‘Thanksgiving’ is the new ‘Friday’

Poor November gets a raw deal. Nov. 1 should be dedicated to feeling queasy after overindulging in Halloween candy, taking down Jack-o’-Lantern decorations, but leaving out the pumpkins and knowing that your stomach has a good three weeks to recover before Thanksgiving.

Instead, it now marks the unofficial start of the holiday season.

This hasn’t always been an issue. It used to be that Christmas time didn’t begin until the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday was the appropriate day to start shopping, to put up decorations and to begin playing Christmas music.

Now, barely two weeks into November, there are Christmas commercials on TV, carols on the radio, red cups at Starbucks and a strange confusion about this strange time between Halloween and Christmas and how it should be celebrated.

For the unsure, this time is called “fall.” It’s a glorious time of year marked by (elsewhere in the country, anyway) colorful leaves, the donning of coats and the anticipation of gluttony on a holiday so great that Canada became jealous and decided to have one of its own.

One person who has resisted the campaign to neglect the importance of Thanksgiving is tween Nicole Westbrook. Much like how Rebecca Black made it her mission to teach us the days of the week and to revere Friday above all other days, Westbrook has made it her life’s work to declare the wonders of Thanksgiving in a new vanity music video from Ark Music Factory, the same production company that gave us the gift of “Friday.”

“It’s Thanksgiving” debuted on YouTube on Nov. 7 and has received over 5 million views. There isn’t a whole lot about it that’s different from “Friday.” There are the recitations of popular Turkey Day foods instead of days of the week. There’s stuttering “It’s / it’s / it’s,” a strange rap interlude by a man who looks at least 20 years older than everyone else and a notable absence of parents in a situation where their presence is usually assumed. Westbrook uses a large turkey drumstick as a microphone. In other words, it’s beautiful.

Black is a tough act to follow. But Thanksgiving is easily the weekend of holidays, and the choice dedicating a song to a Thursday in November places her in a unique position to gain a little bit of viral fame in a market that is otherwise saturated with songs about Santa Claus.

It’s hard to hate Westbrook for singing lyrics such as, “Gotta be grateful / can’t be hateful.” Actually, it’s very, very easy to hate her — but viewers shouldn’t. They should be thankful to live in a country where people still care so much about a holiday that they allow an ambitious, pre-pubescent girl to create a music video called “It’s Thanksgiving.”

 

Reach the reporter at jrpallas@asu.edu