Friday Link Dump – TV Sucks Edition

Television - The Third Parent

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flicker user Barbara L. Hanson.

“It’s just hard not to listen to TV, it’s spent so much more time raising us that you have.” – Bart Simpson

My Google alerts lit up this week as the internet ponders the upcoming fall television schedule, mentions of the new season of Zombie Simpsons are numerous.  I have linked to not a one of them because, really, who gives a fuck?  No excellent usage this week, but we do have someone else who thinks teevee sucks, a German election, a badass piece of Bart Simpson jewelry and an eight year old girl who took up the sax because of Lisa Simpson.  Not to shabby.


Merkel, rival gear up – The Germans are having themselves an election this month and the two leading contenders, who are actually already in a governing coalition together (man and I thought Americans have shitty political options), had a debate on teevee where they apparently spent most of the time agreeing with each other.  Thoughtful television people believe in counterprogramming:

However, Germans turned off by their insipid election campaign at least have a choice in the rotund shape of Homer Simpson. While the debate is being carried live on four major channels, a rival station is showing ‘The Simpsons – The Movie”, and has plastered Berlin with ads saying ‘Vote Simpsons.’

Multiple One-Man Shows featured in 2009-2010 at the State Theatre – The one and only Mac Homer is coming to the State Theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey at the end of October.

Eat My Shorts (With a Side of Diamonds) – Sweet Bart Simpson necklace.

Nothing is new – A reminiscence on watching the Simpsons and not paying attention in high school.   See, it is hard to get kids to pay attention in high school.

Television: the wasted medium? – This is a long and thoughtful piece that can basically be surmised by this quotation:

This is why I don’t watch TV. Because almost all of it sucks.

Yes, almost all TV sucks.  You know what else almost all of sucks?  Everything.  Almost all painting sucks, almost all music sucks, almost all pornography sucks, you can name any creative medium devised by people and the overwhelming majority of it is terrible.  But some of it doesn’t suck and it’s those parts that we love.  Anyway, it’s a neat post and worth reading, especially for this part:

The most obvious answer is what’s probably one of the prime achievements in all of television, The Simpsons. A sociocultural behemoth documenting as well as deeply affecting an era (late ’80s and on), it’s also the pinnacle of perhaps my favorite kind of TV, animated satire. Other examples include Ren and Stimpy (which I’ve discussed here before), and The Rocky and Bulwinkle Show, which heavily influenced both of them.

Why animated satire? A variety of reasons, I’d say: I grew up watching it and find that it rings true as an adult; television is an excellent medium for animation, since animation lends itself so well to short-form work; and as for satire… it’s great in any medium, and it’s a way to combat the reactionary qualities of television, which refuses to let artists linger on any one situation, since within 30 minutes, something else is coming on. Just think of the number of jokes skewering television on The Simpsons – even whole episodes, from “The Day the Violence Died,” “Homer to the Max,” “Homer Badman,” and more. “The Joy of Sect,” for example, ends with the Simpson family grateful to be thinking for themselves again; the TV then drones, “You are watching Fox,” to which the family replies in unison, “We are watching Fox.” The show was able to assert itself as work that transcended the TV’s many confines and conventions by pointing them out and making fun of them. That’s the triumph of animated satire.

“sociocultural behemoth”, I like that.  Also, note that the latest episode cited there is in Season 10.  Zombie Simpsons is the vastest part of the wasteland.  I can’t hate on teevee though, partly because it raised me, partly because it gave us The Simpsons, and partly because without it how could we keep the masses sated within the confines of their gray, little lives?

15.0: Homer Simpson speaks on firewater – Long article about drinking on Indian reservations that begins with citing Homer as a responsible drinker.  Sad and interesting.

Why can’t arcades just die?! – Arcade nostalgia through the lens of the original Simpsons game.

Drawing Homer Simpson – A step by step guide to drawing Homer in Photoshop (via).

vegetarianism – Commenting on “Lisa the Vegetarian”:

I suppose it represents a sort of turning point for the character, since in later episodes Lisa goes from a bright, questioning girl to a joyless, self-righteous liberal prig.

Yes, Lisa has become joyless and dead eyed, but what characters haven’t?

D’Oh! FOX 5 Pushes The Simpsons to Late Night – Reruns are getting moved from 7:00pm to 11:30pm in the greater Washington, D.C. area.  Once again I’m reminded that not everyone has all the good episodes on their computer, ready to be watched at a moment’s notice.

It is true. I have kissed a pig – Woman dressed as Marge Simpson kissing a pig.  Bravo.  I love the internet.

Beckham best role model for children: poll – Homer came in dead last.

Switching from Violin to Saxophone – Eight year old takes up the saxa-ma-phone after getting hooked on The Simpsons.  Best part:

She got it out straight away at home, tried to put it together and had a go!  And then spent the rest of the evening just walking around the house with it strapped around her neck, producing lound honking sounds from it.   She experimented with the keys and finally figured out the first few notes of the Simpson’s opening theme tune!

(Sitcom Audience): Awwwwww.


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