Tonawanda News


November 21, 2012

DUVALL: The annual un-Thanksgiving list

Tonawanda News — It’s time to resurrect a Thanksgiving-week tradition!

There are lots of places you can go for schmaltzy what-I’m-thankful-for lists. We all love freedom and turkey and really cheap TVs. But we’re well past the stage of making turkeys out of construction paper handprints, so that stuff is a little, well, dumb.

In the great and grand tradition of curmudgeon-dom, I offer you my annual abridged un-Thanksgiving list:

• I am completely unthankful for Facebook. I would quit the ubiquitous social medium were it not for the fact that I’d be cast off as a social pariah. 

Of course, I use it all the time and it makes life easier. But the price of that convenience is high: All the banality. That, and it devalues actual interpersonal communication. Why do I need to talk to a friend when I know what they had for breakfast? I certainly don’t need to ask how their children or boss are doing. And god knows I don’t have to ask their feelings on the election.

Such perfunctory communication lulls us into a sense of genuine connection when really all we have is frivolity. What about all those serious things people (most people, that is) never post on Facebook?

But thankfully I know what song they’re listening to on Spotify. That’s a decent substitute for a real relationship with someone, right?

• I’m unthankful the election is over. Now I have to think of actual column topics, not just bag on Mitt Romney. 

It’s low-hanging fruit, a real peach ready to be picked and suckled for 700 words whenever I needed them for almost two years. I know I should be better than that. But Romney just made it so easy!

Bring back Bain! What about the height of trees in Michigan! Car elevators! Dressage horses! Seamus on the roof of the car! The 47 percent!

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