The Archaeology in Tennessee blog is taking this special opportunity to wish all of its American readers a happy, joyful, and fun-filled Thanksgiving with your family and friends. For any of our international readers who might not already know, we Americans are taking a special four-day holiday weekend that includes a Thursday holiday called Thanksgiving, which was established by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War (1861-1865). It is a time when most Americans reflect upon the many blessings and otherwise good things that have happened in their lives throughout the past year.
For those of you who may be interested, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) is airing a really well done—meaning Ken Burns quality—historical documentary on The Pilgrims. It will be shown in the Knoxville area today (Tuesday, November 24, 2015) at 8:00 p.m. EST on the local PBS station. It will be shown today in other areas too, and it will be shown on Wednesday or Thursday night in some areas of the nation. Be sure to check your local TV listings for the day and time in your area.
It is our understanding that this documentary takes a close look at the lives and struggles of the pilgrims in 17th century England; their voyage to the New World on the sailing ship Mayflower; their settlement on the coast of New England; and the many trials and tribulations they went through trying to adapt to the natural and cultural environments of their new home. This is the true, rare, realistic, gritty, and no-nonsense historical version of the pilgrim story rather than the fantasy-filled pablum many of us were served by our 5th grade teachers when we were growing up, If your childhood view of the pilgrims and Thanksgiving are a soap bubble, prepare to have it popped.
The day following Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday because it is the first day of the Christmas shopping season when American retailers hope to begin putting their accounting books for the year into the black rather than the red. Here at the blog, we are worried about this Black Friday—and with good reason. The radical Islamic elements that have launched the recent terrorist attacks in Egypt, Turkey, France, and Mali have thus far left their primary American enemy alone, which we think is really strange. We have noted that the masterminds behind these attacks appear to have some sort of curious fascination with a bizarre poetic justice and the choice of culturally meaningful days to inflict it. For example, Al Qaeda chose September 11, 2001, to attack the World Trade Center buildings in New York City because of the American 911 emergency call number. The recent ISIS attacks on Paris were selected for Friday the 13th, a traditional bad luck day in western civilization. Following this pattern, we here at the blog feel that Black Friday is a poetic justice day too flavorful for the Islamist masterminds to pass up. Black Friday may be the day when we Americans get hit to round out the recent spate of attacks. It is the one day out of the year when Americans crowd together in public places in the highest numbers—meaning millions of crowds to attack.
We have chosen to avoid crowds on this Black Friday. This day is never much fun for our family anyway, so nothing valuable is lost. Whatever your choice might be, please be on the alert all around you and be ready to duck for cover if needed. Immediately report anything that looks strange or unusual to the police or other security authorities. Pray that no terrorist attacks will come to our American lands on this Black Friday.