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Behind The Curtain On T-Day

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the stuffed-with-stuffing-and-other-stuff dept.

Science 205

Ant writes "MSN Encarta has Columnist Martha Brockenbrough's article on the myths of this American holiday. From the article: 'A lot of what we know to be true about Thanksgiving really isn't. Determining exactly what did happen is difficult. For starters, we don't even know for certain if the Pilgrims served turkey, although it's a strong possibility.'" Additionally, maotx writes "Contrary to popular belief, turkey does not make you sleepy. While purified tryptophan is a mild sleep-inducing agent, there is not enough in turkey to have a sedative affect. And on top of that, turkey isn't even unusually high in tryptophan compared to other foods, such as beef or soybeans. So for those of us enjoying turkey today, bring on the turkey and have a Happy Thanksgiving!"

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Turkey is not a sedative (3, Funny)

adeydas1 (933567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108485)

... that's why the beer goes with it.

Re:Turkey is not a sedative (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108506)

I always thought it was being full that made you tired, as all your energy is busy digesting this huge fatty meal.

Re:Turkey is not a sedative (2, Informative)

karzan (132637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108609)

Also being full and in the process of digestion causes your body temperature to rise, which makes you sleepy. Studies have been done that show that worker productivity generally falls in the hour or so after lunch and it is thought that this is because of sleepiness from increased body temperature.

Re:Turkey is not a sedative (1)

Randall_Jones (849846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108662)

or because blood that could be going to your brain is being sent to the intestines instead to absorb nutrients.

Re:Turkey is not a sedative (1)

fcrick (465682) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108571)

While the effect may or may not come from some element of turkey, it definetely makes my drowsy. I eat a turkey sandwich for luch and I definetly feel it, placebo effect or not.

Re:Turkey is not a sedative (1)

jargonCCNA (531779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108798)

Exactly what I was thinking. While the turkey may not chemically make you tired, we've formed such a strong association between turkey and tiredness--either through observation or by being told that there's enough tryptophan in turkey to knock you out--that, at this point, your brain releases the appropriate chemicals to make you tired. It's classical conditioning.

Re:Turkey is not a sedative (2, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108825)

While the effect may or may not come from some element of turkey

By "element of turkey" do you mean Turkonium (Tu), the Turkey atom?

Turkey does not make you sleepy, (1)

Filter (6719) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108612)

but eating turkey does.

Re:Turkey is not a sedative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108628)

mmmmmmm beeeeeerrrr - Homer J. Simpson

Re:Turkey is not a sedative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108828)

ha. ha. ha.

The first broken myth... (4, Funny)

Rob Parkhill (1444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108494)

The first myth about Thanksgiving is that it occurs in November. Everyone knows that the real Thanksgiving happens in October.

Re:The first broken myth... (2, Informative)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108516)

The first myth about Thanksgiving is that it occurs in November. Everyone knows that the real Thanksgiving happens in October.

And that the Fourth of July is really on the 1st.

Re:The first broken myth... (1)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108747)

Actually no, the Declaration of Independence was ratified on July 2nd. It took a full day to write it out neatly, then signed on July 4th by some few members who were there, the rest signed it over the course of several years.

Re:The first broken myth... (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108864)

I think you missed the joke. July 1 is Canada Day [pch.gc.ca] , the closest thing that Canada has to our 4th of July. Much in the same way that Canadian Thanksgiving is in October rather than November.

Re:The first broken myth... (1)

DeadVulcan (182139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108526)

While, as a Canadian, I agree with you, it should be noted, in all fairness to our cousins to the south, that the Canadian Thanksgiving used to be in November also, but it was moved to October when November 11th was established as Remembrance Day.

Re:The first broken myth... (5, Interesting)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108556)

The first Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated on April 15, 1872 in thanks for the recovery of the future King Edward VII from a serious illness. The next Thanksgiving didn't occur until 1879 when it was celebrated on a Thursday in November.

As for it being celebrated in October, it has more to do with Canada having a shorter growing season and that celebrating the harvest makes more sense near the end of harvest season in october. The holiday did bounce around a lot, but I don't think that Armistice day was the sole reason for the move to october.

http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/jfa-ha/action _e.cfm [pch.gc.ca]

Re:The first broken myth... (1)

DeadVulcan (182139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108599)

...I don't think that Armistice day was the sole reason for the move to october.

I stand corrected. Well, that's how it was explained to me, but obviously, it was not so simplistic. Old holidays seldom are. :-)

Re:The first broken myth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108550)

I thought the idea was that Canadians typically had an earlier harvest than Americans.

This story really effects my views on turkey! (0, Offtopic)

JackAtCepstral (870238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108495)

"While purified tryptophan is a mild sleep-inducing agent, there is not enough in turkey to have a sedative affect" Well, the author must have eaten something to make him forget the differences between "effect" and "affect!"

Re:This story really effects my views on turkey! (1)

woolio (927141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108505)

Or maybe the author IS a turkey!

Re:This story really effects my views on turkey! (1)

maotx (765127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108647)

Or maybe the author doesn't care and does it on purpose!?

What would be the affect of that?

Re:This story really effects my views on turkey! (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108686)

I don't know... my turkeys always affect sedateness on the table. Never seen one moving around in the oven.

The Pilgrims should have served steak (4, Insightful)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108496)

I've gotten to the point where I can't stand turkey any more. You cook a huge bird and eat it for the next month, then do it all again for Christmas. This year I'm staging a revolt and eating steak.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108508)

Us Canucks are lucky that way - nicely spread out for us. Either way, my family does roast for Christmas. A nice marinated eye-of-round stuffed with bacon and spices.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (2, Funny)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108570)

stuffed with bacon

Would that be Canadian bacon, or American?

Us Canucks are lucky that way - nicely spread out for us

Well, I'm glad that it's good for you, because it totally screws those of us who are US and married to Canadians. Not only do I have to eat Turkey for a third time in October, but then I have to listen to all that drivel about how Canadian beer and cigarettes are so much better than those in the US, when it's obvious that the reverse is true. I think that all the cold up there has a big impact on your ability to think, like when you get a Slurpee brain freeze. I mean, really, who in their right mind can't tell that a Krispy Kreme donut is so much better than one from Tim Horton's? :-)

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108603)

Would that be Canadian bacon, or American?

In Canada it's not called "Canadian bacon", it's just called "bacon".

Canadian beer and cigarettes are so much better than those in the US, when it's obvious that the reverse is true.

You got facts to back up this claim? For the beer anyway?

I mean, really, who in their right mind can't tell that a Krispy Kreme donut is so much better than one from Tim Horton's? :-)

Krispy Kreme made a hasty retreat back to the US when no one was eating them anymore. Though, I would probably attribute that to them not having the blueberry filling donut available here in Canada. Damn, that's the only good flavour they have.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (2, Insightful)

Jardine (398197) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108681)

In Canada it's not called "Canadian bacon", it's just called "bacon".

Uh, no. Canadian bacon is called back bacon in Canada. Bacon by itself is the same as what Americans call bacon.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108613)

[...]how Canadian beer and cigarettes are so much better than those in the US, when it's obvious that the reverse is true.


Wow... you so lose. This isn't a matter of opinion. You're trying to argue with basic facts.

Having never had a Krispy Kreme donut, I can't argue with you on that point, but to show that I'm not just consumed by national bias, I do assert that Tim Horton's coffee is absolute garbage. (I assume they must put crack in their milk, or something. I drink my coffee black (since I like the taste of real coffee), and I somehow seem to avoid the strange belief that Timmy's is good.)

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108629)

I do assert that Tim Horton's coffee is absolute garbage.

Heretic!

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108723)

Tim Horton's coffee is garbage?!?

Report for Canadian Culture Re-education immediately, citizen!

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108635)

I agreee about the Krispy Kreme, and wouldn't know anything about the cigarettes (there's Canadian cigarettes!?), but the beer is much MUCH better north of the border.

Common, no one who had tried a few Canadian beers (Moosehead/Keeths in the east, Grasshopper in the West, Anything by Brick in Ontario) could ever go back to that camel-piss Bud or Coors.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108652)

Gad, both american and Canadian beer suck. Real beer doesn't need to be artificially carbonated.

If you piss in a bottle after a hard night of Guiness thats what Molson and labatt both sell

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (2, Funny)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108690)

What you refer to as Canadian bacon looks like ham to me or it might be called back bacon. Bacon is the same here as it is there.

What you Americans call regular beer would be called "light" beer here. Regular beer in Canada has a much higher alcohol content.

I cannot comment on cigarettes since I don't smoke but Krispy Kremes are just sugar and lard. Where is the bloody flour? I'm guessing that you guys don't dunk your donuts in coffee.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (2, Funny)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108726)

US beer is better than Canadian? Wow, why don't you Canucks drink water instead? I mean, come on! If it is worse than the "beer" that is sold in USA, it's reason enough for a revolution. What Americans call beer, I call chemical water, tasting like shit. People should be executed for calling that concoction beer!

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108738)

but then I have to listen to all that drivel about how Canadian beer and cigarettes are so much better than those in the US

Canadian cigarettes must be better. After all, look at how much they cost. :)

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (2, Funny)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108807)

Yeah, but in US dollars they're like 50 cents a pack.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108620)

i am with ya on that idea...

i have a smoker loaded with hickory and apple wood with country style ribs :)

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108638)

Ummm, you're supposed to have people over to help eat the turkey... : p

Don't buy the 35lb turkey then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108658)

Why don't you just buy a smaller turkey? 2 people can polish off a 10-12 pound turkey in less than a week, easily, especially if you make soup out of what's left over after a few days. Or you can freeze it for another time when you don't feel like roasting a whole bird.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (1)

azipsun (180681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108897)

If you are sick of turkey, then have goose for Christmas. Goose is at least as traditional as turkey for Christmas and is far tastier.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served cats (1)

jumpletters (933712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108925)

The Pilgrims should have served cats then we'd all be eating pussy for dinner.

Re:The Pilgrims should have served steak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108935)

You cook a huge bird and eat it for the next month, then do it all again for Christmas.

Why don't you cook a smaller bird then?

Another option would be to not cook the full bird, but buy pieces (a couple of legs, wings, breasts) and cook those.

The third choice would be to move up here to Canada where we have Thanksgiving in October. That way you can spread the eating of the large bird over two months before Christmas hits.

Tell me... (5, Insightful)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108500)

What do the North American Indians celebrate?

Re:Tell me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108524)

Spanksgiving

Re:Tell me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108549)

What do the North American Indians celebrate?

The fact that the White man haven't made them extinct and that they still have a bit of unusable land for themselves.

Re:Tell me... (1)

TouchyFeely (923528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108583)

True.. and Cortez/Pizarro weren't quite so "generous" in Mexico and South America

Re:Tell me... (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108615)

True.. and Cortez/Pizarro weren't quite so "generous" in Mexico and South America

Over there, the Natives are thankful for Spanish Flu anti-bodies.

Re:Tell me... (5, Informative)

oxi (320147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108660)

Good point.

Native people I know don't "celebrate" this country's history as is encompassed in the myth of "Thanksgiving" or it's twin, Columbus Day. They instead mourn for those whose lives were taken so long ago. The story as has been told in school rooms for decades is fallacy that doesn't hold water. It glosses over the horrors that people of the First Nations were subjected to in the Americas. By just focusing on Tisquantum (or Squanto) you get a glipse of what hundreds of thousands of more people would eventually be subjected to. A good television series that goes in depth on what the Wampanoag Nation experianced is "500 Nations", available on DVD at the usual places.

It would great if the geek brethren that assembled here on /. would take it upon themselves to dig beyond the official history and into reality's sad truths with as much zeal as we use in picking apart the latest FUD coming from the Micro$oft.

More on Tisquantum:
http://members.aol.com/calebj/squanto.html [aol.com]

And here's a more personal account of how one Native person spends the day with her family:
http://www.purewatergazette.net/nativeamericanthan ksgiving.htm [purewatergazette.net]

Re:Tell me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108665)

Thankstaking [wigu.com]

Re:Tell me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108741)

just because europeans were so far advanced in technology doesn't mean we, the descendants, should feel in the least bit guilty. stop trolling bitch. they can celebrate thanksgiving if they want, just like people in louisiana(yeh not everyone in america is a descendant from UK immigrants) can celebrate the 4th of july and chinese immigrants can celebrate new years on january 1. cultures take over other cultures, people take over lands once inhabited by other peoples. it's natural, it happens. and don't go generalising and saying "what about the rapes, massacres" etc. people are assholes no matter the time or place but you can't say everyone settling in america raped and massacred american indians

Re:Tell me... (-1, Troll)

David Nabbit (924807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108876)

Just because you're an asshole and a coward doesn't mean the rest of us need to excuse your behavior. Likewise with the original Europeans in North America and their behavior.

Re:Tell me... (4, Funny)

zulux (112259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108900)

What do the North American Indians celebrate?

Thanksgiving. But they drink their Wild-Turkey. [wildturkeybourbon.com]

(one ticket to hell, window seat please)

Obj: Thanksgiving is in July... (2, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108512)


At least for those of us in the UK :)

Re:Obj: Thanksgiving is in July... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108551)

At least for those of us in the UK :)

I thought Tnanks Giving was just another name for harvest festival. Isn't that generally September?

What the hell IS thanksgiving? (1)

bmgz (849666) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108517)

Does it actually exist outside The US of A or am I a total ignoramis or both?

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (1)

cayce (189143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108539)

Actually only about 6% of the world population actually cares about thanksgiving.

But this is slashdot after all.

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (1)

cayce (189143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108561)

According to wikipedia...

Thanksgiving is closely related to harvest festivals that had long been a traditional holiday in much of Europe. The first North American celebration of these festivals by Europeans was held in Newfoundland by Martin Frobisher and the Frobisher Expedition in 1578. Another such festival occurred on December 4, 1619 when 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish in England disembarked in Virginia and gave thanks to God. Prior to this, there was also a Thanksgiving feast celebrated by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado (along with friendly Teya Indians) on 23 May 1541 in Texas' Palo Duro Canyon, to celebrate his expedition's discovery of food supplies. Some hold this to be the true first Thanksgiving in North America. Another such event occurred a quarter century later on September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine when Pedro Menéndez de Avilés landed; he and his men shared a feast with the natives.

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (2, Interesting)

sunya (101612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108592)

And since we are playing selective quote, here's one further down from that same page :

An extract from chapter 17 of the book Where White Men Fear to Tread, by Russell Means:
"When we met with the Wampanoag people, they told us that in researching the history of Thanksgiving, they had confirmed the oral history passed down through their generations. Most Americans know that Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag had welcomed the so-called Pilgrim Fathers - and the seldom mentioned Pilgrim Mothers - to the shores where his people had lived for millennia. The Wampanoag taught the European colonists how to live in our hemisphere by showing them what wild foods they could gather, how, where, and what crops to plant, and how to harvest, dry, and preserve them.
The Wampanoag now wanted to remind white America of what had happened after Massasoit's death. He was succeeded by his son, Metacomet, whom the colonist called "King" Philip. In 1617-1676, to show "gratitude" for what Massasoit's people had done for their fathers and grandfathers, the Pilgrims manufactured an incident as a pretext to justify disarming the Wampanoags. The whites went after the Wampanoag with guns, swords, cannons, and torches. Most, including Metacomet, were butchered. His wife and son were sold into slavery in the West Indies. His body was hideously drawn and quartered. For twenty-five years afterward Matacomet's skull was displayed on a pike above the whites' village. The real legacy of the Pilgrim Fathers is treachery.
Americans today believe that Thanksgiving celebrates a bountiful harvest, but that is not so. By 1970, the Wampanoag had turned up a copy of a Thanksgiving proclamation made by the governor to the colony. The text revealed the ugly truth: After a colonial militia had returned from murdering the men, women, and children of an Indian village, the governor proclaimed a holiday and feast to give thanks for the massacre. He also encouraged other colonies to do likewise - in other words, every autumn after the crops are in, go kill Indians and celebrate your murders with a feast.


In November 1970, their decendants returned to Plymouth to publisize the true story of Thanksgiving and, along with about two hundred other Indians from around the country, to observe a national day of Indian mourning."


Or you can read the entire page here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (1)

Impotent_Emperor (681409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108749)

Of course, none of this has anything to do with the national holiday of Thanksgiving. That was started during the Civil War. (George Washington had previously suggested a day of Thanksgiving, but interest and results varied.)

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108590)

Actually only about 6% of the world population actually cares about thanksgiving.

Which is really sad. Doesn't the other 94% have anything to be thankful for, or is it that they're just so bitter about life that they can't see the blessings that they have?

ya but... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108736)

..it's a cool holiday anyone can adopt if they so choose, and a great excuse to have a feast and kick back and chow down and relax.

I'm all in favor of MORE holidays! I think a nice one to one ratio with regular plain vanilla work days is appropriate...

Thanksgiving existance outside US examples. (2, Informative)

tzot (834456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108560)

As a European from Southern Europe, I only know about thanksgiving from American movies and television. Same goes for Halloween (although we do have carnivals the last 3 Sundays before the 40-day fasting for Easter).

There is a trend, though, to "internationalize" these American celebrations, mainly for consuming purposes I guess (part of the globalization matters).

I'll let others talk about their experience.

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108596)

Not just the US. I'm not a Canadian, but I'm pretty sure they celebrate it albeit on a slightly different date.

I'm pretty sure there are other countries that do as well, but I'm not sure of the specifics.

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (1)

wk633 (442820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108847)

In Canada it's on the USA's Columbus day. It's not nearly the big deal it is in the US. Family, sure, but none of this flying accross the country and taking the day after off as well.

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (2, Informative)

Dr. Dew (219113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108614)

In my opinion, the best explanation of what Thanksgiving is comes from U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's proclamation, copied from today's Salt Lake Tribune, of all places:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

- A. Lincoln

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (0, Troll)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108673)

For those of you outside the USA, Thanksgiving is just a feast day. Nothing more, nothing less. Our family celebrates it in a pagan sense (last big feast before winter sets in), but the propaganda is that the first settlers of the US were so grateful for finding the new world and the indians were grateful because they weren't getting killed by the invading white man yet, yada yada.

Pay no attention to the propaganda - or do what my family, social circle, and I did the first Thanksgiving after the beginning of the Iraq war: have a Ghandi Thanksgiving, in protest of the United States' global conquest. "Feast" on Ghandi's diet of rice, vegetables, goat's milk, and fruit. Spend the day in meditation and in remembrance of all the victims of the United States, be they the virtually genocided original American natives, the enslaved peoples imported to work and build the wealth the US currently wields as it's basis of power, or the various nations of the middle East currently being pirated under false pretenses.

And this post is dedicated to all the /.ers who will be flaming it and modding it down, though this will not diminish it's truth. I've given them something to hate to be grateful for, hate being the most patriotic American emotion.

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108764)

<SARCASM>
No, why would anyone mod you down when your post is so rife with hypocracy, propaganda and rhetoric? Not to mention being totally off topic?
</SARCASM>

Re:What the hell IS thanksgiving? (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108819)

Pay no attention to the propaganda - or do what my family, social circle, and I did the first Thanksgiving after the beginning of the Iraq war: have a Ghandi Thanksgiving, in protest of the United States' global conquest. "Feast" on Ghandi's diet of rice, vegetables, goat's milk, and fruit. Spend the day in meditation and in remembrance of all the victims of the United States, be they the virtually genocided original American natives, the enslaved peoples imported to work and build the wealth the US currently wields as it's basis of power, or the various nations of the middle East currently being pirated under false pretenses.

I think you need to smoke some marijuana and chill out just a little bit. As Americans, we are well aware of the events that started this country. You are not telling us anything new. Yes, we pushed Indians out so we could move in. Though at that time we were actually Europeans :)

Doesn't your religion teach forgiveness? This is ancient history. Why dwell on negativity on a feast day of all things. Yes, American children are taught that thanksgiving involves European pilgrims (I might add) and the natives getting together for a feast, because the Indians helped the pilgrims survive by sharing resources and agricultural knowledge, doesn't sound too lopsided for that particular event. But yeah, there is a lot more to it and surely a lot of carnage when they began to compete for land.

I'll add that: In any country, the population there exists because they pushed out the previous occupants at one point in history.

I'll also add that no country is more self-analytical than America. Go to an American University. They do not sugarcoat anything. In fact, some americans consider Universities to be "anti american" because they are so blunt with the truth. As long as we are first to criticize ourselves, there is no need for your bitterness.

As for the middleeast, join the 65% of Americans who are dissatisfied with Bush. Yeah they reelected him, but that is the Democratic system at work. You convince enough little old ladies that the big bad terrorist is going to get them, and they will vote for you; turning a blind eye to just about any other issues. That is the flaw of Democracy, unfortunately. No body said it was perfect, just better than the alternatives.

In the Netherlands there is something alike (1)

TakaIta (791097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108722)

In the Netherlands there is a Dankdag voor Gewas en Arbeid [wikipedia.org] (thanksgiving for crops and labor). It is only being "celebrated" in some protestant circles. The official date is the first Wednesday in November. Originally it was only for "crops", the "labor" part was added at some point after the industrialization.

This tradition stems from the Middle Ages. There is a similar day for prayer for crops (and labor), which is on the second Wednesday in March.

I have no idea if this holds any relation with Thanksgiving as is celebrated in the USA. The way it is "celebrated" in the Netherlands is that there is a special service in church where respectively prayer and thanksgiving for the crops are explicitely mentioned. There is nothing like special food or even families coming together for it. Just some people going to church.

And She Doesn't Even Touch the Biggest One (2, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108530)

I notice she doesn't even bring up the point that there is a lot of evidence that the first Thanksgiving in the New World was held in Virginia (I believe at Berkley Plantation). There's evidence both ways, but the VA Thanksgiving has enough backing it that it can't be ignored.

But suggesting to most Americans that it wasn't the Pilgrims must be a little too much for some to consider.

Re:And She Doesn't Even Touch the Biggest One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108679)

The reason for that is that it's irrelevant. I have no doubt that a group of settlers landed safely in Virginia and declared a day of thanks for their safe arrival. That's not really what the "real" Thanksgiving is about. Many people at many time have declared celebrations in thanks of successes. The Pilgrims' thanksgiving was much more in line with what we celebrate today.

Celebration! (2, Funny)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108543)

I'm Rick James (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108877)

I can't imagine that I'm the only one who was expecting to see a picture of Dave Chapelle as Rick James yelling "It's a celebration, bitch!"

video here [thatvideosite.com]

I am thankful for... (1, Funny)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108544)

...computers and positive karma on /.

How am I going to play with my girlfriend's toys? (4, Funny)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108545)

Turkey doesn't make you sleepy?! Now how am I going to get my girlfriend to fall asleep so I can play with the antique toys she won't let me touch?

Two questions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108608)

1) Antique? How old IS she, anyway? 2) How long have you guys been together?;-)

Re:How am I going to play with my girlfriend's toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108671)

<easyjoke>
i'm sure she'd be open to you playing with her toys if you didn't refer to them as "antiques."

wait, are we talking about the same thing?
</easyjoke>

Re:How am I going to play with my girlfriend's toy (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108851)

She won't let you touch her TI486?

Re:How am I going to play with my girlfriend's toy (1)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108911)

The keys to tha vault everyone else uses: red wine.

another critical article (5, Interesting)

Doviende (13523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108584)

"Some aspects of the conventional story are true enough. But it's also true that by 1637 Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop was proclaiming a thanksgiving for the successful massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indian men, women and children, part of the long and bloody process of opening up additional land to the English invaders."
from Robert Jensen's Give Thanks No More [zmag.org]

here's another part of it i found interesting:

Any attempt to complicate this story guarantees hostility from mainstream culture. After raising the barbarism of America's much-revered founding fathers in a lecture, I was once accused of trying to "humble our proud nation" and "undermine young people's faith in our country."

Yes, of course -- that is exactly what I would hope to achieve. We should practice the virtue of humility and avoid the excessive pride that can, when combined with great power, lead to great abuses of power.

-doviende [anarchocyclist.ca]

Re:another critical article (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108627)

by 1637

Yes, I'm really going to have to talk to my grandparents about that. Oh, wait... that was almost 400 years ago.

Any chance we can just enjoy the tradition as it is currently enjoyed by millions of people? You know - in the general spirit of family togetherness, and blissfully minus too much of the commercialization (um, other than transportation use) that makes the rest of the holidays such a mess?

Re:another critical article (2, Interesting)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108838)

"Any chance we can just enjoy the tradition as it is currently enjoyed by millions of people?"

absolutly right! who cares about the bloody history of how america was founded? its not like it has any baring on americas conduct in the world today or anything.

"those who forget history...."

Re:another critical article (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108968)

Sure, but that thinking is reflective of the fact that most Americans are wholly unaware of their history/heritage and could care less.*

Things like slavery, Native American massacres, corruption, lynchings, etc are a fundamental part of what America is, but nobody wants to talk about it.

Thanksgiving can be whatever you want it to be, its just that for most people, it only reflects a stylized & idealized version of the past.

*I'd discuss how people are unaware of the facts behind thanksgiving in the same way people are unaware of the origins of Christmas, but thats offtopic.

Re:another critical article (1)

Scoth (879800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108680)

Not sure where you're based or how old you are (going to assume Canada from your domain and the entries there), but keep in mind that down here in the States the Founding Fathers are held up almost as deities leading the charge of the great nation in it's beginnings. It seems to have increased in the last 20 or 30 years or so. While they definitely did good work against great odds, the idea they might have human foibles and failings will often elicit very strong negative reactions from people. During the whole thing recently when Thomas Jefferson's relations with a black slave resulting in child(ren) came out, there were people calling for the heads of the claimants for even suggesting Jefferson might have done it. Even bringing up that many of the founding fathers had slaves at all will get you criticised.

Ah well, so goes the indoctrination of the masses, I suppose.

You learn somthing everyday (3, Interesting)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108589)

As a Brit I had always assumed that the "thanks" were being "given" to the Indians for showing them how to grow corn and bringing all that nice food so they didn't starve. Just shows.

TWW

see what I mean (2, Funny)

Bloggins (783115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108617)

Ha, if the pilgrims had not been locked into a proprietary file format, we would know what really happened...

Re:see what I mean (1)

mopslik (688435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108669)

Hmmm. Pilgrims... Plymouth... I guess that explains the real reason why Massachusetts is gunning for OpenDocument.

Tryptophan (3, Insightful)

uberchicken (121048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108664)

From what I remember on my research into serotonin..

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used by the brain to manufacture serotonin. It's present in all protein, and usually you have plenty of it in your bloodstream. However, it can only get into the brain piggybacked on another molecule, and it has to compete with other amino acids for this ride. One way to soak up the other amino acids is to produce insulin with a carbohydrate-only meal. The insulin removes enough of those amino acids to allow more tryptophan into the brain, thereby providing more raw material for serotonin production.

I'm sticking with the Prozac though.

Think of the animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108746)

Before eating turkey, have a short thought about what the animal that you are about to eat might have gone through to become your food. Would you like to suffer to be eaten? Just give it a thought.

I'm not a troll, just a vegetarian.

A much better article (1)

localroger (258128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108751)

This Smithsonian article [si.edu] covers some of the same ground in much better and revealing detail. Via a diarist at dkos.

Today... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108756)

I give thanks for not living in a country filled with George W's, RIAA's and patent offices.

Let's celebrate! :D

*Ducks flying tomato*

Tryptophan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108775)

" there is not enough in turkey to have a sedative affect."

I'm not inclined to believe this since the guy can't even spell effect right...

Why did they starve, why did they have plenty? (4, Informative)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108806)

One of the other posters here is correct, the Virginia colony very likely had a harvest festival before the Plymouth colony did, if for no other reason than they started a dozen years earlier with exactly the same communal-property=starvation results.

However, if we are going to discuss the "why"s and "wherefore"s, it would be educational to remember that William Branford, the first governor of the Plymouth colony, wrote it all up.

Here are some articles with links to the original:

From http://www.mises.org/story/336 [mises.org]

In his 'History of Plymouth Plantation,' the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with "corruption," and with "confusion and discontent." The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."

And from https://www.mises.org/story/1678 [mises.org]

The Pilgrims' unhappiness was caused by their system of common property (not adopted, as often asserted, from their religious convictions, but required against their will by the colony's sponsors). The fruits of each person's efforts went to the community, and each received a share from the common wealth. This caused severe strains among the members, as Colony Governor William Bradford recorded:

" . . . the young men . . . did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong . . . had not more in division . . . than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors and victuals, clothes, etc . . . thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And the men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it."

Or if you really just want the undigested original:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1650bradford.ht ml [fordham.edu]

"The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients applauded by some of later times; and that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort."

its a nice holiday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108841)

fuck off.

Bad reporter! No turkey for you! (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108845)

Contrary to popular belief, turkey does not make you sleepy. While purified tryptophan is a mild sleep-inducing agent, there is not enough in turkey to have a sedative affect.

First of all: EFFECT. Sheesh.

Secondly, the explanation "tryptophan" came about to awnser the question "why do we all feel sleepy after eating the turkey". So if the explanation is wrong, it doesn't mean the observation was: Double sheesh!

A month late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108882)

Slashdot is really falling behind. Thanksgiving WAS IN OCTOBER!
Duh.
But thanks for asking, I had a wonderful 10kg Turkey, stuffed with Carrots, Onions, & Celery. Home-made turkey blood gravey.
Mashed Potatoes, Cranberries, and pan-fried sweet peppers.

premise is a bit wonky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14108908)

as i see it, tfa's argument goes something like this; tryptophan might be a precursor to seritonin but it cant pass through the blood brain barrier so it cant be "psychoactive" or more specifically soporific. well thats a real nice piece of logic. so i guess the fact that their are a _tonne_ of seritonin receptors _outside_ the brain, and in particular throughout the gut, that regulate blood to facilitate digestion, couldnt possibly have any kind of sedative effect.

people, most anyone can tell you turky does make you sleepy, particularly if your a bit deficient anyway, and only eat insufficient protein foods most of the time. But more importantly when you wakeup you feel refreshed and rejuvinated, and enjoy increased mental stamina (cause of the 5ht duh! (within limits))

"Strong possibility" (1)

Liam Slider (908600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14108963)

For starters, we don't even know for certain if the Pilgrims served turkey, although it's a strong possibility.
Yes, an extremely strong possibility...given that the turkey was (heck, still is in certain parts of this fine country) an extremely abundant animal, and very commonly hunted by the natives (and later the colonists) for meat. It's almost a certainty that they did. And even if they did not, the turkey itself became such a common source of food for colonial Americans that it often helped keep families fed through the entire colonial period and quickly became an important traditional American food....so what would it matter even if in the unlikely event that it wasn't served at the first Thanksgiving feast?
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