This article is genius. Thank you so much for writing it! I’m in my mid-50s and this has filled me in on a lot of things that puzzled me, not the least of which being, why an ugly-ass frog would be a beloved mascot for a movement.
I’m going to assume you’ve seen it, but if you haven’t you *must* look it up and watch it; an episode of The Simpsons where a guy grows up, goes to school and then college and gets great grades, and has the life dream of working at the nuclear plant where Homer is employed. A number of scenes ensue, where the new guy is continually getting into accidents while Homer plays fast and loose with safety and gets away with it, Homer makes things work better even though he doesn’t have a college degree at all “He just showed up the first day it opened, and got the job!” Lenny and Carl explain. Homer invites the new guy to his house and here’s this nice big house, two cars, loving wife and kids, souvenirs like the time he went into outer space… “You mean, you haven’t been?” Homer comments.
The episode beats it into the ground in the adorable Simpsons way that you can do everything right, put in all the right, hard, work in all the right ways, and still some schlub with a HS education is going to end up with the things you should have, and you’ll stink. As with any Simpsons episode, it ends with you laughing, but with a certain heavy ball of pity for the new guy and resentment, because, these days, *this is how our economy is working* for most people.
As usual, The Simpsons did it first. Homer is Pepe is Donald Trump.
I’m 54. I didn’t watch The Simpsons until I was in my 30s or so. But we’ve got a generation or two who grew up on The Simpsons. Bart and Lisa and Krusty the Konman and evil Mr. Burns (who is never taken down, only beaten back for varying lengths of time) and bumbling but strangely successful Homer are their Bert and Ernie and Big Bird and Grover. Bert and Ernie taught us not to eat cookies in bed or attempt home hair cuts; The Simpsons taught much heavier shit.
I’m going to have a hard time explaining to people my age or older that Trump is Pepe, because they’re not going to read this article, even if I printed it out for them. But if I explain that Trump is Homer, there might be a glimmer of understanding.