Poli-Sci

JAMIE: I flunked a pop quiz in poli-sci because I couldn’t stop thinking about you.

Poli-Sci, short for Political Science. A social science discipline dealing with governance and power, constitution and law, and the analysis of political thought, power, and behaviour.

It’s possible that Jamie is doing a Political Science major at Princeton, with plans to work in government and politics when he graduates.

Totalitarian

JESS: My own good? Can we be a little more Totalitarian here?

Totalitarianism, a form of government that prohibits all opposition parties, outlaws individual and group opposition to the state, and exercises an extremely high degree of control and regulation over public and private life. In totalitarian states, power is often held by dictators

Like Lorelai, Jess likes to criticise anyone who tries to cramp his style in over the top political terms. Lorelai calls them Nazis and Fascists, Jess calls them Totalitarian.

“Andrew Jackson, not Alfred E. Neuman”

LUKE: And he paid cash? … Did you make sure Andrew Jackson was on the bills, not Alfred E. Neuman or someone?

Andrew Jackson, previously discussed. Former president Andrew Jackson is on the US $20 bill.

Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious mascot and cover boy of the humour magazine Mad. The image had been used since the 19th century in advertising, and for Roosevelt’s political campaign in the 1930s. Mad magazine claimed the image in 1954, and named him “Alfred E. Neuman” in 1956. Since his debut, he has appeared on all but a handful of the magazine’s covers.

In 1967, the magazine published pictures of joke coins and a three dollar bill with Alfred E. Neuman’s face on it. Despite being an obvious satire on coin collecting, some readers cut the notes out of the magazine and were able to use them in Las Vegas money-changing machines, leading to federal authorities moving to stamp out this counterfeit operation.

Mad magazine went on to publish fake Monopoly money, and smaller versions of the three dollar bill which were given out as novelties at trade shows and conventions.

“Our president said exercise”

JESS: You’re walking pretty fast for nothing.

RORY: Well, our president said exercise and I am very patriotic.

In June 2002, George W. Bush made an appearance to launch a federal campaign called The President’s Challenge that urged Americans to stay fit, eat healthier and kick bad habits, such as smoking. He issued twelve pages of recommendations on how Americans could improve their lifestyles, and urged people to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. The president was himself very fitness conscious, running and lifting weights every day.

Richard Nixon

LANE: Quaker College was a delightful surprise, with its special appeal to Richard Nixon, who’s dead but still deeply involved in campus recruiting.

Richard Nixon, former US president, previously and frequently mentioned. He was born into a evangelical Quaker family in California in 1913, and brought up in Quaker ways of the time, such as abstaining from dancing, alcohol, and swearing. He largely left his religion behind in his pursuit of political power, and doesn’t seem to have attended Quaker meetings or events in adulthood.

Nixon was offered a scholarship to Harvard, but chose to remain close to home instead and attended Whittier College in Whittier, California from 1930 to 1934, graduating with a BA in History. Although named after the Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier, the college hasn’t been officially affiliated with the Society of Friends since the 1940s. A liberal arts college, Latino students make up half the population, and 75% of the students are people of colour. If Richard Nixon is recruiting students from beyond the grave, his policy is perhaps slightly unexpected.

Republicans

LORELAI: So, I think I’m in touch with the other side …

RORY: With Republicans?

The Republican Party in the US, founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, with an elephant as its symbol, for reasons nobody seems sure about. It shifted towards the right in the early twentieth century and is now a socially conservative party, tending to favour free market economics. It supports lower taxes, gun rights, restrictions on immigration, restrictions on abortion, restrictions on unions, and increased military spending. Since the 1850s it has been the main political rival to the Democratic Party, so when Lorelai says she is in touch with “the other side” (meaning the supernatural realm), Rory asks whether she means the other side of politics. Lorelai and Rory are Democrat supporters.

Chopin, Padarewski

DARREN: Jack, which Polish composer –

JACK: Chopin!

DARREN: Patience . . . became Prime Minister of his country?

JACK: Paderewski.

Frédéric Chopin, born Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849), Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period, who wrote primarily for solo piano. He was one of the earliest musical celebrities, and he has maintained his reputation as a poetic genius and one of the great musicians of his generation.

Ignacy Jan Padarewski (1860-1941) [pictured], Polish pianist and composer who became a spokesman for Polish independence. He was appointed prime minister in January 1919, and signed the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I. He resigned in November 1919, and continued his musical career, rarely visiting Poland again.

Kennedy-esque

DARREN: This is a little tradition with us, quizzes at meals. It keeps the Springsteens sharp.

LORELAI: Very Kennedy-esque.

JENNIFER: Mm, we love the Kennedys!

LORELAI: As do we all.

A callback to when Emily spoke glowingly of the Kennedy family quizzes in Season 1, wondering why the Gilmores couldn’t do the same. Rory and Lorelai are now getting a taste of what that would be like!

Jennifer says that the Springsteens love the Kennedys, indicating that they are Democrat voters – Connecticut is a Democrat state, and Westport is the most Democrat city of the state. Lorelai is quick to let them know that she is a Democrat voter as well.