A Thanksgiving Prayer, from William S. Burroughs

This year, "A Thanksgiving Prayer" by William S. Burroughs is presented in memory of Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson.


  1. William S. Burroughs “Thanksgiving Prayer” has been my only thanksgiving tradition every year.. It is a vary sad about Sleazy. I vary glad to have seen him last year in Chicago something I did not think I’d ever get the chance to. Both have been a creative influence to me and the world is a lesser place with out them.

  2. He was one of America’s great pessimists / culture griefer. I shudder to think what he might have said on Canada Day .

    1. Canada day? I dunno, something about the french, pissing on the natives and probably a thumbs up for our trend of burning down the white house.

    1. But timquinn, it was always an illusion. Never understood why ‘disillusioned’ should have a negative connotation…

  3. Forgot the Helen Hayes “My Son John” thing. Great family movie! I’ll be downstairs huffing repellent if you need me.

  4. Thanks for that.

    “Whatever victory was won to allow them to be as they are, I do not think it was one they fought themselves.”

  5. I decided to spend this one alone. Thanks for BoingBoing. You make me feel like there is a little hope left sometimes.

  6. Wow. What a pessimistic outlook. Yesterday i came across a Thanksgiving prayer along with a look at what the pilgrims and indians may have been thankful for at that first Thanksgiving meal, much more positive perspective, by dr. russ buss. Happy thanksgiving.

  7. Burroughs isn’t for everyone. He isn’t for me. But when he wrote “A Thanksgiving Prayer” in 1986, he was most likely reacting to the first wave of Reagan’s bullshit. In that context, this is an apt response.

    But it is too cynical for me.

    I’d like to hear/read something about how all holidays in the U.S. are now excuses to shop.

    I just spent a few hours going through some old NYC newspapers from the 1980s (NY Post and Daily News) and must say, even those tabloids had far less ads and far more content than their equivalents today.

    Anyone else live in a neighborhood where folks put up holiday window displays not to specifically sell a product, but to share in some community joy? Without pushing a product?

    Pre stock-boom 1980s, the U.S. was like that. Now it’s all marketing.

    Gobble! Gobble!

  8. I’ve watched this a dozen times before but it still gives me goosebumps. He was a great man and a true American hero. The rare citizen who lived in the mouth of the cat and called it like it is, damned be the consequences.

  9. Thanks for this one, David. For me too, it is my Thanksgiving tradition. All of it. Thanksgiving is only useful as a moment to reflect on the genocide that made this proud nation possible.

    Also thanks to anon @ #14 and millie fink.

    Too cynical? Naah. Not nearly cynical enough. So, here’s a word from Mumia Abu Jamal. Don’t choke on your turkey.

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