Our American Thanksgiving celebration is very American indeed. Full of (mostly mythical) references to our country’s origins, it brings back early Americana and reinforces traditions. Sport of. A lot of those traditions have disappeared over the years, but the Thanksgiving Turkey is still with us. In a big way too; we eat more turkeys than anyone else on the planet. And we eat some 1/6th of those on Thanksgiving. But some other staples have gone missing along the way.
Well past the midpoint of last century for instance, Thanksgiving’s turkey was followed by your choice of desserts, either pumpkin or mince pie. (If you had room left for dessert.) Neither attained dominance; hosts and restaurants always offered both. We happened to prefer the spice of mince pie (with brandy sauce …) over the blandness of pumpkin. A lot of Europeans won’t eat pumpkin; they’re unfamiliar with it. Of course, a lot of them won’t eat corn, either. Same deal. But mince pie originated over there.
Something happened some time after mid century; the fashion and foible leaders of society decreed that mince pie was declasse’.Only know-nothings and slobs ate mince pie. It became a joke and if you ordered it in a restaurant, you were an object of ridicule. So restaurants stopped providing it and today, while you can buy a jar of mincemeat and a pie shell for assembly at home, it’s otherwise pretty hand to find mince pie in America at either Thanksgiving or Christmas, another traditional time for it. Because people didn’t like it? No, because people had been told that only fools liked it, by Fashion Authorities.
The same pattern has nearly destroyed another American Christmas staple: The old fashioned fruitcake. That’s another Fall holiday standard also shot down by the dictators
of American taste and behavior. This pattern, handed down we suppose from the days of: “His Highness approves of it” has now expanded from dictating desserts to picking our politics, with not only the media and university faculty enlisted by also Hollywood and recently, even sports figures. We are to approve of gay marriage and disapprove of coal and border enforcement, for instance. Joseph Goebbels receives most of the credit now, but this was old when Julius Caesar used it. It’s standard for controlling the thoughts of the masses, which is necessary if you wish to control them.
There are always some cross-grained, independent thinkers who refuse to fall into line, but you just instruct the manipulable masses on how out-of-it such ignorant and unpleasant fellows are and teach the folk to sneer at and look down upon such enemies of everything held out as good.
The American Founders were well aware of all this (and had few prejudices about Turkeys, pumpkins, mince pie or fruitcakes) and did their best to prevent an American royalty coming to be. But they’re all dead now, if gravely rotating somewhere, and our present Obamas and Gore’s and Bidens and Pelosis have from their behavior, rather different views.
You may still order a fruitcake for Christmas via the Internet (At least, while Christmas remains) as a friend proved by sending one. And we enjoyed mince pie for dessert this eveing, with the remainder of a nice Orvieto that had accompanied the fowl. We felt like revolutionaries and it felt good. Tasted good, too.