Sometimes we think the only reason we get away with watching cartoons as adults is because of their willingness to address grownup things, like politics. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most recent example comes from The Simpsons, as longtime favorite Groundskeeper Willie has entered the conversation around Scottish independence.
On September 18, Scotland will vote in a referendum for its independence from the United Kingdom. British Prime Minister David Cameron asked the country on Wednesday to stay part of the U.K. His request asked the Scots not to forget the history and bonds the country shared with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Cameron also insisted that Scotland's exit from the U.K. would negatively affect the country's currency and job market. "I would be heartbroken if this family of nations was torn apart," he said, according to Reuters. He also reminded Scots that once they're out, they'd be out forever. (In other words, take your whisky home, kilties.)
Meanwhile, a poll released on Wednesday shows 53% of Scots would vote against a secession. But, there's been a surge in those supporting independence in recent weeks. The main sentiment behind independence is one of identity: Scotland could be a small-but-strong entity of its own, rather than an accessory to an empire.
Enter Groundskeeper Willie, whose thoughts on the debate echo the larger political movement's arc. The janitor cites an initial hesitance, saying he sees the points of both "the freedom-loving heirs of the highland tradition" and "those that enjoy crawling like worms beneath British boots." In the end, though, Willie is unable to reject his pride and heritage as a Scot. He reveals an "AYE OR DIE" emblazoned across his chest — one he notes is not a tattoo, but a birthmark.
And, as Willie reminds us, oil reserves, tourism, and a thriving whisky industry could very well keep the Scots in business without England.
The Simpsons has never shied away from outwardly criticizing countries or governments. Yet, this is the first time in recent memory where the show has released a timely, solo nod in a political direction. Watch as Groundskeeper Willie joins his fellow (non-animated) countrymen in the campaign for an independent Scotland — because you'll probably never see a clip of Homer talking about Ukraine. (BuzzFeed)