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Here’s a list of some of the things President Obama didn’t mention in his recent Thanksgiving address:
1. the McRib, and the fact that it’s so popular, in spite of being so mediocre;
2. Klondike bars, and the fact that no one eats them anywhere but the zoo;
3. what it feels like to have canker sores on both sides of your mouth and nothing to eat but a bag of potato chips;
4. those Brawny commercials from a couple of years ago, when Brawny replaced the Chuck Norris-looking Brawny man with the metrosexual-dad-picking-up-his-daughter-from-soccer-practice-looking Brawny man, and introduced the change by having two rolls of paper towels talk to one another; and
5. my new novella, VERSUS NURTURE, available this February on Kindle, Nook, and other fine ereading devices everywhere.
Strangely, no one seems angry that the president failed to mention these things (except for me with the last one; I was hoping for a plug), or most of the millions of other things he failed to mention. But half the world is apparently in a buzz over the fact that he failed to mention God.
Ben Shapiro, the World’s Greatest Writer in the World, for example, took to Twitter after the president’s address, labeling him a “militant atheist” for his omission (which is great, because usually it’s the true believers who get the credit for blowing stuff up; I’m glad to see all the atheists out there finally getting in on all the hot militant action). And a website called Medical Daily, which I can proudly say I’ve never heard of before and can even more proudly say I’ll never hear of again, entered the fray with perhaps the single greatest headline I have ever seen in all my years of reading the news: “Sadness, Concern for Some as Obama Omits God from Thanksgiving Speech [VIDEO].”
You had me at “Sadness, Concern for Some.”
If you were in a coma for the last four years and woke up to see this story on TV, you’d jump on your hospital bed in a panic, wielding an IV stand at the nurses, demanding the doctors to knock you back out. If you were God Himself, you’d be up in Heaven right now, writing a blog post that ended with the abbreviation, “SMDH.” Like most of the things Americans find a way to get angry about, people are going to need to get over this. And it shouldn’t be difficult to do that, because it doesn’t matter.
First of all, let’s start with how this story became a story, which is perhaps the most mindblowing part about it. In order for something to become a story, someone has to know that it happened. So what you’re telling me is, Obama made a speech about Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving… and somebody actually watched it? Why? Were you just looking for something to complain about? Of all the things you could’ve been doing that day (eating food, watching football, having it out with family), what hell could you possibly think you deserve to put yourself through a speech by the president? What president has ever said anything about a holiday—any holiday—to warrant watching a speech about it? I don’t care what the president thinks about Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Or New Year’s. Or that one with the furry animal. And if you watch these speeches (please don’t watch these speeches), you’ll learn that they’re not really about what the president thinks anyway. They’re just another chance for a president to repeat the same Go America bullet points as always.
In fact, watch this speech. Watch all three antiseptic minutes of it. This thing is so bland, if a couple of people with nothing better to do didn’t find a reason to be angry about it, you would’ve forgotten you heard this speech before you were done hearing it.
Which brings me to my second point, which is the general uselessness of presidential speeches. I can’t remember the last time a president managed to inspire me with his words. More importantly, I can’t remember the last time I hated myself so much that I actually wanted a president to inspire me. Presidents are not inspiring people. By the time they reach the highest office in the land, they have been stripped of all humanity, like Anakin Skywalker when he becomes Darth Vader. It is impossible for them to speak as humans and only possible for them to speak as well-oiled robots (or, if that old creak John Kerry had ever become president, poorly-oiled robots). Barack Obama’s life is one long string of speeches at this point. In fact, his whole life is one long speech. And not a very good one, either. People make such a big deal about this guy being a great speaker, but the last time someone spoke with a more affected voice than Barack Obama, it was Scott Stapp doing vocals for Creed.
When Kevin Smith first introduced Silent Bob in Clerks and Mallrats, the character was interesting because he only said one thing per movie. When someone rarely says a word, the words they do say count. Presidents say more words in public in one day than all the words in all of Kevin Smith’s movies combined (and that’s a lot of words, for those not familiar with his work; Kevin Smith’s movies tend to be wordy). Until we elect a president who elects to speak once a year (and at that point the guy could read the copyright page off an old Funk & Wagnalls, and all of America would rightfully be hooked), reading too much into any one speech is like finding a grain of sand in your car and concluding you’ve brought the whole beach home with you.
Finally, this story doesn’t matter because Obama mentioning God doesn’t matter—not to you, not to God, and certainly not to America. What’s the insinuation here? That Obama not saying God on Thanksgiving means you’re not thankful for the blessings in your life? If you’re so thankful, thank God yourself. What’s the matter? Are you not talking to Him? We’re not living under a pharaoh. Our politicians aren’t our conduits to God.
And considering how lousy most of our leaders are, that’s something we should be thankful for—not just on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year.