Reading Digest: Quadruple Agreement Edition

The PTA Disbands6

“Well, I guess this is a case where we’ll have to agree to disagree.” – Ned Flanders
“I don’t agree to that.” – Principal Skinner
“Neither do I.” – Mrs. Krabappel

Most weeks I come across at least one person who, in talking about The Simpsons, will mention its precipitous decline in quality.  This week I came across four – count ’em four! – such people.  (One of them even used the term “Zombie Simpsons”.)  So the end of this week’s Reading Digest is pure catnip, but there’s a bunch of other fun stuff as well.  There’s a crazy fun Simpsons mural, a nice little anecdote about the show’s global ability to teach English to the youth, plenty of usage, and even an interview with the woman who played Marge in the Simpsons porn parody.


Five and Alive: Simpsons Melos – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is a breakdown of some excellent quotes from “Homerpalooza” and how they apply to music and the music business today.  Example:

Lisa Simpson: "It may be bleak, but this music is really getting to the crowd."
Bart Simpson: "Eh, making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel."

Why is this funny now? The term "emo kid" and how ’90s mainstream alt rock was as depressing as its underground parallel.

Nick’s commentary: Bummed out teenagers don’t want to listen to lame, happy-sounding music- they want to sink even deeper into their own heads and listen to bleak, depressing music. for some reason that’s just a psychological thing and it always has been. I’m sure that scientific studies can trace it back to fucking Joy Division.

Like “Homer at the Bat”, it’s amazing that an episode so obviously of its time has aged so well.  That episode was first broadcast fifteen years ago, hip-hop and rock have been through like ten phases each since then.

Jordan J Weber: Molly Free and I killin a mural outside Best Place Ever in Dogstown Des Moines (24th and University) – Several pictures of an amazing, surreal and enormous Simpsons mural in Iowa (via).

If the Republican frontrunners were Simpson characters – This is all images and is pretty good, though I might have gone with Helen Lovejoy or Lindsey Naegle for Michele Bachmann.

Film News In Brief 08/15: Edgar Wright, Alex Pardee, Kevin Smith, AMC Sucks, Film Quotes, Simpsons – Scroll to the bottom for an indisputably awesome cosplay picture that has been making the rounds all week.  I wonder if these people were the same ones referenced in the article about Classic Simpsons trivia night I linked last week:

Another woman came dressed as “Floreda,” the awful state costume Homer made for Lisa.

Create The Itchy and Scratchy Show Retro Version on Illustrator – Extremely detailed instructions for drawing an authentic looking retro-1950s Itchy & Scratchy title card.

Walkers crisps is top children’s brand in the UK – The Simpsons are the second most recognized brand among British children age 7-15.  Here’s the top ten:

1. Walkers Crisps
2. The Simpsons
3. McDonald’s
4. Coca-Cola
5. Nintendo Wii
6. YouTube
7. Maltesers
8. Haribo
9. Nintendo DS
10. Wii Sports

Keep that crappy merchandise coming.

America through Travelers’ Eyes – Awesome:

The other day I had a family from France who I served pancakes with maple syrup, and omelets with white toast. The three children spoke English better than most other French kids I had met. I asked the parents why their English was so good. They said it was because they watch T.V. in English.

“Great! What’s your favorite T.V. show?” I asked the kids.

“Zee Simpsons!” each child declared in a lilting French accent.

What a way to learn English.

I’d go so far as to say that it’s a perfectly cromulent way to learn English.  I learned a boatload of words from the show when I was a kid.

Ned Flanders Totally Looks Like Eddie Murphy as a white guy on SNL – Wow, yeah.

‘The Last Circus,’ ‘It,’ ‘The Simpsons’: 13 Terrifying Killer Clowns – A pageview whoring slideshow of some of pop culture’s most famous scary clowns.  The link is to the Evil Krusty Doll from “Treehouse of Horror III” with a short YouTube of Homer in the tub.

Happy Fatties: Phil Hartman’s Influence – As if we needed more evidence that Phil Hartman was unconquerably awesome, here’s a letter he took the time to write to an aspiring comedian back in 1997 (via).

Sideshow Bob – Phenomenal fan made painting of Sideshow Bob complete with crazy eyes and bloody knife.

Andy San Dimas Shows Range as Leading Lady – An interview/article with the woman who played Marge in the Simpsons porn movie:

In the “Simpsons” porn, San Dimas wore a giant blue wig and yellow body paint for the entire one-day shoot.

“That’s probably like the weirdest movie that I’ve been in,” she says. “And of every movie that I’ve done it’s the one that people in my hometown have recognized me the most from which blows my mind.

Ha.  That’s hilarious.  She’s been in adult parodies of Tron, Superman, and Charlie’s Angles, but apparently even in porn The Simpsons is more powerful than other franchises.

Will evicting rioters be a bear patrol? – Excellent post-riot UK reference usage:

In a 1996 episode of The Simpsons, a bear frightens residents of Springfield by strolling down from the mountains. Homer rallies an unruly mob and convinces the town mayor to create a state of the art Bear Patrol, including branded stealth bombers. All is well until Homer receives his pay cheque, which includes an additional $5 “bear tax”.

Which of the proposed responses to this month’s rioting and looting will be a bear patrol, that is a disproportionate and expensive response prompted by an unruly mob of citizens demanding action?

The Fittest TV Cartoon Characters – Flanders makes the list here, along with some other choices I did not see coming, like April from the old Ninja Turtles cartoon.

Frank Grimes’s Speech From The Simpsons – Some epic love for when Grimes chews out Homer after getting invited to dinner. 

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: 08 – A Song That You Know All the Words To – The Flaming Lips, “Bad Days” – If you’re feeling like listening to the songs from “A Streetcar Named Marge” today, you’re in luck.

Top 100 Favorite TV Opening Theme Songs (#20-1) « Inside My Head – Lots of good, nostalgic YouTube here, and the #1 spot goes to The Simpsons.

10 Best Comedies of All Time – However, the show only manages #6 here.

Geeky Bento Boxes – The Simpsons one is quite awesome, but the Bioshock one is even more impressive.

Elvis Presley’s Legacy…In 10 Words – I thought the mouse-over text was going to be the three TVs for sure.

He does have a heart – Some love for “Bart vs. Thanksgiving” and Simpsons in general.

Best Birthday Song Ever … – YouTube of Bart’s birthday song from the ultra-flammable animatronic animal band.

Costco Sydney – My Experience – Oh sure, Costco is like Monstromart, but where is the love?

“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” -the Springfield town motto (The Simpsons) – This week’s Freakoutville quote comes with a nice little Simpsons graphic for “d’oh-nuts”.

Our baby does a great Homer Simpson impersonation – And now, the first of our four ending posts.  This one is about the remarkable ability of a newborn to sleep for Homer-esque lengths of time and includes this:

On a side note, one crazy thing is that the Simpsons will probably still be on the air by the time Zachary is old enough to watch. And, by then the number of terrible seasons of the Simpsons will outnumber greatly the number of good seasons. The Simpsons had a golden age when it was the funniest show on television. Now, it is mediocre crappy show that should have been cancelled over ten years ago. I wish Conan O’Brien would give up his late night gig and go back to writing for the Simpsons.

If Zombie Simpsons is still on the air in ten years or so, the number of terrible seasons will be approximately three times the number of good ones. 

NFL Players That Remind Me of TV Characters This Season – Our second ending comes from the world of professional football:

Donovan McNabb/Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) – D’Oh! That is what these two say when they make mistakes and they both make them often. It is amazing that both are still around considering neither is that great anymore. At one time they both had potential and got very close to fulfilling it but now they are just living on reputation.

I’d say Homer did fulfill his potential, and McNabb could’ve been a champion if Terrell Owens hadn’t gotten hurt that one year the two of them were unstoppable.  But both of them are clearly shadows of their former selves at this point, no arguments there.

Breaking News: Fabregas to Join Mascherano on Barca Bench! – Part three is from the other kind of football.  And while I don’t follow international soccer closely enough to understand most of this, I do understand this:

It’s like being one of the creators of the Simpsons versus being one of the people who now contribute to the production. Sure, you can tell your grandkids that you were part of one of the most successful TV shows of all time, but deep down you’ll know that you were never more than a passenger along for the ride as opposed to one of the stars that rocketed that show into comedic heaven.

Half the time when I come across a news item that says Channel X has ordered a pilot from writer/producer Y who worked on “The Simpsons”, it’s a guy who was there from Seasons 14-18 or something like that.  Technically it’s true, but it’s like saying that Michael Caine and Dennis Quaid were stars of the “Jaws” franchise. 

Saturn Valley: Simpsons and Sports – And finally, the fourth and final “agrees with us” link not only ends by saying, “Writing this list has made me sad, because good Simpsons is long dead. Only Zombie Simpsons exists”, but includes this appropriately stomach churning description of Zombie Simpsons:

Well, it used to be like that. The Simpsons post-season 10 isn’t exactly something that is watchable. It’s like sticking your hand into a blender, pulling your hand out, noticing that you are missing your hand, and being asked if you would like another go-around with the blender.

Preach it!

5 Responses to “Reading Digest: Quadruple Agreement Edition”

  1. 19 August 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks for the plug Charlie! If you want any Simpsons (Francis Bacon style) pieces on canvas let me know. We are crazy cheap as long as shipping is paid for!

  2. 20 August 2011 at 1:09 am

    yep. thanks for the plug.

  3. 3 Anonymous
    20 August 2011 at 11:10 am

    Totally agree about the “more bad seasons than good” thing. What’s really sad is if The Simpsons had been canceled sometime around seasons 10 or 11 (possibly even 12 or 13 for that matter), the general consensus would have been “It started to get a little bad towards the end, but overall, it was a great show.” Now after it gets canceled, it will be known as “the show that started off great, completely fell apart, and continued to stay on the air long after it should have ended.”

  4. 21 August 2011 at 1:10 am

    BTW I like the simpsons, i just didn’t show it any love because my post wasn’t primarily about the show. I have seen all the old episodes but occasionally catch some of the new. They are hit and miss these days. Some are terrible while others make you LOL

  5. 24 August 2011 at 10:11 am

    I really don’t care for “homerpalooza”. It’s one of the few older simpsons that I feel really HASN’T aged well. It’s stuck in it’s time and I almost always skip it. Also homer gets a job as a side show freak.

    Without a doubt there are some good lines and parts to the episode but as a whole it seems really sort of forced and off model for the era it comes from.

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