Letter from America 11: There ARE other stories!
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Reasons for Thanksgiving

In Madaya Syria Omar, a fifteen year old boy, threw himself off a balcony a few days ago. Separated from his mother, suffering daily horrendous bombardment, he saw no alternative. He survived, and people from all over the world have sent him wonderful messages of love and support. Who cares about the politics! It’s the people who matter.

Give thanks.

Tokyo is stifled in snow for the first time in 50 years. Amazing! Beautiful! Surprised and shivering, the Japanese marvel at the prettiness. Who cares about global warming! (Apart from me and you, that is.) The Japanese love their photographs.

Give thanks.

In Florida USA and Liverpool UK fireballs are seen in the sky. A wonderful display! People report incredibly bright flaming comet-like visitations in the sky. Who cares if they burn up long before these balls of rock and matter strike the earth (apart from me and you of course), perhaps they are omens of the birth of a Saviour, a real one this time.

Give thanks.

In another UK story, 50 men called a telephone support line to report having been abused by their football coach. Thank goodness the depredations of these predators (some of the victims were 11 years old) are being made public. Hopefully those abused will have the courage to seek help and stop blaming themselves – and the abusers will be placed where they can’t prey on children.

Give thanks.

And a serial killer gets life for luring men through a dating app, drugging, raping and killing them. This terrifying monster will never hunt down another innocent victim. Who cares if he gets lots of anal attention in prison and finds himself a victim of sexual rapaciousness? Nice. More proof the death penalty is a silly idea. Prison is much better revenge!

Give thanks.

Costa Rica and Nicaragua cower before the approach of  Hurricane Otto.

Uhhh thanks? Well, thanks for the satellites which at least give warning, so that people can take shelter. Watch that space.

Meanwhile in the USA! My mom, left for a few moments alone in a cafe while I get the food, has a conversation with the mirror. Thanks to her amazing sense of humour, I managed to turn the whole thing into a huge joke, despite inner heartbreak…

And in the US it’s Thanksgiving Day. Held every year to celebrate the sharing of turkeys between Native Americans and Pilgrim Fathers, this is a national holiday bigger than Christmas. The notorious Highway 405 between San Diego and Los Angeles begins to live up to its name, which is generally accepted to mean it could take 4 or 5 hours to do the 100 mile journey. Daniel my nephew is currently sitting in this glorified parking lot with his dog and a buddy, hoping to get to La Jolla before tomorrow.

I have promised a Trump-free blog today and so far I’ve managed not to write a word about Mr Flipflop! But may I just mention a little something about how much fun I’m having yapping like a terrier at the legs of Trumpists online…sooner or later one will come hunting for me with a gun!

Who cares. I leave tomorrow, climb back into the snake, sit in a huge cigar which against all the laws of nature will zoom over land and sea. And within a few days, having popped into London to say hi and teach some martial arts, I’ll be in Cape Town. From which, dear readers (both of you!) I will be writing my Letter from Zumania!

So let us give thanks! For laughter, for humanity, for love, for optimism, for logic and clarity, for strength and the determination of so many humans to do good in a desperately difficult world.


To send a message of support to Omar, email James.longman@bbc.co.uk or see @jamesAAlongman on Twitter

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