November 23, 2015

"This holiday, a little awareness can change everything.

"How Enlightened Families Argue":

36 comments:

JAORE said...

How does it compare with staff meetings at dear old Lawyer U?

Curious George said...

30 seconds in I had to pull the plug.

Fernandinande said...

Curious George said...
30 seconds in I had to pull the plug.


I made it to about a minute: bad sound. The mic(s) should've been closer to the people.

TreeJoe said...

Good concept for a skit, poorly executed.

madAsHell said...

There is clearly.....NOT ENOUGH WINE AT THAT TABLE!!!

Todd said...

What? That was supposed to be funny? Really? Are you sure? No, really? Sorry, don't get it.

traditionalguy said...

Family. Can't live with them and can't live without them. All you need to know about it was dramatized by Sophocles in 492 BC.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought it was more insightful that LOL funny.

I haven't had an old-time big-family Thanksgiving dinner in decades, so I'm very distant from this kind of scene. It makes me wistful, actually. I wish I could talk to my parents again and I realize how much I missed out on finding out about my own background because I wasted energy being annoyed by them or because I regarded their lives as mostly disconnected from mine. There are questions I wish I could ask, things I wish I could interview them about, and it just never occurred to me to ask in all the years and years I spent time with them to ask about those things. But every year I see this material about 20ish people having to do Thanksgiving and what a terrible ordeal it is. How will they survive the evening?

chuck said...

I'm weak, only made it 20 seconds in.

traditionalguy said...

The appointed family roles as favorite child, black sheep, entertainer, and rebel are permanent. Outsiders have a learning cure and need to be careful about asking really revealing questions on touchy life experiences of the regulars.

madAsHell said...

It makes me wistful, actually.

Be careful of what you wist for!

Every year, we put the FUN in family dysFUNction. Thankfully, my daughter has taken the reins, and everyone defers to her.

Rusty said...

It's more of a fun holiday when the dinner conversation results in fist fights.

Drago said...

I feel "othered" by the fact that the supposedly "enlightened" family are Caucasian and I, as a Caucasian male but self-identifying as a post-meiji-restoration transgendered Portuguese astronomer permanently marooned at the south pole, am not "included".

I will now seek a safe space wherein I can commune with my own inner thoughts so as not to allow this oppressive white western Christian patriarchal society to appropriate my self-identified and make-believe experiences.

Temujin said...

I thought it was good- obvious, but spot on. Family get-togethers are invariably train-wrecks of differing proportions (depending on your family). You can always count on one thing: no interaction between groups of people is anymore predictable and destructive, that those with your own family.

My dad made me write this.

Wilbur said...


" I see this material about 20ish people having to do Thanksgiving and what a terrible ordeal it is"
That's because 20ish people really don't have a clue what an ordeal is.


That blonde woman unfortunately looks like Don Knotts.

Karen of Texas said...

I don't remember any of our family holiday get-togethers being crazy or dysfunctional or horrible. Was there something wrong with us? And Professor, I understand. The older I get, the more I realize just how much I didn't know about my parents, and by extension extended family; that realization makes me sad. There are no do overs. If I knew then what I know now...

virgil xenophon said...

Karen of Texas@11:57am/

My EXACT same circumstances. Ours were normal normal all the way Agree all about parents also..

CStanley said...

Our holidays were mostly filled with good memories, despite some grumpy old folks who used to argue a lot (Grandma Z, interrupting one of Grandpa Z's long winded stories: "You don't know nothing!" To which Grandpa responded: "I know enough!")

My Dad died way too soon, and I miss them and the rest of them. I'm also sad that Dad, who had a keen interest in the family history, didn't live long enough to experience the Internet with all of the genealogical resources. I have felt though, that he's been looking down and smiling, perhaps even guiding me to many discoveries.

The point is similar to Prof. Althouse's- get to know your elders and engage in conversation about these things while you can. You will learn things you never knew you never knew.

Larry Davis said...

@Karen of Texas You might be surprised at the emotions boiling under the surface that "love for family" or fear of DAD or respect for DAD and MOM kept contained. I know this was the case in my family. Many years passed and then my brothers and sisters told me how they really felt at the time.

@Ann I know what you mean about asking your parents about things and now it's too late. I'm 76 years old and I have no one to ask about family things as they are all gone. My mother lived until 96 years old and by that time much of what she remembered was not correct. At the end, she told me that my father's grandmother was Jewish and lived in a house by herself just outside the town in which I was born. Later investigation found that wasn't true. So if you wanted to ask your parents something, make sure they still have their facilitates! :)

Fernandinande said...

traditionalguy said...
Family. Can't live with them and can't live without them.


"My family helps me through the troubles my family causes me."

"It's a shame when whole families are torn apart by something as simple as wild dogs."

tim in vermont said...

I vote LOL funny.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Even as a teenager I loved spending Thanksgiving with the family. There were few ordeals to endure and no micro-aggressions to resolve. The day was typically filled with good moments and happy memories. Not that we were perfect; we were all capable of our own brand of dysfunction and mayhem. But somehow we managed to rise above our foibles when it was important, and my family always believed that holidays were important. Now that I'm older and most of my family are gone, I glad we made that effort and I'm thankful for the memories.

FleetUSA said...

Wonderful. Thanks for the post

FleetUSA said...

@ wistful Professor,

That wisdom comes with age and an inquiring mind. We were lucky to have our parents live well into their 80s and share many (not all) T'days with them.

We try to draw the 2 grandchildren into the conversation with bits of history and questions for them to articulate. Hopefully it is working.

D. B. Light said...

I can't remember my family ever having had an acrimonious discussion over the dinner table. At multi-generational family get-togethers we mostly just talked about family stuff. Politics just wasn't an issue.

Ken B said...

WHERE WAS MY DAMNED TRIGGER WARNING?

jr565 said...

If you had to turn it off early its because the people in the video are so insufferable. But this is actually true for most libs. The smugness is high. And so, if you were repelled, this is actually a sign that the video did a good job.

Big Mike said...

@Curious George and @Fernandinande, you have more fortitude than I. Just the smug, condescending tone of the first speaker made me want to hit him in the mouth.

gadfly said...

"I don't want to set the world on fire, I just want to start a flame in your heart" is pretty icky stuff. "Ink Spots" would never make it as a group name any more than a black-faced interlocutor could have hosted "The Ed Sullivan Show" in the early 1960s - but these guys started their singing act in the 1920s and they were all dead by 1971.

el polacko said...

if these awful people are representative of what americans have become, then i'm changing my views on muslim refugees...ISIS can't get here soon enough.

mikee said...

At my family's home in North Carolina, conversation at holidays tends to keep to noncontroversial subjects, such as what pistol model and caliber we are carrying concealed these days, and has everyone heard about the latest UFO conspiracy theory.
My family is weird, but fun.

sydney said...

I went to a dinner party that had a conversation like that once. It was attended by faculty at Oberlin College.

My family's Thanksgiving dinners have always been fun, for as long as I can remember. We are a multi-racial, multi-denominational family. No arguments. I did not enjoy Thanksgiving with my in-laws as much, though. Lots of microagressions there.

Original Mike said...

I have to listen to how whichever conservative is currently being highlighted by the lefty media is stupid and/or evil. I (usually) just keep my mouth shut and eat the very good dinner.

CatherineM said...

To the professor. Ditto.

wildswan said...

Things missing from that table are good food, a lot of young children, thankfulness to God.

Mark Jeffery said...

Thanksgiving is a peculiarly American thing, so far as it concerns families getting together. Where I come from, the closest is probably Christmas, which I don't celebrate or acknowledge. As someone once said, friends compensate for your family.