Happy Birthday Dad!
Happy birthday to L.M. Montgomery, who was born 144 years ago today!
“‘Old Prince Edward Island’ is a good place in which to be born – a good place in which to spend a childhood. I can think of none better. We Prince Edward Islanders are a loyal race. In our secret soul we believe that there is no place like the little Province that gave us birth.”
– L.M. Montgomery, The Alpine Path: the Story of My Career
Caption: Kids, with Grandpa, about to blow out birthday candles.
I’m writing this on the final day of November, even though this post is dated days earlier. I missed last week’s
Ten Things of Thankful
and I’m too lazy to try to figure out how to reset dates in WP and I don’t want to bother starting a new entry for this. It works as is.
I’m thankful for my father on his 63rd birthday.
I’m thankful for my favourite writer on what would have been hers too.
Caption: The bedroom she was born in.
I got to visit that house when I was in Prince Edward Island in September.
I love that my favourite writer and my favourite father share this day.
I’m thankful for last weekend, a trial run of the 2018 KFC (Kijewski family Christmas) as we like to call it.
Caption: Grandpa and Mya watching gingerbread houses being decorated.
I’m thankful for a night out at the movies with siblings.
I’m thankful for brownies.
I’m thankful for a second
Fantastic Beasts film,
where more of the world leading to Harry Potter was revealed.
I’m thankful for another episode of
where we interview (or he us) a lifelong friend and brother.
I’m thankful for an unforgettable night of stories performed from the heart.
I am standing up, in front of an audience, to tell my story, a dying art.
I’m thankful four of my family members could be there to see me do that.
I’m thankful for a doctor who goes above and beyond.
This song was playing as I left the
TAP Centre for Creativity
and I thought it fit because we all have a hunger to be heard.
Finally, RIP Bush Senior.
The Simpsons has made fun of all recent Presidents (from Nixon on) and has taken a few shots at some of the famous and forgotten ones who came before, but they have a special relationship with Bush Sr. Surprisingly, this began with Barbara, who in a 1990 interview with People , said The Simpsons was “the dumbest thing [she] had ever seen.” The writers at the show had Marge send off a letter defending her family (and implying that certainly Washington had some dumber people/things to see). Mrs. Bush wrote a prompt, polite response.
The next year, 1991, the Bushes were featured in “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington.” Barbara gave a private tour of her bathroom and George moved decisively to remove a corrupt congressman when he learned through the pipeline that “a little girl [was] losing faith in democracy.”
The real controversy began January 27th, 1992, when Bush declared to a meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters: “We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons.” The Simpsons quickly wrote and animated a new sequence for “Stark Raving Dad,” which would be rerun three days later. Bart and his family watch the clip of Bush’s speech and Bart replies, “Hey, we’re just like the Waltons. We’re praying for an end of the depression, too.”
It was not until four years later that The Simpsons got the final word—in “Two Bad Neighbors,” George and Barbara move in across the street to the Simpsons. While George immediately takes a liking to Ned Flanders, he dislikes Bart, whom he sees as disrespectful.
Bush: You know, in my day, little boys didn’t call their elders by their first names. block quote level 1block quote level 1
Bart: Yeah, well, welcome to the 20th century, George. block quote level 1block quote level 1
The episode casts Bart as Dennis the Menace and George as cranky Mr. Wilson until Bart accidentally destroys Bush’s hand-typed memoirs, in which he claims, “And since I’d achieved all my goals as President in one term, there was no need for a second.”
Bush spanks Bart and won’t apologize for interfering with Homer’s parenting. This leads to an escalation of tension and pranks until the inevitable fistfight in the sewer. The Bushes move away after Barbara forces Bush to apologize in front of Mikhail Gorbachev (after which Homer demands an apology “for the tax hike”). Homer gets along much better with his next neighbor, Gerald Ford.
It’s satire and could be seen as mocking. I don’t approve of politicians talking about family values though, in order to win an election, as to be political you can’t possibly totally practice all that you preach. Still, I see being made into an episode as an honour and I show it as a goodbye to a man who lived a good long life:
I had to explore this, from a strictly cultural (Simpsons) point of view, because people are complicated. This show hasn’t been for everyone, a certain generation a lot less likely, but it is sad to have no sense of humour.
A man who was in charge to be forever known as the American’s With Disabilities Act president will be remembered for it. He was someone’s husband, father, and grandfather. He made decisions that not everyone would have agreed on, but he was more of a respected politician than what the US has as POTUS at the moment, by a long long shot.