25 July 2007
BSB Flashback: Peter's Chair
4 April 2007
Author/Illustrator: Ezra Jack Keats
In this brutal offering from one of the giants of children's literature, our young protagonist Peter is appalled to find out that all his possessions are being painted pink to be given to his newborn sister. The nerve! Peter initially resists his parents' attempt to co-opt all his belongings, particularly his favorite chair. But eventually, like all doe-eyed optimists, Peter is forced to swallow the bitter pill of reality. He concedes defeat--our hero has fallen. Peter offers up his chair as a conciliatory symbol of his newfound understanding: It's her world now, I'm merely a bit player.
While these tough luck lessons are painfully necessary for children, they are perhaps even more valuable for adults. In Peter's case it was a new baby. In John Kerry's case, it was a new democratic nominee for president. Like Peter, Kerry came to his senses, realizing that his time had passed and (thankfully) decided not to make another run at the presidency. Now the only question is... who gets the democratic chair? Does Kerry follow Peter's example and paint the democratic nomination pink for the apparent front-runner Hillary? Does he paint it purple for bridge-building phenom Obama? Or maybe he fits his chair with a booster seat and some crayons for the adorable Dennis Kucinich?
Meanwhile, across the street, neighborhood outcast Ralphy Nader is busy building his own chair out of driftwood and moral fiber. It is not a sturdy chair, and it will give you splinters if you sit on it, but dagnabit, someone has to provide an alternative to the mass-production, cookie cutter furniture industry! It's not easy being green. Keep fighting the good fight, Ralphy... you crazy beautiful pirate, you.