“You really think I did okay out there, Mom?” – Lisa Simpson
“Absolutely, honey. By blocking the net, I really think you helped your team.” – Marge Simpson
Happy birthday Mike Scully!
“Tell you what, Simpson, I won’t fail you if you join one of those pee-wee teams outside the school.” – Gym Teacher
“You mean those leagues where parents push their kids into vicious competition to compensate for their own failed dreams of glory?” – Lisa Simpson
“Look, I don’t need this. I inhaled my favorite whistle this morning.” – Gym Teacher
“And how are the little kids doing? I mean, really how are they doing? Any disabling injuries, something, say, that the gambling community might not yet know about? C’mere, let me see those knees.” – Moe
“Moe, I think you should leave.” – Marge Simpson
“But Blanche, you gotta help me out here, please! I’m sixty-four grand in the hole! They’re gonna take my thumbs!” – Moe
“I know. How about we play the basketball. I’m no Harvey Globetrotter, but-” – Marge Simpson
“Ahh. . .” – Bart Simpson
Yesterday afternoon, venerably contradictory web magazine Slate published an article called “Has Liz Lemon Become “Dumbass Homer”?”. (As you can probably guess, it’s about whether or not 30 Rock is going downhill the way The Simpsons did.) Set aside the question mark in the headline for a second and look at that term, “Dumbass Homer”. I’ve probably called Homer a dumbass before, but it’s not a capitalized term I’ve ever seen people use. The term commonly in use, here, at No Homers, and on other sites where Simpsons discussions happen (going all the way back to 1998), is “Jerkass Homer”. Here’s the section in question:
Some put the show’s point of no return at the ninth season episode “The Principal and the Pauper,” where it’s revealed that Springfield Elementary principal Seymour Skinner is, and always has been, an impostor, real name Armin Tamzarian, who pulled a Don Draper-like switcheroo with a presumed-dead comrade from the Vietnam War—the idea being that in the process the show turned up its nose at eight seasons of established continuity. But one of the most persistent early criticisms had to do with the character some fans called “Homer the idiot,” or simply “dumbass Homer.”
He’s got two terms in quotes that I’ve never seen anyone use with any frequency. Now, if this was just some random person off the street, or an article about gardening, or even a professional writer whose beat rarely included television or pop culture, this would be no big deal. But this is on a self described “Culture Blog” and the author of the piece, Sam Adams, has written for:
the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Out New York, the Onion A.V. Club, and the Philadelphia City Paper.
But if you google “homer the idiot” you get basically nothing. “Dumbass Homer” also gives bupkis, except for this Slate article at #1. “Jerkass Homer”, on the other hand, has three times as many results and has the Wikipedia page for Homer Simpson as its first result. In that Wikipedia article, under a section called “Character Development” you will find:
Chris Suellentrop of Slate wrote, "under Scully’s tenure, The Simpsons became, well, a cartoon. [...] Episodes that once would have ended with Homer and Marge bicycling into the sunset [...] now end with Homer blowing a tranquilizer dart into Marge’s neck." Fans have dubbed this incarnation of the character "Jerkass Homer".
They’re referencing your magazine! And it’s on the first Wikipedia page you should’ve checked.
Obviously this isn’t a world stopping mistake, and it doesn’t materially affect the main idea of the article. But it does indicate a disturbing incuriosity. No one, not the author, not the editor, not whoever wrote the headline, checked Wikipedia or Google before sounding authoritative about “one of the most persistent early criticisms” of The Simpsons. (Or, if they did, they did a piss poor job of it.) If you’re going to make generalizations like that, it’s best to know what you’re talking about.
Doing a little research, literally just a couple of minutes, will make a better case and keep nitpicky jerks on the internet from making fun of you. I’d also suggest hiring a few more editors, because the ones you have seem to be overworked.
Thanks for the link and the title to reader Patrick R.
“Attention, this is Principal Skinner, your principal, with a message from the principal’s office. All students please proceed immediately to an assembly in the Butthead Memorial Auditorium. Damn it, I wish we hadn’t let the students name that one.” – Principal Skinner
“Mom, this is really scary. I’m going to get my first F ever.” – Lisa Simpson
“Cheer up, so you’re not good at sports. It’s a very small part of life.” – Marge Simpson
“Sports, sports, sports, sports, sports, sports, sports, sports.” – Homer Simpson
Sometimes The Simpsons helps explain sports, and sometimes sports takes after The Simpsons. This week there’s a bit of both as we’ve got a sideburns related NBA trade theory, an NHL goalie whose keen on Flanders, some excellent NFL lockout related usage, and an explanation for Bart’s birthday that involves soccer. In addition to those, there’s some regular usage, a couple of cool fan made things, a couple of bizarre links I can hardly describe, and a person who has seen the light thanks to our incessant bitching about Zombie Simpsons. Praise Jebus! Oh, and anyone reading this who is or was a teenage girl, prepare to clutch your Trapper Keeper: it’s the real Cory Hotline!
I Chew-Chew-Choose You – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this fan made rendition of everyone’s favorite valentine:
This is a semi original concept I drew up based off of a Valentines day card Ralph gave Lisa on the Simpsons. It’s a little late for VD, but it’s infectious non-the-less. *snicker/snort* a little zombie humor for ya…
Gory, Story, Allegory – It’s too horrible, you cannot look away:
In the category of things I saw on The Simpsons without realizing they were real, here’s a commercial that I somehow missed seeing when Corey Haim died.
I knew there was a hotline, I didn’t know how awful the commercial was.
The Day Twitter Gave Birth to Bart Simpson – Our friend Denise Du Vernay, of that Simpsons in the classroom book, took the time to figure out why Twitter mysteriously decided it was Bart’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. The answer involves soccer, an ambiguous tweet, and herd mentality.
Project 365 – day 28 – An incredible and creepy fan made photograph of a Mr. Burns doll titled “Nosferatu”. Highly recommended.
30 Burgers in 30 Days: Mom’s Burgers in Compton (Day 20) – Excellent usage:
"If the paper turns clear," says Dr. Nick Riviera, holding up a fast-food wrapper, translucent with grease, "It’s your window to weight gain!"
The cheerfully incompetent doctor on The Simpsons would approve of Mom’s Burgers.
Now I’m hungry.
Life Decisions, As Explained By The Simpsons – YouTube of the dystopian nightmare of Lionel Hutz.
Ay Carumba! – A fan made Bart . . . pinata? The Flickr caption says it was to be burned at midnight, and it appears to be wishing everyone a happy 2011, so I don’t think “pinata” is the right word, but it’s pretty close (via rubbrcatsimp on Twitter).
The Case of Klipspringer’s Shoes–Part 2 of 3 – I’m not entirely sure what to make of this, but it does contain excellent usage from the focus group scene in “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” in regards to the end of “Huckleberry Finn”.
0510 – This one I am entirely not sure what to make of. There are animated .gifs with exposed boobs, pictures of girls in various states of undress, a sailing ship, and an animated .gif of someone in a Bart costume who appears to be selling pizza, chicken, used cars, drugs, or all of the above. The internet wins again.
Quotes on the NFL Labor Extension – Excellent usage in regards to the greed head owners and their lust for another hundred million dollars:
“Then it’s agreed: during the bargaining session, we each get two candy apples…all right, one candy and one caramel.” -Evan Conover, Undersecretary for International Protocol: Brat and Punk Division.
There’s a nice reference in the blog’s sub-head as well.
LEAKED! Two And A Half Men FINALE! – My apathy about celebrity news means I don’t care about that guy with my name and initials, but this is damn clever.
Late Night Movie House of Crap: March Madness Edition – There’s some interesting YouTube here, but none more so than the Russian knockoff of MST3K that comes complete with obligatory YouTube of Worker & Parasite. Why does the Russian Doctor Forrester have a Hitler mustache?
The Issue Between Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan: Sideburns – This involves exactly the comparison you think it does, and includes side by side photographic evidence and YouTube.
the nostalgia factor — pt. 1 – Our friends at Everything Simpsons look at nostalgia as seen through commercials (though one got pulled from YouTube). And . . .
the nostalgia factor — pt. 2 – . . . crappy 90s merchandise.
Picture Of The Day: Stupid Sexy Flanders – Colorado Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj has a shirt rippingly muscular Flanders on the back of his helmet.
CJR Column Mentions The Simpsons – SEO is a modern evil, and only Harry Shearer can save us:
As the closest thing to a SEO peacemaker I found, Shearer gets the final, crossing-the-aisle word, contributing two more of his résumé entries in the hope of increasing readership: “Wait. Don’t call me a humorist. Mention The Simpsons and Spinal Tap,” he said, as he does multiple voices for the television show and was the bassist Derek Smalls in the classic mockumentary. “It’s better for SEO.”
Is there anything Shearer can’t do? He’s giving Batman a run for his money at this point.
When I Grow Up I Wanna Be – Comparing Mrs. Krabappel and Ida Blankenship from Mad Men as people who live well without being the center of attention.
Goodbye, beer: On wife’s diet, I’m feeling ‘eliminated’ – This little piece of excellent usage goes so far as to include a link to YouTube:
What do I like to eat? Oh, I don’t know, how about steak, salmon, pasta, nachos, Reuben sandwiches, omelets, beer, scotch, coffee and basically anything that comes from what Homer Simpson would call that “wonderful, magical animal.”
Rupert Murdoch BSkyB takeover gets government go-ahead – BBC caught Kim Il-Murdoch with fingers tented in a very Mr. Burns kind of way. Here the comparison is made explicit.
The Simpsons – I don’t even know what language this is, but it’s got two shaky-cam YouTube videos from “Brother from the Same Planet”, demonstrating, once again, that The Simpsons is universal.
Breaking Bald: TV’s 10 Best Bald Guys – Homer checks in at #2.
Thursday recap and turning over a new leaf. – You can file this under solipsistic self congratulation if you want to, but there’s no way I’m not ending with it:
In other news, I am happy to announce that I have changed my outlook on The Simpsons. As followers of this blog (hi, mom and dad) will recall, the last time I mentioned The Simpsons it was to apologize for being too tough on the show and admit that the latest episode was fine. Oh, Lenny of four days ago, what a fool you were. Today I discovered Dead Homer Society, a fantastic blog dedicated to celebrating the amazing episodes of The Simpsons while harshly chastising seasons 12 and after, which Dead Homer Society calls “Zombie Simpsons.” I thank them for the term “Zombie Simpsons.” I’ve been complaining about “recent Simpsons” since around 2000 and the term has been getting increasingly inaccurate. Anyway, while I’ve generally leaned towards the Simpsons-hasn’t-been-good-since-season-eight side of things, I’ve always felt extremely guilty whenever I encounter someone who still gives it a chance. They make me feel as though I am a Scrooge who is trying to rob people of joy and as though I must love The Simpsons less because I haven’t stuck with it. And this guilt has made me feel I need to overcompensate and essentially go easy on Zombie Simpsons– fighting my urge to hate everything that doesn’t live up to past seasons by leaning too far in the other direction. But, this lenient policy stops today. Dead Homer Society perfectly explains why Zombie Simpsons can’t be tolerated here. Point being: This blog will no longer be congratulating The Simpsons writers every time they come up with something that’s about as good as an average Cleveland Show episode.
“That’s very nice, Dad, but it’s wrong for you to reward violent competitive behavior. However, I will sit up front with you if it’s a fatherly gesture of love.” – Lisa Simpson
“Okay, hon . . . sucker! Competitive violence, that’s why you’re here!” – Homer Simpson
A few days ago, a poster on HFBoards, a hockey discussion site, put up a link to us. This was on the 624th post of a thread titled “Favorite Simpsons moments – Part 2”. Being a sucker for Simpsons discussions, I went all the way back to post #1 and started reading. There’s plenty of funny stuff, and the occasional discussion of how the newer episodes aren’t up to snuff.
Happily, the ongoing recitation of Simpsons moments, screen grabs, and quotes also serves as a natural demonstration of just how little people care about Zombie Simpsons. As of this writing, the thread has 635 posts, of which only 93 even mention an episode from a double digit season. That’s a shade under 15%, and a ratio of nearly 7:1.
My counting was extremely generous to Zombie Simpsons too. If someone mentioned an episode from Seasons 10+, even if they were quoting an earlier post to reply with a quote from real Simpsons, I counted it. And the usual Zombie Simpsons caveats apply, so many of those 93 are quotes from Seasons 10 or 11, and a decent chunk come from discussing Season 21 episodes that were broadcast during the run of the thread. In other words, almost no “Favorite Simpsons moments” came from Zombie Simpsons.
But let’s not end on a downer. In that thread I also found this:
“I won! I won!” – Ralph Wiggum
“No, no Ralph. This means you’re failing English.” – Principal Skinner
“Me fail English? That’s unpossible.” – Ralph Wiggum
This week we’ve got two . . . “rambles”? I guess is the best word . . . about the Simpsons. They’re not so much written as they are spewed, it’s really amazing. There’s also two links to people who believe in the power of magical thinking: one of whom I have to commend for excellent usage despite their magical thinking, and another that combines magical thinking with an inability to write the word “crony”. On top of that there’s some weird tattoos, “ABU”, a dubbed clip from “Marge on the Lam”, grammatical objections from someone who (unlike so many others this week) can actually write, and a twelve-year-old who’s a much better poet than me.
The Simpsons Season 1 Episode 4 : There’s No Disgrace Like Home S01E04 – This is among the most incoherently written things I’ve read in a long time. For example, I have almost no idea what this means:
Rather, we were delivered an episode that transpired from thirteen other episodes which were aired periodically from 1989 to 1990. “There’s No Disgrace Like Home” added some improvements, spiced things up with some new additions and then included some bonuses to keep us from discovering the news.
Everything at that site is in English, but I can’t help but get a distinct Google Translate feel from things like that.
Humor: Notes Simpson ‘s Best. – This one isn’t even up to the standards of Google Translate. Observe:
Characters of the story is important to viewers.
Father Homer voting by Dan Castellaneta and his father. Homer Abe his crude, overweight, wireless,.
It goes on like that. I have seen many words used to describe Abraham Simpson, but until this day “wireless” was not among them. On the plus side, once you’ve been sufficiently confused by the writing, there’s YouTube of Milhouse and Bart’s Squishy bender. (You could probably just skip the text and scroll down, I guess.)
Funny Tattoos – Crazy Tattoos – Quite a few crazy tattoos here, including one of Bart that makes creative use of someone’s navel.
Top 10 Inventions You Didn’t Know Were Canadian – I guess I didn’t “know” that the goalie mask was invented by a Canadian, but I’m pretty sure I could’ve guessed correctly if asked. Homer (named after Groening’s father) is #1; though I think Walt Disney at #3 is a bit of a stretch.
Life Imitates The Simpsons – again – I’ve gotten into it around here with nutjob global warming deniers before, but I’ve got to admit, this is excellent usage:
How could this go wrong? I cannot help but be reminded of the Simpsons episode ‘Bart’s Comet”:
Kent: With our utter annihilation imminent, our federal government has snapped into action. We go live now via satellite to the floor of the United States congress.
It goes on from there, and except for one small thing (the unnamed Congressman actually says “Wait a second”, not “Wait a minute”), it’s dead on. Funny enough, something even closer to this actually happened two months ago.
Lemmy From Motörhead Sends Homer Simpson To Hell – The title’s a little misleading, it’s just a homemade Simpsonized Lemmy. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool.
If Bart Simpson is so poplular, why is is best friend (Milhouse) a geek? – I really shouldn’t expect much from a discussion board on a website dedicated to New Age hokum. (Homepage: “Create the most fertile community in the world for people to manifest their Intentions!”, uh, yeah, I’ll get right on that.) The fact that up in the corner they proclaim themselves an “authorized distributor” of “The Secret”, while amusing in an oxymoronic sort of way, isn’t a good sign either. Still, I laughed at this:
Because Bart has to have a crone to manipulate into mischief…. Someone with a higher vibration would have Bart doing the dirty work, and someone with a lower vibration is probably that one bully kid that goes around saying, "ha ha".
So, wait, if Bart could be manipulated by a higher “vibration”, then how come Nelson’s “vibration” is lower? He can bully Bart around, can’t he? Also, this word “crone”:
THE SIMPSONS TALKING ABU KWIK E MART OWNER 2007 BK TOY – This is en eBay item, and you don’t even need to click to see what’s wrong with it. The description compounds it:
ABU is the owner of the Springfield Kwik-e Mart.
As far as I know, Abu was Aladdin’s monkey sidekick. (And, like so many animated animals, was voiced by Frank Welker.)
Steve Jobs suggests Blu-ray isn’t coming to Macs any time soon – Both poor and excellent usage. Here’s the poor usage, from the opening:
The Simpsons once had an episode which, in passing, showed newscaster Kent Brockman announcing "And now here is a list of celebrities that have been arrested", with a zip-fast list scrolling up the screen.
The actual quote is, “And tonight, the following celebrities have been arrested.” Now, here’s the end:
Oh, and since you wanted to know who was on the celebrities list, here it is. And to quote Kent: "Remember, if you see any celebrities, consider them dangerous."
The final quote is dead on for excellent usage. (And the link goes to our friends at Simpsons Crazy.)
World Cup 2010 Review: How Nike Backed All the Wrong Horses – Remember that stupid Nike World Cup video that had Homer in it for some reason? Well, everyone in it failed. Ha.
Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows – YouTube of Ruth and Marge speeding away from Wiggum and Homer, but dubbed into (what might be) Spanish, except once the Lesley Gore song starts, then Wiggum sings in his normal voice. Odd.
But I can’t help it… – On beginning sentences with the word “but”. Also contains excellent usage of the time Bart called into Moe’s looking for “Seymour Butts”.
Holiday Weekend – Hooray America:
Let us celebrate the birth of our country by blowing up a small chunk of it by setting off some fireworks(completely butchered “Simpsons” reference).
“Word Play Poem” by Brandon Lee Bjornson (age 12) – A neat Simpsons poem, and check out this lovely comment:
I used to watch the show and it has been more than 12 years…
The Duplicated Man (1953) – How do you review a fifty-seven year old sci-fi novel whose title promises duplicated men but takes a very long time to actually duplicate one? By invoking Milhouse, that’s how:
Of all the many phrases The Simpsons has introduced over the years, I’m not sure any of them have stuck with me as unshakably as “When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?” from “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show.” Milhouse utters this tearful lament while watching the retooled iteration of The Itchy & Scratchy Show featuring the first appearance of the hip, demographically tested new character of Poochie, a “kung-fu hippie from gangsta city.” Poochie appears as Itchy and Scratchy make their way to the mayhem-promising destination of a fireworks factory, as announced by signs reading “Fireworks factory: 1 mile,” etc. Only they never get there, due to being sidetracked by Poochie’s antics.
Hence the lament. I can’t recall how many times Scott Tobias and I have left a movie and ended up talking about the “when are they going to get to the fireworks factory” problem. It isn’t just us, either. I think that phrase and all it implies has crept into the collective subconscious. Hence the impatience when Lost or Battlestar Galactica or what have you appears to veer off-course from a satisfying conclusion. We’ve seen the signs—you better take us where we want to go.
All of which is an elaborate way of saying this: If you read The Duplicated Man hoping for a lot of action involving duplicated men, you’re going to spend a lot of time wondering when you’re going to get to the fireworks factory.
That is excellent usage.
I’d Like To Call It “Fropupo,” If I May – By way of explaining some made up words, the author got two Treehouse of Horror episodes confused. I was going to point that out, but someone in the comments was already on it. Simpsons geeks: we’re everywhere. You cannot escape.
“Alright, I’m gonna make a little deal with you mugs. I’m gonna let you all out to see my team play the hockey game, if you promise to return to your cells.” – Chief Wiggum
“Sorry, pig, we can’t make that promise.” – Snake
“Alright, alright, I’ll sweeten the deal. You can see the game, you don’t have to come back, but you have to promise not to commit any more crimes. Okay?” – Chief Wiggum
“No.” – Snake
“I’ll take that as a ‘Yes’.” – Chief Wiggum
Happy birthday Hank Azaria!
“Lisa, that man is a professional meteorologist.” – Bart Simpson
Loyal Stonecutter’s note: A large portion of the US is getting dumped on right now and more than one blog has called it the “snowpocalypse.” This exchange seemed rather appropriate.
“I just ripped the head off Mr. Honeybunny.” – Bart Simpson
The numbers are in and Zombie Simpsons pulled a disappointingly decent one. Last night’s affront to the comedy gods was watched by 8.65 million people. That makes it the fourth highest rated episode all year and raises the average for Season 21 to 8.23 million. It throttled The Cleveland Show (6.96 million) and even beat Family Guy (8.10 million). I’d say all the 20th anniversary propaganda is having its intended effect.
Next week we’ll probably see an even bigger number with the Spurlock special and all the attendant anniversary hoopla. It’s also the 450th episode, which strikes me as an absurdly unSimpsons thing to celebrate. This is the show that once all but ignored its own 100th episode, but now every time they mark another fifty (which is only a little more than two seasons) they throw a party.
Playoff hockey works exceptionally well on television: it’s extremely fast, psychotically violent and, especially in a tight game, every possession is terrifying and exhilarating. Mad Jon and I just watched “Lisa on Ice” to get ourselves in the proper mindset. Now, it’s game time.
Go Red Wings.
Update: Wings win 3-1. No tie games, no need to tear this place apart.