Archive for June, 2009


Friday Link Dump – Excellent Usage Edition

Burns' Heir2

“Ohh, he card reads good.” – Homer Simpson

There are several examples of people getting their quotes right and using them in context this week.  Also there’s another amusingly out of date cranky old guy (he doesn’t like swearing and backtalk), a woman who hates shorts and Simpsons merchandise made in Chinese prisons.

If you’re overweight and looking for love, it pays to be a man – You mean that different standards are applied to men and women?  I’m shocked.  What does this have to do with The Simpsons?  Well, nothing really, but the story has a picture of Homer and Marge.  It’s all about the page views, baby.

Free massage chairs located at great risk of public ridicule – Using Homer’s vibrating chair to illustrate an article about massage chairs.  There’s no quotes so it doesn’t really count as usage, but it is a cromulent citation.

‘If They Knew About My Situation . . .’ – Shoddy Simpsons merchandise, here exemplified by Homer Simpson slippers, is sometimes made by Chinese prison labor.  Can’t say I’m real surprised by this.

Top 5 TV Dads – Homer’s #2.  Based on the vague description of Homer I’d say the guy is only a casual fan, which makes this all the more illustrative:

When the Simpsons begins this fall it will be the 21st season of the show, making it the longest running sit-com ever.

The Simpsons was very emphatically not a sit-com.  Zombie Simpsons most certainly is.

The things we do for ‘American Idol’ – Some Dallas Morning News journalists have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to cover American Idol tryouts.  He quotes Bart’s famous “There’s a 4:30 in the morning now?”  Excellent usage.

Of mad men* – This is an article about how Catholic saints were often not very nice or very saintly.  It appears in BusinessWorld Online.  I don’t know why.  But it does quote Bart (“Now’s our chance to be bad!”) when referring to St. Augustine of Hippo.  More excellent usage.

Ready to Wear: On the catwalk shorts are high on the agenda – and on the thigh – Some fashion lady doesn’t think males over the age of 10 (and she mentions Bart) should wear shorts.  I don’t get fashion, but shorts rule when it’s fucking hot outside.  Anyone who would wear long pants out of some misguided fear of the fashion police deserves to be sweaty and uncomfortable.

Thoughts On A Picture – This paragraph is from a Seattle Mariners blog.  I will quote it in full:

This is all part of Chris Woodward’s plan to make his face just a little bit visible in every picture that’s taken while he’s up so that a week from now he can prove to all his neighbors that he really was in the Majors. Unfortunately, his efforts are a little too subtle. “There’s my name, right there – Bart Simpson.” “Looks more like Brad Storch.” “No! It says Betty – Betty Symington.” :punch: “That’s for taking credit for other people’s work.”

I don’t know who Chris Woodward is, but all the Simpsons quotes are accurate.  Still more excellent usage.

Comedy, society don’t need four-letter words, bathroom humor – Finally we have an old guy from New England who laments that comedy isn’t as clean as it was in the heyday of Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon.  It is a tour-de-force of “Get off my lawn” and once again I’m 99.9% sure it isn’t satire:

What was particularly sweet about the cartoon was that it harkened back to a time when comedy and entertainment didn’t need four letter words and bathroom humor to make an audience laugh.
During a recent interview, comedian and TV personality Bill Cosby noted the decline of quality programming.


Cosby also noted that television programming constantly disses parents at the hands of smart alec children. A message sent repeatedly by the Simpsons.

There’s so much more if you click the link.  He thinks families are in trouble because television isn’t a sweet as it once was.  And the kids?  Has he told you about the kids these days?

It may sound narrow-minded to some, but there is a reason families are in trouble today. And one of them is television. How can parents maintain respect when Bart Simpson preaches otherwise and the comedy channel needs to bleep every fifth word.

The obvious answer it to turn off the television and read a book. But then again, it didn’t take long after my sons began going to school to figure where they picked up those four letter words. It wasn’t at home.

These gosh darned kids and their potty mouths, always sassin adults.  You don’t often see this kind of early-90s television bashing anymore.  It’s a refreshing throwback.  Next he’ll be complaining about that Murphy Brown woman having a kid out of wedlock and have you seen this new Married with Children show?


Quote of the Day

Stark Raving Dad4

“Now, make sure we have plenty of cold cuts, and put some beer on ice-” – Homer Simpson

“Um, Homer, I’m a vegetarian and I don’t drink.” – Leon Kompowski

“Are you sure you’re here voluntarily?” – Homer Simpson

Rest in peace, Leon.


Synergy Tips Its Hand

Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song2

IGN: Comedically Illiterate

Our old friends at IGN are filling the summer months with content the same way we are: by talking about old episodes.  So far I’ve ignored these, I don’t need anyone to tell me that Marge vs. the Monorail is awesome, nor do I have much use for a review that docks a point from “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet” because people don’t praise it often enough.  It’s all drivel; though if they ever get around to positively reviewing some piece of shit from a later season I’ll probably be forced to weigh in with a flurry of pointless but cathartic ranting.

All that said, there is an element of this week’s review of “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song” that is worth pointing out.  I bring it up because it displays the shallow and sloppy thinking that goes into much of IGN’s Simpsons fellatio:

This was also the 100th episode of the series. Goodness, that sounds like such a small number now.

As 100th episodes go, “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song” seems a little out of place. Instead of getting an episode celebrating the series and its namesake family, we have an episode focusing on one of the many minor characters. It’s true that Skinner is a hilarious character, and this episode is quite funny, but wouldn’t a Bart-centric or Homer-centric episode make more sense to celebrate 100 episodes?

He’s less interested in the content and humor of the episode than he is in a mindless salute to longevity.  “Oh sure,” he’s saying, “The episode was great, but shouldn’t it have been more self congratulatory?”  This is a byproduct of the fanboy style thinking that leads people to praise Zombie Simpsons.  It essentially amounts to saying that The Simpsons is good because it’s The Simpsons instead of The Simpsons is good because it’s, you know, objectively good.

Here’s the final sentence:

Again, “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song” wasn’t what you might expect as a celebration of 100 episodes, but it was a smart and funny episode nonetheless.

“Nonetheless”?  Is he actually implying that the episode is worse for not being in love with the smell of its own farts?

Even if we set aside the obvious stupidity of that, the entire mindset is an exercise in missing the joke.  Bart’s blackboard phrase for this episode is, as you can see above, “I will not celebrate meaningless milestones”.  Now that is what The Simpsons was about.  It didn’t go down on itself for reaching 100 episodes, it just did it, made fun of people who thought it was significant, and moved along.

Not only is IGN in thrall to Zombie Simpsons, it doesn’t even understand real Simpsons.


Quote of the Day

Homer's Barbershop Quartet2

“Wait til I tell Marge.” – Homer Simpson

“Oh yes, Bouffant Betty.  Well I would prefer we kept your marriage a secret.  You see, a lot of women are going to want to have sex with you, and, ah, we want them to think they can.” – Nigel

“Well, if I explain it to Marge that way I’m sure she’ll understand.” – Homer Simpson

“C’mon honey, it’ll only be until we finish our tour of Sweden.” – Homer Simpson


Crazy Noises: The Canine Mutiny

The Canine Mutiny1

“Bills, bills, oh, a rejection letter from The New Yorker subscription department.” – Marge Simpson

In an attempt to fill the summer with love, hate and pointless Simpsons commentary we at the Dead Homer Society are going to spend some time overthinking Season 8.  Why Season 8?  Because Season 8 is when The Simpsons really began to deteriorate into Zombie Simpsons.  That’s why.  Because we’re cutting edge and ultra-modern we’re using a newfangled, information-superhighway fad called a “chatroom” to conduct our conversation.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “scotch” and “crotch”).

Today’s episode is 820 “The Canine Mutiny“.

Charlie Sweatpants: Thoughts on Santos L Halper?

Mad Jon: I fucking hate episodes where Bart ‘learns a lesson’

But it wasn’t as bad as Bart The Mother or the one where he steals the video game

Charlie Sweatpants: This is a good companion episode for Poochie I think because the stories are both pretty formulaic (and I’ll say weak as well), but Canine Mutiny has more memorable gags and so I’ve got a much higher opinion of it.

Mad Jon: Yeah I for sure like the gags. But it’s unfortunate that the plot is so heinous

Charlie Sweatpants: Wiggum and ‘Jammin’ at the end, the “two towns over” thing, Lisa’s pep pills, Wiggum acting like a little kid when Bart gives him the dog, I love all of that.

But yeah, the story makes no sense.

Mad Jon: For instance, the Contest I just attributed to the Poochie episode, and the Homer’s comments about giving and “There there, shut up boy”

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh yeah.

And, “You know how I feel about giving!” The contempt and the anger in his voice is just priceless, especially coming from the man who wanted to put a Shake&Bake coupon in the church collection plate.

Mad Jon: ha ha ha

Dave: I’m not saying anything because I’d just be repeating you guys

Of the two episodes we’re discussing tonight, this is easily the worst

Charlie Sweatpants: You think so?

For me, there’s more quotable stuff in this one and since I think the plots in both are dumb I give the win to Canine Mutiny.

Dave: I can sit thorough Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie without too much groaning

Charlie Sweatpants: There is some groan worthy crap in this one, and way way way too much of the sad string music that means drama/moral choice.

Dave: Canine Mutiny is a bit too scatterbrained and unfunny

Charlie Sweatpants: Scatterbrained is a good way to put it.

Dave: Shit just happens.

Mad Jon: The Santa’s little helper sight gags, ala him at the window or running into the door, were pretty good.

And the speech Bart gets from the collection agent is priceless

Charlie Sweatpants: That is a great speech.

When can I tell my supervisor, Mr Robinson, to expect payment?


But one thing that struck me as really disappointing, and I bitched about it at the time, was the “6 to 8 Weeks Later” bit. Oh sure, it’s funny, but they already did that EXACT SAME THING, literally word for word, in Marge in Chains.

Dave: I never noticed that

Mad Jon: Well, bart wouldn’t have learned a lesson otherwise

Charlie Sweatpants: You lost me there, Jon.

Mad Jon: This show can’t live without a decent plot, and I think they’ve always known that. So to maintain the plot line of this episode, the writers had to move forward in time. It didn’t work, but they tried.

Like we’ve all said, there were good gags, but we are discussing the episode for a reason

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, but the 6 to 8 weeks thing was for when he was getting the credit card, not for when he ordered something.

Oh I agree, the plot sucks.

Mad Jon: Still necessary

“Still got no hair on his balls…”

Charlie Sweatpants: Again, you’re losing me.

I get the Airheads reference, but why?

Mad Jon: It was the emotion Pip was conveying that I was trying to capture

Charlie Sweatpants: Ah.

Mad Jon: But I, again, have failed at all but the most modest of tasks you have given me

Charlie Sweatpants: You have been drinking.

Mad Jon: I should become a writer for the Simpsons

Charlie Sweatpants: Your liver wouldn’t last.

Mad Jon: Good point

Dave: Heh

Charlie Sweatpants: Imagine how drunk you’d need to be to find the shit they put on now amusing.

Dave: I’d be dead.

Mad Jon: I don’t think alcohol would do it. I’d probably have to move to meth mountain

Charlie Sweatpants: Anyway, while we’re still here, any other favorite parts from this one?

I’m a fan of the Covet House catalog.

Dave: I liked Bart’s line about dancing around the maypole

Charlie Sweatpants: I like Baby Gerald, Maggie’s enemy.

Did you look at his face when Quimby is talking? He’s just so filled with contempt.

Mad Jon: Bart’s application is pretty funny

“Whatever I finds, I keeps”

Which probably would have flown on a credit application in the mid-late nineties

Charlie Sweatpants: It would’ve flown on a credit card application until about September of last year.

Which reminds me of another great line, “Dear occupant, because of your fine credit history . . . ”

Dave: True

Mad Jon: I also like when Wiggum knocks down the blind guy’s door and then rings the doorbell\

Charlie Sweatpants: And it wasn’t the first door he kicked in, either.

Mad Jon: yeah, ha ha

Charlie Sweatpants: Of course, that comes after the extremely drawn out and painful, Bart sneaking around the blind guy’s house scene.

Mad Jon: yeah, that was pretty boring.

Dave: Did either of you notice that the dead parrot’s bowtie?

Charlie Sweatpants: I guess I noticed the bowtie, was it a reference to something?

Mad Jon: But I didn’t notice the tie

Dave: I don’t think it was a reference to anything in particular, but I thought it was the highlight of the awful blind man scene

Mad Jon: ah

Charlie Sweatpants: I was fond of his explanation for having weed.

Mad Jon: Ha, I liked that too

Charlie Sweatpants: Though why he had the weed in his pocket in the middle of the night is another reason why the plot just sucked ass.

Plenty of people keep weed in their living rooms, it’s not like it had to be there.

Lazy story telling.

Mad Jon: yeah, what kind of pot head isn’t so lazy he actually puts his (or hers I guess) things away

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, anything else before we wrap this up?

Mad Jon: I got nothing, this episode has not inspired me to try and defend it in any way, however it also doesn’t deserve the ire of which I am capable when talking about Zombie Simpsons.


Quote of the Day

Duff Brewery Tour

“Well, time to go to work.” – Homer Simpson

“Little do they know, I’m ducking out early to take the Duff Brewery tour.” – Homer’s Brain

“Roll in at nine, punch out at five, that’s the plan.” – Homer Simpson

“Heh heh heh, they don’t suspect a thing . . . Well, off to the plant!” – Homer’s Brain

“Then to the Duff Brewery.” – Homer Simpson

“Uh-oh, did I say that or just think it?” – Homer’s Brain

“I gotta think of a lie fast.” – Homer Simpson

“Homer, are you going to the Duff Brewery?” – Marge Simpson

“Ahhhhhhh!” – Homer Simpson


Crazy Noises: The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show

The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show1

Excuse me, but ‘pro-active’ and ‘paradigm’, aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?  Not that I’m accusing you of anything like that.  I’m fired aren’t I?” – Itchy & Scratchy Writer

“Oh, yes.” – Roger Meyers Jr.

In an attempt to fill the summer with love, hate and pointless Simpsons commentary we at the Dead Homer Society are going to spend some time overthinking Season 8.  Why Season 8?  Because Season 8 is when The Simpsons really began to deteriorate into Zombie Simpsons.  That’s why.  Because we’re cutting edge and ultra-modern we’re using a newfangled, information-superhighway fad called a “chatroom” to conduct our conversation.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “scotch” and “crotch”).

Today’s episode is 814, “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show“, and tomorrow is 820 “The Canine Mutiny“.

Charlie Sweatpants: I hadn’t seen the Poochie episode in years and there’s a reason. It’s bad.

Mad Jon: It had been a while since I last watched the Poochie episode too but I think the first 5 minutes are almost perfect

Dave: I might be the outlier here, but I enjoy the Poochie episode

Mad Jon: Right up through the writers meeting where they come up with Poochie

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, I may be more down on this one than you guys. Though I’ll agree that the first part is the best part of the episode.

Mad Jon: But yeah, the rest is meh

Its like going to see a fireworks show where the finale is a bunch of autistic kids holding sparklers

Dave: I guess I just enjoyed the poking fun of the hardcore fans

i.e. us

Charlie Sweatpants: Those are some of the parts I did like, the nerds in the comic book store are funny, especially when the one gets put in his place and then quietly eats his candy bar.

Mad Jon: No, there is definitely a bit of self-defense/first strike stuff going on there

And once again Homer working but not in the nuclear plant is a crap-fest

Charlie Sweatpants: The problem I have is that the whole thing just feels too meta. They know Poochie isn’t funny, but they do it anyway and try to bring themselves in on the joke with Roy, but ultimately the whole thing is an exercise in not being funny on purpose and the fans just have to take it.

Mad Jon: And I have never been able to defend any tv show that ends an episode with the fuzz on screen

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, let’s not go nuts. Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment ends with fuzz.

Mad Jon: Oh that’s right

Dave: Yeah, I didn’t mind the fuzz

Mad Jon: Sorry, sorry everyone

Still, weak ending

Dave: It’s heavy handed to be sure

See, I think the meta-ness is what works for me

Charlie Sweatpants: Go on.

Dave: We’re in on the joke and the combination of Poochie and Roy’s unfunniness comes together – think the rake gag with Sideshow Bob

ok, that was a half thought.

my point was that there’s so much of it, you can’t help but be amused

Charlie Sweatpants: I guess the reason the meta stuff pisses me off is that it doesn’t even work in Itchy & Scratchy, right? I mean the whole reason people hate Poochie is because literally nothing at all violent ever happens with him on screen. Itchy stops hacking at Scratchy with a chainsaw because Poochie is talking.

Mad Jon: yeah, I get the retroactive sense that they are stabbing the fog with a salad fork ’cause they couldn’t keep pulling the same number of viewers they were used to

On a side note all the Itchy and Scratchy bits were pretty good

Charlie Sweatpants: The last one with the acid and the bow & arrow is great.

Mad Jon: I almost spilled my gin on my crotch when that one came on today

Charlie Sweatpants: Thank goodness that horror was avoided.

Dave: Can’t say I’ve ever dumped gin on my crotch

Other alcohols, yes

Dave: Wasn’t the predictability of the violence the whole point?

Mad Jon: Funny is funny

Dave: The kids weren’t amused anymore, try something new?

Charlie Sweatpants: I see where you’re coming from on that, but the fact remains that they’re broadcasting things they know aren’t funny and are then daring people not to like it.

Mad Jon: If I was used to making a billion a year in products based on a hit tv show I think I would be pretty proactive in telling people they better keep watching, but I’m a pretty vindictive bastard when it comes to sales

Charlie Sweatpants: If you go back and look at, which was pretty much the only place to bitch on-line back in the mid-nineties, people started getting pissed off in like Season 4 and earlier.

Mad Jon: Anyone who was pissed in season 4 is the kind of person who would be mad at a subpar blowjob

Dave: I’m not someone who was bitching about the show circa season 4

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay fine, but doesn’t it display a lack of creativity, that the best we can come up with is a middle finger to people so obsessed that they dial up their 9600 baud modems to complain?

Dave: On some level you’re offended by the episode then?

Charlie Sweatpants: Not offended so much as disappointed.

Dave: Because it’s mean?

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh no, the Simpsons is supposed to be mean.

Dave: What could they have done to make it palatable?

Charlie Sweatpants: Maybe it just rankles more than it should because the show has gotten so irredeemable in the interim.

Dave: Maybe that’s why it doesn’t bother me

Mad Jon: Bottom line is I completely lost interest at about 14 minutes. Something is fucked

I’d for sure take this over Lisa’s Date With Density

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, but consider this in the context of Season 8.

When 8 was on it was the first time I ever really heard people complain about the show, and I mean in real life not on usenet.

Mad Jon: Compared to the last view we’ve talked over, its ok

Fair enough

Dave: k, go on

Charlie Sweatpants: And then this kinda felt like piling on, like they were saying, “Yeah we know it’s not as good as it was, but what are you going to do about it?”

Mad Jon: I definitely get that feeling

Charlie Sweatpants: Obviously it’s gotten worse since then, but it was still true at the time.

Mad Jon: oh sure

Dave: Okay, I find that reasonable

Mad Jon: Did you guys notice the post-it on Krusty’s door when Roger Meyers came in?

Charlie Sweatpants: About the liquor not being for the cleaning staff?

Hell yeah, had to pause it, but yeah.

Mad Jon: Yeah. that was hilarious

Dave: Missed that one

Mad Jon: “Cleaning staff: The liquor is not for you”

Charlie Sweatpants: Yup.

Dave: We agree though that compared to stuff now, this episode is not the worst thing ever?

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed.

Mad Jon: Oh not even close

Seriously, the first Act could have been from season 4 or 5

Dave: Phew.

Charlie Sweatpants: I would not go that far.

Mad Jon: But It would have been a short episode

What on earth do you not like about the beginning?

Charlie Sweatpants: But yes, it starts stronger than it ends.

Dave: You two bicker about the beginning some more, I’m going to refill my scotch

Charlie Sweatpants: Fair enough.

Mad Jon: Hmm, Scotch


I absolutely love the tv testing sceen

“One kid loves the speedo guy…”

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m on board with the focus group thing.

Dave: I love Ralph’s sad buzzer bit

Mad Jon: Yeah that’s great

The auditions were ok too

“What were you guys smoking when you came up with that?”

Charlie Sweatpants: But I’ll balk at it being total quality because it still has those weird moments like Bart and Lisa talking at the breakfast table and Krusty and Roger Meyer acting kind of out of character during their meeting.

Mad Jon: I can see the breakfast table bit being a bit suspicious, but I think the desperation of the meeting outweighs the character bit, especially with the back and forth on the language

Dave: What’s wrong with Bart and Lisa talking over breakfast?

Charlie Sweatpants: Well it just doesn’t quite fit, I don’t care that they’re eating breakfast at 4 in the afternoon or anything like that, it just seems a little too strange that they’d both be sitting at the table.

Marge telling Bart that she hugs him in his sleep is also a little bizarre, where’s the joke on that one?

Mad Jon: I am kind of bothered by the afternoon breakfast, but more because Homer isn’t complaining about going to work

I like the hug you in your sleep joke. That’s totally something Marge would do

Dave: yeah, didn’t mind the Marge joke either

Charlie Sweatpants: I didn’t hate it or anything, but it just doesn’t have that smooth good taste I’m accustomed to from quality Simpsons.

It’s those little non-sequiturs that build up as it goes along. Why is Homer the voice of Poochie? Why does there need to be all that drama about killing the character? Why is Homer so sensitive about people not liking the show?

Mad Jon: I agree with your points, but like I said the episode fails as it goes on. I was merely defending the beginning.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fair enough.

Mad Jon: let’s just say it doesn’t make the cut on my favorites playlist

Charlie Sweatpants: I think we’ve got our relative positions staked out on this one, any favorite/least favorite lines or gags?

Dave: I liked Poochie’s fake Oakleys.

Absolutely fitting.

Mad Jon: I like the Truth Telling Contest “Two towns over.”

Dave: oh, have we moved on?

Mad Jon: Sorry, I’ve been drinking

Charlie Sweatpants: “Excuse me, but proactive and paradigm, aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important”. That is a great line written by someone who had to put up with a lot of corporate bullshit. That one’s a winner.

Dave: Reminds me of our conversation from earlier, Charlie – the reviewers on nohomers et. al trying to sound a bit more intelligent than they really are

Mad Jon: I like the fact that the Krusty Clock that gets incredibly hot if you leave it plugged in is on the shelf behind Krusty’s desk

Come back tomorrow for scintillating part two of three guys arguing about cartoon dogs.


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