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Goodbye, Mrs. Krabappel
Oct 28th, 2013 by Dr Karma

This week, Marcia Wallace, the voice of Mrs. Krabappel, died, just a few days short of her 71st birthday.Marcia_Wallace
Edna Krabappel will not be replaced. She’ll join Lionel Hutz and other voices who have been silenced in similar ways.
Wallace was a wonderful actress and comedian. I think I first became really aware of her work with Bob Newhart, but of course I will remember her as Edna.
There’s something about our elementary school teachers, the good and the bad. They stay with us, in our dreams, our imaginations. They spend more waking time with us than our parents often do at that age. They are experts in all subjects (or at least seem so). They are more patient than I will ever be. They read whole books to us, chapter by chapter, day by day. They figure us out, push us towards new things (at least the good ones do.)
My favorite things about Edna:
1. Her willingness to believe in the love of a certain Woodrow, who couldn’t tell her why he couldn’t be with her, where he was going, or even how he was going to get there.
2. The fact that she has bad days sometimes and she doesn’t beat herself up about it.
3. The fact that she is, in fact, an excellent teacher, as evidenced by her Teacher of the Year award.
4. When Principal Skinner abuses her heart, not only does she refuse to take him back, but she also is wise enough to reject her rebound guy just in the nick of time.
5. On occasion, she has stood up to the administration.
6. After she marries Ned, she also asserts her right to co-parent (and perhaps will help the boys turn out a little less sheltered and helpless).
7. When Ned almost didn’t marry her, because of her “promiscuous” past, it was upsetting. Equally upsetting, though, was when he decided to “forgive” her for having had a sex life before him. Luckily, Edna refuses to accept this and demands that accept her –and love her– for who she is.
8. Through everything–getting her fired, faking serious illnesses, replacing her birth control with tic tacs–Edna has only hit Bart once.
9. Yet he’s kissed her once, when she acknowledged his applied learning.
10. Edna will be remembered for her laugh and, most of all, the way in which her relationship with Bart so defined them both.

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A lack of empathy
Oct 7th, 2013 by Dr Karma

Usually, I can understand why the other side is doing what it’s doing, even if I don’t agree.

I understand that pro-lifers put the life of a fetus above everything else, even above the fact that the outlawing of abortion has historically been correlated with higher rates of abortion. I don’t think most pro-lifers are evil (the ones who would murder for it are)–I just wish they would put their energy into assuring that women have access to good birth control and sex education and that the babies who are born are born with good health care etc., since I find it SO problematic when lifers are fine with letting babies, but not fetuses, die.

I get the fiscal libertarian view, which is: “this is my money, don’t touch it. You and your child can go die in that ditch, there, no–that’s my ditch–THAT ditch over there–the one off my property.” I do think it’s evil, but I get it.

I get why the Republican leadership are against Obamacare. It’s because they’re on the side of business. They want the insurance company to have the freedom to spend as much of their profit on their shareholders and paperwork as they want (Obama wants them to use it on patients). They want the insurance company to have the freedom to not insure me, to turn me down for procedures, to drop me when I get too expensive. They tell me they don’t want the government to get between me and my doctor–that’s the insurance company’s job!!! I get it.

But I don’t get the shut down.

The law passed.

We elected the guy. Twice.

When W got elected the second time (the first time, really), he said he had a mandate and that he was going to use it.

Republicans ignored the law and the mandate and sued, and the Supreme Court said sorry, and so here we are.

I’m trying to imagine applying this logic to my life. There’s A bill I don’t want to pay. So I don’t pay any of them. And I tell the people I owe money to that it’s what they want and that it’s for their own good. It’s for their freedom!

I think I’d get locked up. I would at least get sued and kicked out of my house and a bunch of my shit would stop working. Republicans are half complaining that national parks are closed and half crowing that only the national parks are closed (not true–lots of things are affected–but they haven’t decided on just one message here).

And I can’t get my head around it. When I hear people say we need to find a compromise with these people, I scream, “No, we don’t!” or “What compromise?”

And this is how America becomes divided.

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