i Editor's Letter: Thanksgiving: the same joy of bringing loved ones together over turkey as Christmas


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The Independent Online


Today used to be my favourite day of the year; better than Christmas, my birthday (not hard for a middle-aged man), even my daughters' birthdays. I really wish Thanksgiving was bigger in Britain. It's Christmas without the stress of presents or religion, but with the same joy of bringing loved ones together over turkey.

It's commonplace to bemoan the Americanisation of our culture that began with silent films and grew through jazz, rock 'n' roll, television, Ford, Marlboro and Coke through to Nike, Levi's, Starbucks, rap, Halloween and Apple. Our shared language is here both blessing and curse. It has helped maintain London's global cultural and financial status, despite the inexorably shrinking political influence of "nation GB". However, for many, it has allowed us to roll over more cravenly before "American cultural imperialism".

There appears to be a growing kneejerk irrational antipathy towards America that ignores so much of our shared history and ideals. Of course, there is much to dislike about America's cruelty towards its poor and the realpolitik of US foreign policy contrasted with its notional ideology, as seen in Gaza. But, unlike China, America is an easy target, because we think we know more about it, and expect more of it.

We should be careful what we wish for. As Britain isolates itself dangerously from Europe, we may find ourselves with even fewer friends on the world stage than we do today. The US is the one ally I believe really would come to our aid, if desperate. So, I for one today give thanks for that "special relationship".