Weekly Prompt: “If It Happened There”

My initial reaction to this article was a bit skeptical. At first glance it seemed almost overly satirized, as though trying to make a point. But the more I read, the more I felt my brain slipping into that strange, detached mode it goes into when reading an article about a place I don’t know well written by a person who clearly has an outsiders perspective. I felt myself looking in a bit critically, noticing all the flaws of Thanksgiving that were pointed out by the author, and I almost had to remind myself about my own Thanksgiving experiences and all the positive aspects of the holiday. I almost laughed when I realized this: this article is so similar to how American writers portray other countries that it seemed almost bizarre.
As I read this article, I realized just how cynical the author’s angle was. It focused on every negative aspect of the holiday – its dark origins, the dangers it has created for travelers, and its further corruption by consumerism to highlight a few. But it never mentions the holiday from the perspective of someone who regularly participates in it. The author says nothing of families reuniting (sometimes for the first time in a year or longer), sharing a meal, and making memories. The article does not comment on how each person and family celebrates the holiday a little differently with unique traditions, or on how positively many people feel about it.
Since coming to OU, my narrow frame of experience and skewed perspective of the world around me has been continuously brought to light (something I’m grateful for and happy to address). However, after reading this article and realizing how many dozens of similar articles I’ve read about countries around the world (and even about other people within the US), it is easy to see how individuals can develop such narrow views of the world. It frustrates me that the media has such an easy time simplifying the lives of others, and I will definitely be more critical of this kind of portrayal in any articles I read from now on.

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So this is the slightly awkward place where I'm supposed to describe myself in like two sentences. I am a Chemistry/Pre-Vet major aiming to become a zoo vet someday. I'm into BBC shows, fantasy novels, and staying up way too late with my roommates. I spent a summer in Italy studying organic chemistry and getting lost on the train system, and now I'm in Australia, studying instrumental chemistry and getting lost on the bus system. I guess some things never really change.

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