Archive for December, 2010

31
Dec
10

Reading Digest: Retrospective Edition

Summer of 4 Ft 2(6)

“Ah, the reward for a year’s worth of toil and sacrifice: Retrospecticus.” – Lisa Simpson 

It being the end of the year and all, people are taking stock and looking back.  This week that includes one long generalize look back at the show and two people who did what I did and looked back at “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”.  In addition to that we’ve got lots of usage, retrospectives on other Christmas specials, David Silverman’s New Year’s card, old t-shirts, and a couple of people finding inner peace through The Simpsons.

Enjoy.

Review of Daft Puck’s album Tron: Legacy Original Soundtrack released through EMI – It opens with excellent usage in the form of a paraphrase of Milhouse:

They started out like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy.

Ralphie Parker vs. Ralph Wiggum – Comparing the Ralphs from “A Christmas Story” and The Simpsons

I start to see The Simpsons – A guy from northern Iran is just getting started with The Simpsons.  This is awesome:

I knew that this cartoon may have copy right but something that you might knew that is in my country we don’t have any sales with this products and the other side we don’t have lows for stop the copyright brokers. So to this time I download 3 seasons of Simpsons but see 4 episode of it and I can tell you that were amazing and I enjoy it and tell you that you might see it!

Cheers to Amin in Iran.

2. The Simpsons – A well written retrospective that doesn’t dance around the sad existence of Zombie Simpsons. 

BUY ME BONESTORM OR GO TO HELL! – Co-sign:

A fantastic quote from an otherwise sub-par episode.

Whats hot on the street: Vintage Black Bart Simpson t-shirts – Sweet old Simpsons t-shirts.  In the irony department, the only one actually being worn appears to be on a white guy. 

My Favorite Movie – Animated .gif of man getting hit by football. 

Week 21 Review: The Satisfaction of Pop-Culture Exegesis, or The Unexamined Simpsons Episode is Not Worth Watching – An examination of “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, including an in depth examination of Lisa’s gentle but thorough evisceration of Patty for thoughtlessly bashing Homer:

And then the way that Aunt Patty dismisses Lisa is compelling to me. She pauses, considers what Lisa just said, and then just tells her to watch her cartoon. Does she do this because she feels embarrassed that she’s been called out by her niece? Does she not fully understand what Lisa’s just said? Or perhaps she’s just decided she’d rather not think too deeply about the implications of Lisa’s statements?

If I may take a stab at answering that, I’ve always loved Patty’s dismissal of Lisa.  The Simpsons had that wonderful anti-authority streak to it, and this is just one of the many subtle forms it takes.  Even though Lisa won the argument hands down, Patty, by dint of her senior position in the family pecking order, is able to just blow her off.  The kid is right, but the adult wins. 

My Favourite Christmas TV Specials – Our old friend Charles at Animation Anomaly takes a look some Matt Groening Christmas specials. 

Excellent – Adorable picture of an infant doing the Mr. Burns thing with his/her fingers.  There’s even excellent usage beneath it. 

Simpsons Wedding Cake – A sweet Simpsons cake complete with excellent usage from “Secrets of a Successful Marriage”. 

Simpson cupcake set – Fredy – Pretty much what it says, Simpsons cupcakes. 

Yes, I AM making fun of The Simpsons. – An eight pane comic that ends with Lisa’s nightmare future from “Lisa the Simpson”. 

So this is the New Year… – Welcoming the new year with a sense of inner calm thanks to the meditative effect of a ten minute YouTube video of “Dental Plan-Lisa Needs Braces”. 

No More Emotional Pink Bellies – Vowing not to beat oneself up because, as Bart says, “That belly ain’t gonna get any pinker.” 

David Silverman – Simpson alum David Silverman’s New Year’s card for this year. 

25 Days of Christmas Episodes Day 16: The Simpsons – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open fire” – Another long look at the first episode.  It’s worth reading in full, but I’m going to end with this:

The problem with writing about The Simpsons is that there’s so much to say. Despite its current state as a shell of its former self, this is a show that sustained a level of brilliance for a length of time that I don’t think has ever been achieved before in this medium.

Damn right.

31
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Flaming Moe's3

“Take it easy Homer, I learned how to make other drinks at bartender school.  Gin and . . . tonic?  Do they mix?” – Moe

30
Dec
10

The Frying Game Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo1

“Before I go I want to say something. Game shows aren’t about cruelty. They’re about greed, and wonderful prizes like poorly built catamarans. But somewhere along the line you lost your way. For shame.” – Homer Simpson

This is the final sentence of the plot summary on the Wikipedia entry for “The Frying Game”:

Carmen Electra tries to explain, but Homer is too busy looking at her chest.

Nothing further need be said. There are nine people who felt the need to commiserate though, including Groening and token woman Deb Lacusta.

0:50 – The “Screamapillar” was Swartzwelder’s idea. And it was Castellaneta who did the screaming, so they had to be mindful of not wearing out his voice. Jean casually mentions that there was a lot of screaming in the movie. Yeah, we know.

2:00 – Lacusta was about to tell a story about when she knew Swartzwelder back in Chicago, but then the Screamapillar appeared and they all stop to listen to Castellaneta’s yells.

2:30 – Lacusta’s story resumes. She use to work at an advertising agency with Swartzwelder, and he almost never came out of his office, but was still kind of the star of the office.

3:30 – This leads to general reminiscing about Swartzwelder and how he got to write from home eventually.

5:00 – Still going on about Swartzwelder. It’s fun. Someone asked of he was conservative, but Jean didn’t really think so. During the Clinton Administration he would talk about how he thought Clinton would end up being hung from a tree while he was President, but Jean didn’t think he was trying to do anything other than piss off the mostly liberal writing staff.

6:00 – The episode is falling apart on screen, but everyone’s still joking around about Swartzwelder. Before he got started he would write letters to celebrities asking if he could have a thousand dollars. Nobody ever responded, but he didn’t think it hurt to try.

6:45 – Long silence.

7:00 – Laughing at the improbability of their goofy game show setup and how seriously people took the ending.

7:45 – Another long silence.

8:30 – They’re telling a story about Dana Gould and Vampira. Apparently he helped her out in her final years and even helped pay for her funeral. This leads to much laughing about the complication of vampire funerals.

9:10 – Tom Gammill, who is easy to like on these commentaries because he comes across like a true goofball, asks Lacusta how she and Castellaneta met. It was an improv class in Chicago. Castellaneta was wearing brown plaid polyester and she thought she could work with that.

10:15 – As Lacusta’s story winds down, Jean picks up the thread and says that Mike Reiss’s wife met him similarly. The first time she saw him he was on stage hosting a talent show. On screen, there was just a phony murder.

10:45 – More fun personal facts while Homer and Marge are being ham handedly framed for murder. Castellaneta doesn’t lapse into Homer’s voice when he’s mad, but Lacusta finds it amusing that “D’oh!” is part of the vernacular now.

11:20 – Castellaneta once recorded an answering machine message for a friend in Homer’s voice, but it instantly filled up with people making Simpsons jokes.

12:00 – Bored with the episode, they’re laughing about getting GPS direction in Homer’s voice.

12:10 – Jean’s recounting tales of Nancy Cartwright surprising people with the Bart voice.

12:40 – Jean remarks that once, in a different episode, they cut a joke of Lovejoy driving past the church marquee and commenting on how he never sees those messages on it.

12:55 – More tangentially related tidbits. In Hollywood you really can take a tour of places people are buried just like Otto is doing on screen right now.

13:30 – Still talking about all the tours of places people died or are buried, which leads to thrilling tales of whose in-laws were in town while this was recorded. That last part is not a typo.

14:10 – After a small silence and the realization that the commentary had completely left the orbit of the episode, Jean asks director Michael Polcino if he has anything to add. He doesn’t, though it then comes up that Polcino has never met Swartzwelder.

14:40 – Jean takes the opportunity to recount and deny the old rumor that John Swartzwelder was a made up name that the staff used whenever they had written an episode together.

15:15 – That leads to more Swartzwelder stories. I guess he has sometimes rented out the Mariners stadium in Seattle so that he and his friends can play baseball in a Major League park. There is some debate as to whether or not they play by very old rules when they do this and discussion of Swartzwelder’s love of baseball history.

15:50 – Homer and Marge were just convicted of murder during a rather long silence.

16:30 – They notice the episode long enough to mention the priest versus minister fight.

17:00 – Now they’re talking about prisoners last meals and the death penalty in general. Jean’s opposed to it.

18:20 – There’s a very brief part that’s like The Green Mile here, and I guess Michael Clark Duncan was on the FOX lot that day for something else but didn’t want to come in and play himself. My affinity for Michael Clark Duncan just increased.

18:45 – That segues into Jean talking about that Stephen King book with the dome.

19:30 – The usual nervous laughter and bad excuses are being made as the ending twists.

20:00 – That leads to discussion of other reality shows and how bad they are.

21:00 – And then it ends.

30
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Bart's Dog Gets an F8

“Is my dog dead, ma’am?” – Bart Simpson
“You don’t know how often I’m asked that.  ‘Choke chain’ is a misnomer, trust me, they are always breathing.” – Emily Winthrop

Happy birthday Tracey Ullman! 

29
Dec
10

I Am Furious (Yellow) Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Stan Lee

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user heath_bar. 

“How about if we tell you our problems with relationships?” – Principal Skinner
“Yeah, yeah, that’ll eat up some time.” – Homer Simpson

Stan Lee did a guest voice in this episode and they invited him back for the commentary. If you’ve read any of the previous installments in this series, or listened to any of these commentaries, you can probably guess what happens. This is basically twenty-two minutes of them shooting the shit with Stan Lee.

The episode itself is about as lazy and uncreative as they come, though that’s hardly unusual for Zombie Simpsons. In case you’ve forgotten, it involves Homer getting the shit beaten out of him for pretty much the entire episode. But thanks to Lee, they won’t have to talk about it at all.

Ten guys on this one, including Groening and Lee.

0:30 – Jean’s praising Lee like he’s introducing him in front of a Ladies Auxiliary or something.

1:05 – Lee’s answering a question about “Fantastic Four”.

1:40 – Selman is recounting the premise of this story by kissing up to Groening and Lee.

2:30 – Much self congratulatory chuckling going on.

3:10 – Jean’s asking Lee generic fanboy questions. It’s actually mildly entertaining, though I get the sense that Lee is giving a speech he’s given at conventions and in interviews several hundred times.

4:15 – Lee’s speech ends, and the questions about comic books continue.

4:45 – Lee’s recounting the story of how Wolverine got created.

5:40 – After some talk about various internet animation projects the writers were involved in, Stan Lee shows up on screen and everyone shuts up.

6:10 – After a long silence, they resume kissing Lee’s ass.

6:50 – This is Chris Farley Show level. Jean literally just reminded Lee of a time he was in one of the comic books as himself and asked him how cool it was.

7:40 – Lee is at least game for having his ass kissed. It’s kind of entertaining, though I continue to get the feeling he can do this in his sleep.

8:40 – See above. On screen Homer just had a couch fall on him.

9:30 – I don’t know Matt Selman, I don’t know what he’s like in real life, and I don’t want to pick on the guy, but he really comes across as a brown nose in these commentaries. He just asked Stan Lee if he would win in a fight against Spike Lee, and laughed heartily at the response when most everyone else remained silent.

10:35 – Mildly interesting animation note here about how they did the computer animations for Bart’s comic. They were going to use Flash, but the Flash department at Film Roman couldn’t do it in time, so it’s faked Flash.

11:40 – Animation interlude over, it’s back to asking Lee questions.

12:20 – Selman asks Lee about which of the recent big comic book movies made changes that annoyed him the most. The winner? Spider-Man 3 and their gigantic Sandman. Holy crap that movie was boring.

13:10 – Whoa, irony alert. Lee’s criticizing the sloppy plotting of Spider-Man 3 and Jean agrees with him.

13:30 – Selman asks which character Lee wants to see get a movie. It’s Dr. Strange.

14:10 – Jean asks Lee when he knew Spider-man and such would be popular. Oh, and this episode is basically nothing but Homer getting hurt.

15:15 – Lee’s talking about how he likes to write standing up, which prompts Selman to compliment him on his figure. Lee actually gets a little embarrassed, but Selman keeps it up.

Look, I’ve never met anyone I’m a huge fan of, and I’d probably turn into a simpering pile of fanboy mush around a lot of people, but this is really out of hand. Selman is just relentless, filling even the tiniest opening in the conversation with some question or comment that flatters Lee. I feel bad for both of them.

16:20 – The commentary takes a brief second to notice the episode, but then quickly returns to the Mutual Admiration Society. Meanwhile, Homer just got hit with a piano.

17:20 – Reminiscing about how “Three Men and a Comic Book” was one of the first times a comic convention or any of that culture was portrayed on television.

18:30 – After a little talk about how it made sense when Homer turns into the Hulk, Lee says that one of the best things about the show is how logical and realistic it is, how “they are just like the people next door”. He was being sincere, but there was some laughter when he said it. Not everyone knew he wasn’t kidding because they know how crazy the show has gotten even if he doesn’t. Jean responds, “Would you mind going on-line and saying that?”.

19:15 – That leads to Jean asking how Lee heard from fans back in the day. They got letters, but I get the sense that most of them were positive. Meanwhile, the show is earning its Hulk moment by dragging Homer upside down through cactuses and diapers.

20:50 – True to form, they’re going out with more about how awesome Lee and his work are.

21:30 – A big part of Lee’s shtick is half-ragging on D.C. Comics, and that causes someone to say “D.C. is your Family Guy”. Okay, that’s kinda funny.

21:45 – And we end on applause.

29
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa4

“Sorry kids, the trip to Albany is off, and there is to be no more recycling.” – Principal Skinner
“But we didn’t do that badly.  We collected enough paper to save one whole tree.” – Lisa Simpson

28
Dec
10

Wonder-Homer

Homer at the Bat4

“Something told me this was a very special, very magical piece of wood . . . that I could make a bat out of.” – Homer Simpson

What do you see in the picture below?

Homero-Simpson-1

If all you see is a pile of wood in a plastic bad then you are only partially correct.  For at the time this picture was taken, one of those pieces of wood held a bitching carving of Homer Simpson.  Click here for the full gallery of images, from unformed to carefully carved with hair on top.  I know I say this a lot, but projects like this one are a million times cooler than any amount of collectable plastic. 

28
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Mr. Plow2

“Mr. Plow, for making it possible for people to get where they’re going without resorting to public transportation or carpooling, I give you the key to the city.” – Mayor Quimby

27
Dec
10

Knowing When to Hang It Up

We get a fair amount of traffic here from random message boards where The Simpsons comes up in conversation and someone posts a link to us.  This is often in the midst of one of the usual spats about when the show fell apart or whether or not Family Guy is better.  About a month ago I was reading through one of these threads (though I neglected to save the link, whoops) and someone posted an excellent quote from Bill Watterson, the guy behind “Calvin and Hobbes”. 

Thanks to Google, I was able to find the quote (bold in the original):

Readers became friends with your characters, so understandably, they grieved — and are still grieving — when the strip ended. What would you like to tell them?

This isn’t as hard to understand as people try to make it. By the end of 10 years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say.

It’s always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip’s popularity and repeated myself for another five, 10 or 20 years, the people now "grieving" for "Calvin and Hobbes" would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I’d be agreeing with them.

I think some of the reason "Calvin and Hobbes" still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it.

I’ve never regretted stopping when I did.

If The Simpsons had finished up after nine or ten seasons it’s not hard to picture alternate reality Matt Groening saying the exact same thing. 

27
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

“Don’t worry, Simpson, it just so happens I have a chair at Springfield University.” – C.M. Burns

Springfield University Chair

26
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Like Father, Like Clown3

“You’ve reached the party line.  In a moment you’ll be connected to a hot party with some of the world’s most beautiful women.  Now, let’s join the party.” – Party Line Recording
“Hello?” – Krusty the Klown
“Hello?” – Lonely Man #1
“Hello?” – Lonely Man #2
“Are there any women here?” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Hello?” – Krusty the Klown
“Are you a beautiful woman?” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Do I sound like a beautiful woman?” – Krusty the Klown
“This is not as hot a party as I had anticipated.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

25
Dec
10

The Passion of Homer Simpson

“I don’t deserve you as much as a guy with a fat wallet and a credit card that won’t set off that horrible beeping.” – Homer Simpson

Many horrible things befall American everyman Homer Simpson in “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”. With the quick and relatively harmless exceptions of a snow cushioned fall off the roof and hitting his head on the doorframe of Santa’s workshop, these things aren’t physical. Nor, for that matter, are they malicious or deliberate. Ned Flanders is far too guileless to understand that his Christmas decorations are humiliating to Homer. Bart isn’t trying to break Homer’s spirit when he gets a tattoo or yanks off Homer’s fake Santa beard. Even Burns, who cancels Homer’s Christmas bonus, doesn’t do so to screw Homer, he’s just greedy about preserving “management pay raises”. The world is indifferent to Homer Simpson, and that much crueler for being so.

Over twenty-two minutes, we watch Homer stumble through one vile task after another. It begins with the enforced boredom of the school Christmas pageant. The unrelenting tedium of such events is supposed to be made worthwhile by getting to see your child perform, but Homer is denied even that solace when Bart is physically yanked off stage. Not that home provides any comfort, Homer’s openly contemptuous sisters-in-law have installed themselves in the one place he can usually find rest.

Neither the tattoo fiasco nor the cancelled bonus are Homer’s fault, he didn’t even have any warning. Nevertheless, he is consumed with guilt, and as he begins to confess his inadequacies to Marge, she responds with nothing but love, and it nearly breaks his heart. It’s a genuinely touching scene, and Homer, ever the dimwit, completely misinterprets his wife.

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire3

Instead of seeing Marge’s affection and sympathy as a way to share his burdens, he doubles his resolve and takes up the mantle of the unlikeliest Christmas hero. His sense of purpose is stronger than steel, but his efforts to provide a picture perfect holiday are as doomed as they are bumbling. Disaster follows disaster.

No sooner has he talked himself into gifts so wildly off the mark that they might be worse than nothing does his unwitting nemesis Flanders reappear to shatter his illusions. Distraught, he latches on to a new plan even though it’s been recommended by a man Homer knows to be an incompetent drunk.

Trusting in the utterly untrustworthy, Homer hitches his hopes to the ass end of Christmas commercialism and moonlights as a mall Santa. Despite his endearing sincerity and actual hard work – at a job that doesn’t even give him lunch – Homer’s labors net him a hopelessly chintzy thirteen dollars. Then, in one of the harshest ironies in Christmas television history, Homer disbelieves his drunken idiot friend the one time the besotted fool happens to be right.

Worse, it’s revealed that this second stage of the plan was in Barney’s head all along. Homer has suffered yet another inadvertent blow, including exposing his failure to his only son, by simple omission. Homer consents to press ahead only when Bart, in a scalpel sharp piece of satire, invokes the improbably miraculous history of Christmas television. Compelled by desperation and the love of the only thing that’s ever done him right, Homer keeps chasing the glorious teevee Christmas that, deep down, he knows is dissolving by the minute.

And so we come to the dog track, as atypical a setting for cinematic endings as possible, where Homer’s futile pursuit of Christmas sabotages him once again. Against the advice of the son who invoked television miracles in the first place, Homer bets it all on Jimmy Stewart and Kris Kringle in the form of a dog named Santa’s Little Helper. As everyone but him can see, Homer is wrong. The race itself doesn’t even offer the solace of suspense: the improbable Christmas underdog is instantly defeated.

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire4

Beaten but unbroken, far lower than he thought he would ever sink, Homer scours a cold and dirty parking lot for the grimy miracle of a discarded winning ticket. When he stands up from this hopeless task, you can almost see him surveying the barren wasteland of failure to which his gallant intentions have brought him. Outside of a dog track he didn’t want his son at in the first place, Homer finds himself scratching at the harsh, unsympathetic asphalt on which even the pathetic and the penniless trod with dignity.

When salvation does arrive in the form of the dog that lost his hard earned thirteen dollars, Homer doesn’t recognize his luck. This may seem like a minor point, but it is crucial to who Homer Simpson is and why we root for him. He agrees to take in Santa’s Little Helper not because his family will love him for it, but because he recognizes the kindred spirit of the serially defeated. He doesn’t see a solution to his problems in those vacant brown eyes; he acts out of pure, unthinking sympathy. For there is no hope left in Homer Simpson, he has been broken, down to the very fibers of his being and his heart of hearts.

When his family meets the dog and he inadvertently succeeds, surprise is the only thing he registers. In the truest spirit of comedy and Christmas fairy tales, he wins in spite of himself. His mistakes, piled one atop the other so high that he couldn’t see past them, brought about the happy result his deliberate actions never could. The hopeless hero, clueless to the end, he won without winning.

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire5

25
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

The Front7

“Bart, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” – Lisa Simpson
“Probably not . . . Lie in the snow and count to sixty! . . . Hi-yah! . . . Merry Christmas, suckers!” – Bart Simpson

The Front8

24
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire4

“That just leaves little Maggie.  Oh look, a little squeak toy!  It says it’s for dogs, but she can’t read.” – Homer Simpson

23
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Blood Feud4

“Mr. Burns is suffering from what we medical men call hypohemia.  In layman’s terms, it’s quite simply a lack of blood.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Damn it doctor, I’m no idiot, I know what hypohemia is!  What I want to know is what can we do about it?” – Mr. Smithers
“Well, at this point our only hope is a transfusion.” – Dr. Hibbert
“How long does it take to sterilize a needle?” – Mr. Smithers
“A few seconds.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Well skip it!  Just leave me enough to get home!” – Mr. Smithers

Happy birthday Harry Shearer!

22
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

$pringfield3

“Your lifelong dream was to be a contestant on ‘The Gong Show’, and you did it in 1977, remember?” – Marge Simpson
“We got more gongs than the break dancing robot that caught on fire.” – Homer Simpson

21
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Itchy & Scratchy Movie Promo

“Bart, come quick, there’s an Itchy & Scratchy movie!” – Lisa Simpson
“If you want suspense . . . romance . . . you’ll find it at the Itchy & Scratchy movie, coming soon to a theater near you.  Fifty-three percent new footage.” – TV Announcer

Happy Birthday Phil Roman!

20
Dec
10

Year End Posting Schedule

The PTA Disbands4

“Milhouse, I found a hive of killer bees.  You want to go throw rocks at it?” – Bart Simpson
“Sorry Bart, I’m deeply immersed in the Teapot Dome Scandal.” – Milhouse van Houten
“Huh?” – Bart Simpson
“However, it might be feasible in a fortnight.” – Milhouse van Houten
“Wha?” – Bart Simpson
“I can play in two weeks.” – Milhouse van Houten
“Juh?” – Bart Simpson

Apologies in advance for the vagueness of this, but posting is going to be random and light for the next couple of weeks (quotes of the day will continue as usual, of course).  I was hoping to stick to something resembling a regular schedule, but it looks like that’s not in the cards.  In addition to a few other things, there should be a some more “Lies Make Baby Jesus Cry” though.  Those trailed off after that six week stretch of new Zombie Simpsons, and I very much want to send Disc 4 of Season 13 back to Netflix so it can blight someone else’s DVD player. 

Many thanks to all our commenters and the many more silent readers. 

20
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Itchy and Scratchy and Marge5

“But Mom, if you take our cartoons away we’ll grow up without a sense of humor and be robots!” – Lisa Simpson
“Really?  What kind of robots?” – Bart Simpson

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”!  Original airdate 20 December 1990.

19
Dec
10

Quote of the Day

Big Dipper & North Star

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user joiseyshowaa.

“Remember Dad, the handle of the Big Dipper points to the North Star.” – Lisa Simpson
“That’s nice, Lisa, but we’re not in astronomy class, we’re in the woods.” – Homer Simpson

Note: It’s actually the handle of the Little Dipper, but such things were a lot harder to look up in 1989.




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