Having no family in New York and most friends traveling back to their respective homes, me and my roommate decided to take a trip on Thanksgiving. We hopped on a $30 bus and in 2.5 hours we were in Atlantic City.
The night had highs and lows. Somehow I won $400 on video poker. I mean seriously, who wins in video poker? But by binging on alcohol, expensive food and more gambling I managed to blow through most of it.
Point is, I started to wonder why these people were at a Casino on Thanksgiving?
I mean, I know why I was there. It was my scumbag thanksgiving. But for some people there it seemed like just another night.
Perhaps they were locals? Perhaps they were feeling down on their luck. I think everyone there had an interesting story that brought them to a casino on Thanksgiving. Maybe I am feeling extra sentimental, because it was the first Thanksgiving that I didn’t spend with my family, but still, Thanksgiving is in general, a good time to do wholesome things.
So what does this have to do with journalism?
A tradition in newspapers and magazines are the time-related pieces. Every Christmas you’ll read about famous people donating to charities. Every Valentines day you’ll see the local news coverage of a unique bakery selling some kind of tasty treat for their loved ones. And on Thanksgiving, you’ll usually here about shopping (see post below on the anti-shopping holday). But what about the scumbag stories?
Where is the story about people who lost their life-savings the day before Christmas and had to sell their daughter? Where is the coverage of handicapped people who never get to go outside and see Halloween costumes?
Maybe its just me, but I’m willing to bet that holiday stories are overwhelmingly sappy and candy-coated. I know there are other kinds of stories, but I don’t think there are enough news organizations showing the negative side of these happy times.
Maybe I’m just in bahumbug kinda mood. Feel free to disagree.