Last night, the Pilgrims aired on American Experience, and we all learned that the Mayflower was a floating piece of garbage that carried miserable people to a land of despair and death. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.
Question: Is Ken Burns Involved?
Ken Burns is behind all of the best American Experience episodes. I also had a semi-crush on him back when I assumed he looked like Richard Attenborough, which actually doesn’t help matters and if anything makes it worse, never mind, let’s pretend I never said that.
[It’s Ken Burns’ brother, Ric, who did this one, by the way.]
Comment: Plymouth Rock is the worst.
Anyone been to Plymouth Rock? It’s a literal rock, and it’s not even that big, and there’s honestly no way they could have known that it was THE rock. A crowd of people stand on a platform above the rock and your mom just wants to get a good picture and you just want to go on the replica boat.
Comment: Governor Bradford Was The Eliza Hamilton Of Plymouth
… in terms of being the person who controlled how it was represented in history. And also the Alexander, in terms of writing like he’s running out of time.
Comment: It’s like practically the ONLY thing to do in 17th century England was go to church and the Puritans were like “oh no, this is too fun and interesting, better make CHURCH less FUN.” (No offense, church.)
I mean I’ve never been at church and been like “wow, this music is too good right now. Everyone’s breath is amazing and I am entertained by this decor.”
Concern: They Were A Straight-Up Cult
PBS even said. Ken Burns’ brother Ric said. America wasn’t founded so much on the concept of freedom of religion, so much as by a handful of religious crazies, plus other people who thought there was maybe gold here.
Question: Is a boat being ‘seasoned’ a good thing?
Because it kind of just sounds like a way to say “an old boat.” Granted, the Titanic was brand-spanking-new, but.
Comment: “Two miles an hour;” “Chamber pots everywhere;” “Voyage from hell.”
But on the plus side: two dogs.
Comment: The Pilgrims were heading for the Hudson river, but look, I think we’ve all ended up in Provincetown by accident a time or two.
Concern: PBS says it’s “necessary to ask who the savages were,” but I think we all know.
It’s the people who rode a poop-boat to go camping because church was too fun in England.
Comment: That moment when the pilgrims find a rotting skull on the beach and it has blonde hair on it:
Question: Did Dorothy Bradford kill herself or fall off a boat?
Anyone’s guess, to be honest.
Concern: 50% of the population died by springtime and Bradford was just like, maybe if I don’t write it in my diary nobody will know?
And you know why he did that? Because they propped up the DEAD BODIES AS HUMAN SCARECROWS SO THE INDIANS WOULD THINK THEY WERE GUARDS. I really did need to use all of those caps.
Comment: The Mayflower was sold for scrap.
Question: What really happened at the real first Thanksgiving?
Sounds like not much. They ate dinner.
Concern: These people sure did like decorating with dead bodies.
Propping up pilgrims as human scarecrows, hanging up Indian heads in the town square – just bury them, guys. Just be normal. I’m getting serial killer vibes from all of y’all. The ornament adorning Bradford’s wedding was a head on a pike and linen soaked in blood.
Comment: William Bradford married a 32-year-old woman.
See, all of the relatives I’ll have to see this week?
Comment: Sitting here during this discussion of the high price of beaver like:
“The beaver saved them” – Ken Burns’ brother Ric I guess.
Concern: So, Bradford gets buried in a grave.
Guess the town had all the disembodied heads they could handle.
Comment: Nope, One More Reference To A Head On A Pole Before We Go.
Question: Are we supposed to think Bradford’s journal is legit when a guy just found it in a book store right before the Civil War when there was a “battle” between New England and Southern historians?
Comment: “Somewhere, William Bradford might have smiled.”
But probably not because he’s the kind of man who got married under a rotting head on a stick right?