Monday, November 15, 2010

Turkeys In Pilgrim Clothing

This American Life has been breaking my heart a lot recently, what, with that episode about unconventional love? Don't be fooled by the sweet title, folks, its about a family having to put their son in a home. And the other story is about a woman who adopts a child raised in terrible circumstances in a Romanian orphanage and is unable to feel attachments to anyone...and what they do about it. I mean, really, Ira. Then there were the last two episodes about the economic crisis and then one about the Tea Party, and while they were completely well done and important and thoughtful, they weren't funny and you do funny so very well!

However. Back in the TAL archives, there exists a really fantastic episode about Thanksgiving. The hilarious Sarah Vowell examines "what happens when television takes on a subject it really has no business exploring at all, but seems fairly obsessed with nonetheless: The Pilgrims." It's a mockery of American pop culture and of a holiday that makes us a little uncomfortable when actually considering its roots.

Have you read William Bradford? I have! And I highly recommend it, actually, although its a pain to get through. It's the original text from Plymouth, THE primary source, told in his seventeenth century tongue. It's gory and intelligent and raw, and makes you feel like a slightly better American for understanding what really took place on that first Thanksgiving. Read it. OR listen to Sarah Vowell talk about it.

In the meantime, I'll be brushing up on my pie making skills. Happy holidays, New York.


Ms. S said...

I have to admit I saw the cover of Bradford's book and cringed. Did you go back and read it again after our first semester of AmCon? Because I feel that if I went back and read it now - slowly and already having an idea of what I'm getting myself into - I would have a much greater appreciation and much higher level of patience for it. But that was a teeth-puller for our first semester. Oh, AmCon. I miss our class. A lot. So I should also thank you for posting this. :)

Sarah said...

Meredith! I only read it in amcon, and despite groaning over it the entire time I'm glad I actually finished it. That was the semester that we were in that gorgeous room in the english dept--- how lucky we were! Hope you're well, good hearing from you!