The Definitive Guide for Surviving Thanksgiving In Trump’s America

Thanksgiving, the great American gathering. For decades, the politically minded have dreaded this post-election holiday which challenges them to reach across the aisle and deconstruct what it means to be American with their right-wing relatives. The discourse over mashed potatoes hasn’t been this divided since President Obama won a second term, and even then, the worst that most endured were rants about Obamacare and the coming death panels. Two years ago, those same relatives were calling victims of police brutality “thugs” and now they’re coming to the dinner table with a sense of supremacy (white supremacy).

It’s hard to understand how white supremacy could reign supreme at Thanksgiving (provided you ignore America’s history of massacring indigenous people and focus on the food alone). Afterall, white meat is the worst part of the bird. It’s dry, it’s bland, dark meat ought to reign supreme, I digress but keep this metaphor in your back pocket in case things get testy.

For those who choose not to opt out of tense family gatherings, survival will rely largely on prayer. Sure, prayer didn’t prevent a Trump presidency, but small miracles are still possible.

In the worst case scenario you may be celebrating at a conservative relative’s house, and that’s fine, remember, the house holds no political beliefs no matter how many Trump signs are in the front yard (and if you accidentally happen to hit one as you back out of the driveway, no one will mind, the election’s already over). As an aunt helps you with your coat and whispers “this is your first time in a Trump supporter’s house” don’t take the bait. This is the first step to proving your resilience. Smile and nod and don’t lose sight of the fact that Trump has been appointing white supremacists to his cabinet, the fact that you’re related to his supporters will not normalize the monstrous things he’s about to do. From here, navigate away from politics as quickly as humanly possible, for once it will be a blessing when relatives ask what you’re doing after high school/college, when will have a girlfriend, or what are you going to do with an art major. Breathe a sigh of relief that your lack of life choices is the chosen topic of conversation as opposed to dismissing sexual assault as locker room talk.

While killing time before dinner, remember that dogs are truly man’s best friend, as are cats, or in this instance anything incapable of forming a complete sentence. Human’s have been disregarding one another to play with pets and toddlers for centuries and that tradition isn’t about to stop. How cold is outside? 36 degrees? That’s just above freezing, perfect for fetch! Get to know your family member’s beloved pet and they’ll call you when the Turkey’s ready.

No matter how experienced your uncle may be, offer to carve the turkey. You are the best insurance that no one will slice a racial epithet into the side of a pheasant. Compliment every item of food, go in depth, remember to keep them talking about anything but the election. The most important thing is to stay strong. At times the conversation may veer into pop culture and no matter how much you think American Horror Story is trash TV, that opinion is far easier for some to stomach than the fact that we made Trash-TV our President-elect.

As coversations come to a lull, pray that someone brings up football. Sure, you’ve never watched the sport, but you’re desperate and fortunately in the home stretch. The name of the game for this last hour is distraction, like Mike Pence attending Hamilton except not like that because your cousin still can’t wrap his brain around a black George Washington. Stay calm, practice deep breaths and as soon as someone utters the phrase “radical Islam” quietly excuse yourself to use the bathroom, and jump out the second window to safety of the concrete driveway below.

Kevin Cole

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This Friday, Meet Courtney Reynolds!

Over the summer, Annual staffer David Luna took a road trip to New York to record and interview Courtney Reynolds. Courtney is a stand up comic working in the city, he hosts the show If You’re Reading This Quit Your Day Job, every Thursday at Bungas Den.

You won’t want to miss this original Annual video made in collaboration with the Something Art Collective, so check back here on Friday morning!


INTERNAL MEMO: Approved Terminology for Steve Bannon Coverage

Attention all Snailex Broadcast Inc. employees:

Following an incident during yesterday’s coverage of President-elect Trump’s administrative team, in which a reporter referred to Steve Bannon as “a fucking Nazi” on air, we have decided it best to review proper language for coverage of people in positions of power with a history of being rude to minorities.

Out of respect for the office of the president, we ask all reporters to refrain from using the following terms in reference to Steve Bannon:

  • Racist
  • Bigot
  • Anti-Semite
  • White Supremacist
  • White Nationalist
  • Race-baiting
  • Infrequent bather
  • A man who didn’t want his kids to go to school with Jewish children
  • Herr Goebbels
  • Some sort of monster facing abuse allegations
  • A devil on Donald Trump’s very crowded shoulder

Below are the approved terms that you may use to refer to the President-Elect’s chief strategist:

  • Breitbart Chairman
  • Champion of the Alt-Right movement
  • Semitically Challenged
  • Controversial
  • Supporter of white causes
  • Fun loving guy
  • War of Northern Aggression Enthusiast
  • A man with black friends
  • A white hot ray of sunshine
  • Old fashioned
  • A typical Trump supporter

Please pay careful attention what you say about the incoming administration or we may all be looking for work come February.

Scott Michaelson
VP of News

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U ok?

It’s been quite the week. I suppose I ought to start by saying I’m sorry I dreamt this nightmare into reality. When I wrote Great Again over summer, when we read it for an audience on Monday night, I never imagined that it would become a reality. Of course, I’m not just talking about the primary concept of a Trump presidency, but the very real potential that Ben Carson may run the Dept of Health and Human Services, the impending friendship between Putin and President-elect Trump. Just this morning David Luna sent me an article about an eventual revolt from evangelicals. I never thought we’d get as far as Act Two, certainly not this soon.

I stayed up late with Last Hurrah band leader Thom Huenger, Editor-At-Large Emily Perper, and Annual staffer IO Duarte on the night it went down. We watched the results roll in as time slowed down and we steadily went comatose, heads in our phones, refreshing twitter. Eventually we went to bed and before I knew the final results I spent my time between snooze alarms in a fetal position under the covers, praying, more than I had in past 5 years, hoping for a miracle that wouldn’t come. Then I went to work, where we broadcast a speech about the “need for unity” from a man who spent that past two years pledging to deport hispanics and ban muslims. Suddenly, this lunatic had the power and with the power came a sudden forgiveness of the immoral diarrhea that spewed from his pursed orange lips on a daily basis.

I knew I wouldn’t have anything on the site for the next few days. I didn’t know what to say or do. Nothing felt funny.  Some things still don’t. At what point can Great Again be considered a dark comedy rather than just dark?

As the initial shock passed, the motivation began to set in. The defiance. The Huffington Post originally ran an editorial note with all Trump-related articles to remind us that he is a racist sex offender. Once the man became “President-elect” they pulled that note. We’re not here to play that nice. Great Again took the gloves off with Trump as soon as he took the stage, and we’re not going to put on oven-mitts because he’s got a lofty new title.  What we need now is comedy, laughter, some good in this world. We’re going to be working our asses off over the next four years. We’re going to be here for you. New voices, bringing goofball comedy, dark comedy, cutting comedy, honest comedy. We may need to take some time here and there to process things, but this marks a new era for all of us and we at The Annual won’t let you down.

At this point, I’d typically ask you to support our patreon and help us grow, but today I’d much rather you turn your support to the Southern Poverty Law Center who will need as much help as humanly possible now that there’s a KKK-enabler headed straight for the White House.

Peace be with you all. We’ll be back on Monday with some fresh laughs.

Kevin Cole

Watch Great Again and GO VOTE!

Today is the day to finally make your voices heard and bring this nightmarish, unending election cycle to an end. To celebrate, we’ve made the staged reading of Great Again available to stream over on The Annual’s Facebook page!

Click here to watch the show!

Given the bootleg quality of this footage we do recommend watching with headphones for better sound. Once you’ve taken in all that Great Again has to offer, please head out to your local polling station and do everything in you power to prevent this play from becoming a reality. Please! 

Things To Do With The Extra Hours Of Winter Darkness

Finally watch Stranger Things.

Gain Twitter followers from live tweeting Stranger Things.

Create a butt divot in your couch.

Lock yourself inside your home.

Call your mom so that she can reassure you winter won’t last forever.

Use your tears to get your daily 8 glasses of water.

Slowly unravel the sweater your aunt knitted for you as you chant “I can’t handle this” at the wall.

Contemplate death by firing squad because it’s quicker than death by winter’s wind.

Lose some Twitter followers because you’re tweeting too much about firing squads.

Thank the NRA for following you on Twitter.

Pull out your hair to crochet into a blanket.

Impress your aunt with your new blanket.

Type up a manifesto while eating a block of Velveeta cheese.

Crumple up your manifesto and start over because you typed, “Blood. Blood. Blood.” Instead of, “I’ve never gone to a Taylor Swift concert.”

Snuggle up to your laptop and wave to the Demogorgon as you pray for spring.

Briana Haynie

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Starbuck’s Green Cup is an Abomination!

The heathens at Starbucks have done it again, instigating yet another war on Christmas with their “festive” green unity cup. Like many, I was not quick to shun the new cup as approached the barista with a healthy skepticism. “It certainly looks festive” I thought to myself “and from a distance the outlines of people appear to be nothing more than pines on a Christmas tree.” We were off to a good start until I finished my coffee and peered into the cup only to discover a Pentagram ingrained in the base!

These green cups represent a false god, a endless search for hope and “unity” that will ultimately lead us to hell itself. Sickened, I staggered back from the counter in a daze, betrayed by a coffee shop Judas. It will be three weeks before this cup distributed with the traditional pagan greeting of “Happy Holidays!” My head spun at the thought and that’s when I noticed a frighteningly familiar face on the cup… It was Anton Lavey, founder of the church of satan and the center point of my living room’s dart board. How deep does this conspiracy go?

Without hesitation I removed a match from my bag and lit the cup ablaze! Throwing it behind the counter I shouted at the barista’s “WHAT HELL HATH THOU WROUGHT!?” as they apathetically swept the incinerated cup into the a dust bin, clearly they had heard it all before.

Once again, Starbucks has shown their true colors as a front for the Church of Satan and I will no longer be purchasing my coffee from them. Instead, I’ll be going to Dunkin Donuts, where they offer coffee in wholesome boxes, free of satanic imagery.

-Kevin Cole

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7 Days Until Theatre Becomes Great Again

Now that Halloween is over we can count down to something truly scary. On Nov 7th, the Maryland Ensemble Theatre will fast forward four years into the Trump Presidency with Great Again!

On Monday, November 7–Election Eve–look into the political future we would all be lucky to avoid. Great Again takes a satiric look four years deep into a Donald Trump presidency. Guided by Ben Carson we get a grand tour of the Trump’s White House, his relationship with Vladimir Putin, and the growing tension with his former nemesis, Ted Cruz. It’s Our Town for the Trump administration, and you won’t want to miss this one-time staged reading featuring Jack Evans (Donald Trump), Ray Hatch (Ben Carson), Thom Huenger (Ted Cruz), Reiner Prochaska (Vladimir Putin), Sonny Etzler (Paul Manafort), Laura Stark (Kellyanne Conway) and Isabel Duarte (Ivanka Trump).
The show is written and directed by MET Company Member Kevin Cole and can be seen on Monday 11/7 at 8 p.m. at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre. Tickets are pay what you can, so come on down and catch a glimpse of the future that hopefully won’t be.