Sunday, May 31, 2009

THE SIMPSONS Celebrate Syttende Mai!

I just discovered that, on Syttende Mai, FOX aired a Norwegian-themed episode of The Simpsons! I'm watching it right now on Hulu, and it's hysterical. (If that link should be out-of-date by the time you read this and check it out, do an Internet search for "Coming to Homerica," which is episode 21 of season 20 of The Simpsons, aired May 17, 2009.) Out-of-work Norwegian-Americans from nearby Ogdenville come to Springfield and provide low-wage labor, which the citizens of Springfield initially find attractive. However, they soon decide that they don't like how life in Springfield has changed due to the influx of immigrants from Ogdenville, and the mayor vows to close the city's border by building a wall to keep out the Norwegians.

The Norwegian-Americans from Ogdenville sport blond hair and beards, are easy-going and hard-working, and speak with the sing-songy lilt of stereotypical Minnesotans (ever seen the movie Fargo?). As a Scandinavian, a Syttende Mai celebrator, and a former Minnesotan myself, I can appreciate the teasing (and not entirely inaccurate) depiction of Norwegian-Americans; and as an American with a sense of humor, I can appreciate the satirical parallels between Springfield's reaction to immigrants from Ogdenville and America's reaction to immigrants from Mexico.

Thank you, Sons of Norway Blog, for calling this episode to my attention! Fair Reader, if you have 21.5 minutes to spare, get comfy and watch it for yourself.

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