too, for all the past Thanksgivings, and
for all the people we shared them with. Thanks for
the time the turkey fell on the floor during the
carving process; for the time Uncle Benny was
persuaded to sing ``Peg O' My Heart''; for the time
two strangers fell in love, and two lovers fell asleep,
in front of the fire, even before the pumpkin pie.
And the final bead on the string is for this very
Thanksgiving, this particular Thursday, and the
people with whom we will be sharing it. Whoever
they are and whatever the circumstances that have
brought us together, we will today be celebrating
with them the gift of life and the persistence of
charity in a world that seems bent on ending one
and denying the other.
Thanks. A lot. A moment of memory for teachers
and lovers and friends and Uncle Benny.
My list would include Barbara Kruger, Sam Mendes, Paul Giamatti, Tool, Jason Giambi, Jeff
Bridges, Tori Amos, David Gates, Wes Bentley, Howard Stern, Paul Auster, Matthew Perry,
Laura Innes, and Joshua Redman.
Please do make your own. Feel free to send them
in. I'd love to read them.
The Larry King Happy
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