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Posts tagged "THANKSGIVING"


What Would You Eat If You Weren’t Afraid?

It’s Thanksgiving again, that one day of the year where we used to loosen our belts to enjoy a glut of buttery foods. But things have gotten more complicated. In the current gastronomic climate we inhabit, even if we do loosen our physical belts, we tighten the moral ones. Whether it’s nutritionally clean or ethically sourced, Thanksgiving now provides us with a chance to be worthy of our own gratitude. Gluten-free stuffing? Vegan creamed corn? Quinoa sweet potatoes? One by one, our peerlessly tasteful G.M.O.s leave our tables, leaving us thankful for, well, other things. What gives?!

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In an article in the Times Magazine, Alex Halberstadt tells the story of his own moral search for the right turkey–a search which landed him with a heritage bird from a small farm in Pennsylvania:

For weeks we watched the turkey — our turkey — on the farmer’s webcam, a cluster of pixels frolicking inside a chicken-wire enclosure. It was butchered and shipped overnight (the FedEx shipping cost nearly as much as the bird) and when it emerged from the oven, mari­nated and basted decadently in butter, the turkey tasted so unspeakably bland that much of it was left on our friends’ plates, camouflaged awkwardly under brussels sprouts. The feel-good narrative of our lovingly raised, hormone-antibiotic-and-G.M.O.-free certified-organic turkey became supplanted with a more ambiguous one. We felt both duped and morally abject: Not only were we out nearly $200, but our ethical gambit put an end to the bird’s bucolic life.

I’m sure you’ve had no such experience. The rest of Halberstadt’s article is a love letter about the joys and complexities of, you guessed it, Frito-Lay’s Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles.

Which made me think, just in time for The Food & Drink Issue (out in January), ENOUGH! Let’s do something about this! Mary Karr once asked us a similar question, but this Thanksgiving, we put it to your gut: What would you eat if you weren’t afraid? Seriously, this is not rhetorical: what would you? What would you allow yourself to indulge were it not for the consequences–bodily and ethical and otherwise? Were it not for your self-consciousness?

We want to know! Leave a comment below or email us here, and tell us what heavenly nosh you so diligently (or not so diligently) avoid. And we’ll publish the answers (anonymously) in our upcoming issue! 

Happy Thanksgiving, whatever grub you’re pining for!

Another Week Ends: Upended Progress, Attachment Theory, Lulu Listening, Moral Superiority, Post-Truth, and Bingeing More Than Turkey

Another Week Ends: Upended Progress, Attachment Theory, Lulu Listening, Moral Superiority, Post-Truth, and Bingeing More Than Turkey

1) “Maybe it’s time we tell you,” the Atlantic seems to be saying, just more than a week after the world seemed to turn upside-down, “that we humans haven’t always believed in progress. To the contrary, it’s a rather new idea.” In Joel Mokyr’s essay from yesterday, “Progress Isn’t Natural,” our optimism towards human endeavors and scientific discoveries is at odds with what before could be described as “ancestor worship,” a feeling of due respect for tradition and classical texts prior to the Enlightenment:

After 1600, Europeans developed scientific instruments that allowed them to see things the ancient writers could never…

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From the Archives: Betrayal and Grace Over Frozen Turkey

From the Archives: Betrayal and Grace Over Frozen Turkey

It may be the single greatest Thanksgiving film ever made, yet Broadway Danny Rose is something of an anomaly in Woody Allen’s filmography. Released 1984, it came smack dab in the middle of his golden period (1977-1992), right after Zelig and just before The Purple Rose of Cairo, when Woody could do no wrong. His increased confidence as an actor and filmmaker showed itself in his decision to vary his character more than he ever had before, or since. Instead of a conflicted-yet-talented college-educated neurotic, Woody plays a long-suffering, working-class hustler, a guy who just can’t catch a break (and…

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Life-Preserving Gratitude and the Limits of Good Manners

Life-Preserving Gratitude and the Limits of Good Manners

Another excerpt of our new Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints) book, this one comes from the “Fruits of Grace” section at the end of the book, our attempt to draw out some of the practical implications of the Gospel (without turning the message into a “means” to improvement/happiness/etc). The initial illustration comes from John Z’s Grace in Addiction, which adapts it from a talk by Rod Rosenbladt.

Imagine you fall off the side of an ocean liner and, not knowing how to swim, begin to drown. Someone on the deck spots you, flailing in the water and…

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Thanksgiving and the Human Family

Thanksgiving and the Human Family

This short Thanksgiving Day devotion comes to us from Paul Walker:

Virginians, being Virginians, like to claim that the first Thanksgiving took place not at Plymouth Rock, but at Berkley Plantation in Virginia in 1619. The ships that arrived from England had a charter that required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God.

“We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” So, on that first day…

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Another Week Ends: Life Stories, Vacation Days, Literary Grace, Curved In Worship, Baby Morality, Sleepy Hollow and Eagleton on Moz

Another Week Ends: Life Stories, Vacation Days, Literary Grace, Curved In Worship, Baby Morality, Sleepy Hollow and Eagleton on Moz

1. We’ve spoken before about why we so often feel the need to conceive of our lives as a narrative of progress or upward-sloping trajectory. We’ve tried to highlight the dangers this poses, especially when the progress is understood to be moral or spiritual in nature. An instinct that can sometimes help us make sense of our lives (and we need all the help we can get!), when left unchecked can end up obscuring reality (where God is) and compounding loneliness. On The Huffington Post, Carolyn Gregoire explores this phenomenon in some detail, particularly in relation to Dan McAdams’ new…

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Two Vaguely Thanksgiving-Related Calvin and Hobbes

And that’s all for this week, folks! See you after the holiday.

Attitudes of Gratitude and the Most Psychologically Correct Holiday

Attitudes of Gratitude and the Most Psychologically Correct Holiday

John Tierney, co-author of Willpower, published a column in The NY Times, which begins with the declaration that the most “psychologically correct holiday is upon us.” As much as I love Christmas, and as much as the spiritual/religious significance of Easter dwarves all its cousins, I can’t help but agree with him about Thanksgiving here. The article, which will likely set off your self-help alarms, contains more than a few worthy insights on that most Gospel of subjects: gratitude. That is, if you can read between the tips on “how to be more grateful” – which seem to ignore how…

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Mini-Conference Recordings - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Mini-Conference Recordings – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Again, an enormous and very heartfelt Mockingbird thank you to everyone who helped out with last weekend’s mini-conference in Pensacola! In particular, Jeff & Kerry Hual and the Christ Church Pensacola staff. We are so thankful for how it all went.

Links to the recordings of the presentations are below. If you find them to be helpful (and you were not able to attend the conference in person), we ask that you *consider* making a donation to help cover the cost of putting it on. In fact, do so and as a token of our appreciation, we’ll send you the audio…

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Thanksgiving Song No. 4: Derek Webb’s "Thankful"

And you thought (Reformational) theological anthems were a thing of the past?! Try this one on for size… Happy Thanksgiving:

I ran across an old box of letters
While I was bagging up some clothes for Goodwill
You know I had to laugh that the same old struggles
That plagued me then are plaguing me still
I know the road is long from the ground to glory
But a boy can hope he’s getting some place
But you see, I’m running from the very clothes I’m wearing
And dressed like this I’m fit for the chase

No, there is none righteous
Not one who understands
There is none who seek God
No…

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Thanksgivings: Big Star's Thank You Friends and Scott Walker's Thanks for Chicago, Mr James

Thanksgivings: Big Star’s Thank You Friends and Scott Walker’s Thanks for Chicago, Mr James

If rock n roll is to be trusted, it would appear that human beings are not hard-wired for gratitude. Songs dealing with the subject are that few and far between. Or perhaps the medium just lends itself to discontent? Either way, putting together a good Thanksgiving mix is no easy task. On their controversial Third record, Big Star made one of the few lasting, if utterly facetious contributions to the genre. Alex Chilton was not a happy dude at the time, deeply disappointed about what he perceived as the false loyalty and empty promises of the music business (and lifestyle),…

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Michael Caine Has a Thankul Heart (and an Impressive Voice)

Michael Caine Has a Thankul Heart (and an Impressive Voice)

With Thanksgiving week upon us, what better time to revisit the brilliance of The Muppet Christmas Carol? Filmed a few years after Jim Henson’s death, it is a remarkably faithful version of Dickens’ classic, superbly funny/clever in its Muppet-ness yet also unflinching when it comes to the more religious aspects of the story. Of course, gratitude as a response to grace will never have a better poster-boy than Scrooge, played here by Michael Caine; a forgiven heart is a thankful heart, and a thankful heart is a generous heart – exorbitantly and spontaneously so. There’s no “should” or “how” here,…

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