The Other Bush Brother

Since Neil Bush, the Other Bush Brother, is back in the news (for going to work for Ted Cruz), I looked up the only time I’ve been quoted at length online, in 2006 by Talking Points Memo, which had been following the travails of Neil as he tried to lead an educational software company:

The funniest thing is not that Neil Bush is trying to sell his educational software company to statesmen and business leaders– it’s that he’s wandering around schools, begging anyone who comes his way. I met him last year, when he came to the junior high where I teach. I talked to him for about an hour, in which he showed me some of the animations his company produces (think “DNA…Chromosomes” over a fake alt-rock beat), and tried to talk us into taking a (appparently free) version of the company’s “Purple Cow” product– basically a LCD projector and laptop (with a few hundred animations on its hard-drive), packaged together into a “fuck-with-proof” box (his words, not mine.) “You gotta eliminate the FWF, the fuck-with-factor, know what I mean.” I was worried that if I took the product (Retail $13,000, apparently), there’d be Barbara Bush and USA Today appearing in my classroom to watch the magic effects of “DNA… Chromosomes… DNA… Chromosomes.” I think he took the hint, and one of the more indelible images since I became a teacher was that of Neil Bush, 6’3″ in an incredibly expensive suit, wading through a swarm of yelling, jostling, jumping, bothering 13-year-olds, just released from 6th period, blissfully unaware of his proximity to power, as he struggled towards the wrong exit, as confused about the geography of the Lower East Side as he apparently was about the content of the science software he was trying to sell, failing the “sample quizzes” that came with the animations, unable to remember his password to log into the online site, repeating over and over again “Leave that to the eggheads. I failed all this stuff when I was in school.”

Like his brother, though of much less internationally cataclysmic importance, Mr. Bush came across for that hour as an incredibly genial and easy-going guy, but with something missing, like when you meet former junkies or coke-heads. Anyways, whether or not the Purple Cow took flight, I found a DVD version of the animations online last month for $10 and showed some of them to my class. They liked them. Shows me.

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