Democracy and Bloodlust Meet in This Year's Turkey Pardoning Ritual


When I first came across the Thanksgiving turkey pardoning website sponsored by the White House, I thought, “This is a pageant of bloodlust that illustrates the brutality lurking within the heart of every man, woman and child.” Then I saw that both will be saved — but, still, it feels pretty dystopian to save and celebrate two while we ravenously feast on the flesh of their kin. Then again, maybe I’m being oversensitive because I want an excuse to say “bloodlust” as much as possible this holiday season.

On the site, one can read statistics and facts about a pair of turkeys named Caramel and Popcorn and then vote upon which one will be pardoned by the President of the United States. Both have been made to gobble into a microphone and forced to pick a Top 40 hit to represent them as an individual. Caramel and Popcorn chose “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga and “Halo” by Beyonce, respectively. I guess you don’t get access to new singles when you’re on the turkey farm? Or maybe Caramel and Popcorn think that the music industry has been in a state of precipitous decline since 2009.

If you think about it, saving two Turkey Tributes from death instead of one only serves to make the narrative of the Turkey Pardoning more closely mirror the plot of The Hunger Games. As further evidence of this, here are some pictures of Caramel and Popcorn sleeping in a hotel:

And here they are about to schmooze with the Head Gamemaker (Bo, probably) at a, like, ball or something:

Does everything have to be in the format of a reality competition show from now on? Follow-up question: who will you be voting for in this year’s America’s Next Top Pardoned Turkey? I think I might be #TeamCaramel because I admire that his gobble — which you can listen to on the site — is understated and dulcet.

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