Archive for January, 2010

31
Jan
10

It Could (But Won’t) Happen to You

“In fact, every copy of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” has been checked out from the Springfield Public Library.  Of course the book does not contain any hints on how to win the lottery, it is rather a chilling tale of conformity gone mad.” – Kent Brockman

We have an entire week to pick apart this pedestrian and lifeless Zombie Simpsons outing.  There are plenty of recycled jokes, gaping plot contradictions, and labored set pieces with which to play.  (When winning the lottery is the most relatable thing that happens there is little hope for anything but fail.)  For right now though I’ll just say one thing.  When The Simpsons was still on the air it treated the lottery as what it really is: a tax on the mathematically ignorant that taunts the poor into furthering their poverty.  Zombie Simpsons treats the lottery the way the mathematically ignorant see it, as a plausibility upon which self important fantasies can be based.  There is, I suppose, a certain populist charm to that fantastic notion, but naive hope and wanton stupidity did not make this show what it was. 

31
Jan
10

Sunday Preview: Million Dollar Maybe

zombiemaybe

Dave usually writes these Sunday Preview posts but he’s on vacation.  He did stop having fun long enough to e-mail in this much improved official preview image.  Simpsons Channel wrote it up and as usual there’s nothing to suggest that this will be anything but a complete waste of thirty minutes of your irreplaceable time.  I’m stupid, stubborn and honor bound by the Code of Internet Snark to watch it; you are not.  Here are some suggestions for better uses of your time:

  • Masturbation
  • Knitting
  • Watching anything else
31
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

Radio Bart3

“The circumference of the well is thirty-four inches, so unfortunately not one member of our city’s police force is slender enough to rescue the boy.” – Kent Brockman
“By god men, you’re a bunch of marshmallows!” – Chief Wiggum
“Why don’t you go chief?” – Cop
“Well I’m too . . . important.” – Chief Wiggum

30
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

Radioactive Man2

“Milhouse, baby!  Lionel Hutz your new agent, body guard, unauthorized biographer and drug dealerrr . . . keeper-awayer.” – Lionel Hutz

29
Jan
10

Reading Digest: Fan Made Edition

Homeric Craftsmanship

“But you can use me, I’m good!  I built a lot of things around the house, the spice rack . . . the birdfeeder . . . the gymboree . . . what was that?  Ah, who cares.” – Homer Simpson

We’ve got lots of fan made Simpsons stuff this week, from YouTube videos, to Lego statues, to unsourced artwork.  There’s also a political divide I feel no hesitation to take sides on, some excellent Zombie Simpsons hate, Aurora Indianalis, a clever New Zealand marketing ploy, and plenty of usage of all varieties.  Enjoy.

Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester – This is a book review:

Whoops! is funny in a Jeremy Clarkson sort of way. In other words it is larded with leaden similes and blokeish "wit". So, for example, a complex but entirely accurate description of the construction of collateralised debt obligations is interrupted by such ­observations as "the initial lender was free to quote Bart Simpson: ‘sayonara, sucker’."

I don’t know who Jeremy Clarkson is, but to my knowledge Bart has never said “sayonara, sucker”.  Bad book author, bad.

my woman of the year (and this week’s column) – It’s Marge.  (Duh, or it wouldn’t be linked here.)

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien (GUEST REVIEWER ANITA DEELY) – This is a long review of Conan O’Brien’s last show and it ends with some very poor usage:

My final words of wisdom from a clown come from Homer Simpson. Hearing these words (or word) was a small awakening for me. Homer is dealing with some crisis or other that I can’t recall right now what. Sometimes, I have a terrible memory for the Simpsons which is good since it allows me to see episodes over and over again and still find them funny. The other day I caught the Monorail episode (by Conan O’Brien, if I’m not mistaken) and I marveled at it. Anyway, Homer is having some big thing happen to him and Lisa says: “You know, Dad, the Chinese have the same word for crisis and opportunity” And Homer says: “Yeah. Crisatunity.”

That exchange isn’t from the monorail episode, it’s from Season 6’s “Fear of Flying” and while the gist of it is correct the actual exchange goes like this:

Lisa: Look on the bright side, Dad.  Did you know that the Chinese use the same word for “crisis” as they do for “opportunity”?
Homer: Yes!  Crisatunity!

It’s an excellent and appropriate sentiment, but a big miss on the execution. 

Weekly Best Of: The Best Fictional Bands/Songs From TV – The Be Sharps make an appearance. 

Homer Simpson – Just a bunch of Homer Simpson background images for your computer. 

D’oh! – There is at least one person who doesn’t know who Bart Simpson is. 

I Never Ever Saw The Northern Lights. Well, False. – I’m pretty sure if you see an aurora in Indiana it isn’t the “northern” lights, but other than that, yeah.  Plus he properly quotes Simpsons and it applies perfectly.  Excellent usage.

These pretzels are making me thirsty. – From the same blog as the link above it’s a video of Seinfeld quotes (which I didn’t watch) and a video of Simpsons quotes (which I did).  All the Simpsons quotes are from the early years so if you’ve got 2:29 to kill you could do worse things with your time. 

How Air New Zealand Started the Process of Creating a New Cabin Environment – A consulting firm working with Air New Zealand identified several passenger types by associating them with Simpsons characters.  I don’t think this has as much to do with The Simpsons as it does with a consultancy knowing how to brand something, but it’s kind of neat. 

George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama, The Simpsons and the perils of being a “really good one-term president” – This guy’s a lefty worried about President Obama, he cites “Two Bad Neighbors” to help make his point. 

Mayor Quimby, Homer’s alcoholism, and the federal budget – This guy’s a righty angry at Obama, he mentions two Zombie Simpsons episodes to help make his point.  I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. 

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – DVD Review – I really liked this movie, in no small part because this is basically true:

While it may have been impressive in the cinema, 3D would have detracted from a film packed with the type of gag rate and gooey centre that hasn’t been around since The Simpsons jumped the shark at the turn of the millennium.

I’ve been thinking about this line all week. – Whole post (minus the image):

Skinner: I’ve always admired your tart honesty and ability to be personally offended by broad social trends.

A great quote that’s perfectly cited, bravo. 

Simpsons Mashups. – This doesn’t have links to the original sources (some of them have deviantART watermarks), but this is a pretty spectacular collection of Simpsons crossover art. 

Something feels wrong here. – Knockoff “Bant” t-shirt featuring Evil Eyes. 

Knight Rider Starring Homer Simpson – This is a fan made YouTube video of the Knight Rider opening with Simpsons characters instead:

Can you say David Hasselhoff?  (via Twitter)

The Simpsons – Itchy & Scratchy Land for BlackBerry – Pretty much exactly what it says. 

See My Vest! – I find Hulu more annoying than YouTube, but video is video. 

Bomb Lego Sculptures » lego3 – Awesome, life size versions of Bart & Milhouse done in the medium of Lego. 

U.S. Bus and Truck Drivers Banned from Texting Behind the Wheel – Swing and a miss:

Despite The Simpsons showing us that truck drivers don’t actually do their own driving, Otto’s driving record must’ve convinced legislators that there needs to be a ban on texting behind the wheel for truck and bus drivers.

Taken on its own with no context I’m not even sure what that sentence means. 

My book report is on The Time Machine Did It by John Swartzwelder – And finally, in this review of one of Swartzwelder’s novels we get this excellent piece of Zombie Simpsons bashing:

John Swartzwelder is arguably best known for writing a good hunk of Simpsons episodes back when they were still considered good. At least, considered good by people I consider good. Fans of the current Simpsons episodes I barely consider at all.

Yes indeed. 

29
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

“I think I wet my bed.” – Ralph Wiggum

28
Jan
10

Zombie Simpsons Commercial to Air During Super Bowl (Updated)

Coke Zombie Simpsons Super Bowl Ad

“The bubbles are burning my tongue!” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson

It’s late January and that means that it’s time for the annual torrent of news about Super Bowl commercials.  How much do they cost?  How clever are they?  Will the NFL franchise that drafts Tim Tebow wish he had been aborted?  Well, Coke is going to have an ad that sounds like the plot of a Zombie Simpsons episode:

In one commercial starring characters from The Simpsons, Mr. Burns has lost his millions and only looks at the bright side of life after convenience store clerk Apu gives him a Coke.

That sounds about right.  Oh and Coke’s got some stupid tie in with Facebook where you can see a “20-second preview” of the ad if you help them with their marketing.  To entice people they’re even promising to make a piffling donation to charity.  Get bent, Coke. 

Update: A wise man once remarked that “pimpin’ ain’t easy”.  Apparently neither is on-line marketing.  Less than ninety minutes after I published a post that contains an abortion joke and concludes with “Get bent, Coke” a marketing firm working for Coca-Cola contacted us.  Their motivation was pretty clear, “Someone on the internet mentioned our ad campaign!  Quickly, send them further information in a formulaic e-mail, maybe they’ll help publicize this.”  So eager were they to enlist us and our everyman credibility that they did not take the time to consider the actual content of the post.  An “Oh, shit” moment ensued.  Herewith is the hilarious sequence of events:

3:35pm EST: Our e-mail address receives a press release with links to promotional images from someone whose e-mail signature reads “on behalf of Coca-Cola”.  Amongst other unintentional comedy the press release refers to the commercials as “animated billboards”, truly a masterpiece of Marketspeak. 

3:48pm EST: Our e-mail address receives a second message.  The e-mail signature is now just the sender’s first name.  I’ve no desire to get this person in trouble, everybody’s gotta make bread somehow, so I’m not going to reprint the entirety of the text.  Just know that it was two sentences long, apologized twice, and contained an obvious (and probably panic induced) contradiction about why the first e-mail had been sent. 

4:00pm EST: “Recall” requests come in for both e-mails.  This is my favorite part.  I’m no expert but my understanding of the “recall” feature is that in order for it to work 1) both the sender and receiver have to be using Microsoft Outlook, 2) both have to be using an Exchange server, AND 3) both copies of Outlook must have the feature activated.  Our e-mail address is @gmail.com.  Savvy internet marketing does not, apparently, require knowledge about how the e-mail system works. 

I love the internet. 

28
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

There's No Disgrace Like Home4

“To save this family we’re going to have the make the supreme sacrifice.” – Homer Simpson
“No Dad, please don’t pawn the TV!” – Lisa Simpson
“Aw come on Dad, anything but that.” – Bart Simpson
“Homer, couldn’t we pawn my engagement ring instead?” – Marge Simpson
“Now I appreciate that honey, but, we need $150 dollars here!” – Homer Simpson

Happy 20th anniversary to “There’s No Disgrace Like Home”!

28
Jan
10

Bonus Quote of the Day

Homer's Odyssey3"Moe, I’m a little low on funds.  Do you think you could cover me just this once?" – Homer Simpson
"No. Sorry." – Moe
"Why not?  I think after all these years I deserve an explanation." – Homer Simpson
"I don’t think you’re ever gonna get another job and be able to pay me back." – Moe
"Oh." – Homer Simpson
"Don’t worry, we’re still friends." – Moe

Happy (one week belated) 20th anniversary to “Homer’s Odyssey”!

27
Jan
10

Simpsons Alumni Update: Brad Bird

Of all the people who worked on The Simpsons perhaps none have found greater post-show success than Brad Bird.  The man truly has the golden touch in that there isn’t anything embarrassing lurking on his IMDB page.  He worked on The Critic, left The Simpsons in Season 9, and of the three movies he’s written/directed since then only 1999’s The Iron Giant isn’t on the IMDB Top 250.  (Though it has a rating of 7.9 which is the same as the last twenty movies on the list.)  Oh and he’s a perfect 2/2 on Oscar nominations/victories.  This man has as impressive (and profitable) a resume as you can possibly find. 

And yet he is apparently having trouble getting his next movie going:

For a while now he’s been working on 1906 – a film detailing the catastrophic quake that rocked San Francisco in, guess what year? And it’s been a bugger to get off the ground.

Given recent events in the world, you can understand studios not wanting to green light anything to do with earthquakes…they seem to be fine with destroying the planet and re-creating terrorist atrocities, but not this. The film was set to be co-produced by Pixar and Warner Bros. Apparently, the latter studio has concerns over budget and the massive script.

I’m sure those are legitimate concerns, I’m also sure that this guy has never made a bad film.  And while I do not run a movie studio if I did I might look at that IMDB page and conclude that this guy knows what he’s doing.  Good luck, Mr. Bird.  If a recommendation from some guy on the internet will put things over the top, feel free to cite this as a reference. 

27
Jan
10

Quote of the Day


“And who could forget dear ‘Ratboy?’” – Homer Simpson
“‘Ratboy?’ I resent that.” – Bart Simpson


“Bart! I told you before, stop gnawing on the drywall.” – Marge Simpson

26
Jan
10

Marketing Horrorshow Coming Soon to a Vagina Near You!

Lisa vs Malibu Stacy3“I want you to hear what Malibu Stacy is telling a generation of little girls.” – Lisa Simpson
“Thinking too much gives you wrinkles.” – Malibu Stacy Doll

Are you female?  Do you like being marketed to by condescending idiots?  If you answered “Yes” to the first question then the people behind Simpsons merchandise couldn’t care less about your answer to the second.  Behold the unironically stereotypical marketing push known as “Ladies of Springfield”.  Fisking time! 

20 years on and The Simpsons is still going strong. We take a look at the Ladies of Springfield licensing drive.

It may be 20 years old, but The Simpsons remains one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises in the world.

“Groundbreaking” in the sense that there’s nothing they won’t merchandise, or “groundbreaking” in the sense that the show has been six feet under for a long time?  I agree with one of those definitions.  This is followed by some “quick facts” which can be summed up as follows, “People still like watching the show.”  Then we get to to the heart of the matter:

With popularity for The Simpsons showing no signs of abating, and a healthy licensing and merchandising programme for the main brand, Fox launched the Ladies of Springfield brand at Brand Licensing Europe in 2008.

I must have missed that presentation at BLE 2008.  Shucks, and I thought I saw everything.

“The initiative was created due to the proven and researched popularity of The Simpsons amongst females of all ages,” explains Jennifer Buchanan, director of European licensing at Fox L&M. “The audience profile of the series shows an almost equal balance of males and females. Fox L&M identified an opportunity to harness the popular appeal of the show and target the female consumer by creating an umbrella brand that brings together the female characters with their own look and feel.”

That translates from Marketspeak roughly as, “Women weren’t buy as much crap as we thought they should so we’re going to cram girly stuff down their throats.  Get me my pink color wheel!” 

A style guide was developed featuring Lisa, Marge and Maggie – as well as the other key female characters such as Patty and Selma – with product launching a year later.

Style guide?  I’m intrigued.  Can I suggest one for the Zombie Simpsons writers?

“Fox has worked closely with licensees to drive the Ladies of Springfield initiative and with their ongoing support we have seen the programme steadily grow across the UK and Europe,” Buchanan continues. “We launched apparel into retail for autumn/winter 2009. This first wave of the brand initiative took us into tween fashion along with support in nightwear. Key retail partners were Bershka, Primark, Bhs, Tesco, George and Next.

This might just be me, but I find the juxtaposition of implicitly martial terminology (“first wave”, “brand initiative”) with “tween fashion” a wee bit telling.  Parents of Europe, we are about to attack your pre-pubescent daughters!  Surrender or be destroyed! 

“Bridging the gap between fashion and sport, a range of female specialist cycling shirts were launched in Evans Cycles.”

“Cycling shirts”, because nothing says “high end specialty fitness” like Patty & Selma.  But it’s about to get so much worse:

The programme will continue to roll out into stationery, soft furnishings and housewares.

Let me consult this copy of “Ladies Home Journal” from 1954.  Yep these are in there.

In 2011, Buchanan says that Fox is aiming to make Marge the ambassador for Mother’s Day – as Homer has become for Father’s Day – as well as driving opportunities for seasonal event POS for Mother’s Day, Valentines and Christmas.

Wait, wait, slow down there.  When did Homer become the “ambassador” for Father’s Day?  For that matter, what the hell does an “ambassador” for a made up holiday do?  Also, I’m pretty sure “POS” in this context is supposed to mean “Points of Sale”.  But it works much better if you use “Pieces of Shit”.  See:

as well as driving opportunities for seasonal event Pieces of Shit for Mother’s Day, Valentines and Christmas.

Not only does that make more sense, but it’s a more accurate description and reads better too. 

The strength of the main character’s personalities, their individual look and imagery are the main drivers of the LOS licensing programme.

They did it again!  This time I’m going with “Lots of Shit” instead of “Ladies of Springfield”. 

Marge, for example, is being positioned as a domestic goddess who keeps the family together, with product being targeted at over 18s. Lisa, meanwhile, is ‘Princess Prodigy” aimed at six to nine year-olds, tween/teens and adults, while Maggie has cute appeal and is aimed at the same demographics as Lisa.

Sadly 1-year-olds cannot make purchasing decisions on their own, so we’re going to target the baby at the same crowd as the 8-year-old.  And “Princess Prodigy”?  That’s an oxymoron.  While I understand the appeal of “princess” style marketing (because it means that your little girl gets to feel important and protected and oh-so-special) it might be useful to point out to her that in real life princesses are inbred dilettantes whose primary role is to serve as a unwilling family brood mare.  Just sayin’. 

Buchanan adds: “Maggie and Lisa both work well on apparel and accessories. Marge is ideal for Mother’s Day opportunities for gift, homewares and social expressions.

Social expressions”?  Like a sign that says “Fuck You And Your Sexist Marketing”? 

In addition, Marge’s recent appearance on the cover of Playboy is not only testament to the brand [it was the first time an animated character has been featured on the front cover], but a big statement for Marge herself. Not only is she a domestic goddess, but she’s a Playboy pin up.

You know what else she is?  A cartoon.  But never mind that, ladies please commence comparing your bodies to a drawing. 

From all accounts we are in the age of the ‘cougar’ and Patty and Selman who “Will Marry for Money” are perfect for humorous product applications to capture this current social trend.”

Okay, “Selman” is probably just a typo.  Even if we set aside the stupidity of the “cougar” as a concept, it’s not exactly Patty & Selma that would spring to mind as examples.  But no fad can go unused, I suppose. 

This year will see the Lots of Shit programme roll out strategically across stationery, bags and homewares, with other categories to follow. International Greetings is due to launch new back to school lines, DNC will have lunch bags and drinkware ranges available from spring, while Character World has developed Maggie duvet sets.

I made one change the quote above.  See if you can spot it.  

Moving on, and Fox L&M is looking to sign new partners in creative play, housewares and gift, as well as developing the healthcare, beauty and jewellery sectors. There will also be a strong focus on Marge for Mother’s Day in 2011.

Now we’re talking.  Let no effeminate product category escape!  Though I must admit I am curious about “creative play”.  Is that like art supplies and card games, or is it more like sex swings and dildos?  And can’t it be both?

“The continued TV support and worldwide recognition of The Simpsons characters is a firm foundation from which to grow the LOS in terms of new product categories, style guides and breadth of appeal and market,” says Buchanan. “Marge, Lisa and Maggie have the potential to be as popular as Homer and Bart, creating a fun male-female brand offering.”

Oh that first sentence is a dagger, “continued TV support”, the true motivation behind Zombie Simpsons.  Though I can’t help but be amused by an ostensibly equality minded goal like “a fun male-female brand offering” being achieved through rapacious exploitation of every conceivable female stereotype this side of a lesbian biker.  

So, where does Buchanan see the Ladies of Springfield in five years time? “Lisa and Maggie will be firmly established as leading girl characters from teens and tweens across key market categories such as toys, electronic, gifting and apparel, while Marge inspired gifting, homewares and greetings ranges will be firm favourites at retail for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Licensing opportunities for secondary characters Patty, Selma and Edna will also have been developed.”

I don’t find any of the above any more or less offensive than the rest of the crappy merchandise FOX has cranked out over the years.  In the end it’s all just more overpriced landfill fodder and I see no point in worrying about it.  But with the exception of the bizarrely out of place “cycling shirts” every single product or category of products mentioned here is as nakedly sexist as you could make it.  Which is not to say that “housewares” and duvet covers are illegitimate, or even that women are less likely to buy them, only that the exclusion of any other kind of product is as unsurprising as it is lazy. 

It’s all the more tragic when it comes to slapping Lisa’s image on these things since she’s as feminist, scientific and skeptical a character as you could ask for.  Where are the Lisa Simpson beach microscopes?  Or the Lisa Simpson saxophone stuff?  Or the Lisa Simpson hockey pads?  Or the Lisa Simpson line of “I like you as a friend, now please leave me alone” merchandise? 

Lisa Simpson is a globally recognized symbol that could, with just the tiniest bit of creativity, be used to market an enormous number of products that don’t often see branding of this type.  But the FOX licensing people have instead chosen to stagger forward and do the same lame old shit that has always been done.  I didn’t really expect anything different, and the show always had a tense relationship with all the crap that it was used to sell, but this is beyond parody.  Or at least it would be if The Simpsons hadn’t viciously parodied it already sixteen fucking years ago. 

26
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

“More cream corn, Jimbo Junior?” – Bart Simpson
“This cream corn tastes like cream crap.” – Jimbo Junior
“Watch the potty mouth honey.” – Bart Simpson

25
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

“I said ‘Step pause turn pause pivot step step,’ not “Step pause turn pause pivot step pause!’ Oh, shudder!” – Choreographer

24
Jan
10

DHS Editorial: The Future of Conan O’Brien

“They’re so sweet when you marry them, but soon it’s just career, career, career.” – Ruth Powers

The National Broadcasting Company has, with characteristic heavy handedness, managed to finally resolve its surfeit of late night comedians.  The outcome that was being speculated about from the time of the announcement of Jay Leno’s 10pm show has come to pass.  The immediate results of the recent brouhaha are fairly clear.  NBC has embarrassed itself on a scale hitherto unprecedented in the annals of American broadcasting.  In the process it managed to make a modern day folk hero out of a man to whom it’s been forced to pay a massive eight figure buyout.  That is no small feat.  The initial cost of that buyout and the smaller severance packages being paid to less famous employees has been reported at $45,000,000.   The damages to the brands, of NBC, “The Tonight Show”, and Mr. Leno himself, are as yet unknown.

The Dead Homer Society has no official position on who is a better late night host, Conan O’Brien or Jay Leno.  Neither is capable of lifting a 1987 Buick Skylark over his head.  And while the future of Mr. Leno on NBC seems assured, the future of Mr. O’Brien is the subject of heavy speculation.  As there are four major American networks and three of them already employ late night hosts much of that speculation has centered on the one that doesn’t: FOX.  And while we heartily endorse Mr. O’Brien’s return to that widely acknowledged bastion of quality television, it is not in the capacity which so many others seem to think him destined.

The Dead Homer Society hereby nominates Conan O’Brien for the head position at the show that genuinely launched his career: The Simpsons.  For many years now it has been plain to all that whatever creative energy once powered that august program has long since utterly dissipated.  Not only has Mr. O’Brien not lost his creative spark, but with his comedic stature and gold plated Simpsons reputation he may be the only man who could, in some genuine way, resuscitate The Simpsons.

Such a move would obviously come with its own drama.  The show’s current hierarchy is no doubt well entrenched, legally and organizationally.  But it is an opening with considerably greater potential than becoming the fourth late night host in a country that seems to do just fine with three.  Mr. O’Brien has already proved his dexterity behind and before the camera, and a season or two spent energizing a famous but moribund franchise would do nothing but burnish his sterling entertainment industry credentials.

24
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

“Perfectly level flying is the supreme challenge of the scale-model pilot.” – Milhouse Van Houten

23
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

"Now there’s a Machiavellian countenance… ooh, a sextet of ale." – Homer Simpson

22
Jan
10

Reading Digest: Unauthorized Reproduction Edition

Counterfeit Jeans

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user bsdfm.

“A counterfeit jeans ring operating out of my car hole!” – Homer Simpson

There were a lot more boring 20th anniversary links this week.  Here is a general paraphrase that sums up what I’m not bothering to link to this week:

The Simpsons has been on for 20 years.  I feel old.  Kids these days.  Hope they keep at it.

Aren’t all of our lives better without going through more of that?  If you want to add a little variety you can sprinkle in the occasional mention of Tracy Ullman and/or a statement about declining quality.  Instead of that we get to make fun of Mitch Albom and an astrologer, see another awesome t-shirt design, witness someone else employ the “it’s getting better!” trope, and check in with those great Samsonadzes.  Plus there’s counterfeit currency and Homer in an ad for weed. 

D’oh! I’m on ‘The Simpsons’ – Hey Albom, go fuck yourself.  And I’ll happily answer this question for you:

The plot was reminiscent of my book "Tuesdays With Morrie," and they even called the episode "Thursdays With Abie," and they wrote me into the show because, I don’t know, maybe they thought they’d get sued, which I wouldn’t have done because, frankly, I don’t know how to sue, and anyhow, why sue "The Simpsons"? I like the Simpsons, the cartoon group, not, you know, O.J.’s version.

They got you because they should’ve quit a long time ago, and you should’ve quit a long time ago, and it’s a big scary world out there for people who should’ve quit a long time ago.  (And if that first sentence is anything to go by they may have wanted to borrow some of your commas.)  Also, an O.J. joke?  Take that 1995!

Homer Simpson/Moai – This is a sweet threadless design.  It is not as cool as the other one, but what is? 

DVD Review: The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season – There’s nothing you really need to read here.  Half of it is just a discourse on the history of the show (and it gets some basic facts wrong).  Then there’s this at the end:

After a few seasons that just seemed a little tired, the writing on The Simpsons has improved dramatically.

Has it now? 

Weed Mags Sprout Across Los Angeles – Medical marijuana has opened up new opportunities for publishing, albeit in very rough cut form:

It’s a young industry, where key players are still emerging, and the rules of engagement are fluid and often don’t meet professional standards. The result is a Wild West moment: Full-page pot ads include copyrighted images of Marilyn Monroe, Homer Simpson and the Incredible Hulk — corporate properties unlikely to be licensed to a corner marijuana shop.

“Unlikely to be licensed” is a wonderfully dry understatement. 

Homer Simpson named ‘honorary Aussie’ – Apparently a magazine called “Ralph” now handles Australia’s naturalization process. 

Curlers welcome Homer Simpson to the ice -  This is an article about curling that touches on the upcoming Zombie Simpsons episode. 

Free Will Astrology: January 20, 2010 – Mixing some pop culture into your batshit stupid advice eh?

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Cartoon character Homer Simpson is on record as saying that whenever he learns something new, it pushes some old stuff out of his brain. For example, when he took a course in home wine-making, he forgot how to drive. But I don’t see this being a problem for you as you enter the High-Intensity Educational Season, a time when your capacity to find and absorb new teachings will be at a peak. If you push hard to learn new lessons, you will certainly not cause the expulsion of old lessons. On the contrary, you’ll dramatically enhance the power and brightness of what you’ve already learned.

Well played astrology fucktard, well played.  I would like my “brightness” enhanced, do you perhaps have something for sale I may purchase?  You do.  I thought so, and what’s that?  A 900 number?  How deliciously retro. 

In Defense of ‘Pants on the Ground’ – Fads come and fads go, but there is always The Simpsons:

In a long-ago “Simpsons” episode, Krusty the Clown is booted from his show after being outperformed by a popular ventriloquist. He is found destitute on the street by Bart and Lisa, holding a sign that says “Will Drop Pants for Food.” When the children ask him how it’s going, he says he’s having no luck because someone else is giving it away for free. Cut to an old man, his pants around his ankles, singing “The Old Gray Mare.”

Krusty moves in with the Simpson family to get himself and his comedy act back in shape. When he thinks he’s ready to return to show business, he turns on the television to see a chorus of old men, their pants around their ankles, singing “The Old Gray Mare.”

Whom are we laughing at there? The old men or the people who put them on television?

I’m laughing at both.

Bert Simpson – Weird but sweet Bart like drawing. 

Bart named top Simpsons character – Someone actually commissioned a poll for this:

Homer Simpson was second, with Lisa and Maggie in third and fourth places respectively.

"Picking up nearly half of all the votes cast, Bart was a clear winner – demonstrating the ongoing popularity of Springfield’s anarchic first son with UK Simpsons fans," said Jo Browne, brand manager of Simpsons Comics.

Krusty the Clown, Marge, Mr Burns, Ned Flanders, Moe and Santa’s Little Helper completed the top ten.

My favorite character is Langdon Alger. 

Simpsons Classics: Bart Gets an F – I could quibble with a few things here, but on the whole this is a very smart piece. 

Upcoming guests on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN Jan 20th – February 1st – Letterman’s Top Ten list on Monday the 25th will be read by Homer.  Meh.

Funniest Brit since the Monty Python gang – This is just a news roundup article most of which has nothing to do with Simpsons.  Here’s the awesome part:

Springfield’s nuclear power plant is on the reverse: Malaysian police have arrested a Lebanese man who was carrying $66 million in counterfeit currency, including bills with face values of $100,000 and $1 million. The largest U.S. currency note in wide circulation is the $100 bill.

Suspicions also were raised when a closer look at the $1 million bill showed the portrait of billionaire C. Montgomery Burns from “The Simpsons.”

The Simpsons go Caucasian – It’s more of the Samsonadzes and while I can’t understand a lick of it if you watch the clip it looks like Vladimir Putin gives someone a booting:

Rewind The DVR – And finally I get to end the way I like, with someone else who doesn’t like Zombie Simpsons:

I have to admit, I haven’t watched the Simpsons in years.  Somewhere about 4-5 years ago, it went from must watch, to maybe watch, to just not interested.  I still pine for the days of Mr. Sparkle, Guatemalan Insanity Peppers and Sideshow Bob stepping on rakes.  Maybe it was the re-emergence of Family Guy, but Homer and company went completely off my radar.  Since it was the 20th anniversary and 450th episode, I did feel compelled to watch.  It’s been six days, and all I can remember is that Anne Hathaway was a guest star and that I’ll go back to forgetting about The Simpsons again.
EPISODE GRADE:  D

I’d go with an F but other than that, spot on. 

22
Jan
10

Idiocy Confirmed

“I can’t stand this any longer, somebody please pay attention to me!” – Bart Simpson

Glyn Stott, he of the idiotic plan to watch all of The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons in a row, was interviewed by a radio show in Britain.  After listening to it any reservations I had about criticizing this guy evaporated.  There are two important parts.

The first is the hilarity at the 3:00 minute mark when Generic UK DJ Guy asks him about “Cape Feare” and neither of them can remember the title of the Robert de Niro movie (which was itself a remake).  I find this amusing because the title of the episode is, with the exception of the silent “e”, identical to the title of the film.  Stott gets it eventually, but the fact that he can’t remember the title of one of the most famous episodes does not speak well for his legitimacy as a superfan.

After that Generic UK DJ Guy asks him some triflingly easy questions (“What musical instrument does Lisa play?”) and then discusses his stupid plan.  The second important part starts at about the 5:45 mark when we learn some interesting things.  He’s been planning this for more than a year and he’s been trying to schedule it with some Guinness affiliated television show.  But it doesn’t reach the pinnacle of dumbassery until about the 6:45 mark when he says this:

“And since then it’s been one poor man in America trying to convert the old video tapes, twenty years worth of video tapes, over to DVD for me.  So my heart goes out to him at the moment but I know they’ve been working very very hard and trying to get this challenge done completely.  And it’d be a good milestone as well for the 20th anniversary.”

Face palmingly obvious problems here:

  • 65% of the 20 completed seasons (1-12, 20) are already available on DVD.
  • All other episodes are available to anyone with an internet connection via BitTorrent.
  • Morgan Spurlock, very recently and very publicly, watched every episode.  He didn’t do it in one sitting, but neither was he under the impression that for him to do so there had to be some tragic soul sitting in a dismal editing bay copying shit from VHS.

Glyn Stott is either a) really dumb, b) a desperate publicity whore, or c) both.  Commence all appropriate internet mockery.

22
Jan
10

Quote of the Day

“Another day, another box of stolen pens.” – Homer Simpson




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