Jewish World Review Nov. 26, 2003 / 1 Kislev, 5764

Stan Sinberg

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Consumer Reports

It's time to say, goodbye Thanksgiving, hello Entitlement Day | Almost four hundred years ago, a bunch of pilgrims washed up onto the shores of America and were served a bounteous feast by the Indians, and ever since then every we gather once a year with our loved ones to pay symbolic tribute for this meal in our great holiday tradition known as Thanksgiving.

Well, it seems to me that that is quite long enough! How long can you thank somebody for one meal? I mean, come on! I'm sure the turkey and giblets were delicious, but enough is enough! Have some pride, America.

Besides, "gratefulness" is so-ooo September 10. In our post 9/11 world we have a new philosophy: you're with us or against us. We rule. If you have something we want, we go in and take it. Ask Iraq or the U.N. Our president said it himself: you're our ally only as long as you do our bidding.

Thanks, in other words, is out. So let's admit it: Thanksgiving had a good run, but it belongs to a "kinder, gentler" era. Nothing lasts forever. It's time to replace this turkey with a new holiday that more accurately reflects the consciousness of the Bush era, a holiday that celebrates our deep-seated conviction that America is the only country that really matters and we deserve every damn thing we have. It's time to say, goodbye Thanksgiving, hello Entitlement Day.

Yes, Entitlement Day. A day when we look around at all the bounty in our lives, and stand up and proclaim, "It's mine, screw you!"

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Some things we as a nation are entitled to include: being the world's policeman, breaking treaties we don't like, invading other countries pre-emptively, and telling everyone else they can't have nuclear weapons, only us.

Corporate America is ahead of the curve on this one. Newly unleashed, they're blatantly bribing congressmen to give them what's theirs: immunity from lawsuits, less regulation, lowered environmental standards, larger tax loopholes (like setting up shill offices in the Bahamas), weak oversight. Why? Because they're entitled!

Besides, let's face it: when you think about it, the whole idea of Thanksgiving is kind of ...unAmerican. This entire country is based on the concept of the self-made person, and having a holiday that suggests that we owe thanks to other people or countries for our good fortune, implying that we couldn't have done it on our own, is damaging to our self-esteem! Especially here in California.

Besides, you know how people get. Once you start thanking them, the little people who helped you, they're going to start demanding a cut. These days you can't be too careful. You don't want to say anything that might put you at financial risk. If you absolutely must thank someone, for Heaven's sake, consult a lawyer first!

Not to mention that the notion that we should share what we have with those less fortunate is, well...socialistic! And, you know, these are tough economic times. The pie's getting smaller. Try to pull someone up, and chances are they'll drag you down instead.

Finally, in this accelerated world, giving thanks for what we already have is counter-productive. The modern-day response to a good turn is, "What have you done for me lately?"

So this Thanksgiving, when you're passing the giblets and pouring the gravy, and all your loved ones are humbling declaring their gratitude for what they have, resolve that this is that last time you're going to sit at a table with this bunch of losers. Next year, you're going to join the "haves" and celebrate the holiday you deserve - sitting home alone with your possessions, celebrating Entitlement Day.

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JWR contributor Stan Sinberg is an award-Winning humor columnist, satirical radio commentator, author, musical-comedy revue playwright and corporate speaker, among other things. Comment by clicking here.


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© 2003, Stan Sinberg