Dad On Mouseland

Tommy Douglas memorial plaque at the IAMAW's 
William W. Winpisinger Education & Technology Center

I wrote a post the other day about “Mouseland”, an animated short based on a set-piece speech by long-time Premier of Saskatchewan Tommy Douglas. The clip’s been around for a while, but it’s been making the rounds at Daily Kos the past couple of weeks thanks to the efforts of one commenter in particular.

Now, normally my Dad doesn’t say much about the stuff on my blog, even though I see my folks a couple times a week or more. I picked up so much of my political attitudes from my parents that there’s not a lot to argue about, and sitting around agreeing that politicians from both parties tend to turn whatever they do to crap gets boring pretty fast. But Dad did have something to say about Mouseland.


I just read your blog article on “Mouseland.” I first saw a cartoon version of “Mouseland” at an IAM convention when William W. Winpisinger was the International President of the Machinists. “Wimpy,” as you may remember, was a socialist in the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor tradition (he was originally an auto-mechanic in Minneapolis) and he was a fan of both Tommy Douglas and the Canadian version of government medical care. He seriously flirted with the idea of backing a labor political party in the U.S. on the model of Tommy Douglas’s New Democrats in Canada. At the Machinists education center in Placid Harbor, Maryland, which is named after Winpisinger, there is a conference room named after Tommy Douglas. When I attended a retirees’ conference there earlier this year, I took a picture of the bronze plaque honoring Tommy Douglas that is mounted outside the entrance to that conference room.

I see that the UFCW is now behind the Mouseland feature; the Machinists were showing it thirty years ago, but or course there was no internet then.

It’s in the blood.