Reading Digest: Summer Orphans Edition

Bart of Darkness11

“Oh, the gentle caress of a summer breeze.” – Martin Prince 

With the Fourth falling on a Thursday this year, the internet has been low all week, so this is a pretty short Reading Digest.  Two items, however, provide quite a few links.  First, a German guy wrote a book praising the show for its long history of not berating the gays; second, a young hooligan in Illinois put up some Simpsons themed graffiti, and we have pictures.  Neither is the world’s most earth shattering news, but it’s high summer, the day after the Fourth of July, and most sensible people are doing things other than hanging out on-line.  Things should be get back to normal next week.  In addition to that stuff, we’ve got a couple of surprises from the ongoing best episode bracket, Harry Shearer continuing his quest to be recognized as the hardest working man in show business, the Denver Broncos, and an admitted Simpsons-holic.


You Are Lisa Simpson – A tribute to Lisa about how her youth makes her impervious to all the attendant sexual horseshit that gets attached to other female characters.  Also, this:

This is the most traumatically perfect thing that has ever happened on The Simpsons. (‘Do It For Her’, is pretty good. But ‘You Are Lisa Simpson’ even beats ‘Do It For Her’. That’s how fucking good it is.)

That’s a tough one. 

The Simpsons knew it years ahead of us. – Reddit notices all the labeled wires, NSA among them, in “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer”.

The Simpsons helped me come out – A German librarian has written a book in which he praises the show for its early and positive portrayal of gay characters on television. 

Homer Makes us Love Homos – The Simpsons 25 Years – Reacting to the same book, this is a rundown of some of the show’s gay content over the years (including Zombie Simpsons), but it’s worth the click for the fan made drawing of naked Homer right at the top. 

‘The Simpsons’ Responsible For Mainstream Acceptance Of Gays, Claims New Study – Another writeup of that same new book contains this interesting tidbit:

“As a result, ‘The Simpsons’ conveys to an audience of millions a typically American, but an uncharacteristically open-minded, image of gays and lesbians,” reads the book’s Amazon synopsis. ”Despite the fallback to stereotypes, an intelligent, fair and entertaining handling of homosexuality can be observed in The Simpsons.”

The hinting with Smithers was pretty subtle at first, but I remain amazed that they got away with Karl in 1990.  He’s as gay as the day is long, voiced by Harvey Fierstein, and kisses Homer on the lips.  If that had been live action, there would’ve been riots, stations refusing to air it, and all kinds of other ugliness. 

The Best LeMons Race Car So Far: The Homer from "The Simpsons"! – This is mostly about the car from last week, but it’s also got pictures of another Simpsons themed car:

Meanwhile, in the Deep South, the uranium-handling Homer Simpsons of Stupid But Tough Racing (they have radioactive day jobs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, so they really are Homer Simpsons) decided they’d make their Chevy Malibu look like The Simpsons’ pink family sedan and add a gigantic spray-foam Homer head to the roof.

The child size inner tube as a donut is a nice touch.

06/28/2013 – Someone got one of those Homer burgers at that Belgian fast food place. 

DAYTONA to Debut at Park Theatre, July 17; Launches UK Tour thru Oct 2013 – Harry Shearer is heading to the stage in Britain:

Directed by David Grindley and starring Maureen Lipman, Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, This is Spinal Tap, Saturday Night Live) and John Bowe (Cranford, Sweeney Todd), Daytona is a haunting, funny and poignant play full of mystery, with not one but two love stories at its heart.

Happy in their shared passion for ballroom dancing, Joe and Elli plan to win the next big competition. But the unexpected arrival of a figure from their past threatens to throw everything off balance. What can this man possibly want of them on this cold winter’s night? What can be gained from this uneasy reunion? When they discover the story behind his sudden return, Joe and Elli must confront a profound moral dilemma.

Bart Back With Butterfinger – FOX has started cashing checks from Nestle again.  Carry on.

Glastonbury 2013 review: lightning strikes for The Rolling Stones – Excellent reference:

In 1995, The Simpsons aired a classic episode called ‘Lisa’s Wedding’ in which a demented fortune teller foretold the story of Lisa Simpson’s first love. While glimpsing the future—a now distant 2010—we saw a host of eerily true predictions of what’s to come, including The Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheelchair Tour. And though a few years later than expected, last night we saw what could be considered the Steel Zimmerframe headline slot at Glastonbury.


Over My Head – Excellent usage:

In an old episode of The Simpsons, Homer takes his two daughters, Lisa and Maggie, to VHS Village because it is the “quickest, cheapest, easiest” way to do something with them. Upon entering the video store, Lisa dashes to what is presumably the children’s section while Homer finds himself in the sports section. He excitedly finds a video called “Football’s Greatest Injuries” and then yells out, “Lisa, we’re going!”

When we’d catch this episode in reruns, my sister and I would laugh at how much our own dad could be like Homer when he took us to the video store.

Ah the video store trip, relic of a lost world.

I want to change… – Communicating with upset kids through the medium of Maggie.

Close up look at The Simpsons collection by Converse: Part 2! – Just what it says.  This is the shoe with Homer on it.

Top 5 Worst Simpsons Episodes – I can’t really argue with any of these. 

Ross’ Turkey Sandwich | “Friends” | – Excellent YouTube usage:

But he wasn’t wrong about the Moist Maker. I imagine that adding stuffing to the sandwich, while delicious, is not likely to help in the moisture department. Leftover cranberry sauce would not be enough. There’s just no culinary crime like a dry turkey sandwich (Simpsons did it!):

Naperville Cops Seek Simpsons Graffiti Artists – El Barto strikes in Illinois. 

Skinner stinks: Naperville has a cow over graffiti art – A few more pictures from the Land of Lincoln, the one above the river certainly gets points for being acrobatic. 

spritz life – Fantastic graffiti of Jimbo and Martin from Vancouver. 

Grimey Dub – Awesome fan made image of Grimes as a DJ. 

Grads to Watch: Robyn Fortunat – The kids are alright:

All it took was repeated viewings of The Simpsons opening sequence, particularly Lisa’s saxophone solo after being thrown out of music class.

That’s what inspired Cowichan Secondary graduating student Robyn Fortunat to pick up the shiny jazz instrument.

"I’ve always listened to music, mostly jazz, easy-listening, since I was real young," explained Fortunat.
"I loved Lisa and her saxophone," she said.

Like Lisa, she often annoys her folks at home blowing out crazy-loud band repertoire tunes. Her dog, Orrin, isn’t a fan either.

But it paid off. The 18-year-old is headed to Vancouver Island University come fall to study in  its jazz program.

Good luck, young lady.

Number 1′s: Wacky TV Neighbors – Flanders makes the list because obviously. 

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 41) – Season 17 vs. Season 19 yields:

The “winner”: KABF06, “The Debarted,” I guess.

Now that’s sarcasm. 

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 42) – And a shocking upset where Armin Tamzarian comes out ahead of . . . Sideshow Bob?  I did not see that one coming.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 43) – Fudd?  I thought they took that off the market after all those hillbillies went blind.

White House Down…In 10 Words – Mr. President, those young people are about to get a dose of reality.

Doctor Who Monday: Vengeance on Varos…In 10 Words – I sure enjoyed those hundred tacos. 

The Heat…In 10 Words – It means they get results, you stupid chief!  (That movie was fantastic, by the way.)

‘The rirst report is always wrong,’ and other blackout lessons – Moderate usage:

After about the 15th time I tapped the space bar when I meant to hit “c,” or the backspace button instead of “l,” I began to feel like my phone’s touchscreen keypad was mocking me.

Just like that time on “The Simpsons” when Homer gains 63 pounds so he can go on disability, then has to dial 911, only to hear the following phone message: “The fingers you are using to dial this phone are too fat. To order a special dialing wand, mash your palm against the keys now.”

The irony about reporting on Sunday’s blackout, which punched out the Ellwood City area’s lights for more than half a day, is that I had to do it without electricity. So I wound up writing two stories for Monday’s paper from my phone.

The actual quote is, “The fingers you have used to dial, are too fat.  To obtain a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now.”. 

66 Days to Kickoff – A Broncos fan remembers the low esteem in which the team was held until they won those two Super Bowls with Elway and Davis. 

What’s your favorite kind of lawn sprinkler?! – Animated .gif of Milhouse asking that most important of summer questions.

The Cartoon Character Couple Phenomenon and Couples Who Look Alike – Interesting:

The cartoon character couple phenomenon describes two romantically involved people who have such a strong resemblance to one another that they could just as easily pass for brother and sister. I’ve derived the name of the phenomenon from a handful of cartoon character couples who are, for whatever reason, drawn in such a way that they appear to be related. Some of the more famous examples include The Simpsons Kirk and Luann Van Houten and Mort and Muriel Goldman of Family Guy. Other examples include the perennially in-hiding Waldo and his girlfriend Wenda. Also, Starla and Muscle Man from Cartoon Network’s The Regular Show.

July 2 – Journalist Cocktail – A rundown of some famous TV news crews and what they might be drinking, including Brockman and Channel 6.

A cromulent addiction embiggens the smallest man – And finally, I get to end with someone who really, really agrees with us:

You see, am a “The Simpsons” seasons 3-9-aholic.


The telltale symptoms can be as far-reaching as social disconnection from the non-animated world, but as subtle as constant quoting and laughter. If possible, I would speak only in quotes from the greatest run of televised humor in history. Alas, I must press on with real-world anecdotes and speak to people with sentences I craft myself.

That does not mean I have to like it.

Preach, brother.  Preach.

14 Responses to “Reading Digest: Summer Orphans Edition”

  1. 1 Chris
    5 July 2013 at 2:51 pm

    “Top 5 Worst Simpsons Episodes – I can’t really argue with any of these.”

    Do you really think Principal and the Pauper is the absolute worst in the show’s history? I feel like people are just trolling me now. I mean sheesh, I get it, people don’t like this episode, but it is not even CLOSE to being the worst in the show’s history. A few years ago they did a Bob episode where Bob trades faces with another man. That ’90s Show is one horrible attempt at making ’90s jokes at the expense of everything we know and hold dear about the show. Jockey elves, panda rape, Simpson safari, that Ted Nugent episode which featured such weak political satire the Onion would turn it down. Pauper is better than any episode they’ve aired since season 11. You will not convince me differently. That episode had some humor to it; there are more good jokes in that episode than they’ve had since season 11 combined. “If I had known there was a war going on I probably would have apologized.” “continue looking shocked and move slowly towards the cake” “take good care of her; I’ll wind her up every day” “can I borrow your copy of Swank, Armin?” All of that makes me laugh more than anything I’ve seen in 13 years.

    • 2 RaikoLives
      5 July 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Yeah, when he opens the article with:

      “Season 17′s “We’re on the road to D’ohwhere” is as laugh-out loud funny as anything in the early episodes and Season 21′s “The Squirt and the Whale” is as touching and poignant as the golden age was able to achieve.”

      the rest of it is taken with a grain of salt. Maybe even a handful of salt. Like, HUGE handfuls of salt.

    • 3 ThisCannotBeTheFuture
      6 July 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Totally agree.

  2. 4 FireFlower
    5 July 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Here are my top five worst epiosdes:

    1. Lisa Goes Gaga
    2. The Falcon and the D’ohman
    3. That 90’s Show
    4. Moe Goes From Rags to Riches
    5. A Tree Grows in Springfield

    Honorable mentions: Stealing First Base, Homer of Seville and Rome-old and Juli-eh

    • 5 Monty Python Forever
      7 July 2013 at 3:51 am

      1. Saddlesore Galactica: So lazy and poorly-written that the writers had to have comic book guy come in and mock it to kill time. Actually includes scenes like Homer helping a sapient horse choose sexual partners, and running from jockey elves. This is truly the worst shit ever seen on this show.
      2. Large Marge: Marge becomes paranoid, takes steroids and becomes a psychotic drug addict. Absolutely nothing humorous or clever happens, and the episode mostly involves annoying slapstick. Lots of filler, style over substance, pointless scenes, overlong sequences, and more.
      3. Treehouse of Horror 22: First, a sketch based entirely on a fart joke, then a pointless twist ending. Then, a sketch mostly involving random murders, and another pointless twist. Third, an attempt to parody a ridiculously silly movie which barely makes any commentary on it.
      4. Brake My Wife, Please: Every failure of modern Simpsons is taken to the extreme in this one. Remember the ridiculously pointless and unfunny song that arbitrary introduces a worthless celebrity cameo and racial stereotypes? How about the long, pointless slapstick scenes of Marge hurting Homer? Characterization, humor, pacing, imagination and relevance went to this episode to die.
      5. Wedding for Disaster: Large marge, with pointless, nonsensical cameos from Krusty, Sideshow Bob and Cookie Swan, Patty and Selma acting like sociopathic serial killers instead of bitches, and stupidly obvious plot twists. Insults the audience’s intelligence with lines like, “Bridezilla: A combination of bride and Godzilla?

      • 6 LSP
        7 July 2013 at 1:45 pm

        “Large Marge: Marge becomes paranoid, takes steroids and becomes a psychotic drug addict. Absolutely nothing humorous or clever happens, and the episode mostly involves annoying slapstick. Lots of filler, style over substance, pointless scenes, overlong sequences, and more.”

        I believe you’re talking about “The Strong Arms of the Ma”

      • 7 Rob K.
        7 July 2013 at 3:17 pm

        Well said.

      • 8 FireFlower
        7 July 2013 at 4:19 pm

        You think that is worse than a talking rag, Lady Gaga and grunge band Homer?

    • 9 Rob K.
      8 July 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Good (not!) list :)

  3. 10 FireFlower
    5 July 2013 at 6:34 pm

    And aslo The Greattest Story Ever D’ohed.

  4. 11 Rob K.
    6 July 2013 at 12:26 pm

    This edition is long! I’m from and live in IL btw :)

  5. 6 July 2013 at 7:59 pm

    That 90s show is waaaay worse than Principal and the pauper.

  6. 13 Monty Python Forever
    7 July 2013 at 4:03 am

    Letting Southerners handle radioactive substances is like giving a monkey a machine gun, or letting a corporation put a camera in your home so you can play a few games.

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