Recent events at work have led me to reflect on different things and people, and one of the people I’ve been thinking about lately is Seymour Skinner from The Simpsons.
I know that I’m waayyyyy overthinking this, but over the past year or so, I’ve come to see this guy in a new light to the point where I find myself actually pissed off at the other characters on the show (I know . . . I know :smack: )
Here is a guy. He’s a wounded Vietnam Vet and former POW; his combat experience has left him with severe flashbacks. He might be a schlump, but he’s certainly not stupid, and it seems he could have been anything he wanted to, but for whatever reason, he winds up in charge of the school. He’s obviously the only faculty member in that silly back-asswards shit pit who can rise above his own personal problems and dreams enough to actually give a fuck about the students. He knows the kids’ names. He encourages Lisa, and he does try to help Bart, even if this is the original exercise in futility. When one of the bus drivers is fired, he steps in and drives the damned bus himself to get the job done. Principal Skinner is a good man.
And what is his reward? He gets mocked and humiliated at every turn. He gets blamed and fired by his weasely incompetent superintendent for situations totally beyond his control. His good qualities are never really dealt with; we only get to see the side of him that’s out of touch and goofy. So what if he’s under his mother’s thumb? He cares for her deeply, and if he shows some arrested development and discomfort in dealing with others, I’d say that going to war right after graduation (It’s the only way the dates remotely add up), and then having to care for his sick mother might have something to do with that.
And after all the humiliation, after all the abuse, after all the scorn and blame heaped on him, he’s asked back by the same people who fire him once they realize that they’re nowhere near competent enough to run the place. Somebody more concerned with his or her image than Skinner would tell the faculty to take a flying fuck before going out into the world and finding something that would actually give him his due, but Skinner cares too much to go that route. He always goes back, and he never bears a grudge, even though he has to know that he’ll always get the shit end of the stick. He’s education’s answer to George Smiley.
Whew! Sorry, but I had to get that out of my system. So anyway, who do you guys sympathize with? Who’s gotten a bum rap in your opinion? Who makes you want to shake him and tell him to find a better cast of characters to hang with?