” In the great progressive spirit, here are a few tips on how to talk to — and morally improve — your family this Thanksgiving:
1. Your crazy uncle complains in passing that the construction on Redlands Avenue is limiting the flow of traffic to his hardware store, and wonders if the job could be completed more quickly.
This must not be allowed to stand. Ask your uncle if he’s an anarchist and if he has heard of Somalia. If you missed Politics 101 at Oberlin, refer to the Fact Cards that you have printed out from Vox.com and explain patiently that the government is the one thing that we all belong to and that the worry that it is “too big” or “too centralized” or “too slow to achieve basic tasks” has a long association with neo-Confederate causes.
Remind him also that:
the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence.
Europe is doing really well.
The Koch Brothers.
Should all that fail, insist sadly that if he doesn’t fully apologize for his opinions you will have to conclude that he hates gay people. Ask why your family has to talk about politics all the time.
2. Your younger sister asks you to pass her the turkey from your end of the table; your older brother asks if you will pour him another glass of the wine you brought to the meal.
Explain to your siblings that you are not a maid just because you have a vagina. Ask them if they have even considered the gender binary lately.
Refuse to hand anything over until you have been given verbal acknowledgement that the person requesting service understands the health consequences of his/her/it/oi/er/im/yown choices. A particularly effective way of keeping the attention of those who ask for alcohol at family gatherings is to pull a couple charts from the latest NIH studies on substance abuse. Given that the topic has now come up, make sure to ask your interlocutors whether they consider themselves to be “evangelists for Obamacare.” (Should they call it Obamacare, again, see your Fact Cards for a neo-Confederate connection.) If they admit that they do not, inquire as to why they are so indifferent to women of color. At this point, it is acceptable to start screaming.
Those asking for more meat should be informed as politely as possible that they are no better than murderers and that the production of non-vegan foodstuffs is extremely harmful to the environment. Note that those who compliment the turkey essentially wish Indonesian children to drown. Remind those at the table that you are a fruitarian and that you have been gluten free for 47 days straight now.
To avoid having to repeat these steps during each and every course, sneak out on the perfectly normal and socially acceptable pretext that you are going to have a late-term abortion and throw all the sugary desserts into the garbage. Goodbye transfats. “