Thanksgiving Blues.

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to get depressed. The obvious reason – a day lights up way after the breakfast and it goes dark soon after lunch. Dark is depressing because it makes you look inwards and deep inside you see some unpleasant things, so creepy I can’t even mention them. You might turn some lights on but D-vitamin induced happiness doesn’t enter your skin and body from an energy saving light bulb. Work that sometimes is your saviour as it distracts you from the world’s pathetic ups and miserable downs looses it’s magic touch because in the dark nothing has much meaning, not even making an animated feature film about depression. Just the thought that you’ll have to live through November, December, January and the Terrible Horrors of Never Ending March sends you down towards the Abyss of Depression. 
One deplorable dark recent morning my alarm rung preventing my “I am about to miss a train to a film festival in Moscow!” nightmare from evolving into a sequel “I am on the train but forgot to take the screening copy of the film I am showing at the Festival!”. I extinguished the annoying alarm sound and got up groggy and weak. 6AM. Not a hint of light. In front of me – long day of drudgery in a cold studio successfully keeping inside temperatures equal to the outside, just below 50 Fahrenheit. The view that in the summertime brimmed with light and cheer now turned into a consistent panorama of cold gray sky begrudgingly kissing gray cold water. The kiss of two corpses. Brrr.
I could go back to bed but two things hold me back: 1) my boyfriend would think of me less if I did that and am here to prove him that am worth least something 2) there is nothing but nightmares when I fall asleep.
So I stay awake and put the tea kettle on. A soothing thought enters my head: at least I didn’t wake up in Auschwitz. Yes, compared to that my current life is a piece of cake. Bring it on. 
The other reason Thanksgiving is a perfect time to get depressed – the Family Thing. Some time ago Communists announced that, like Religion, Family will be eradicated from the Fabric of Society as a regressive form of social organization by the undelayable and absolutely necessary process of Social Evolution that will replace Family with Socialistic Communes. “Religion is the opium for the masses,” Karl Marx said. “Family is Mafia,” Lenin claimed (he got that wrong, it is the other way around – Mafia is a Family) (but he was right that Family Ties and Obligations are stronger than feeling the same for the State). Both, Family and Religion, are unhealthy, for an individual and for the society as a whole. But here we are in 2011 and both Religion and Family show no signs of dying out. In fact, they are about to unite in the act of Celebrating Thanksgiving and Karl Marx can turn in his grave like a roasting chicken about that. 
The Family Thing makes me depressed because: what if one doesn’t have a family? And what if someone has a family that lives on the other side of the world and it has never heard of Thanksgiving?
And how about the people who have perfectly normal Thanksgiving-celebrating-family but otherwise it is intolerable? And even if you have a tolerable Thanksgiving-celebrating family – the trip to get to them on Thanksgiving week is a hassle – the trains are crowded, airplanes sold out, busses stuck in traffic, cars jammed in tunnels and on bridges.
Why!? Why celebrate Thanksgiving in one day if we could spread the joy throughout the year in 4-5 small increments so that people who love their families could get to them without the hassle, but people who don’t like their families wouldn’t even be aware that this is a big family holiday of Thanksgiving and thus would be saved of the embarrassment not celebrating it.
The other things about getting depressed on Thanksgiving – what to be thankful about? Stone cold studio? Leaking windows? Global Warming that will put my building under the water in 50 years? Banks that eat my money like I eat my bread? People who expect me to do their errands as if they were my own?
And if I did find something to be grateful about, to Whom I should send my thanks to? 
The people who very specifically make it possible for the project to continue – Sturgis, Wendy, Rashidah, Shlomo, Lucila, Rob – how will I hoard them into one place to force them to receive my thanks? They have more fun people to see on this significant day. Who am I to divert their warm enjoyment of good cooking? To thank the organizations that I am grateful to – Women Make Movies, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation – it would be like trying to get flock of dolphins to come to my studio. They are too smart to come.
The last thing about Thanksgiving Blues – the turkey. 
Why do we have to eat that bird is beyond my comprehension. It doesn’t sing, it doesn’t dance, when is doesn’t have feathers it has goosebumps and it’s meat is stringy and so dry that it sticks to your throat and forms an indigestible lump in your stomach. Besides, as it is with every meal – it is over in 15 minutes and who does the dishes?
Ah, Thanksgiving. I wish I could cover myself with the feather blanket for 4 days and roast under it till am cooked to perfection. Maybe I’ll be ready for Monday when the alarm rings again.    

About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
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5 Responses to Thanksgiving Blues.

  1. Cecile says:

    Hey! You know what? Reinis & Valentas & Laima & Nathanaël Godard, a wonderfully witty storyboarder from La Fabrique d’Images in Luxembourg this morning found the ending for The Golden Horse. And I felt incredibly happy. And then, driving back after lunch (Chinese noodles & beaujolais nouveau) I thought of Berlin and the first time you told me about the Black Mother who feeds on human tears, and the great time we had drifting from party to party, sipping more red wine and creating taller tales.

    I would love to pop by your place tonight with hot noodles and red wine, and pour pink paint into the river (ocean) so it no longer looks like grey corpses kissing, and dance around your place and across its awesome dance floor, and give thanks to YOUwho makes me smile and love life in all its sad & upside down & bright & shitty ways.

    I’m your sister and I want to be like you when I grow up: making art in a New York studio.

    Kisses & hugs
    Cecile (whose birthday is right at the end of long and terrible March 🙂

    • Cecile! THANK YOU for your wonderful note! Yes, Berlinale 2008 was fun but I remember more of us working in my Stuttgart hotel room during the festival. That was fun too. Hardworking fun. I am so happy the Golden Horse team found a good ending for the film! The Black Mother won’t get all of our tears! Happy Thanksgiving! Kisses s.

    • Sonia Taitz says:

      Cecile– I don’t know you, but would love for you to pinkify the Hudson River I overlook from my NY flat each day. It’s a long winter here, too, but people like you bring precious light. I’m also a late-March birthday, but that means that people like us straddle winter and spring, and this is an interesting perspective. Maybe even a gift.

      Best to you and Signe, whose name I love, and whose work I’d really love to see.

      Signe– my father was in Dachau, and I, too, bless every day that’s free of pain and full of love and creativity.


  2. patrick says:

    happy thanksgiving signe!! hahaha!

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