Reading Digest: Long Reads Edition

Lisa the Iconoclast8

“To celebrate our bicentennial, all twenty of you will write an essay about Jebediah Springfield; and the best eighteen will be put on file in the school library, available to anyone who requests them.” – Miss Hoover

Quite a few people took to their keyboards this week, producing thoughtful and well written tracts about various topics from Poochie to “Bart the Genius” and the slippery nature of hero worship.  On top of that, we’ve got lots of usage, an old story from Sam Simon, a couple of fan made drawings, two links to upcoming crappy merchandise, and a solicitation for people who can do Marge and Lisa impressions. 


Exclusive: "Simpsons" Co-Creator Sam Simon On The Show’s History With Gambling In "All In: The Poker Movie" – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this clip from a new poker documentary.  It’s part of an interview with Simon where he talks about how real sports handicappers complimented him on “Lisa the Greek” as a show that, unlike the rest of teevee, was credibly written by degenerate gamblers.  Apparently, at some special screening, they used to change the voices for whichever teams were in the Super Bowl that year.  Lisa was right three straight years before they stopped.   

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Presents MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY, 5/28-7/1 – That play about people recreating society through The Simpsons after the apocalypse is finally premiering in Washington, D.C. at the end of May.  It runs through July.

‘Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie:’ Totally in your face – An appreciation of Poochie.

A Reflection on Hero-Worship – As usual, The Simpsons shows the way:

Though we no longer tend to engage in the open power worship of a Carlyle, we yet have a need to make heroes. If one was to make a massive generalization, the Victorian era was the time of power worship and the late 20th/ early 21st century is that of victim worship. The wittiest and most succinct illustration of this I can recall, and one that often reoccurs to me when I witness the phenomenon, is from an early episode of The Simpsons:

Homer: That Timmy is a real hero!

Lisa:  How do you mean, Dad?

Homer: Well, he fell down a well, and… he can’t get out.

Lisa:  How does that make him a hero?

Homer: Well, that’s more than you did!

Excellent usage. 

15 Big Little Things You Can Do in 15 Minutes – Excellent usage:

6. Complain/get angry. When Homer Simpson went to purchase a gun and was told that there was a mandatory five-day waiting period, he yelled in protest, “Five days? But I’m mad now!”

Branson Invites You to "Come On Down" – Moderate usage:

Branson, Missouri, once described by Homer Simpson as being like "Las Vegas if it were run by Ned Flanders" is actually getting an injection of genuine Vegas glitz. No, not the Spearmint Rhino — it’s Branson, remember — the Las Vegas stage version of "The Price Is Right Live" will open in Branson this July.

Bart recounts Homer’s description as “My Dad says it’s like Vegas, if it were run by Ned Flanders.”  More importantly, there’s a stage version of “The Price Is Right”?  Heaven help us. 

HOMER SIMPSON CANVAS PAINTING – Live in Queensland, Australia?  This cool fan made Homer painting can be yours for only $30.  I like the drool and the hammock, but since when does Homer read books?

Angry Birds Space adds ten levels – Simpsons could be next – Oh good, another tie in.

Former producer speaks of his humble beginnings – Simpsons alum Joseph Boucher gave a talk at Cal State Fullerton.  Not much fresh information here, but plenty of encouragement for anyone wanting to get into animation.

Simpsons – McBain, These are Loafers – I’ve always liked the way Wolfcastle just bends straight over and stares right at his shoes. 

Talkin’ Softball – Baseball season’s started, and someone put up a new copy of the song on YouTube.  There’s also this:

I have a fairly short list of ‘favourite things’.

  • Baseball
  • The Simpsons
  • Beer
  • Freinds & Family
  • Playing Guitar
  • Animals
  • Eating Food

But I’m lucky because most of these things mix very well together:

  • Baseball (watching it, anyway) + Beer
  • Family & Friends + Beer
  • Beer + Eating Food + (with) Friends and Family
  • The Simpsons + Friends and Family (watching it together)
  • Playing Guitar + Beer
  • Simpsons + Baseball

“Simpsons + Baseball”?  I’m intrigued.  I’ve always wanted to try playing a real a Simpsons rules softball game, but where would you find a park that would let you set up a keg at first base?

NFL.com news: Five takeaways from Seahawks’ pre-draft presser – The Seahawks GM apparently lapsed into a Homer impression during a press conference.  Sadly, no video.

Fox at 25 & Growing Up With The Simpsons – There’s some Zombie Simpsons in here, but I do enjoy this:

I was living in Canada during those years, the ’90s, and I remember having this English teacher who, as far as I could tell, didn’t really teach us much, but would stand at her podium, lecturing us about the ills of the world. She would fill us in on the details of the war in Kosovo, denounce America as a nation of gun-toting buffoons, and–frequently–get into a tizzy about how awful The Simpsons was. “Completely inappropriate for children,” “racist,” and sexist” were a few of the charges she levied against the show–and, in her criticism, she wasn’t too far removed from the show’s detractors in authoritarian China and Venezuela, and its critics in the United States, a country that she hated so much (I’m sure the writers of The Simpsons would have found a delicious irony in this). At the time, I reasoned that if someone like that–my teacher–hated the show so much, then it must be even better than I realized.

My teachers hated The Simpsons, which, of course, just made us love it all the more.  Ah, memories. 

Fox’s 25th Anniversary Special…In 10 Words – And we can’t watch FOX because they own those chemical weapons plants in Syria. 

Happy National Pretzel Day; AKA A Dark Day For Baseball – YouTube of exactly what you think it is.

#16: Margetini – A fan made sketch of Marge as a martini.  That’s all well and good, but what’s in it?

Simpsons Sums Up: The Vampire Diaries – Again, I’m taking Lenny’s word for this, but that guy on the bottom is smashingly handsome.

What it pays to teach your kids – Excellent usage:

If you’ve seen the episode, you’ll recall Homer Simpson’s devastation as he pulls from under a bed not the last peanut he was searching for – ”overflowing with the oil and salt of its departed brothers” – but a $20 bill. Until, that is, he remembers ”money can be exchanged for goods and services”, so $20 can buy many peanuts.

Doctor Robotnik Meets His Match, Sort Of – I chuckled. 

Voice Over/Impressionists – Seeking Lisa Simpson and Marge Simpson – A New York area Craigslist posting:

Seeking VO artists or impressionists who can do a great Lisa and/or Marge Simpson impression. We need a small number of lines recorded in their likeness for a proposal project.

Good luck, those are not easily duplicated voices. 

HAHA ! I WIN! – Animated .gif of Homer taunting Marge with her own affection from “Lisa’s Pony”.

It Happened to YOUUUUUU – A Radiohead infused illustration of Grampa’s “It’ll happen to you” quote.

Which MBTI type are the characters from The Simpsons? – A Myers-Briggs list of Simpsons characters.

Simpsons – Homer ‘Whoop whoop whoop’ walk (gif) – Just what it says it is. 

Four Nights Of A Dreamer (Quatre nuits d’un rêveur) – Allow me to help:

Throughout the film, there are several instances of brilliant philosophical dialogue. The most important of these, insofar as it sets a framework for the film and, simultaneously, reflects on Bresson’s aesthetic tendencies, is the conversation between Jacques (Guilliaume des Forets) and his artist friend. They speak about what I — and several distinguished writers, including Noel Carroll — now consider a fundamental truth in the appreciation of artwork: what matters isn’t what is there, but what isn’t. For example, with a painting, art arises from the spaces between the lines — what is not shown — rather than what is physically evident. Even the Simpsons understood this. In an episode I cannot quite recall, Lisa tells Bart to listen to the notes “they are not playing”. In just the same way, it’s the space that is created that instills art.

I believe this is what you’re looking for:

“Sounds like she’s hitting a baby with a cat.” – Jazz Prick
“You have to listen to the notes she’s not playing.” – Lisa Simpson
“I can do that at home.” – Jazz Prick

How Working in a Warehouse Feels While Using an MP3 Player – Animated .gif of The Anvil.

The Forbes Fictional 15 – It’s that time of year again.  Bereft of any decent ideas, Forbes has once again made up a list of the richest fictional characters.  This year Burns comes in at #13. 

Rubies adds The Simpsons – Some company I’ve never heard of got a license to sell adult Simpsons costumes in Europe.  As usual, the marketspeak is knee deep:

Carl Lumbard from Fox Consumer Products has commented: “A key component of the success of The Simpsons has been the appeal, fun nature and recognisable appearance of the iconic yellow characters. Rubies have done a terrific job creating costumes based on the characters from the show which promises to bring a whole lot of pleasure to Halloween and dress up parties everywhere.”

Media and licensing manager at Rubies, Holly Oldham, has said: “As costume designers and manufacturers The Simpsons is a dream property. We have absolutely no doubt that Homer, Marge, Bart and Krusty will rank amongst our best selling costumes and we hope that this is the start of a long and very successful relationship with FCP EMEA.”

“bring a whole lot of pleasure to Halloween and dress up parties everywhere”?  Jebus. 

Snapshot: Juan Mata Buys David Luiz ‘Sideshow Bob’ Birthday Cake – Pretty much what it says.  I’m impressed that they got Bob’s hair like that.

Omer Counting in the Digital Age – Modern technology, The Simpsons, and homophonic pronunciation come together to help Jews count the days after Passover. 

The Simpsons, Season 1, Episode 2: “Bart the Genius” – And finally, our last long read of the day is another person embarking on a rewatching of the show.  (Here’s the first one, which I somehow missed.)  I especially like this:

It’s not hammered in by the plot really, but watching this again I was a bit depressed by the implication that a ten year old boy is fully aware that his father’s love for him is totally conditional. Even more depressing is that Bart is absolutely correct. Once he inevitably confesses out of guilt driven how Homer has been doting over him, Homer curses him and chases him through the house, causing Lisa to grimly comment to Marge that things really are back to normal. Who knew that the “reset the status quo” nature of the sitcom could be used to put a bit of tragedy into the proceedings?

That was one of the things that was so great about the show.  Their status quo sucked.  Naturally, that essential misery is almost totally lacking from Zombie Simpsons. 

8 Responses to “Reading Digest: Long Reads Edition”

  1. 27 April 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the link to the Margetini drawing. As the Simpsons experts, what do you guys think would be appropriate ingredients for a Marge Martini?

    • 2 Charlie Sweatpants
      27 April 2012 at 3:39 pm

      I don’t think I’m enough of a martini expert to say, but anything that can get you a blue and/or yellow coloring would be a good start. On the show, Marge has liked celery, red wine, potatoes (she just thinks they’re neat), and tequila. So, something with tequila in it, some kind of juice to give it a yellow color, and then maybe get celery stalks or long cuts of potato dyed blue? That way you’d have a yellow body and blue hair. That obviously needs some refinement, but that’s where I’d start.

      • 27 April 2012 at 3:50 pm

        Blue-dyed celery seems like a perfect garnish. Yellow is easy enough, lemon or some kind of other fruit flavor. Throw in a dash of tequila and you’re onto something.

  2. 4 Mr. Incognito
    27 April 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Just a note on ZS–it’s incredibly awful and lazy that they did not 1 but 2 Angry Birds references with the exact same “punchline” in the same season. While I did chuckle at the cheering people in the first one, that level of laziness would never have stood up in the single-digit season or even in Seasons 12-18–and I’m a fan of the AB games (Classic and Space).

    Also, at the same time, in Season 23 there are also 2 cases of robots with the time-tested, hack-approved way (when played straight) of having robots with some switch that causes them to go haywire and turn violent.

    • 28 April 2012 at 12:08 am

      And hey, the season’s not over yet, so there might still be an Angry Birds reference, or who knows, how about a whole C-Plot about “angry BYRDS” where you get to play as boxer Larry Byrd (not to be confused with basketball player Larry Bird) and explosively punch people or some bullshit.

  3. 7 andrew
    28 April 2012 at 9:11 am

    The peanut was under a couch not a bed, wasn’t it?

  4. 8 FireFlower
    28 April 2012 at 9:53 pm

    The Angrhy Burns thing was already in a episode this season. It was a tiny blink and you’ll miss it thing. So that’s THREE references this season!

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