Reading Digest: One Word Off Edition

Lisa's Wedding11

In an odd coincidence, there are three pieces of excellent usage this week that are just one word away from being dead on.  Being my nitpicky self, I’ve added the correct words in, but all three still rate as excellent usage in my book.  In addition to that we’ve got lots of fan art, including a bunch of drawings of Homer and Marge as famous fashion people.  There’s also a couple of great YouTube videos, some love for Season 3 and 5, an unconvincing defense of Season 9’s most infamous episode, and lots of other stuff. 


The Many D’ohs of Homer Simpson – This was linked in more places than you can count this week, and with good reason.  It’s every annoyed grunt from Seasons 1-20.  It is epic:

As a bonus, you can watch the show deteriorate before your eyes.  There’s a noticeable uptick in the horrendousness of Homer’s injuries and craziness of the situations as you get into the second half of the video.

Religious Anti-Ninja Turtle Propaganda from the Ancient World [Video] – One good four and a half minute YouTube deserves another, and this one is a doozy.  I’ll let Comics Alliance explain:

Canadian men in an early 1990s propaganda film decrying the original TMNT animated series, Vanilla Ice, Bart Simpson and other alleged evils of the ancient world.

These guys put the fun in fundamentalist dogma, but in more of a huggable Canadian way than in a fire-and-brimstone Billy Graham way.  Observe:

Mostly they’re mad at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and this whole thing screams early 90s, but they do fit in two moments of Simpsons vitriol, both courtesy of a sweater clad guy who looks like Rowsdower’s wussy cousin.  At 1:30 he cites Bart’s prayer from “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” with disbelief that modern society allows such blasphemy on television.  Sadly the video is edited so the context is missing, but the general tone is perfectly funny on its own.

You’ve got to watch the video to really get it, but let’s just say that there’s more than hint of “prefers the company of men” to these guys, which makes this at 3:35 doubly hilarious:

Another cartoon character in the script that was a homosexual that became Homer’s secretary that was continually trying to seduce him.

Karl does a lot of things in that episode, even kiss Homer, but “continually trying to seduce him”?  I hope at least one of those guys made it out of the closet.

Defending The Simpsons’ "The Principal and the Pauper" – I saw this linked in a few places this week, but having read it I can comfortably stand by what I said last year.  That episode has so many plot twists and so much retconning that there just isn’t room for anything else in a mere twenty-two minutes.  For further evidence of this, consider that the linked article is a little over a thousand words, a quarter of them are spent just describing the plot of the episode.  Also, this is just not true:

The issue isn’t that people don’t find this episode funny. Some people may find that is the case, and given the subjective nature of comedy that is a reasonable argument.

How many quotable lines are there in that episode?  I doubt I could squeeze more than two or three Quote of the Day posts out of it.  Whether or not someone finds a joke funny is subjective, whether or not something is even trying to be funny is much less so.  There’s far more straight up exposition in that episode than there are gags, and that’s why I don’t buy Ken Keeler’s defense or this one.

Struggling with the question of belief? Homer Simpson’s got the answer – It’s our second week in a row with a link using Homer to illustrate the stupidity of Pascal’s Wager.  There’s more than a hint of freshman level theology here, but he (almost entirely) gets his quotes right:

I think we can safely conclude that the probability of a liberal God fascist – one who doesn’t mind which version of him you believe in, but if you don’t believe in him at all, he’ll let you rot in hell – is negligible. As Homer Simpson put it when arguing that he shouldn’t go to church: "Don’t you think the almighty has better things to worry about than where one little guy spends one measly hour of his week?"

There’s a small nit to pick in that Homer actually says “think that the almighty”, but it continues:

If, on the other hand, it matters which God you believe in, it’s because there are certain important rewards of belief that you will not receive if you don’t believe in the right one, or punishments for failing to believe correctly. But even Homer Simpson can see the problem with this: "What if we’ve picked the wrong religion? Every week we’re just making God madder and madder?" Choosing the wrong God might be worse than believing in none at all.

That quote is dead on, so I’m calling that the rare double excellent usage.

A Conversation with Mike Reiss: One of The Simpsons’ Original Writers Sits Down with Discord – Pretty much what it says.  There isn’t a whole lot of new information here, but Reiss is always good for a laugh or two.  I did get an enjoyable sarcastic eye roll out of this:

J: So, final question, back to The Simpsons, I always wanted to ask, why did Bart’s ‘bad boy’ persona change as seasons went on?

M: We almost ran out of ideas for Bart. We just couldn’t relate to him. We were all more like Lisa in those days. Then we grew up, and all of a sudden we were Homer.

Hello, Smithers! Gizmodo likens SOPA to Mr. Burns – A screen grab a nice little writeup of Gizmodo’s banner on Wednesday.

Lisa Simpson <3 – Image of Lisa with the text of her epic “rich husband” rant from “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”.  Except for missing the word “anything” between “be” and “more” on the second line the quote is dead on.

Xbox Live Achievements for The Simpsons Arcade Game uncovered – There are ten of these, and while I’m not sure about “easier than arm wrestling”, the ones that are specific references come from Season 10 or earlier.  Just sayin’.

The Simpsons did it. They’ve done everything. – Turns out that “Lisa the Greek” correctly called the 3rd quarter score of last week’s Denver-New England game.

White pranks youth on new show – Another quote off by one word:

As occurs with most things in life, the new series Betty White’s Off Their Rockers brought to mind a quote from The Simpsons.

Homer, speaking to his father (universally known as Grandpa), adopted a sugary sweet tone as he said, "Dad, you’ve done a lot of great things. But you’re a very old man, and old people are useless."

Homer says “very old man now”.  Oh well, still excellent usage.

‘Beauty And The Beast’ Returns And Enchants, Even In Unneeded 3-D – Heh:

Besides, there are kids out there who don’t even know where Mr. Burns’ "See My Vest" number on The Simpsons came from. And they really should.

Don’t forget The Critic!  Though I’d guess lots more kids know “See My Vest” than “Beauty and King Dork”.

Marge Simpson and Homer Simpson. Diane Pernet and Karl Lagerfeld – A blog called Humor Chic, which I’ve linked before, went off this week drawing Simpsons characters like famous fashion people.  I can’t comment on the accuracy of these as I only recognize half the names and have no idea what these people look like, but here’s the full spread of links:


Bart and Lisa – Bart and Lisa Simpson Photo (28324403) – Fan made drawing of Bart wrecking Lisa’s snowman.

Ned Flanders by ~MrsLemmy on deviantART – Yet another fan made drawing, this time of Flanders looking quite butch after he rakes up some leaves.

The Simpsons Fan Art – Fantastic collection of fan made stuff.  I’ve seen some of them before, but there are a lot of new and good ones as well.  (via)

Apu – I chuckled.

NailArt and things: Pink Love and Bart Simpson – A shirt with a fan painted image of Bart peering around a corner.  Cool.

The Simpsons season 3 review – A glowing review of Season 3:

I would give this season a 10 out of 10 due to the fact that it doesn’t matter how many times you watch these episodes they never get old and its worth remembering that they were brought in 1992 and are still funny to this day.

I was listening to an Oakley & Weinstein commentary a month or so ago, and they said they thought Season 3 was the best one.

Bong Of The Day: Bart Bong – I think we can safely say that this does not fall under the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval:

This awesome Bart Bong from Excellent Pipes is pretty sweet, the Bart Simpson bowl is blown with 24ct. gold fumed glass!! It has a cool twist in the tube that act as an ice catcher to cool down your hits. I love the big rounded bowl shape that the base of this bong has.

You can buy a lot of weed for the price of a bong like that. 

Broken Hill Statue Totally Looks Like Homer Simpson – Yeah, kinda.

D’oh, A Simpsons Marathon Challenge – This is a very nice writeup of that stupid marathon FOX is doing to promote the 500th episode, and it doesn’t mention anything past Season 7.

Friday Five: Five Favorite Rolling Stone Covers – The ones with the family drawn as Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and the Beatles make #1 here.

‘The Simpsons’ approaching 500th episode – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us:

We’ve been watching a lot of episodes of “The Simpsons” in my household lately. Not new episodes, but classics from old DVD collections.

My son has discovered the show and is currently obsessively watching the fifth season which, I’m startled to realize, aired several years before he was born.

I haven’t watched “The Simpsons” in years. As I’ve noted previously in this blog, I think the show ran out of steam somewhere around the 10th season. The few episodes I’ve seen in the past decade seemed cheap and obvious.

The fifth season, currently in “play all” mode at my house, was a whole different story.

Got that right.  It concludes:

The show’s 500th episode is set to air Feb. 19 and I might tune in. I want to enjoy the show like I did when acid-washed jeans were all the rage. I’m afraid both are cultural icons whose time has passed, though.


5 Responses to “Reading Digest: One Word Off Edition”

  1. 1 Thrillho
    20 January 2012 at 2:02 pm

    After watching that first video for a short while, I started hearing “Dope!” instead of “D’oh!” Don’t ask why.

  2. 2 PEPITO! The Biggest Cat In The Whole Wide World!
    20 January 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Season 3 is the best season. Though I certainly love 4 5 and 6, no season balances groundness in reality with wackiness as much as 3 (except for late Era 2). Homer wasn’t quite Capt. Wacky and had decent insights such as
    “According to this eye-catching article, SAT scores are declining at a slower rate!”

    also you could have picked on someone other than Billy Graham, who isn’t even stereotypically known as fire and brimstone. sweet constancy!

  3. 21 January 2012 at 4:53 am

    I love quite a bit of season 9 but PRINCIPLE AND THE PAUPER is almost as bad as a zombie simpsons episode, to be honest. It just isn’t funny. I like to think of it as a dream sequence or an alternate-reality or something… the fact that “Skinner isn’t actually Skinner” is not experimental/daring/challenging or whatever reason the writers gave… it’s just bad writing.

    • 4 D.N.
      21 January 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Another reason why “The Principal and the Pauper” makes no sense – and I didn’t really think about this till recently – is that Agnes Skinner and Seymour Skinner resemble each other facially. Agnes has basically Skinner’s face, wrinkled and with grey hair. So how the hell can Skinner not be her biological son??

      • 5 John Hugar
        22 January 2012 at 1:40 pm

        How many quotable lines are there in that episode?
        Ooh, a fresh batch of America balls!
        The rod up that man’s butt must have a rod up its butt!
        When I grow up, I wanna be a principal, or a caterpillar.
        They call him Skinner, Skinner, faster than lightning, no one you see, is stricter than he!
        Had I known there was a war going on, I probably would’ve apologized.
        Up yours, children!

        Not defending the episode as a whole, but it does have some great lines.

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