“This is a job for the Green Lantern, Thundra, or possibly Ghost Rider.” – Comic Book Guy
“What about Superman?” – Otto
“Oh, please.” – Comic Book Guy
It’s a shorter and more random than usual list this week, I assume because of a Labor Day related reduction in the amount of time people spent at their keyboards over the last seven days. We do have a couple of people confessing to having chronic cases of Simpsons on the brain, but I’ve never thought of that as a bad thing. Having great jokes and scenes pop into your head randomly during the day has never bothered me. We’ve also got some good Simpsons usage, Albert Brooks being cool, the undeniable quality of Seasons 1 and 2, and a couple of links leftover from Clint Eastwood’s Grampa Simpson moment last week.
On Truth – A discussion of what it means for something to be “true”, with plenty of Simpsons examples. Sadly, none of them are Lionel Hutz’s “Yeah, but what is truth? If you follow me.”
Weinman on TV: First seasons first – The show did, indeed, hit the ground running:
And third, there’s the first season that recognizably is the show, but in a rough or primitive form compared to what came later. The first season of The Simpsons is an obvious example. It’s not that it wasn’t good; those first 13 episodes were a smash hit. And by the end of the first season, the characters are more or less established as what they would be. But the show was slow-paced compared to what came later. It wasn’t until the third season that it achieved a super-fast pace and became the most densely-packed comedy in television history. Someone watching, say, season 2 of The Simpsons for the first time won’t find the show unrecognizable, just a little sluggish by comparison. (Though I should add that I’ve watched early episodes of The Simpsons in crowds and everyone laughed all the way through them, so there goes that generalization.)
I generally tell people to start with “Bart Gets an F”.
Out to the Ball game – Why would this be sad?:
Is it sad that, as I write this, the song stuck in my head isn’t “Take Me out to the Ball game” or (God forbid) “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” but instead is “Talkin’ Softball” from that one baseball episode of The Simpsons? (“Ken Griffey’s grotesquely swollen jaw . . . ”)
17 Ways Television Has Destroyed My Brain – There is nothing wrong with this:
5. I genuinely can’t relate to people who haven’t seen the first eight seasons of The Simpsons.
It’s their fault, not yours.
So This Happened: The Voice of Bart Simpson Stops by Digitaria – Cartwright stopped by some ad agency and gave a fake PA announcement, of which there is YouTube.
The Indoorsman: Making a molehill out of a mountain – First time mountain climber:
It was my first summit. (As a now-seasoned mountain climber, I’ve learned that using the word "summit" is among the best parts of the whole experience. It’s great as a verb and a noun: "I summited the summit.") I guess it’s not surprising that this was my first summit. I am, after all, The Indoorsman. Historically, I haven’t cared at all about mountains or streams or jaunts through the forest. I mean, I’ve always assumed they were great. But I also know for a fact that season four of the "The Simpsons" on DVD is great, and I can enjoy that in my underwear with a beer and a sandwich. I usually opted for "The Simpsons."
It’s beautiful. After I catch my breath, can we go home?
Matt Groening Knows Can Do More Than Entertain – Another person who puts Futurama above The Simpsons:
But I digress, so why do I think that Futurama is a better show than The Simpsons? It’s rather simple actually, when I think of some of my favorite Simpsons episodes (like the Who Shot Mr. Burns twofer or the Behind The Music episode) they are good, yeah, but after you finish watching them you are left with nothing but a few repeatable lines. The best episodes of Futurama however, are not just comical, but heart wrenching.
Take for example some of my two favorite episodes, The Luck of the Fryrish and Jurassic Bark. Both episodes present the typical comedic story in normal Matt Groening fashion, but then someone throws a wrench in the gears and you find yourself drowning in the tears of a schoolgirl… and then you realize, you are that school girl and…. OH GAWD HOW DID THIS HAPPEN I WAS LAUGHING NOT TWO SECONDS AGO!!!!
Ahem. I still blame Zombie Simpsons.
The Simpsons as a teaching tool – It’s a good one:
Knowing my fondness for The Simpsons a colleague just sent me a link to this article, ‘Teaching Sociology Seminars through The Simpsons‘. Looks great and appears to give some quite specific ideas about how to build The Simpsons into the curriculum.
And there’s a whole book about it too.
Why I’m Weird – Ah, sex ed:
“Mrs. Johnson? How long after a man lies on a woman does it take to… ejaculate?”
Giggles from the class.
“Two hours.” Mrs. Johnson, completely serious.
“Whoa!” Class, in unison.
“That’s like, 4 episodes of The Simpsons!”
But without commercials it’s 5! That’s twenty-two more minutes of show per ejaculation.
Albert Brooks – Brooks is awesome. You likely knew that already, but here’s another reason anyway:
I sent a drawing to be signed (along with a request letter and stamped envelope) to Albert Brooks on July 3, 2012.
It was signed and returned to me on Friday, August 31, 2012. 59 days later.
“Gerald – Best Wishes, Albert Brooks”
It’s a pretty good drawing too. Marlin (Nemo’s dad) looks appropriately terrified.
Simpsons – Tricking Hugo (gif) – Animated .gif of Hibbert knocking out Hugo.
This is What Liking Your Own Posts Looks Like – Animated .gif of Milhouse playing along on the teeter-totter.
The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure…In 10 Words – The Oogieloves seem to have lost their edge.
The Voyager Spacecrafts…In 10 Words – Like Barney’s $2,000, Voyager 1 is very far short of “there”.
Max Power – That would’ve been cool:
This is a quick 20 minute illustration of my son Max. When thinking of a name, we originally wanted to go with Max Power Watson (a reference from one of the greatest Simpsons episodes in case you are wondering why anyone would do such a thing) but ultimately settled on Max Paul Watson instead.
I Must Have Missed That Episode – More Simpsons fun with the cable channel guide.
Teaching for Montgomery Burns – A for-profit college described (for legal reasons) as being run by Charles Montgomery Burns.
Pop culture’s best and worst teachers: Who gets your vote? – This is EW.com page whoring, but it does have Mr. Bergstrom and Mrs. Krabappel.
10 of my most favourite The Simpsons quotes – A couple of Zombie Simpsons quotes are on here, but on the whole it’s a good list.
Musicians on The Simpsons: 5 Favorite Guest Appearances – Sadly this list contains two Zombie Simpsons entries.
How To Draw Sideshow Bob From The Simpsons – A carefully shot, six-minute YouTube video of someone drawing a great Sideshow Bob, first in pencil, then filling it in with a marker.
Republican National Convention: Who Said It – This got linked in a lot of places this week, but it isn’t too difficult. There’s only one quote from Grampa that’s from Zombie Simpsons.
D’Oh! Eastwood’s Convention Speech Spawns Fake ‘Simpsons’ Meme – Whoever photoshopped that “Old Man Yells At Cloud” to “Old Man Yells At Chair” did a spectacular job. It even matches the pixilation of that crappy screen grab.
Chibi Marge Simpson by ~LiloLilosa on deviantART – Just what it says.
WE HEART LISA SIMPSON zine back in stock! From… – Girls Get Busy – Also just what it says:
A zine dedicated to the feminist icon that is Lisa Simpson.
Contributions include writings of personal experiences, art work, lyrics, memories, photos and tributes. 20 pages in b&w – A5 size
The Nerdery geeks out with fun at work – Sadly there is no photo of this room:
The nerds don’t meet in average boardrooms. The office has five conference rooms decorated in nerd fashion. "Springfield" is a replica of the Simpsons’ living room, "Brick House" is made out of Legos, and "Starship" is Trekkie heaven.
"[The conference rooms] let you be happier and keep a positive attitude," says Seemann. "You’re going to work better and think better if you’re in the Simpsons’ living room."
I don’t know if I’d work better or not, but it would be cool.