As the ‘token American’ at Podium, I’ve been enlisted to write a special Thanksgiving instalment of On the Podium.

If you’re not aware, Thanksgiving is the American holiday celebrated today. We get a four-day weekend, spending Thursday gorging on turkey and a sweet potato dish that has marshmallows on top. Then we sleep through an (American) football game and spend the rest of the weekend raiding the stores for the frenzy that is Black Friday.

Thanksgiving also marks the first acceptable weekend to even start thinking about Christmas, so, England, pump your brakes. Give me two more days before I’m meant to start panicking about Christmas shopping.

For our Thanksgiving special, we’ll take a look at some things we should be thankful for this week.

Third place: Black Friday—or lack thereof…

I have to admit, I’m happy that the UK has somewhat managed to resist the insanity that is Black Friday this year. I love a deal as much as the next person. But I don’t love ridiculous queues, public bickering and violence over over-priced television sets.

So hats off to Asda, who has chosen to bypass the Black Friday frenzy this year after experiencing some bad PR from customers wrestling over TVs last year.

Instead, let’s all try to be even more British and participate in Civilised Saturday, which is happening at independent bookstores across the UK this weekend. Sample mince pies, prosecco and cake to celebrate what is promised to be a ‘peaceful’ experience.’ During the Christmas shopping season? We’ll see.

And, yes, we think it’s okay to take advantage of the online offers for Black Friday. Skip the chaos and shop online over the Black Friday weekend through to Cyber Monday with these deals.

Second place: it’s finally, almost, acceptable to be festive!

Okay, I’ll admit, I’m excited for Christmas. Mostly because we have some awesome Christmas marketing campaigns planned for next month!

So for second place on the Podium, we’re thankful for: Santa like you’ve never seen him before and a look at the maths behind his delivery methods, holiday recipes (for your dog) and a cornucopia of Christmas puns that just might get out of control (Steve).

We hope you all enjoy the magic of our Christmas marketing as much as we do.

And first place goes to…

Geordies. Specifically, the ones who stood up for Ruhi Rahman, a 23 year old Muslim woman who was racially abused on the Newcastle Metro last Saturday.

She described the event on her Facebook account, and it has now been shared across the web. The other passengers, who she describes as “angels,” defended Ruhi and her sister the instant a man began insulting her. They forced the guy off the metro, generating a round of applause, and proceeded to hug the women and ‘cry in disgust’ at what had been said.


After all the trauma the world has faced with recent events like the Paris attacks, it is news stories like these that should be on the front page.

And it’s comforting to know that we live in a reet canny place where the general public is smart enough to stand up against racism and Islamaphobia.

Off the podium

So, Amazon actually put Nazi-themed adverts on the New York subway, on purpose.

The advert was meant to promote their TV series which apparently “depicts an alternate reality in which Nazi Germany and Japan have divided control over the United States.”

What? All of this just seems inappropriate.

Amazon has pulled the ads without comment after the public responded in bewilderment. What did they think would happen?


That’s all for this week. Take a ‘Murican moment to be grateful today, and for Pete’s sake, just try some pumpkin pie already! You’ll be thankful you did.


*Photograph shared from the Guardian news article on the event.