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The Chris Chandler Show

  • The Muse and Whirled Retort 2013

    A Special Thanksgiving Edition of T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T.

T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T.

    Special Thanksgiving Edition of The Muse and Whirled Retort November 2013

T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T.

    November 28, 2013

My Twenty-fifth Anniversary (of being on the road.) Anthology is here!


You can purchase a  copy of it by clicking here: I want Chandler's New Book!

    or pasting

    OK, OK enough of the crass commercial announcements and on with...

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    T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T.

    November 28,  2013
VOL XIV issue vii

    Oakland, CA

    But this is not the Thanksgiving we celebrate.

    Pumpkin Pies, Turkey and Green-Bean Casserole, small children tracing their fingers onto construction paper in order to turn it into a turkey. dressed as Pilgrims and Indians.

    Do you know what the language the Indians spoke in 1621 when they first laid eyes on the Pilgrims?


    Yes, the Wampanoag had been trading with Europeans for a century. There were, in fact, more native people living in North America that had been to Europe than Europeans that had been to North America! It’s true.

    Less than ten years after Columbus’ voyage the first dozen Native Americans (not that they would have called themselves that) from what we call New England were off visiting Europe and learning European languages. Granted - this was not a sight seeing trip they chose to make like the Pilgrims did. Few would return.

    By the 1600s Native slaves were the chief component of America’s Gross National Product.

    In 1605 the English Captain John Weymouth returned to Europe with a payload of twenty Indians chained in his cargo. Among them was Tisquantum, (The Indian that first approached the staving Pilgrims.) He managed to return to New England as a part of the cargo of Captain John Smith (yes that John Smith) in 1614 on Smith’s first visit to America. However, members of his crew had other ideas. Tisquantum was again sold into slavery but freed by Friars in Spain, educated (at least to the ways of Europeans) and brought back as a guide in 1619. He had actually hung out as London as an English speaking freed slave.

    But this is not the Thanksgiving we celebrate.

    Understand that when the Pilgrims arrived in December of 1620 - which is incase you hadn’t noticed - cold in New England. Things were not going well already. Poor piloting had wasted precious time and it was now late in the year. That first winter was not pretty.

    The Pilgrims were starving. They spent their first weeks surviving by sending out armed parties who stumbled upon the remains of an Indian village that had been abandoned for the Winter. They broke into homes and stole stashes of food that had been left there. Survival.

    If anything the first “Thanksgiving” consisted of an entree of looting. But that is not the one we celebrate.

    Even after the Plymouth colony had a good year under her belt, the Pilgrims were still not doing so well. Neither were the Wampanoag. They were in a state of war with the Narraganset and The Massasoit. The Pilgrims had something they could use - and vice versa.

    Tisquantum and friends showed up saying, “Ya know you goys look pretty hungry, maybe you should eat some of these pumpkins we raised, and maybe ya should get over that weird religious aversion to Lobster - we go plenty of them running around on the beaches - and while were at it - those guns you got... we could use a few of them... The Pequit they are really starting to piss us off.”

    Yes, the first thanksgiving was indeed an arms deal. And so began a series of pacts, alliances, allegiances, and affiliations that all seemed to end with Europeans on top.

    But this is not the Thanksgiving we celebrate.

    I like to think of Thanksgiving as -- well... just that. an almost Pagan ritual where we can celebrate the bounty of this life. Give thanks for all we have, and frankly we do have alot.

    My favorite Thanksgiving took place when I was living in Canada. (where they don’t celebrate it.)

    I was living as a street musician in a tourist town in the early 90s living in a shack in a lumber yard, paying literally a hundred bucks a month Canadian to live there. Things were bleak.

    I mean compared to that first Winter spent by the Pilgrims - I had it good, but when viewed through the Rose colored Raybans of today’s standards - that little wood burning stove did not work very well. Bad weather in a tourist town meant no money for a big meal. We were hungry.

    I know you think Canada is a socialist country and all - so I could have gotten some kind of assistance. But no, I was a Frost Back: an undocumented worker - working below standard wages to entertain the tourist class.

    No Thanksgiving for Chandler.

    But my friends, a miracle transpired.

    The Canadian Postal Service!

    Because they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving - they deliver the mail on the fourth Thursday in November. My mother timed it perfectly.

    She was distraught by the fact that I was living in land with no Thanksgiving so she mailed me a can of turkey meat, a box of stove top stuffing, a jar of cranberry sauce and a can of green beans. Holy Moley!

    That was the best thanksgiving meal I ever had!

    We do have so much to be thankful for.

    and why not be that? Thankful.

    That is the Thanksgiving day we celebrate.

    I am enjoying some LONG over due time off the road.
    Home licking my wounds and discovering the next thing.
    Not alot of dates
    My Twenty-fifth Anniversary (of being on the road.) Anthology is here!  I have them with me and am mailing them from the thin highways of fat America.

    You can purchase a  copy of it by clicking here: I want Chandler's New Book!

    or pasting
    Congratulations to Chandler and Grayson
    So Long Faith Petric and Jeanie Jasperse I am glad you are in my life
    New Music Video I made for David Rovics

    Jen and I are doing well and throwing a little holiday sale
    Please visit

    Still looking for the right musical partner for local shows in the bay area.
    T.H.A.N.K. .Y.O.U.
    Jen, Brino, Karen, Alan, Frank, Dorothy, Denise, Marshal, Kodak, Ira, Kieth, Jake Ward, Jim at Poetry Express, and too many more to attempt to name - insert your name here

    I will be hosting a monthly storytelling series in Berkely
    This month Thursday December 5th
    “That really happened?”

    at The Monkey House
    1638 University ave
    Berkeley, CA

    December 22nd I will be doing a solstice event at
    Casa Latina 1805 San Pablo Berkely CA

    This will be a multilingual, multi-cultural inter-generational
    Poetry Storytelling extravaganza for both Children & Adults.