Okay, so I’ll be honest: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I just — I really love pie. I’m sorry. In the aftermath of this Thanksgiving, while you’re eating yet another turkey sandwich and stewing about that racist thing your elderly relative said, snuggle up with this double feature and remember what Thanksgiving is all about (hint: it’s white-washing, commercialization, and let’s not forget genocide).
For Your Consideration – Addams Family Values
For Your Consideration
For Your Consideration is a classic Christopher Guest mockumentary about the making of a movie called Home for Purim — the story of a Jewish family in the 1940’s American South. Essentially, the movie (For Your Consideration) follows the production of Home for Purim as it transforms into Home for Thanksgiving by means of Hollywood Movie Magics (read: inherently racist capitalism). The decision that the movie is “too Jewish” comes in the aftermath of rumored Oscar nominations and a desire to make the film appeal to a wider audience. Enter, then: the concept of Thanksgiving, here to make everything more “American” (ie WASP-y) and erase any culture that does not fit that acronym. I mean, isn’t that what Thanksgiving has always been, like, Historically?
Addams Family Values
And so we come to Addams Family Values, wherein Wednesday and Pugsley are sent to summer camp and forcibly propagandized-at regarding the relationship between the pilgrims and the Native Americans. However, during the performance of the camp’s Thanksgiving reenactment, Wednesday decides to channel some righteous rage both at her truly obnoxious camp counselors and at the genocide of Native Americans.
(Disclaimer: however satisfying Wednesday’s violence may be in the moment, when given some context, this scene itself is a prime example of whitewashing; Wednesday Addams and Christina Ricci are, both of them, very white, and yet it is their/her voice which is privileged with the expression of this rage and its accompanying de-contextualized/de-culturalized “war whoop,” as opposed to that of a Native American child actor/actress).
So, y’know — lots to be bitter about. I mean, for two comedies, it’s kind of a downer of a double feature. But, that’s okay! Harness that righteous rage and express it in a way that is culturally appropriate for you! Go forth! Vagueblog about your shitty relatives! Write out a lengthy and well-researched reply to that Facebook comment and then delete it! Scream into the void. Happy return-from-Thanksgiving, and let the bitterness of the Holiday Season Commence!