John Oliver volleys back at the Pences -- in the best way possible
Recently. Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence and her daughter Charlotte released a children's book featuring their real-life pet, a rabbit named Marlon Bundo. Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President follows the BOTUS (Bunny of the United States) through a day in the nation's capital with his grandpa, Vice President Mike Pence. The book was a success on Amazon. All well and good, right?
Well, Last Week Tonight's John Oliver had other plans. He released his own children's book, which, within a few days, beat the Pences' book to the top of the Amazon bestseller list. Written by comedy writer Jill Twiss, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is also the story of the First Bunny and a day in "a stuffy house on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory," but with a very different -- and poignant -- twist. This is the story of how Marlon meets and falls in love with Wesley, another male bunny. When they decide to get married, the Stink Bug tries to foil their plans, by protesting, roaring that "boy bunnies don't marry boy bunnies!" This is a direct hit at Mike Pence's views on same-sex marriage and his open belief in conversion therapy for the LTBTQ community.
But Marlon, Wesley, and their friends aren't about to let The Stink Bug (who bares a not-accidental resemblance to the Veep) stop them from living the life they want. They aren't going to take the situation lying down! They decide to take a vote about who they want in charge. They vote against The Stink Bug! Hurrah!
Marlon and Wesley get married, surrounded by their friends, in a ceremony officiated by a cat named Pajama who, by the way, brought her wife to the ceremony.
More than just a cheeky thumbing of the nose at the Pences (which it certainly is) Oliver's book is a revelation in the world of children's books. It sends a very clear message that whether you are boy who likes boys, a girl who likes girls, a girl who likes boys or whether you eat your sandwiches crust-first, that's OK! The message here is that we are all wonderful people, deserving of love, rights and, most of all, acceptance, no matter who we choose to be, whom we choose to love, or how we decided to eat our sandwiches. And in a world that is filled with so much hate and division right now, I think that is a very good thing indeed.
I applaud John Oliver and company for producing this book. I will be sharing our copy with my daughter and recommending it to as many of my parent friends as possible.
100 percent of Last Week Tonight's proceeds from the sale of this book are going toward The Trevor Project and AIDS United.