Archive for December, 2009


John Ortved’s Simpsons Playlist

As part of the promotion for his book Ortved went on Largehearted Boy and created a playlist of songs that are, even in some small way, related to his book and the show.  Some highlights:

The Damned "Jet Boy Jet Girl"

The Simpsons story really begins with Matt Groening in LA in the very early 80s punk scene. This song, originally by Elton Motello, perfectly captures the subversiveness and irreverence of Groening’s early work: it’s a punk track about a gay love triangle whose chorus, "oo-hoo-oo-oo; he gave me head," mocks those 60s surfer tunes which were, at one point, considered rebellious. It’s gender-bending, loud, and fun – everything those people who didn’t actually live in the 80s enjoy thinking it was like.

The show was indeed very subversive in a way that it no longer is.  That was a big part of what made it successful and the lack of it is a part of why it sucks now. 

Rolling Stones "Yesterdays Papers"

I’m ending with a Rolling Stones track because, as John Alberti says in my book, "Maybe The Simpsons have stretched it into the Rolling Stones because the Rolling Stones are so corporatized now it’s really hard to imagine that they were ever subversive or edgy or countercultural. It seems like they’re beating a dead horse to pick up a paycheck," which I think is a very accurate description, if you watch any of the current episodes. The Stones may be my greatest rock band in history, just as The Simpsons are probably the greatest TV show ever produced – which is why it is especially sad to watch them both ride so ingloriously, not into the sunset, but towards the bank.

I understand and largely agree with that, but there’s an important difference.  The Rolling Stones are a bunch of guys getting paid and cashing in, no doubts there.  But they’re also the ones making the decisions.  Whereas Zombie Simpsons, while it pays the cast and some of the writers extremely well, continues not because they want it to, but because it makes too damned much money for a faceless corporation. 

Anyway, the whole thing is worth a read. 


The Petty Greed of a Large and Wealthy Organization

The Joy of Sect4

“Oh I feel for you my child and, I’d like you help you . . . ahem.” – Rev. Lovejoy

There was some hubbub over the long holiday weekend because L’Osservatore Romano, an official Vatican newspaper, said some nice things about The Simpsons.  This doesn’t particularly surprise me, Zombie Simpsons has become so institutionalized that even the world’s oldest surviving organization no longer finds it threatening.  That kind of approval is a pretty damning indictment for a program that found its original popularity in an explicitly anti-authority message. 

But I was curious as to what exactly the Catholic Church found praiseworthy and so I tried to find the original article.  It wasn’t on the hilariously primitive (and incomplete) official website, but there was an e-mail link to request articles.  So I wrote a very polite and friendly e-mail requesting either the text of the article or just a link to where the text was found.  I figured that they had it easily available and would probably send it to me and that I’d have to say something nice about the Catholic Church for a change.  My cynicism doesn’t fail me very often, but I do enjoy it when it does. 

Instead of the article or a link I received . . .  an order form – literally.  The e-mail I got back told me that the article in question was only published in Italian, but if I would like a copy I could have one for the low price of just eight Euros (Visa and MasterCard most definitely accepted).  Setting aside the fact that they want to charge me eight Euros for an article in a language I don’t read, there’s the bigger rip off of asking eight Euros for a copy and paste job.  It’s not like some hooded figure will have to descend into the archives by torchlight to retrieve this, it was published (electronically!) a week ago.  Pointing me to the article would’ve taken the exact same amount of time as copying and pasting the order form.  And they’re not asking for some trivial amount of money either, eight Euros is half a week’s earnings for half of humanity

I don’t care in the least whether or not anyone wants to believe in a higher power, but organized religion is humanity’s longest running scam and they give themselves away through sheer pettiness. 


Quote of the Day

Dancin' Homer1

“I can’t help but feel that if we had gotten to know each other better my leaving would actually have meant something.” – Lisa Simpson


Quote of the Day

A Streetcar Named Marge1

“What you ladies don’t understand is that Blanche is a delicate flower being tramped by an uncouth lout who . . . uhh, forget it!  Just strike the sets, clear the stage!  This production is-” – Llewellyn Sinclair
“Homey, I didn’t get the part.  You were right, outside interests are stupid.” – Marge Simpson
“Wait a minute!” – Llewellyn Sinclair
“Uh-huh, I’ll come home right away.  Alright, I’ll pick up a bucket of fried chicken, extra skin, rolls, chocolate cream parfait . . .” – Marge Simpson


Simpsons Writer Buys Cool Simpsons Artwork

Joseph Cavalieri, he of stained glass Simpsons fame, sold one of his works to long time Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons writer John Frink.  We got a press release:

After seeing Joseph’s work online, John and his wife were particularly interested in purchasing “Il Momento Della Morte” (The Moment of Death). Mr. Frink lives in LA, and was visiting New York during the holidays, so a studio visit was arranged. Immediately after his airplane landed at JFK, Frink, along with his wife and three children, rented a van and stopped by Cavalieri’s studio in the east village of Manhattan. Here he viewed all seven of the Missing Episode panels, and decided on this one. He will bring it to LA, first to display in his office then move to his home.

Bravo Mr. Frink.  By the way, “Il Momento Della Morte” is this one:

Cavalieri Bart & Lisa


Quote of the Day

The Sun

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user danisabella.

“If you get lost, remember, you can always find east by staring directly at the sun.” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes4

“Herb, let me give you the grand tour.  This is one of our many light switches, it functions in both the on and off mode.  On, off, on, off . . .” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, he knows how to work a light switch.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh yeah, right.  I don’t know what this switch does.” – Homer Simpson

Merry Christmas and have a great 1985 from the Dead Homer Society!


deadhomersociety (at) gmail

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