Archive for August, 2014

31
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer18

“Lucky for you, this stuff doesn’t work.” – Springfield Nutrition Center Guy

30
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Homer Goes to College14

“Oh, Dean, this is what your new hip is going to look like . . . you’re going to have to go easy on it.” – Dr. Hibbert

29
Aug
14

Reading Digest: The Hell With It Edition

The Call of the Simpsons11

“There.  Finished.” – Homer Simpson
“You are?” – Lisa Simpson
“Well, it’s a quick job, but it’s shelter.” – Homer Simpson
“It is?” – Marge Simpson

Just like last week, this is by necessity incomplete.  I just can’t keep up, but there is a ton of good stuff below.  My inbox is also a mess, and I know I owe like half a dozen people e-mails, so hopefully I get to that and then fill in many of the links I didn’t have time to get to.  In the meantime: enjoy.

Not Allowed In The Deep End: Ralph Wiggum’s Finest Moments – A great tribute to Ralph that treats him like a real child.

The Simpsons Deserves Another Great Video Game – A Hit and Run sequel would be pretty cool.  But it would require EA to make a good game which . . . yeah, not getting my hopes up.

How ‘Simpsons’ Movie Parodies Have Changed Over 25 Years – This is much gentler on Zombie Simpsons than I would be, but it’s got a lot of great YouTube and is explicit about the fact that the show went to hell.

7 Artists Influenced By The Simpsons: Fall Out Boy, Les Claypool, And More – Just what it says.  I didn’t know one of the guys from Primus named his home studio “Rancho Relaxo”.

FXX Airs ‘The Simpsons’ in Wrong Aspect Ratio. Won’t Someone Think of the Children? – Comes with some good examples of how their idiotic aspect ratio decision cuts out some of the jokes.

‘The Simpsons’: 5 Best Courtroom Scenes (and Lessons for Lawyers) – There’s some good ones here and no Zombie Simpsons.

5 Absurd Fan Theories About ‘The Simpsons’ – The only one of these I’ve even heard of was the Smithers one, but they are absurd.

Play D’oh!: The Simpsons FXX marathon schedule – There’s a good collection of recommended moments and episodes at the top, none of which are Zombie Simpsons.  (via @ChannelGuideRAB)

The Simpsons top 50 episodes – This is a pretty good list (there’s one episode from Season 13, but that’s it).  (via @dailysimpsons)

Lisa Simpson’s 6 Most Dramatic Identity Crises – This is a nice little slideshow that doesn’t contain any Zombie Simpsons.  Horray.

20 Mr. Burns-Centric ‘Simpsons’ Episodes Everyone Should Know – Yet another list that mercifully has no Zombie Simpsons.

The Simpsons find a true home in downtown Springfield – That mural in Oregon was unveiled.  It’s cool, and Yeardley was there.  Also, there’s YouTube.

Father of ‘Homer Simpson’ voice actor dead at 99 – Some sad news this week, Castellaneta’s father Louis died.  He sounded like a damn good guy:

“When I was very young and he was tucking me in bed, he turned away for a moment and said he had something in his eye,” the son said Thursday. “When he turned back, he had two ping-pong balls over his eyes with black dots on them and said, ‘AH, that’s better.’ For a while as a very young kid, I thought that he had the ability to make his eyes like that.

“When I asked him why he rarely went to church with us, he told me it was because he was Jewish. For five years, I thought I was half-Jewish — until one time I brought it up at the dinner table. Mom said, ‘Where did you get that?’ I said, ‘Dad told me.’ She hit him on the arm and said, ‘Lou!’ Obviously, it wasn’t true.”

‘The Simpsons’: A genius portrait of American childhood – A very nice appreciation of how well the show captured and portrayed real kids.  This is also an example of what I was talking about this morning.  This link is in the Washingotn Post, and doesn’t so much as even nod to the collapse of the show.  Maybe it’s not 100% necessary, but Zombie Simpsons certainly doesn’t show the kids as kids, so maybe it is.

Oy! NHL threatened The Simpsons over Stanley Cup scene – They even sent a cease and desist letter.  Also, there’s a nice .gif of Krusty puking in the Cup.

What Happens To The Human Brain If You Try To Watch Every ‘Simpsons’ Ever – Sleep deprivation would make things less funny eventually according to the scientists who came up with the (presumably) un-ironically named “humor appreciation test”.

The Simpsons and My So-Called Life are the Right Kind of 90s Nostalgia – A comparison of the very early years with the show that made Claire Danes a star.

Four Lessons Philadelphia Can Learn from The Simpsons – Great observation:

After six or so uninterrupted hours in Springfield, it became apparent that the allegedly fictional town is based on none other than Philadelphia.

Officially speaking, series creator Matt Groening claims that Springfield is inspired by a number of generic small towns, and the ambiguity of where, exactly, it could exist is a long-running joke on the show (trust me — I haven’t got off my couch in days). Briefly, the honor went to Springfield, Vermont, when Fox held a contest promoting The Simpsons Movie.

However, Philadelphians will recognize the mix of casual corruption, enthusiastic alcoholism, rabid fandom, and blood-sucking, soul-crushing monopolies as, well, home sweet home.

‘The Simpsons’ Marathon is College Football Fan’s – A look at the show through college football.

What The Simpsons’ Herb Powell Taught Us About The US Auto Industry – A nice writeup of “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?” through the lens of the early 1990s auto industry.

Throwback: At a ‘Simpsons’ table read (doh!) – A TV critic recounts the time in 2001 he went to a table read.

‘The Simpsons’ jumped the shark in one of its best episodes – We’re not the only ones who think of “Homer’s Enemy” as a turning point.

29
Aug
14

Speak No Zombie Simpsons, Hear No Zombie Simpsons

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington9

“I had a feeling it was too good to be true.  Every time you get a million dollars something queers the deal.” – Homer Simpson

Since the marathon started last week, there’s been far more Simpsons commentary on the internet than I could possibly hope to keep up with: podcasts, blog posts, articles, the never ending firehose of Twitter, you name it.  For the most part this has been very enjoyable.  Usually, the only time people start talking about the show is when they do another publicity stunt.  Some are linked to their most recent guest appearance or meaningless 50th/100th episode milestone, others some new line of merchandise, or, more recently, the killing of a character and doing crossovers with Family Guy and Futurama.  For the most part these get dutifully written up by the usual sycophantic entertainment news sites and that’s about it.  The marathon, however, has been different.

Starting last week and continuing through the weekend (Seasons 7 and 8 were on most of Sunday), there was an avalanche of people actually talking about The Simpsons instead of Zombie Simpsons or the latest officially licensed crap.  Even better, it was an overwhelming tidal wave of love: people talking about how the old episodes are great, dark, cynical, smart, heartfelt, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  Perhaps most encouraging, at least on Twitter, was the huge number of people watching with their kids.  Nine-year-olds whose parents grew up on the show got sucked into things like “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy” and “Bart of Darkness”.

However, there was one persistent undercurrent to all the comity and enjoyment that kinda bugged me, and it’s gotten worse as the marathon has switched into Zombie Simpsons.  Namely: there’s an almost unspoken taboo against mentioning how much the show has gone to seed.

Before I get into a couple of examples, let me say that I completely understand this.  People just want to discuss or praise the show; they don’t want to have an argument with some pissed off fanboi who may or may not turn out to be a flaming troll asshole.  This is why you’ll often see articles about the show (and this has been everywhere with the FXX marathon) start with some kind of disclaimer about how people complain too much, “blah blah blahing” away criticism of later years, and similar.  It’s simply easier to preempt people from calling you a bitter, uncool Comic Book Guy type than it is to deal with it after the fact.  (This exact phenomenon came up in comments on Wednesday.)

What makes this so annoying from the point of view of a Zombie Simpsons critic is that, no sooner have people made this disclaimer, than they proceed to talk about favorite episodes, gags and stories that come exclusively from Season 9 and earlier.  This is why I called the idea that the show is as good as ever a “Soviet fiction“.  Everyone knows the show isn’t anything like what it once was, they just don’t want to say so explicitly because to do so is to invite trouble, trolling, and pointless arguments that have been hashed and rehashed countless times already.

You can see this phenomenon in spades in two recent discussions of the show: one on a WHYY Philadelphia program called “Radio Times” and the other on the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast.  Production wise, these are a step way above your standard blog rant about the show, and yet that same reluctance applies.

The “Radio Times” episode aired last week, and the producers were kind enough to email me about it.  Here’s the description:

Today, the FXX network begins its 276 hour-long marathon of every episode of The Simpsons ever.  This is to commemorate the launch of the expansive SimpsonsWorld application, which will provide access to every episode, as well as a searchable database of the show’s transcripts.  Today, we discuss the 25 year-old series, its impact on American culture, and why it merits such an expansive service.  We’re joined by DAVID BIANCULLI, television critic for WHYY’s Fresh Air and founder of TVWorthWatching.com, KARMA WALTONEN,  lecturer at UC Davis’s University Writing Program and co-author of The Simpsons in the Classroom: Embiggening the Learning Experience with the Wisdom of Springfield, and Simpsons writer and co-executive producer, MICHAEL PRICE.

The whole show is about fifty minutes long, and there’s a Soundcloud link at their site along with a direct .mp3 download.  It’s an interesting discussion (Bianculli’s then 5-year-old son got to see a lot of Season 1 early on critic preview tapes, lucky kid), and it was nice to hear our old friend Karma Waltonen talk about how she uses the show to discuss a wide range of topics.  These are some of the assignments:
“Simpsons and religion, Simpsons and politics,Simpsons and the road, Simpsons and infotainment, Simpsons and family, Simpsons and sexuality, Simpsons and education,Simpsons and self-referentiality”
Throughout, they cut to Michael Price and ask him about how the show gets made and all the other standard questions that usually come up.  But there’s a glaring incongruity that would be completely invisible to the overwhelming majority of the people who listened to that episode of “Radio Times”.
Price, who seems like a nice enough fella, came aboard in Season 14.  But everyone – literally everyone: the guests, the callers, and the listener e-mail they read  on the air – cites episodes and jokes from before he was on staff.  People talk about “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer”, “Itchy and Scratchy and Marge”, and “Much Apu About Nothing”, among others.  The only mention of a Zombie Simpsons episode is one caller who recalls a slightly racist sign gag from Season 13.  (The family drives through Chinatown and sees a sign for “Toys L Us”.  Amusingly, the host realizes that it’s a little off color and moves smoothly and professionally past it.)  Everyone is obviously too NPR-polite to mention the quality slide while Price is on the line, but the fact that all but one example came from the early years is a huge elephant in the room.

That uncomfortable fact probably sails over the head of just about everybody (of the people actually participating, my guess is that only Waltonen and Price even realized it).  And while the deterioration of The Simpsons isn’t something that’s strictly necessary to bring up, it’s still a glaring omission to not even mention what is easily one of the most widely debated aspects of the show.  Not discussing it at all is like pretending Michael Jordan retired after 1998, Bobby Fischer never went publicly crazy, or Emily Dickinson lived a long and happy life.  This is a Philadelphia based program, they probably love Rocky 1, but they wouldn’t do a show on it and not even mention the franchise’s crash landings in various sequels.  Yet the collapse of The Simpsons is so potentially toxic that no one brought it up even to disagree with it.

The same can be said of the Slate Culture Gabfest episode about the marathon.  They don’t have a Zombie Simpsons writer whose work they nonchalantly ignore, but they do have a discussion of the show and what makes it “timeless” that repeatedly cites single digit seasons as being among the finest and most influential things ever done . . . all while saying not a word about the later and far inferior season which at this point constitute the bulk of the episodes.

Like the WHYY program, the silence on the decline of the show is deafening.  They dance around it, even saying that they don’t follow the show any more and citing what seasons (single digits) they think constitute the part of the series that makes it still relevant even twenty years after it was broadcast.  Nobody talks about the later years, because, again, doing so just invites trouble.

This misleads the audience by omission.  A healthy chunk of the Culture Gabfest discussion is devoted to whether or not kids decades from now, who probably won’t get references to Cheers or Phantom of the Opera, will still laugh at something like “Flaming Moe’s”.  Their consensus is that, yes, kids in the future will get it, because you don’t actually need to know Cheers to enjoy it any more than you need to have seen Citizen Kane to get “Rosebud”.  (For the record, I and plenty of other people had probably seen “Rosebud” fifteen or twenty times before ever watching Kane.)  But “Flaming Moe’s” and “Rosebud” are light years of quality and timelessness away from, say, the Lady Gaga episode, or the popped eyeball episode, or even the “picture a day” YouTube episode.

Again, I understand the reluctance.  Criticizing the show and saying that it isn’t as good as it once was is to invite the most boring and annoying kind of discussion.  I wouldn’t call the e-mails I routinely receive “hate mail” (no one has, for example, threatened to drink blood out of my genitals (<- asshole)), but they tend not to be kind.  And one of the very first comments we ever got on this site way back in 2009 was to call me a pedophile.  It’s aggravating and time consuming even before you get into refuting the same tired arguments over and over again.

But if you want to talk about why the show is “timeless”, you are doing your audience a disservice if you don’t talk about the difference between The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons.  The show is a global cultural phenomenon to which basically nothing else can even be compared, and those early seasons are a literary goldmine whose breadth and depth touch on an all but unlimited array of immutable human subjects: love, failure, humiliation, redemption . . . the list goes on.  There’s a reason Karma Waltonen can teach a kaleidoscope of college level topics through the lens of The Simpsons.

That’s why I’m not kidding when I compare The Simpsons to William Shakespeare and Mark Twain.  Twain had a #1 bestseller one hundred years after he died, and people still make new and innovative Shakespeare adaptations for stage and screen because in both cases the writing is just that good.  Are high school students in the class of 2114, 2214 or even later going to be forced to watch “Cape Feare” the same way they’re forced to read Hamlet or Huckleberry Finn?  I don’t know, and I’m never going to find out because I’ll be dead by then.  But from the vantage point of 2014, you’d be hard pressed to nominate any other recent cultural creation that stands a better chance (or even comes close).  After all, there’s already a play that’s been critically acclaimed in New York City and London about how people will be reinterpreting The Simpsons far into the future.

So while it’s enjoyable to see The Simpsons lauded and praised on big name podcasts, public radio, and other mainstream outlets, there’s no getting around the fact that eliding and/or ignoring the show’s precipitous fall makes their encomiums incomplete (at best).  The Simpsons itself deserves the praise, but to overlook or conflate it with the shallow detritus its reputation and legacy still manage to keep on the air degrades and distorts both what it means now and how it will fare in the future.  It’s a pain in the ass to do, but if you want to talk meaningfully about The Simpsons, you’ve got to talk about Zombie Simpsons.

29
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Lisa the Beauty Queen10

“Hey, nobody’s prettier than my little girl.” – Homer Simpson
“You’re looking at her through a father’s eyes.” – Marge Simpson
“Well, if I could gouge out somebody else’s eyes and shove ’em into my sockets, I would.  But to me, she’s beautiful.” – Homer Simpson
“That is so sweet.” – Marge Simpson

28
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Selma's Choice13

“You’ve been eating that thing for a week.  I think the mayonnaise is starting to turn.” – Marge Simpson
“Two more feet and I can fit it in the fridge!” – Homer Simpson

27
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Colonel Homer14

“Doctor, you weren’t supposed to remove his gall bladder!” – Surgical Nurse #1
“Put it back!  Put it back!” – Surgical Nurse #2

26
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

The Boy Who Knew Too Much11

“Bart, you have to tell the police.” – Lisa Simpson
“I can’t.” – Bart Simpson
“Why?” – Lisa Simpson
“Bart Simpson, I know you cut school yesterday.  And as soon as I can prove it, I’m shipping you off to the Christian Military Reform School.” – Principal Skinner
“What he said.” – Bart Simpson

25
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Sax12

“Marge, name one successful person who ever lived without air conditioning?” – Homer Simpson
“Balzac.” – Marge Simpson
“No need for potty mouth just because you can’t think of one.” – Homer Simpson

24
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Another Simpsons Clip Show2

“I give up.  Did anybody learn anything about love tonight?” – Marge Simpson
“We learned it screws everybody up.” – Bart Simpson
“There’s that side of it.” – Marge Simpson

23
Aug
14

Saturday Marathon Open Thread

Burns' Heir12

Per IGN, here’s the schedule for the next 24 hours:

8/23 11:00 AM ET – “Burns’ Heir”
8/23 11:30 AM ET – “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song”
8/23 12:00 PM ET – “The Boy Who Knew Too Much”
8/23 12:30 PM ET – “Lady Bouvier’s Lover”
8/23 1:00 PM ET – “Secrets of a Successful Marriage”

Season 6

8/23 1:30 PM ET – “Bart of Darkness”
8/23 2:00 PM ET – “Lisa’s Rival”
8/23 2:30 PM ET – “Another Simpsons Clip Show”
8/23 3:00 PM ET – “Itchy & Scratchy Land”
8/23 3:30 PM ET – “Sideshow Bob Roberts”
8/23 4:00 PM ET – “Treehouse of Horror V”
8/23 4:30 PM ET – “Bart’s Girlfriend”
8/23 5:00 PM ET – “Lisa on Ice”
8/23 5:30 PM ET – “Homer Badman”
8/23 6:00 PM ET – “Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy”
8/23 6:30 PM ET – “Fear of Flying”
8/23 7:00 PM ET – “Homer the Great”
8/23 7:30 PM ET – “And Maggie Makes Three”
8/23 8:00 PM ET – “Bart’s Comet”
8/23 8:30 PM ET – “Homie the Clown”
8/23 9:00 PM ET – “Bart vs. Australia”
8/23 9:30 PM ET – “Homer vs. Patty and Selma”
8/23 10:00 PM ET – “A Star is Burns”
8/23 10:30 PM ET – “Lisa’s Wedding”
8/23 11:00 PM ET – “Two Dozen and One Greyhounds”
8/23 11:30 PM ET – “The PTA Disbands”
8/24 12:00 AM ET – “‘Round Springfield”
8/24 12:30 AM ET – “The Springfield Connection”
8/24 1:00 AM ET – “Lemon of Troy”
8/24 1:30 AM ET – “Who Shot Mr. Burns? Pt. 1″

Season 7

8/24 2:00 AM ET – “Who Shot Mr. Burns? Pt. 2″
8/24 2:30 AM ET – “Radioactive Man”
8/24 3:00 AM ET – “Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily”
8/24 3:30 AM ET – “Bart Sells His Soul”
8/24 4:00 AM ET – “Lisa the Vegetarian”
8/24 4:30 AM ET – “Treehouse of Horror VI”
8/24 5:00 AM ET – “King-Size Homer”
8/24 5:30 AM ET – “Mother Simpson”
8/24 6:00 AM ET – “Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming”
8/24 6:30 AM ET – “The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular”
8/24 7:00 AM ET – “Marge Be Not Proud”
8/24 7:30 AM ET – “Team Homer”
8/24 8:00 AM ET – “Two Bad Neighbors”
8/24 8:30 AM ET – “Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield”
8/24 9:00 AM ET – “Bart the Fink”
8/24 9:30 AM ET – “Lisa the Iconoclast”
8/24 10:00 AM ET – “Homer the Smithers”
8/24 10:30 AM ET – “The Day the Violence Died”

Looks like it’s gonna be a Season 6 kinda afternoon.  I will be dipping in and out on the Twitter machine, since this is the kind of event at which it excels.

23
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

How Boring

“The windup and the two-two pitch, oh, no, sir, wait a minute!  The batter is calling for time.  Looks like he’s going and getting himself a new bat.  And now there’s a beach ball on the field.  And the ballboys are discussing which one of them’s gonna go get it.” – Baseball Announcer
“I never realized how boring this game is.” – Homer Simpson

22
Aug
14

Reading Digest: FXX Is *Really* Bad At TV Edition

Homer Badman15

“But those shows all look so crummy.” – Homer Simpson
“We could dress it up a bit.  We could bring a fern, and a folding chair from the garage, and the most decorative thing of all: the truth.” – Marge Simpson

FXX got a lot of good press out of this Simpsons marathon thing.  Then they went and stretched the image in a way so dumb that I initially didn’t even consider it a possibility:

FXX Stretch

Oof.  As plenty of people on Twitter have pointed out, that looks atrocious.  Maybe you don’t want to just have black bars on either side, but there are ways to do that without making the entire run of The Simpsons (and a lot of Zombie Simpsons) look like that bad old early days of HD when people wanted to use the whole screen regardless of how it looked.  Put a backdrop around the sides, maybe add some running info about the episodes or the marathon itself, do that thing where there’s an extra blurred out edge . . . something, anything but stretching the image.  Shit like this is why I’m glad I don’t have cable anymore.

(Incidentally, that image came from our old friend Sebastian Nebel’s Twitter feed.  He’s tweeting great images from each episode as they air.  Highly recommended.)

Anyway, this week’s Reading Digest is incomplete for the simple reason that there is lots of Simpsons chatter on-line right now because of the marathon, but the marathon is itself has only just begun.  (They’re in the middle of Season 3 as I type this.)  So there are marathon links below, as well as the more usual stuff.  I’ll cull some of the best marathon stuff I find into it’s own post next week.

Enjoy.

The Greatest Line Every ‘Simpsons’ Character Ever Delivered – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this great list (with lots of video).  I saw one quote from Season 12, but everything else was from earlier.

The Simpsons said it: 9 times ‘The Simpsons’ embiggened the American lexicon – The FXX marathon has prompted a lot of retrospective type articles and posts, most of which are kinda similar.  This one, however, takes a good long look at several of the show’s new words and has a healthy list of honorable mentions to boot.

My Favorite Frames from Homer Defined – Nebel couldn’t pick just one from “Homer Defined”, and it’s easy to see why.

The Best. Show. Ever. Zings Libraries – Some non-Zombie Simpsons library moments.

See the world’s magazine covers from the day ‘The Simpsons’ premiered – Sting was on the cover of GQ.  

Moe Szyslak is The Simpsons’ best character, and the heart of its comedy. – This is so perfectly a #SlatePitch that it’s almost painful.  I stopped reading after this:

The most important decision The Simpsons ever made in its early years was to reimagine itself out of being a show about Bart Simpson into being a show about Homer Simpson. Through this transition—which happened so seamlessly that it was barely even noticeable—The Simpsons moved from being a show about a mischievous kid and his genially dysfunctional family to being a show about an idiotic everyman let loose on the world

Sigh.  It was “barely even noticeable” because it never happened.  At all.  Ever.

‘Revenge’ taps ‘Simpsons’ star Yeardley Smith for season 4 – Pretty much everything you need to know is in the headline there.

My Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons – “Cape Feare” gets the top spot and there’s not a drop of Zombie Simpsons.

My Ten Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons – Only one episode of Zombie Simpsons makes the list.

FilmOn’s Alki David: Comic-Con’s Homer Simpson hologram violated my patent – The Homer hologram they used at ComicCon has generated a lawsuit.  Meh.

Simpsons Marathon Weekend: 10 Episodes to DVR – Those are some pretty good suggestions.

The 3 Biggest Problems Plaguing TSTO – Surprising no one who has played the game, the fact that it crashes a lot is #1.

Harry Shearer, ‘Bob’s Burgers’ win first Emmys – Shearer won an Emmy of some kind.

The Simpsons: I Got Smashed At Wimbledon – I’ve always kinda wanted a shirt like that, but I don’t think most people would get it as a Simpsons reference.

Welcome back to Springfield! *Duh* – More Simpsons memories and some YouTube.

16 Classic Episodes from The Simpsons, season 6 (and 9 memorable ones!) – Season 6 is that good.

‘The Simpsons,’ a Guide to Outlasting the FXX, All-Episode Marathon – Some very good .gifs here.

Homer Simpson on Decisions – All he sees are “Esk”, “C-tarl”, and “Pig Up”.

The 15 Lisa Simpson Episodes Every ‘Simpsons’ Fan Should Like – I’d probably include “Lisa’s Sax”, but if you want to stop at Season 8, I’m not going to argue too hard.

Laughing at Hitler – for credit – You can’t talk about Hitler jokes without The Simpsons:

The idea first occurred to me as a whimsical and convenient way of feeding my near-obsession with The Simpsons, but I’m still convinced that there is value to this prolonged exercise beyond entertainment. The nature of Simpsons humour is that it is enhanced by revision; apparently zany and throwaway, reflection aids the understanding of a deeper, more subtle comedy.
As such, the cursory cutaways to Hitler – and their insignificance to the problematics of the narrative – have to be important to this study. The Simpsons has had an extraordinary impact on a generation’s cultural and political understanding, so there is an importance to its representations. The image of Hitler we get from the Simpsons – nearly assassinated after seduction by a transvestite Abe, raving at an inanimate bear, and possibly still alive and untroubled in South America – is a deliberate construction.

Robyn Urback: Does Toronto need air and ground raccoon surveillance? – Excellent usage:

“I’m sick of these constant bear attacks,” Homer says as he watches animal control haul away the beast. “It’s like a freakin’ Country Bear-Jamboroo around here.”

“Well, now, realistically Homer, I’ve lived here some 30-odd years,” Ned Flanders says. “This is the first and only bear I’ve ever seen.”

“Hey, if you want wild bears eating your children and scaring away your salmon, that’s your business,” Homer replies. “But I’m not gonna take it. Who’s with me?”

Best gifts 2014: Simpsons Bart Cruzer Skateboard by Santa Cruz – The graffiti stencil on the bottom is a nice touch.

25 ‘The Simpsons’ Facts You Didn’t Know – There’s nothing terribly new here, but at least it ends before getting too deep into Zombie Simpsons.

Miss Fickle Reader’s Boring-Ass Beach Blog! Part 1: Why I Haven’t Been Blogging – You can get garbage bags of popcorn in New Jersey:

Now, when you say “open,” the teenager sticks your tub and lid inside a clear plastic garbage bag and shovel as much popcorn as could be expected to fit in or around your tub.
Anyone see the Simpsons reference here? “King-Sized Homer,” when Homer decides to make himself “hyper-obese”? He goes to a matinee of “Honk If You’re Horny,” and the manager says they don’t have wide enough seats for him, but if he leaves quietly they’ll offer him–you guessed it!–“a garbage bag full of popcorn.” Matt Groening, give yourself a gold star. “The Simpsons” has now become completely enmeshed with reality.

Indeed it has.

22
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Like Father, Like Clown10

“Poor Krusty.” – Bart Simpson
“A man who envies our family is a man who needs help.” – Lisa Simpson

21
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment14

“Poopsie the Clown is a treasure that will last a lifetime!” – Shopping Channel Announcer
“Cable . . . it’s more wonderful than I dared hope.” – Homer Simpson

Those of you who have cable: enjoy the FXX marathon (Zombie Simpsons won’t start until Monday-Tuesday).

20
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

PerfectlyGoodToothbrush

“We have to go to that show.” – Bart Simpson”
“Forget it!  To get those tickets our parents would have to be part of Springfield’s cultural elite.” – Lisa Simpson
“Can you believe Flanders threw out a perfectly good toothbrush? . . . Eww.” – Homer Simpson

19
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield10

“You know, Homer, the traditional way to cheat in golf is to lower your score.” – Tom Kite
“That’s one way.” – Homer Simpson

18
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Homer's Phobia10

“Fifty bucks for a toy?  No kid is worth that!” – Homer Simpson

17
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

The Mansion Family3

“Now, you know I can’t sell you no beer til two pm on account of it’s Sunday.” – Moe
“Huh?  If you can’t sell beer, what are Lenny and Carl doing here?” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, we’re just watching the sun move across the sky.” – Carl
“When it gets to here, we can drink again!” – Lenny

16
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

The Curse of the Flying Hellfish8

“Let’s see, mesmerists, dowsers, Luddites, alienists, Zoroastrians, alphabetizers . . . ah ha, assassins!” – C.M. Burns




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