Monday’s edition of “The Freak Power Ticket” returns to an (occasional) seasonal tradition, reflecting on the myths and realities of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“The event that Americans commonly call the ‘First Thanksgiving’ was celebrated by the Plymouth [Plantation settlers]… after their first harvest in the New World in 1621,” according to Wikipedia.
This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating ‘thanksgivings’—days of prayer thanking God for [various] blessings… Much like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving is seen by some as a celebration of the eventual conquest and genocide of Native Americans by colonists. Professor Dan Brook of the University of California, Berkeley condemns the ‘cultural and political amnesia’ of Americans that celebrate Thanksgiving: ‘We do not have to feel guilty, but we do need to feel something.’
With that exhortation in mind, the next “Freak Power Ticket” Thanksgiving special is inspired by themes and motifs in the work of Neil Young.
As spelled out on the Indian Country Today Media Network website, the “rock legend… has always had a fascination with Native American culture — songs he has recorded on Native themes include ‘Cortez the Killer,’ ‘Pocahontas,’ and ‘Broken Arrow,’ and his backing band Crazy Horse is named for the Oglala Lakota leader.”
Producer / host Ted Coe has put together a pre-Thanksgiving / “Thankstaking” playlist to inspire a range of feelings and messages: contemplation, solemnity, respect, tribute, celebration, and dissent.
The program will deploy several covers (paying close attention to the Canadian’s significant influence within the world of music), rarities, new songs, and commentary, plus a selection of audio associated with Young’s cinematic collaboration with writer / director Jim Jarmusch on the 1995 revisionist western Dead Man, starring Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer.
“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the fall from 11am-12noon PST.