Archive for the 'News' Category

15
Feb
20

Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?

“Hey, hey! I’ve been in Reno for six weeks, did I miss anything?” – Krusty the Klown

Back on Simpsons Day I mentioned a gigantic side project. Well, here it is.

“Global Warming: What’s In It For You?” is a (semi-illustrated) guidebook for climate change. It begins with the historic and scientific background, moves through the denier campaign and all the damage it has wrought, and debunks a lot of pretty myths and widespread misperceptions. It also affords me several opportunities to take big dumps on some truly vile people and conglomerates, including Exxon, InBev, and Disney.

Basically, I tried to make sense out of global warming the same way I tried to make sense out of Zombie Simpsons, by starting at the beginning and examining why it works the the way it does. Despite two years of trying, my agent and I have been unable to find a publisher for this would be book. Apparently, I lack a “platform” to credibly discuss the ur-issue of our time.

To build such a “platform”, I’ve published the first nine chapters on-line at

www.GreenNewDeal.Fun

(Shockingly, .com and such were taken, but .fun is growing on me.) Just like the Zombie Simpsons ebook, it’s released under a creative commons license and you can read it for free. There’s even PDF and eBook versions you can download for free.

I certainly hope everyone who still checks this site enjoys it. More importantly, though, tell someone else about it. The purpose of the book is to put climate into an understandable context, so that when you see stories about record heat in Antarctica, record fires in Australia, and record storms everywhere, you’ll know how they fit into the wider context of what we’ve done to the atmosphere – and why we continue to do it.

That said, it’s not all doom and gloom. Hell, it isn’t even mostly doom and gloom. The best kept secret about global warming is that the only people whose lives need to get worse are the kind who fly in private jets. Everybody else will/could be better off.

So please click through, and hopefully you’ll learn a few things that will help you make sense of the news and let you sleep a little easier. As a taster, have a look at the chart below, which appears in Chapter 1:

(That font is just one of hundreds of radical pro-Simpsons messages I sneak into every chapter.)

17
Dec
19

Happy Simpsons Day!

“Oh, Springfield Elementary, I will have you back again! After all, tomorrow is another school day!” – Principal Skinner

Happy Simpsons Day, everybody! Today marks the 30th anniversary of “Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire” and the beginning of the best ten-ish year streak in television history. I’m sure there are a lot of retrospective pieces up around the internet today, but as you can tell from the near total lack of substantive posts around here, I don’t think there’s much left to be said, so you’re on your own for finding them.

About that total lack of posts: I was hoping to change that starting today, but deadlines are made to be blown. I’m currently in the middle of a rush of real job work, getting over a major hump in my gigantic side project, and moving at the end of the month. So time is scarce.

However, I’ve been plotting a renewed DHS for long enough now that I don’t feel entirely silly disclosing the rough plan. For starters, the site is going to get a facelift. Ten years on the same WordPress theme seems like enough.

As far as actual posts go, I have two ideas that I think would be fun and sustainable as far as time and effort go. The first is to get back into doing Spews Truth From Every Orifice, where I write up the DVD commentaries from good seasons. I’ve only ever listened to maybe a third of them myself, and I figure there’s enough to eat up several more years of this blog’s lonely existence on this has-been planet orbited by a cold indifferent sun.

The second is something I was vehemently against when we started this blog back in 2009: lists. Listicles have a deservedly poor reputation for the simple reason that they’re easy to do and hence mostly thrown together as filler. While I want to avoid warmed over drivel like top episodes or funniest quotes or “times the Simpsons predicted the future”, I think there are commonalities between episodes that lend themselves well to listing, plus it spares me from having to come up with transitions between topics/episodes/whatevers.

Finally, if and when I get some Simpsons posts up around here, I’m also planning to vent regularly about movies and other TV shows, old and new. Some of this will be the hottest of hot taeks about stuff that’s already had too much commentary (the new Star Wars is probably going to be bad, HBO Watchmen fell apart badly in the last three episodes and I don’t know why it’s getting universal praise, and the real reason the Marvel movies are forgettable ephemera: weak villains), some of it will be meta-criticism about the shitty state of movie and TV criticism itself (or at least the stuff I see), and some of it will be praise (fulsome and otherwise) of lower profile stuff I stumble across and end up liking.

So, it’s my usual promise: more posts! And my usual disclaimer: but not now! However, this time there is a plan (sort of).

In the meantime, please go enjoy some ye olde Simpsons on this Simpsoniest of days. Or just re-read my loving take on that very first episode. Happy Simpsons Day!

09
Sep
16

DHS on the Road

brother-can-you-spare-two-dimes20

“I’m tellin’ ya, all a man needs is an idea, and I’ve got an idea!” – Herb Powell
“Then how come you’re still a bum?” – Hobo
“Alright, a man needs two things: an idea and money to get it off the ground.” – Herb Powell

NOTE: Brooklyn October Simpsons Trivia here I (hopefully) come!

With the exception of some specific memories of the show and occasionally referring to my backbreaking, mind numbing labor, I try to keep my personal life off of this blog. Dave, Mad Jon, and myself started this as a Simpsons site, and even though I’ve gradually all but taken it over like some kind of not giving up school guy, I can’t make this a 100% pure Simpsons space. I like the idea of that in theory, but in theory communism works.

In stupid reality, which we all have to face again sooner or later, my real job has slowly eroded out from underneath me. Where once there was a prosperous Flancrest Enterprises, now there is but a roughed up and near destitute CompuGlobal Hyper Mega Net.* The bad news is that my personal finances are now in such a state that dying in the gutter is almost the only thing that is practical and within my means. The good news is that we have so few customers and potential customers left that I can throw off the shackles of the work-a-day world and follow a dream, of sorts.

(*Incidentally, this site owes its existence to the 2008 crash that crippled our business. Our sudden lack of customers gave me a lot more free time, and instead of taking up smoking, I pestered my friends into starting this site with me. As much fun as it’s been, I still really wish that cardboard cutout of George Bush Junior had never run for President.)

Donald Trump’s America isn’t going to last long, barely enough time for a half chewed piece of fish to hit the ground. I’m going to spend the  weeks between now and its November 8th landing observing the human peep show that is America’s political life. Since I haven’t deposited any forty-thousand dollar checks that haven’t cleared yet, I will be doing this on the utmost cheap, by bicycle and mostly sleeping in a tent.

Click here if you’re interested in my ideas, wish to subscribe to my newsletter, or just want to understand what the hell it is I’m doing on my little adventure. Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure; but the most likely outcome is that it will be just another detached piece of modern alienation. If you want to stalk me like Lenny and Carl, there’s also my oft neglected personal Twitter feed.

As for what’s going to happen on DHS, the Quotes of the Day will still have a home here, but we will also also learn about nutrition, self esteem, etiquette, and all the lively arts. I’ve also learned in recent weeks that once I’ve been on the bike for an hour or two, I don’t have any heavy head to carry anymore and can watch Simpsons episodes with a vile burlesque of irrepressible glee. Hopefully there will be a lot more of the sweet, beautiful, oxygen deprived drunk talk that informed my recent ramblings about “Lisa’s Substitute” a few weeks back, which I wrote fifty miles into a sixty mile ride.

Beyond that, I’m hopeful that my route will take me to the C.H.U.D. infested hellhole of New York City for Classic Simpsons Trivia on October 6th. Trying being the first step towards failure, I can’t promise that I’ll be there, but I promise that I’ll try to try. In the meantime, keep watching the skis.

(This may all backfire on me like a trip to a gay steel mill, but since I have no choice, I’m taking the alley.)

09
Aug
16

Season 28 Publicity Stunts Teased (No, You Shouldn’t Care)

Mid-Season

“It’s hard to believe someone that young could’ve risen to the rank of admiral.” – Marge Simpson

It’s August, which means that it’s time for the networks to show off their upcoming seasons to critics and advertisers. In addition to celebrating another meaningless milestone (600 episodes, 400+ of which are Zombie Simpsons), they’re going to have a two-part episode:

The animated Fox comedy will offer up an hourlong episode (including commercial time) that is a hip-hop homage to The Great Gatsby and features such guest voices as Taraji P. Henson and Keegan-Michael Key, the network announced at the TCA Summer Press Tour on Monday.

It’s going to be some kind of rap musical, which would’ve been awesome in 1996 and will undoubtedly be wince inducing when it’s broadcast in January of 2017. (Remember what happened the last time they did a cross-over with a music heavy FOX show? It wasn’t pretty.) Their other publicity stunt is to share Amy Schumer as a guest voice with Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers:

The comedian will guest-star on three animated Fox shows on Sept. 25, the network announced on Monday at the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour. “She recorded all shows at once and they were very accommodating and they can pretty much record someone in any city,” Fox chief Dana Walden told reporters. “It was just very lucky and fortuitous. It was always designed for the same actor. That was our goal and what the shows anticipated, that there would be connective tissue throughout the night.”

The Inside Amy Schumer star will play different characters on Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, and Family Guy.

I’m not quite sure how to fully parse that. If “It was always designed for the same actor” doesn’t refer to a single character, then is the “It” there merely the publicity stunt of having one person on all three shows and they just happened to slot in Schumer? Either way: meh.

12
May
16

John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man

MoldersBoy

“Can I pick the song?” – Bart Simpson
“No. The song will be John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man.” – Mrs. Krabappel

Frinkiac.com, the lovable rascals who made creating Simpsons screen grabs far easier than I ever could, have now added .gif support. It’s just you and me now, lock of hair.

09
Mar
15

So Long, Sam Simon

SayonaraSam

“You’re a comedy writer?  My God, you’re so old!” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“I want my check!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Haha, you’re a writer alright!” – Roger Meyers Jr.

Sam Simon, one of the three godfathers of The Simpsons, died today at the age of 59.  It was almost exactly two years ago that he announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and from that moment until his death today he handled it with grace, generosity, and, befitting Simon, a lot of humor.  They gave him three-to-six months; he lasted nearly two and a half years, laughing about it all the way.

The tributes to him are pouring in from people who knew him and those who just knew his work.  I’ll only say this, the show he did so much to create treated life and death with a mirthful contempt that resonated with hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.  He’s gone, but he’ll still be making people smile for a long time to come.

Sayonara, Sam.

21
May
14

Last Night, On Twitter . . .

Homer's Barbershop Quartet12

“I can’t remember the last time we were all together.” – Principal Skinner
“Last year, on that stupid Dame Edna special.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

Al Jean continues to ever so gingerly dip his toes into the never ending torrent of love, hate and general bullshit that is Twitter.  Last night, he tweeted out this undated picture of some of the old staff:

JeanWritersPic

I wasn’t sure who everybody was, so I asked him, and he was kind enough to reply.  From left to right it’s him, Mike Reiss, Wallace Wolodarsky, Jay Kogen, Jon Vitti, and Jeff Martin.  He also said this:

Aren’t you the guys that trash us every week? Peace and love, man.

I’d quibble with “trash” and substitute “criticize”, but I don’t begrudge him his point of view on that.  Al, we love you all the same, and thanks for the picture!




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