America to me is a dreamland. That can be taken in any shape or form. In the beginning of time that had a positive tone to it. People came to America for ‘The American Dream.’ This hypothetical dream that was determined by whoever was pursuing it. What was so cool about this was that The American Dream was a sense of hopefulness for everyone, but the idea lost was that America was not abandoned land with no life whatsoever. This satirical cartoon from The Onion goes to the evolution of the holiday, Thanksgiving, not necessarily the specific holiday but the principles it is supposed to embody. The story of Thanksgiving is one of inclusion, togetherness, compromise and welcoming. It’s a holiday to be thankful and grateful–because apparently not everyday should be filled with gratitude.
Although this cartoon specifically shows the evolution beyond the dinner table, but not even in the most relevant Thanksgiving change. In the 21st century consumer driven world, Thanksgiving becomes the preface for the main event, Black Friday. As someone who works a retail job, I experience the loss of tradition in a national holiday. Thanksgiving is one of the only (if not the only) American holidays that is celebrated despite religious, racial, or social differences. There are people who donate time on the holiday to soup kitchens and homeless shelters in order to recognize that Thanksgiving is universal, and there are people who celebrate around their own person table with friends and family, and then the people who stuff food down their throats (or even worse–pack it for later) and stand outside of a superstore in the cold in order to get the best deal possible–a head start on their Christmas shopping. When the word ‘dreamland’ is applied to this version of America is the drastic opposite of what Thanksgiving was built on. Americans who take part in Black Friday are in a dreamland because they are aspiring to consume what on a normal day they cannot afford. They are so blinded by this dream life in their head that they cannot look past the clouded thoughts to focus on the personal (set-to-scale) American Dream.