CSotD: Old traditions, new follies

I don’t often argue with Frazz, but I’d take a spoonful of the candied yams and several of the green bean casserole, neither of which I would ever want on any day but this. (Well, on Christmas, but that’s a culinary instant replay.)

Eldest son is scaling down the feast this year, but I hope he’ll make his (maternal) grandmother’s German cole slaw, which I would eat every day but which was also part of the Thanksgivings and Christmases I had at her table.

As for the can-shaped cranberry sauce, I prefer the chunky kind, even moreso if it is homemade, with the meal, but you’ll need the jellied kind for the sandwiches tomorrow and we’ll get back to that in a minute.

Point being that there are traditional foods that you eat, not for the taste or the nourishment but for the memories they evoke. And simply creating them is a tradition and a tangible, edible link to grandmothers of grandmothers of grandmothers.

Different kind of nourishment.


Seems like cartoonists have a similar tradition, spreading their tables with traditional images at Thanksgiving. There’s little that’s inventive on the comics page or the editorial page this morning, nor did anyone expect it, nor, perhaps, did anyone very much want it.

This 1994 David Horsey panel was part of the presentation on editorial cartooning I used to do at high schools, and it always got a good laugh. Gingrich and the GOP had begun their war on immigrants, so it was relevant and timely, and I think Horsey’s draftsmanship adds a great deal, because the contrast between the grumpy bigot Indian and his more generous kinfolk makes it work.

Though one of my regrets was that, while I did the presentation hundreds of times at dozens of schools in the years I was up there, I never got out to Salmon River High, which is just a tad over 50% Mohawk.,

I genuinely would have enjoyed their take on it.

This common Thanksgiving topic has two levels, depending on the cartoonist’s intent.

As I would explain in my presentation, Horsey’s point is that we aren’t living up to our tradition of generosity and welcome.

But, then again, it’s an artificial tradition invented in the middle-19th century to draw European immigrants to our growing factories and our available Western acreage.

The second possible interpretation being that, if you look at the actual history of Massachusetts and Puritans and Pilgrims and Indians, it’s hard to fault the guy, and I’m thinking my little friends from Akwesasne would take it that way.

This year, the Indian/Pilgrim cartoons are more about the Caravan, but, y’know, if you don’t want to see it used again every year, stop screwing immigrants.

Meanwhile, this year’s variations are just a matter of which brand of cranberry sauce you put on the table.

And I like cranberry sauce.

And I also appreciate turkeys trying to avoid the ax, a gag that was probably a lot more lively back when families really did buy, slaughter, cook and eat a live bird.


It’s a traditional gag which the Comedy Firm of Price and Piccolo managed to put a fresh spin on, and I laughed.

Meanwhile, here is a

Juxtaposition of Thanksgiving Day

(Tank McNamara)

(John Cole)

It’s not often that a juxtaposition mixes a strip and an editorial cartoon, but Tank’s attempt to buy a gigantic turkey for his old crew on the offensive line (which starts here) went amiss when a squab was accidentally delivered instead.

And John Cole used the phenomenon of the “tiny turkey” to make his point and, also, to send me off to the Googles because I hadn’t heard of such a thing.

So apparently — and I always firmly believe whatever I read in the features section — breeding and selling smaller turkeys to Millennials is a thing.

And the reason — according to a group that has never exaggerated to drive home a point — is that if you buy a big turkey, you will end up with leftovers which you will then throw out.

Which prompts the question:

Say what?

Look, I’m not sure you’re allowed to complain about how poor you are and then admit that you throw out leftovers.

And I would further add that, if you don’t know the chain from sandwiches to more sandwiches to turkey soup, you genuinely have lost an important part of family tradition.

And, boy, I’ll bet avocado toast makes lousy stuffing.

And kudos to Cole for finding a new hook upon which to hand a Thanksgiving eddy, and one with some punch.


Another Thanksgivingish Juxtaposition

(Matt Wuerker)


(Tom the Dancing Bug)

I’m breaking my usual practice and running the entire TtDB because Bolling so well argues the utter idiocy of Dear Leader’s self-promoting, pointless, expensive stunt.

And Wuerker may have misjudged the gratitude of Cadet Heel Spurs, who seems to have forgotten that he ever sent those guys out there to … um … unroll some barbed wire or something.

Though I’m sure they’ll get participation trophies.

When pressed, however, Trump remembers them and explains that they actually wanted to give up spending the holiday with their families, then tops it with a ridiculous, insulting lie that, if it were true, would (A) have made the news and (B) would trigger enough courts martial to turn that $210 million into a mere fraction of the total cost of this half-assed attempt at gunboat diplomacy:

“Don’t worry … These are tough people, they know what they’re doing and they’re great and they’ve done a great job. You’re so worried about the Thanksgiving holiday for them.

“They are so proud to be representing our country on the border. Where if you look at what’s happening in Mexico the people from Tijuana are saying, ‘Wow these are tough people, they’re fighting us.’ They’re in fist fights all over the place.”

Maybe he thinks Blackjack Pershing is pursuing Pancho Villa down there.

And maybe those are the Good Old Days of American Greatness that he’s trying to bring back.

(Let’s see you top THAT 1914 headline, Fox News!)


Finally, speaking of Thanksgiving traditions:

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Old traditions, new follies

  1. “…And simply creating them is a tradition and a tangible, edible link to grandmothers of grandmothers of grandmothers.” Yes, nobody could turn a can opener crank and schlop the cranberry glop out of the can better than my ol’ great-grandma. Brings back a lot of wobbly purply-red memories.

    One of my favorite marketing stories (if it’s apocryphal, please don’t tell me) is that the cranberry people started putting the glop into smooth cans so it’d be easier to slide out, but people went nuts because grooved glop was a sacred part of their family tradition. So they put the grooves back.

    Leftovers are the best part. Hell, Karen and I can get three meals out of one roasted chicken; we’d eat like kings for a month on a turkey!

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