Yes. It’s another “Pride Event” in our Springfields. I want to remind everyone that this isn’t the place (and is never going to be) to air your opinions about gay marriage, Leviticus, the LGBQT community, or anything else that is a political hot potato. The fact is, EA/Gracie seem to choose to deal with every major holiday (as well as most of the minor ones), with tongues planted firmly in cheek, reminding us that there are far bigger things to worry about in this world than the pettiness that comes from such political/religious debates.
That said…there is no doubt at all, that the “Gill Deal” for Pride Week may ruffle a few (boa) feathers. J. Edgar Hoover is one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. I will dive into some of that history in a minute. But, the primary cautionary tale about his story (and the less than subtle way EA/Gracie are dealing with it) has more to do with the need to be proud of who you are…no matter who you are. Hence his slightly ambiguous introduction into “Pride Week.”
It is a fascinating story, whether you deem J. Edgar as worthy of his 199 donut price or not.
Here are the basic facts that surround the history and mythology of J. Edgar Hoover.
1. He was the longest-standing director of the FBI (48 Years).
2. During his career, he was much-feared by criminals, politicians, gangsters, and celebrities alike.
3. He became so powerful, that at many times he openly violated Constitutional laws, and influenced Presidents to do the same.
4. He was rumored to be a cross-dresser and homosexual, while aggressively destroying anyone who tried to expose him a such to the media.
5. He never married. Lived most of his adult life with his mother. But, rumors persist about his relationship with his Deputy Director.
There is just too much to go into about this guy, in a brief, “cartoon-centric” post about a character in a mobile game. However, it is clear that there is a conflict with saying that J. Edgar had any sense of “Pride” about his personal life.
How it relates to the Simpsons, is even more veiled…by a very, very obscure reference in one episode.
According to the WIKI:
- During the “Curse of the Flying Hellfish” episode, Bart asks how someone as rich and influential as Burns was only a private in the US Army. Grampa tells him that Burns got busted down for obstructing a probe from J. Edgar Hoover.
- He is one of the many people on “Ned’s List of Laudable Lefties”.
- A picture of Hoover in a dress is on the wall in Dana Scully and Fox Mulder’s office at the FBI. (The Springfield Files – S8E10)
Then it flashes immediately to the Picture of Cross-Dressing J. Edgar (pretty subtle…right?)
Then we see Sculley sitting under a sign saying “I want to believe.”
Further besmirching of the FBI takes place when Mulder comes into the room and the following dialogue is spoken:
Mulder: Look at this, Scully. There’s been another unsubstantiated U.F.O. sighting in the heartland of America. We’ve gotta get there right away!
Scully: Well, gee, Mulder. There’s also this report of a shipment of drugs and illegal weapons coming into New Jersey tonight.
Mulder: I hardly think the F.B.I.’s concerned with matters like that.
OK. So the FBI has had a checkered past (and continues to suffer politically). But, nothing today remotely comes close to the kinds of shenanigans that took place during J. Edgar’s reign. You can read a LOT more HERE if you want more juice…on his public and private life.
But, his record on civil rights, his horrendous over-reaching during the 50s/60s and the “House Un-American Activities Committee” with McCarthy, and countless breaches of legal ethics with illegal probes into everyone from MLK, to RFK, to Elvis…and you have a whole lot of people that wanted to see him take a fall, but were likely too afraid to blow the whistle (wolf whistle?) on his personal life.
Were the rumors of his sexual preferences and affiliations with well-known homosexual power brokers true? His actions were always cloaked in secrecy, while being strangely connected to very public people and events. Go figure.
Gay or not. Cross-Dresser or not. Or even, asexual or not…the fact remains, that the REAL problem with his legacy is ke that of many people in power, who as Shakespeare said, “Methinks thou dost protest too much!” Or in other words…if you are someone who spends your lifetime ruining people’s lives with power and corruption, that you deem “immoral,” you may very likely have a few secrets in the closet yourself.
What do we make of all of this?
Frankly…for me, I don’t really care what he did in his personal life. His public/professional life was ugly enough to make it easy to ridicule the guy, and make him a target for gossips and media trolls. But, in the end…it really comes down to not accepting and being proud of who you really are. There is little doubt that J. Edgar, or any person who wasn’t “straight, white, and macho” would have had a tough time in the era in which he lived. But, going so far as to convince President Dwight D. Eisenhower to sign an Executive Order on April 29, 1953, that barred homosexuals from obtaining jobs at the federal level? Well…that is indeed “protesting too much.”
J. Edgar Hoover was never able to “be himself,” and for this reason, countless people paid the price for his unhappiness.
Pride and confidence are tools for success in life. But, contentment and community build happiness. I would hope that no matter where you fall in the pantheon of human sexuality, that you are both “Proud” of who you are, as well as accepting of those who may not be like you.
But 199 donuts? I’m still on the fence on this one…
Ah…who am I kidding? I bought him…and will keep him perpetually roaming my town in his cute little pink dress. Happy…at last!