Reading Digest: Election Hangover Edition

Much Apu About Nothing10

“It’s a landslide, yes on 24!  The proposition passed with a record ninety-five percent.” – Kent Brockman
“When are people going to learn?  Democracy doesn’t work!” – Homer Simpson

Shorter than average Reading Digest this week for the obvious reason that there was this election thing taking up everyone’s time and attention.  All was not squandered, however, as we did get several excellent election related links, including a few with great YouTube.  There’s also an assortment of other stuff, including usage, opera and Karl Rove. 


Soup of the Day – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this awesome chalkboard advertisement for “Chowda”.  I do not know where that restaurant is, and I’m not even a big chowder fan, but I would stop there instantly and eat. 

Opera, Whales, and The Simpsons – I didn’t know there was an opera version of “A Streetcar Named Desire”:

The 1992 episode A Streetcar Named Marge deftly imagined the musical Streetcar! and gave us a few bits and pieces of some songs that might belong to it. The result was brilliant, hilarious, and poignantly true to the original:

Ned Flanders/Stanley Kowalski: “You’re a girl, and I’m a fella”
Marge Simpson/Blanche DuBois: “Stanley, stop, or I’ll call Stella!"

Somewhere, André Previn and Phillip Littell watched this and they freaked out. The serious grown-up opera they were working on had just pre-emptively had its imperial wardrobe stripped off. So they decided they’d do something different: they wouldn’t have any of those snappy rhymes or incisive ambiguities, or, you know, actual songs. Those belong in musicals, not in our precious opera, oh, no. This is serious business, so it needs to be duller. To the recitative machine!

The lesson here is that there are some things best left non-operatic.

‘Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos’: The 2012 US Election as Explained by The Simpsons – A British analysis of this week’s election that’s heavy on Simpsons (and has no Zombie Simpsons).  Excellent.

How ‘The Simpsons’ Taught Us Everything We Need To Know About Politics – This is excellent work, it’s got lots of screen grabs, animated .gifs, and YouTube, and there isn’t a trace of Zombie Simpsons.

Democracy simply doesn’t work: Top Simpsons quotes for the losing candidate – A bit too much Zombie Simpsons here, but mostly it’s good.

10 quotes for when your political candidate loses – This one isn’t Simpsons specific, but the show does get three quotes and none of them are from Zombie Simpsons.

Diversity of Censorship…Channel 4 censors the word gay from daytime broadcasts of The Simpsons – For shame, Channel 4:

In the episode Homer Simpson goes to an American football match with his God-fearing neighbour Ned Flanders but is initially embarrassed to be seen with him. The pair bond and Homer yells: I want everyone to know that this is Ned Flanders … my friend!

His workmates Lenny and Carl overhear him and Lenny says: What d’he say?

Originally Carl replies: I dunno. Somethin’ about being gay.

But on Sunday his line was cut and the episode switched to advertisements after Lenny speaks.

Channel 4 told The Independent claimed that it was a ‘mistake’ was caused by an overly cautious compliance checker.

I would’ve blamed an overly tight necktie.

The 2012 Election…In 10 Words – But who captured the Edgar Neubauer vote?

A 10 Word Message to Karl Rove – Rove was never that skinny.

War of Words: Simpsons supreme or simpletons? – A pair of dueling essays about the show, I’m not 100% in sync with either, but I can’t help but think the second one is mistaking Zombie Simpsons for the real deal. (via)

Judd Apatow and ‘The Simpsons’ Script That Defined Every Movie He’s Made Since – Before he worked with Jean and Reiss on The Critic, Apatow banged out a Simpsons script:

The first thing I ever wrote was a spec episode of The Simpsons. After only five Simpsons episodes aired, I sat down and tried to write one when I was in my early twenties. And what it was about was they went to see a hypnotism show and at the hypnotism show, they made Homer think he was the same age at Bart. And then the hypnotist had a heart attack. So now Homer and Bart became best friends and they spent the rest of the show running away because Homer didn’t want responsibility and didn’t want to be brought back to his real age. So I basically copied that for every movie I’ve made since.

Giveaway: MacHomer – The guy who does Macbeth in Simpsons voices is coming to Dallas Texas next Thursday.  You can win four tickets just by sending in an e-mail.

I’ve Never Seen… ‘The Shining’ – A first time moviegoer sees one of the most referenced films ever:

It’s also hard to feel cultured and filmy when all you can think of is how certain scenes were adapted. Honestly, the scene where the cook is axed in the back by a particularly sneaky Nicholson, rather than jumping out my skin, I caught myself thinking “oh yeah”, remembering Groundskeeper Willie meeting the same fate in The Simpsons

my bed sheet – A Bart bed sheet with a simple warning to any surfers out there.

Q&A with the director of ‘Wreck-It-Ralph’ – Simpsons alum Rich Moore on his new movie:

DS: It was reported that the film had the most individual characters in a Disney film to this date. What was it like coming up with that many characters?

RM: I guess it has 190 characters. My background is from the Simpsons and Futurama and the Simpsons has a gigantic cast, over the years the cast has grown so big so 190 characters doesn’t seem that much to me. I guess we kind of broke a record, which I am proud of.

Bart – Street wear of one of the Simpsons outfits by that fashion designer.

My Artistic Progression from age 6 to 21 (with images!) – Charting one’s childhood works includes some amusing Bart Simpson heads at a very young age.

‘The Simpsons’ Now Sucks: ‘Mr. Burns 4 Romney’ Video Shows Why – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us.  By now I’m sure most of the readers of this blog have seen that goofy “Burns endorses Romney” video that Zombie Simpsons unleashed on the internet.  Rather than criticize it myself, I can just link to someone else who noticed that it’s dull, obvious, and over long:

“The Simpsons” typically takes nine months to film a full episode, so for once they had the rare ability to make an incisive commentary on contemporary pop politics (ala South Park) in this two-minute clip. And you could almost feel that the entire clip evolved out of the fact that “broccoli and meat” sounds an awful lot like “Barack and Mitt.” That and some liberal writer wanting to remind people that this guy once drove with a dog on top of his car. If that is the brand of humor Harvard is producing, tell the writers to save their money and go to Gudger College … or worse, Rutgers.

I’m not sure what Rutgers did, but that thing was very weak. 

10 Responses to “Reading Digest: Election Hangover Edition”

  1. 1 Chris
    9 November 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I just watched that “Burns for Romney” video. Where the hell are the jokes? It’s just a recitation of the news over the past 9 months. I feel like Krusty after watching Worker and Parasite…what the hell was that?! Oh right, the joke is that Romney is evil like Burns. ha ha?

    • 12 November 2012 at 4:31 am

      I actually thought that the Burns video was pretty good – but that might just be that my standards have been lowered by what little I’ve seen of modern Simpsons.
      Even though I enjoyed it, I never once felt it was incisive or cutting in the same way ‘Three Eyes of Every Fish’ was, and the dog thing was a relatively trivial matter I though everyone had moved on from by now.
      Still, by modern Simpsons standards, thought it was pretty decent.

  2. 3 Monty Python Forever
    9 November 2012 at 2:28 pm

    2012 election in 10 words: “It doesn’t matter who you vote for: [Earth] is doomed!” Although I am still glad Obama won: He has a lot of problems, but Mitt Romney is a monster.

  3. 4 Monty Python Forever
    9 November 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Mitt Romney’s attitude towards workers in 10 words: “Send his wife a ham…” “He’s alive.” “Cancel the ham!

  4. 5 Monty Python Forever
    9 November 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Barack Obama’s Presidency in 10 words: “[Barack Obama,] Your indolence is inefficacious! That means you’re terrible!” Mitt Romney in 10 words: ” We’re just plain evil! We want what’s worst for everyone!

  5. 6 Stan
    9 November 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Are you quite done quoting now?

  6. 7 Orangutanagram
    9 November 2012 at 10:18 pm

    There was a massive demonstration in Buenos Aires yesterday, against the current authoritarian administration. One of their practices is to use the equivalent of the IRS to persecute political opponents and non-sympathizers in general. This agency is called AFIP. One sign in the demonstration had this picture, and the words “can’t sleep, AFIP will eat me”.

  7. 9 CM
    9 November 2012 at 10:22 pm

    In the duelling essays, I feel like the first essay stumbles across a fantastically astute observation almost completely by accident.

    The moist pig comparison is spot on! Because, to quote the late, great show itself…

    “It’s just a little airborne! It’s still good, it’s still good!”
    “It’s gone.”

    How perfect is that? I’m sure it wasn’t intended in exactly that way, but that’s both sides of the declining quality argument, right there. Zombie Simpsons is a beautiful, succulent, roasted pig, being catapulted across Springfield. Being careful here not to misrepresent the writer’s position – she’s clearly fond of it whether it’s airborne or no, and fair play to her on that because she’s getting more joy out of it than I am – but… doesn’t it just work? Clever writer! Very good.

  8. 10 Anonymous
    12 November 2012 at 8:34 am

    Strange, where are all the references to the Tea Party episode they did? :)

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