Today on the always-excellent Letters of Note, they’ve got a letter from “Marge Simpson” to Barbara Bush in 1990, sent in response to the then-first lady saying that The Simpsons was “was the dumbest thing I had ever seen.” If only she could see how foolish she had been now, 21 years later! I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that, at least in terms of television, The Simpsons was actually one of the smartest things around. In any case, she was nice enough to respond to Marge and apologize. Here are the transcripts of the two letters:
THE SIMPSONS™September 28, 1990Mrs. Barbara BushThe First LadyThe White House1600 Pennsylvania AvenueWashington, D.C.Dear First Lady:I recently read your criticism of my family. I was deeply hurt. Heaven knows we’re far from perfect and, if truth be known, maybe just a wee bit short of normal; but as Dr. Seuss says, “a person is a person.”I try to teach my children Bart, Lisa, and even little Maggie, always to give somebody the benefit of the doubt and not talk badly about them, even if they’re rich. It’s hard to get them to understand this advice when the very First Lady in the country calls us not only dumb, but “the dumbest thing” she ever saw. Ma’am, if we’re the dumbest thing you ever saw, Washington must be a good deal different than what they teach me at the current events group at the church.I always believed in my heart that we had a great deal in common. Each of us living our lives to serve an exceptional man. I hope there is some way out of this controversy. I thought, perhaps, it would be a good start to just speak my mind.With great respect,(Signed)Marge Simpson
Dear Marge,How kind of you to write. I’m glad you spoke your mind; I foolishly didn’t know you had one.I am looking at a picture of you, depicted on a plastic cup, with your blue hair filled with pink birds peeking out all over. Evidently, you and your charming family — Lisa, Homer, Bart and Maggie — are camping out. It is a nice family scene. Clearly you are setting a good example for the rest of the country.Please forgive a loose tongue.Warmly,Barbara BushP.S. Homer looks like a handsome fella!