Craft the most pretentious, self-righteous set of New Year’s resolutions ever!
American Thanksgiving is fast approaching along with its promises of turkey, gravy boats and awkward moments with relatives. I say “American Thanksgiving,” of course, because I’m Canadian, and if I don’t preface it like that it feels like I’m time-traveling back to mid-October, which is super weird for me.
Regardless, whether it’s about the decree of Canadian parliament or US pilgrims suspiciously mingling with early Native Americans, this is when we’re supposed to give thanks! Thanks for our dysfunctional family’s health, thanks for that job offer (despite the sweat-stained interview), thank you, god(s?) for ensuring my problems are all minor enough to earn the unfortunate title of “first world problems.” These thanks-I-just-gave-ings are no-brainers, but in these confusing times of shifting global politics and ethical/social awareness, aren’t we overlooking some less thankable groups of people?
The selfish, the corrupt, the hateful, the callous, the intentionally flatulent…where’s their thanks? In being shitty, they work harder to impact the world than most, and receive virtually nothing in return. Thanksgiving is for everyone, guys! And if there’s one thing I learned from watching the holiday classic Fred Claus, it’s that failing to acknowledge people that fall onto the “naughty” list just turns Kevin Spacey into a total dick.
Let’s take a moment to give thanks and learn something from some of the jerks that left their mark on 2015.
Thank you, Walter Palmer!
You boldly chose to transform from a mild-mannered dentist into a proud, full-blown murderer of a beloved lion named Cecil. People didn’t need another reason to loathe going to the dentist, but you gave them one anyway. Thank you for that, and for showing tiny penised men everywhere that they can dream terribly, awfully big.
Thank you, Donald Trump!
A presidential “hopeful,” you had the audacity to say plenty of offensive, f#$ked up things this past year—most notably referring to Mexicans as rapists (but it’s okay, because you employ them, right?). Thank you for making the Democratic party look like the only sane party by default, and, like your hair piece, refusing to quit politics no matter how awkward, unsettling, or completely out of place you appear to be.
Thank you, Volkswagen!
Your premium German-engineering of diesel made cars blew our minds, particularly when you got caught cheating by ozone-depleting proportions on the emissions tests. Doping scandals with athletes is relatively common, but only a manufacturer of your calibre can manufacture a doping scandal for athletic vehicles. Thank you for reminding people that public transit will always be a safer, less apocalyptic-climate-change associated alternative to “das auto.”
Thank you, Martin Shkreli!
My morally corrupt muse and bro. As a big-pharma CEO, you made headlines by raising the price on an AIDS treatment drug by hundreds and hundreds of dollars per pill and then dismissed people’s concerns on twitter with alluded middle-fingers and/or Eminem lyrics. Most CEOs would be hands-off at this point, but instead, you hosted an AMA on reddit after the competition undercut you, and you STILL used that opportunity to try and look cool and hit on girls. Thank you for demonstrating that you can run a company and still have the emotional and cognitive maturity of a 14-year-old. You just made Richie Rich a plausible film premise. Thank you.
Before I give out my last thank you, some brief notable unthankable thank yous (in no particular order) go out to:
- Russian President Vladmir Putin
- Subway’s Jared Fogle
- Bill Cosby
- Kentucky clerk Kim Davis
- People that stop walking near the end of escalators
- Whichever McDonald’s creative type pushed to change the Hamburglar’s image to that creepy dude.
You guys are all really, really difficult to thank.
Finally, on a more serious note, the elephant in the corner of the room: I could easily list just one group that committed brutal crimes in Paris and abroad recently (I pitched this idea before the Paris attacks happened actually), but it’s not that simple. My final acknowledgement is terrorists in general. Anyone person or group, domestic or foreign, that strikes out to inspire fear and strike pain into innocent people just living their lives makes this list. No matter what any Fox News organization tells you (that reminds me–thanks, Fox!), it knows no one religion or skin colour, and it challenges all of our very ways of life. So, thank you, terrorists, for reminding us what evil looks like. And a sincere thank you to those affected by terrorism worldwide, for rising up and fearlessly standing up in its face, proudly exclaiming that you’re not afraid. Because you shouldn’t have to be.
Happy (American) Thanksgiving, everybody!
Steve Hobbs is a Toronto-based actor/comedian/writer, trained in improv and sketch writing through Second City’s Conservatory and longform programs. He’s also a past senior editor/writer for The Beaverton satiric Canadian news magazine and is best known for his work at Toronto Fringe 2014 in sketch juggernaut “Everything is Fine,” as well as with ex-Impatient Theatre Co. headliners “El Fantoma.”