Friday 24 November 2023

oh no—my own dog, gone commercial (11. 137)

Via Waxy, we are directed to another soundtrack from Louie Zong (see previously) for a fictional albeit believable 1970s style Peanuts holiday special complete with Vince Guaraldi inspired jazz that captures the ethos not only for the shoppers but those working on Black Friday. Other musical segments include Cyber Monday Blues, Buyer’s Remorse, A New Week and Snoopy vs Capitalism. One could imagine the anti-consumerism messages of the limned out television special plus the harried cashiers and store workers just out the frame speaking with muffled trombone voices.

Thursday 23 November 2023

kid, have you rehabilitated yourself (11. 133)

Courtesy of Open Culture, we are treated to an animated version of Arlo Guthrie’s counter-culture Thanksgiving tradition—the talking blues spoken-word track for his eponymous 1967 album, a lightly embellished account of the artist’s arrest for littering, illegal dumping, a run-in with the law that jeopardised his suitability for the draft for the Vietnam War, the record protesting US involvement in the conflict. Alice Brock, the titular hostess, bailed Guthrie and his co-accomplice out of jail. Despite violent content and outdated, objectionable language bordering on slurs, no radio station observing the tradition of airing it on the holiday, no fine has ever been issued by the American Federal Communications Commission and with subsequent performances, the artist has changed a few lyrics and lines and inserted some topical asides. The arresting authority, William J “Officer Obei” Obanhein, whom became a life-long friend with Guthrie after the song was released, was a model for Norman Rockwell (previously) appearing as a police figure in his depiction of the inauguration of John F Kennedy and schools de-segregation but not, despite popular and fitting misconceptions, The Runaway, which featured another state trooper at Joe’s Diner in a neighbouring village.

Thursday 24 November 2022

secondly, i think you made that second bacteria up (10. 330)

Via fellow internet caretaker Miss Cellania, we are reminded of this classic segment from the serial political drama and stand-in for reality in Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing from season three, episode seven, “Indians in the Lobby,” wherein President Bartlet learns about and proceeds to call the Butterball Hotline. The main story focused on two Native Americans camped out in the White House demanding better healthcare standards for reservations and promising to cause a media disruption unless they are granted an audience with the bureau director.

6x6 (10. 329)

turkey in the straw: Thanksgiving with Liberache (1952)  

the blockchain eight: post-mortem of the collapse of FTX  

woty: the short-list for the publicly juried OED word of the year includes metaverse, #istandwithX and goblin mode 

ooh directory: an omnibus of blogs on every subject—via Waxy  

what sophistry is this: Facebook’s artificial intelligence labs design a negotiator called CICERO to gameify diplomacy—see also 

gratitude, don’t give me no attitude: the nine best Thanksgiving songs that I definitely didn’t just make up

Wednesday 17 November 2021


wordle: a daily acrostic-variant challenge—via Waxy  

double-dog dare: the original overture to what’s become a real snowclone for about to do something foolhardy  

parasitus: a fixture—or at least a trope of Greek and Roman society—was the individual whom could thrive off of the hospitality of others and suffer a little humiliation—via Super Punch 

i prefer the sequel—also sprach zarathrustra: an extensive look at 2001: A Space Odyssey and how some of the most indelible elements were left up to chance—see previously 

you would give everyone salmonella, ella, ella, eh, eh: Weird Al narrates Thanksgiving  

natural habitat: an interactive map lets one explore the range and change of living organisms at their margins  

uncountable case: the partitive declension and a lively debate on less versus fewer

Saturday 28 November 2020

kiddie table

Without explanation or preparation, Trump hosted a press conference seated in the Oval Office at a tiny assistant desk (usually brought out for signing ceremonies when the crowd crushes in to capture the moment but now it just looks like the awful man-child doesn’t get to sit at the adult table) on Thanksgiving, berating reporters with his patently false narrative that the election was stolen from him, prompting several to comment that this was the “Four Seasons Total Landscaping” version of the Resolute Desk and how spot-on the scene juxtaposed with a 2017 throwback of a Saturday Night Live sketch with Trump portrayed throwing a similar tantrum. His vacuous message was lost among the strange optics, prompting follow-on ire against Twitter for amplifying what the wannabe dictator characterised as sedition.

Tuesday 24 November 2020


As NPR reports, though rather burying the lede, impeached and ousted Trump will be performing the strange and storied ritual of pardoning a turkey (see previously) for Thanksgiving—sponsored by the anti-tofurky lobby—presenting a poll to the public asking whom out of Corn and Cob ought to be granted clemency. Though not one to eat his words, even over this bizarre and addle-brained tradition, there was a similar ballot in 2018—in the wake of the mid-term elections with the contest between Peas and Carrots—in which Trump attacked Carrots the turkey for refusing to concede despite having clearly lost. Fifty-six days, twenty-two hours.

play mstie for me

As our faithful chronicler reminds, on this day—Thanksgiving in the US, in 1988 (see previously) Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered on a Minneapolis local channel, the premise making the programme akin to a pirate radio station broadcasting from orbit, with their lampooning of Invaders from the Deep (filmed in Supermarionation) then followed by episode two, Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

turkey lurkey

Catching up on some post-Thanksgiving podcast listening, we were delighted to learn of the existence of priceless collaboration between Susan J Vitucci and Henry Krieger in their silly and engaging operetta Love’s Fowl that recounts the continuing adventures of Henny Penny, also known as Chicken Little or by her stage diva name, La Pulcina Piccola—but through the filter of opera buffa, with an impressive, classically informed score and libretto sung in Italian, featured in a poultry-themed left-overs episode of This American Life.
Our hero has graduated from her initial hysterical though determined mission (despite leaping to the wrong conclusion, her perseverance is what saved her life whereas her companions all dawdled and became Foxy Loxy’s meal—those without scruples always ready and willing to take advantage of panic and confusion) to warn the King that the sky is falling to face some of the more vexing but equally universal challenges of fairy stories and folklore (the familiar, initial trope is classified as Aarne-Thompson-Uther type 20c but together, we run the entire gamut), a cumulative story like the original premise it begins with, repetitious in some way but always advancing, including swashing-buckling on the high seas, statecraft and romantic liaisons.

Thursday 28 November 2019

a thanksgiving pagent, any number of indians

A fairly standard casting-call apparently for children’s plays of this particular genre—via Strange Company.

Sunday 25 November 2018

we call it maize

Festively we learn thanks to Dave Log v 3.0 that the Trump administration is observing Thanksgiving not only through a brisk round of golf and definitely not in the spirit of gratitude or charity but is in fact actively tearing down one inconvenient pillar of the holiday in unrecognising the aboriginal tribe, the Wampanoag of Massachusetts without whom the pilgrims would have hardly survived the harsh winter in the new land. No tribe has been denied their sovereignty or territory side aside since the Truman presidency but Trump is not acting just out of malice in this case—characterising the group as not Indian enough, but rather, and unabashedly so, out of business interests. At least as far back as 1993, the real estate mogul whose business acumen isn’t sufficient to keep solvent a gambling operation has been using legal means and name-calling to try to get the Department of the Interior, which oversees the office of India Affairs to deascension the tribal lands in that particular area of the state in order to not undercut and compete with his own designs at casino and resort development.

Friday 24 November 2017


While we hope for our American readership that the family gathering presented an opportunity for constructive political dialogue and not abject avoidance of potentially incendiary topics that no matter how dicey do need airing, there was a time when the movable feast of Thanksgiving was itself an even more a divisive, partisan issue, as Atlas Obscura recalls.
With the US still recovering from the economic downturn of the Great Depression, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt conceded to the pressure of retailors, fearing a shorter Christmas shopping season had the tradition of proclaiming the last Thursday of the month of November to be a national day of thanksgiving been kept, and changed the date of the holiday. FDR’s decision caused disruption, as expected, and drew ire that followed party lines with twenty-two states celebrating the on the new date and twenty-three on the old date that year. The move garnered the president a lot of criticism with some claiming it represented an abuse of executive powers and earned sobriquets like the “New Deal Thanksgiving” or “Franksgiving,” an affront to the “Republican Thanksgiving” as Abraham Lincoln had intended it, with some states still observing the old style date until the mid-1950s.  As with most legislation, it took an act of congress to settle matters and align the whole country’s calendars.

Thursday 23 November 2017

gratitude - don't give me no attitude

Wishing you and yours a very peaceful and bountiful Thanksgiving. As always, we appreciate your stopping by and there is room at the table.

Thursday 24 November 2016


utopia planitia: Mars’ plains of paradise host a frozen lake rivalling Lake Superior, via TYWKIWDBI

let’s go out to the lobby: imagining C-SPAN’s Golden Elevator-cam coverage

the star rover: astral projections with Jack London’s final and uniquely philosophic science-fiction novel

airstrip one: vast expansion of UK domestic surveillance powers were rather overshadowed by Brexit and cadet events

the pearlies: the London subculture for charitable works and social justice with impeccable fashion-sense

rassilon imprimatur: celebrate the fifty-third anniversary of Doctor Who by watching all the reincarnations

good old puritan custom: leading lifestyle maven of the 1850s Sarah Josepha Hale’s petition to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, realised as a time for healing and reconciliation during the US Civil War 

Wednesday 23 November 2016

gobble, gobble

We here at PfRC wish you and yours a peaceful and bountiful Thanksgiving. Thanks as always for stopping by.

Thursday 28 November 2013

cinematic titanic or play MSTIE for me

The name PfRC is a nod to the series Mystery Science Theater 3000—the 1998 episode lampooning the 1958 Jack Arnold feature, The Space Children. Just ahead of the abduction—encounter, the children gleefully announce the discovery of an ominous cave—to which one of the Bots quip, “It will be perfect for our delicious Roquefort cheese.” MST3K premiered 25 years ago on Thanksgiving Day on a UHF broadcast station in the Minneapolis area. Mental Floss has more on the show's history, legacy and some trivia. The Mads are calling.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

till by turning, we come around 'right

Writing for the ever surprising and peripatetic Neatorama, Miss Cellania turns our attention to the avatars of Thankgivings past. Of course, originally, the feast was a communal celebration—an aspect that continues to the orphaned. I have enjoyed quite a few good and grateful meals in the company of strangers in the mess-hall. With gentrification, however, it became a chance for being seen and ostentation, by dining among peers in the swankest, most exclusive restaurants. I like the idea of community though the idea of privilege over noblisse-oblige and flaunting of ones means not so much. Thanksgiving dinner retreated to a private affair, prepared at home and an inviting rather than insular affair, with the signals from the economic downturn that followed this gilded age.

Sunday 18 November 2012

salutations and studio cards

The one-holiday-at-a-time approach is probably best, but it is the thought and planning that counts.

Searching for some inspirational designs for greeting cards for Christmas and New Year’s, I stumbled on the cards, posters and other ephemera in the archives of the Geffrye collections, the English Museum of the Home—a contributor to the Europeana project, which also an excellent resource for vintage material, including old films and music as well as graphics. One could easily find elements to personalize and make one’s own unique greetings that can’t be found in shops. We’ll have to get busy designing ours. Meanwhile, for all our readers in the States, PfRC would like to send out wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving feast to kick off the season.

Friday 1 April 2011

sector 7G

A German broadcast network quietly announced it will practice some discretion in airing episodes from The Simpsons. In order to avoid further trauma at home and abroad, it will not be presenting shows that are centered around the Springfield nuclear power-plant.
Before the crisis in Japan and debate in Germany over the future of atomic power that has precipitated a series of documentaries on the Chernobyl disaster, what had educated (or at least introduced) the public most about nuclear issues was Mr Burns' reactor. Perhaps the network does not want to appear to be taking sides in the debate or influencing the viewers, but the same channel also showed Black Hawk Down just after the presence of US CIA operatives were working in Libya came to light, though it could be coincidental and is probably a superficial comparison since the bigger surprise would be if such agents were not already there. Hopefully, the network's selectiveness is also out of respect for the workers toiling under deadly conditions and racing against time.  This flyer seems a bit crass given the current situation--really done up for a Thanksgiving Day mini-marathon two years ago, but I have to wonder at the choice in clip-art to begin with. Cloud-Maker II does not loom over this town like that, and there are a lot of other nice landmarks to choose from.

Sunday 29 November 2009

gratitude, don't give me no attitude

H and I spent the Thanksgiving day holiday with my parents and it was a wonderful kick off to the season. My mother had decked up the place with the santa claus clone army--usually there have been the turkey place-setting minders but there were too many of them, tucked away in a basket and it looked like a turkey massacree. It was really a fun time and inspired us to decorate our place in earnest.