Toronto Mike

Malaise Forever

Does it get any better than season four of The Simpsons? Maybe season three, but it's debatable. In the season four episode "Marge in Chains", Springfield is unable to buy a statue of Abraham Lincoln and buys a Jimmy Carter statue instead. "Malaise Forever', reads the sign below the statue.

Jimmy Carter, who is most definitely not "history's greatest monster", is currently in hospice care at home. The end is nigh for a man who genuinely seems selfless, thoughtful, and dare I say, nice. At 98 years of age, he's the oldest ex-president, ever. But when I saw "Malaise Forever", I didn't get the reference.

"Malaise Forever" is a reference to a speech Jimmy Carter gave on July 15, 1979. Lines at the gas pumps were lengthy at the height of the energy crisis, and here's what President Carter said.

The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.

If you listen to what Jimmy Carter says, he's absolutely right. The truth hurts, and sometimes people don't want to hear it, so in 1980 Carter was soundly defeated by Ronald Reagan.

"Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but by what one owns." The more things change...

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