A thanksgiving story
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A Thanksgiving story. (Or is it?). Once upon a time, there were a bunch of people called Pilgrims.

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A Thanksgiving story

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A thanksgiving story

A Thanksgiving story

(Or is it?)


A thanksgiving story

Once upon a time, there were a bunch of people called Pilgrims

They were called “Pilgrims” because they were a bunch of pills to be around, and mighty grim about things like partying. (cf: Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God.) ((Okay, he was after the Pilgrims, but he was a direct descendant of their lack of partyness.)) (((The smiles on the faces of these Clip-art Pilgrims are not indicative of Pilgrim attitudes. I blame Microsoft.)))


A thanksgiving story

These two are more indicative of the Pilgrims’ boringness. (Yes, that’s a word. I made it up today.)

Look at how they’re holding the Bible like it’s a baby. And they’re not smiling. Because I think it was illegal in those days.

Yeah, we caught you. Don’t look so innocent. And stop pretending to smile. We know you’re just looking for a witch to burn.


A thanksgiving story

Now we have the other players in the Thanksgiving story: The Indians. They were called “Indians” because people were really dumb in the old days, and they thought that America was India and that the people in America were the people in India. Because the two cultures are, like, interchangeable. Yep. Saris look just like Native American skirts and leggings. Okay, so this was pre-TV and newspapers, but let’s face it—Europeans can’t tell the difference between Texas and Ohio today. They haven’t gotten any smarter.

This is the one and only Indian represented during a search of “Thanksgiving” in PowerPoint 2003 with “All collections” enabled. I think we have a case for discrimination here.


A thanksgiving story

There are a zillion Pilgrim images.


A thanksgiving story

There are a zillion turkey images


A thanksgiving story

There are a zillion images of the horn of plenty, and corn, and food

(Walking inanimate objects are a big theme in MS Clip Art. The creepiness factor is high. Repeat, the creepiness factor is high.)


A thanksgiving story

There are even a zillion images of that goofy Pilgrim hat


A thanksgiving story

But this is the only image we have of our poor, lone Indian in the Thanksgiving Clip Art selection by Microsoft PowerPoint.

And let’s face it: This guy is a ball with a wig and a headdress. That’s about as cheap as you can get in a drawing.


A thanksgiving story

Now, change the search to “Indian,” and here’s what you get:

Yep, he shows up first on the list. But then you get some other Indians. Both kinds. We’ll just stick with the Native American ones.

Nope. That’s not one. In fact, there are now a zillion India Indians in the search pane. Something tells me Microsoft needs another search term.


A thanksgiving story

Here’s what “Native American” turns up.

Most of these show up in a search for “American Indian,” too.


A thanksgiving story

I think we’re going to have to give up on our search for Indians (the American ones) in Clip Art. In spite of the fact that had it not been for Squanto, the Massachusetts Pilgrims may not have survived. And this is the thanks he gets: One lousy picture in the Clip Art galleries, and it’s a ball with a wig and a headdress.

It’s all right, Squanto. We recognize your part in our favorite holiday, and we honor you, yellow ball and all.


A thanksgiving story

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Catch yourself a slice of walking pie, have your turkey or tofurkey, drive safely, eat lots, and have a wonderful holiday.

And remember Squanto.

Because Microsoft didn’t.

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