He kinda looks like my dad…
Maurice Sendak, as you may well know, was a curmudgeonly old gay Jewish man. Straight out of the womb he was already speaking his mind to anyone that would listen, complaining about ‘kids these days’. And he didn’t always have the nicest things to say. He was what you’d call ‘chutzpadik’. But he was loved. Not just for his delightful children’s books. His dry sarcastic wit. His fearlessness. His frankness about sex, death and everything in between.
Aaaand well it turns out he *may* have threatened to suicide bomb President Bush and Veep Cheney given the chance. So The Comics Journal says in an interview they did with Sendak before his death.
SENDAK: Bush was president, I thought, “Be brave. Tie a bomb to your shirt. Insist on going to the White House. And I wanna have a big hug with the vice president, definitely. And his wife, and the president, and his wife, and anybody else that can fit into the love hug.”
GROTH: A group hug.
SENDAK: And then we’ll blow ourselves up, and I’d be a hero. [Groth laughs.] To hell with the kiddie books. He killed Bush. He killed the vice president. Oh my God.
GROTH: I would have been willing to forgo this interview. [Sendak laughs.]
SENDAK: You would have forgotten about it. It would have been a very brave and wonderful thing. But I didn’t do it; I didn’t do it.
Is this kind of fucked up? Sure. If someone said this about Obama/Biden I’d have to assume they were a crazy racist bastard. Was Sendak a crazy bastard? Of course so. Should we assume that he truly meant every word of what he said in all seriousness; that he was a conspiring terrorist? Probably not. Unless you want to believe the worst in people.
I believe it was just a horrific joke. Sendak, near the end of his life, not really caring how people interpreted the things he did or said. You can agree with me. Or you can disagree, maybe even hate the man forever. Either way, I love Sendak. And he never truly gave a fuck what you thought anyway.