« Ils en ont parlé »

The above quotation is a memorable French caption meaning « they talked about it ».

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In a few days, American families all over the US will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving.
(Soft holiday music in the background).

Family members will come by car, by bus, by plane, from the Great Lakes to Florida, and from Maine to Silicon Valley and meet at Grandma’s house in a show of unity and brotherly love.
When greeting her guests at the door, Grandma will gently remind all “Surtout, n’en parlons pas.” (Above all, let’s not talk about it.)

Before sitting for dinner, visitors will munch on appetizers, have some drinks and engage in friendly banter. Then everybody will gather around the table and start chomping on the goodies.
(Ominous music)

For a few precious 30 minutes, everybody will be on the same wavelength.
Then suddenly, inadvertently or not, somebody will lobe a five-letter fragmentation grenade on the table and all hell will break loose.
Turkey shrapnel will fly all over and hit indiscriminately foes and friends alike.(Khachaturian’s Saber Dance)

When order will be restored, bodies bleeding cranberry sauce will lay on the ground, stunned.
A Great Wall suddenly slammed shut separating families and friends into two hostile groups.

This situation is highly reminiscent of the Dreyfuss affair that divided (an always fractious) France in 1894 and barely ended a decade later.

France, as America today, was divided in two camps: the Dreyfusards (those who believed in Dreyfuss innocence) and the anti-Dreyfusards (who claimed that he was guilty).
An historical drawing by political cartoonist Caran d’Ache (Emmanuel Poiré) very cleverly depicted the predicament.

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I am afraid that this Thanksgiving is equally ripe for dissension and chaos.
Families might split and friendship might be fractured over the still simmering results of the 2016 presidential elections.

Winning an election is children’s play compared to the task of governing a country as large and as multi-ethnic as the United States.

I could not help but notice Barack Obama’s prematurely white hair as he is leaving the White House.
Will the magnificent mop of our chosen skipper keep its luster after his First Term in office?

A jolly (and if possible peaceful) Thanksgiving to all.

Alain

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