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A Thanksgiving Prayer

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William S. Burroughs. Art by Graziano Origa and used under terms of Creative Commons license..
In Tribute To William S. Burroughs And Dedicated To The People Of The United States Of America

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By Staff
Modern Times Magazine

Nov. 24, 2011 — In today’s modern age, Thanksgiving is a time for family and food. For watching football and falling asleep on the couch.

But for some, it is also for also giving thanks — you know, Thanks-giving.

In that vein, the editorial staff would like to offer an update on one of our most favorite exhibitions of literary Thanks-giving, A Thanksgiving Prayer by William S. Burroughs. Through this completely satirical work, Burroughs was able to capture an essence of what we truly should be thankful for — the best of humanity and the earth — by remembering what is wrong with our culture.

In this vein, we attempted to update his prose for today’s audiences. We hope you agree and Happy Thanksgiving.


A Thanksgiving Prayer 2011


For DB Cooper, in hope that he is still alive, Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011.

Thanks for the McRib and microwaved meals, destined to be passed through wholesome, American guts.

Thanks for our minds, to spoil and poison.

Thanks for videogames to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.

Thanks for the vastness of the world’s oceans to pillage, plunder and trash.

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.

Thanks for the American Dream, to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for corporations, for greedy executives filling their bank accounts; for decent, church-going capitalists with their condescending attitudes.

Thanks for anonymous comments on websites.

Thanks for prescription drugs that kill.

Thanks for prohibitions and the War Against Drugs.

Thanks for a country with so many points of view that it cannot reach consensus.

Thanks for a nation of finks … yes, thanks for memories … alright let’s see your Facebook page … you always were a headache and you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.





Burroughs’ original, A Thanksgiving Prayer


For John Dillinger, in hope he is still alive, Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1986

Thanks for the wild turkey and the Passenger Pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts

Thanks for a Continent to despoil and poison

Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger

Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin, leaving the carcass to rot

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes

Thanks for the AMERICAN DREAM to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through

Thanks for the KKK, for nigger-killing lawmen feeling their notches, for decent church-going women with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" stickers

Thanks for laboratory AIDS

Thanks for Prohibition and the War Against Drugs

Thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business

Thanks for a nation of finks — yes, thanks for all the memories... all right, let's see your arms... you always were a headache and you always were a bore

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.

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