Reading Digest: French Middle School Kids Edition

'Round Springfield16

“Bonjour, you cheese eating surrender monkeys.” – Groundskeeper Willie

I may still try to get these up on Thursdays, but that didn’t even come close to happening yesterday. On the plus side, we’ve got a ton of crappy (and creepy) old merchandise, a look behind the scenes at Universal Studios, French children, and an erudite if weak sauce look at one of the many reasons Zombie Simpsons sucks.


Petition · EA Games: Develop a sequel to “The Simpsons Hit & Run” – Got this in an email from reader Hassaan M., who shares a love of Hit & Run with many of you. I don’t know if EA would ever care, but if you want to sign, click the link.

How the Best Rides at Universal Studios Work – I have never been to a Universal Studios, but this is pretty neat.

The Simpsons is confronting its biggest stereotypes in its 27th season – This is far too gentle on Zombie Simpsons, but does manage to make the point that the show is hobbled by its age in ways it can never escape. I would also quibble with the whole “of their time” thing, since when the show was good it was way ahead of its time. Now it is hopelessly and permanently behind.

Some ‘Simpsons’ Fans Are Petitioning to Make Lisa a Vegan – Meh.

Yianni: The Simpsons Taught Me Everything I Know : Reviews 2016 – This is true:

It’s the comedy festival equivalent those clickbait posts which promise: ‘The Simpsons predicted the Panama papers,’ when it really means: ‘The Simpsons made a joke about tax havens.’ So you got hoodwinked, but you still got to watch a clip of Bart when you should have been working, so how bad could that be?

The Simpsons Pinball Party HUO Machine – For six grand you can buy this Simpsons pinball machine in Phoenix. I’m linking it because there are some great closeup pictures.

The Angry Birds Movie trailer reveals more high-flying action – Apparently Vitti wrote the Angry Birds movie.

Say your prayers, Simpsons: ‘Mr. Burns’ depicts a blazing future – The play comes to Milwaukee.

A journey to an unsettling future in Lyric Stage’s ‘Mr. Burns’ – And Boston.

“The Simpsons” Rapping Homer Simpson 2002 moving statue – For some reason, my Simpsons related Google Alerts have started including a lot of Craigslist ads for old merchandise. This one is particularly crappy and I’m sure cost forty bucks when it was new.

Rare Homer Simpson electric snowglobe. – See above.

Custom Bart Simpson as Marty McFly – A clever repurposing. The giant 80s camcorder is a nice touch.

Vintage Bart Simpson Phone – Why did you give it red eyes? WHY?

Invoking Homer Simpson to explain Donald Trump – Excellent educational usage to get French middle school students to understand the terminal velocity claptrap that is American politics:

Our explanation about American voter anger propelling Trump to the nomination did not fully satisfy our young audience.  From their perspective, it made no sense to believe Donald Trump would make America better, no matter how angry you are.

I would have been completely stumped for an explanation here except that earlier I had caught whispers between the students that mentioned “The Simpsons” (they were amused that I actually was from Springfield). The show is immensely popular in France and every student in our group was a fan.

If you want to know why voters are going for Trump, I said, keep Homer Simpson in mind. There’s a lot more truth in Homer Simpson than most Americans would care to admit, and Trump taps into a lot of that truth. The very things you might find distasteful about Trump — all rooted in his unapologetic bombast — are the things that appeal most to his voters.

I don’t know if they understood. I’m not sure how well the nuances of Homer Simpson survive French translation.

I’m betting they skipped one of Groundskeeper Willie’s most famous quotes.

Update 9:16pm: Excellent late addition from D.N. – Open thread: what do you think of Australia’s new $5 banknote? – Five dollary-dos? Tobias! 


6 Responses to “Reading Digest: French Middle School Kids Edition”

  1. 1 D.N.
    15 April 2016 at 8:49 pm

    The Guardian had a fairly amusing story on the unveiling of Australia’s (terrible) new $5 note, with people making fun by submitting their own alternate designs:


    I mention it here because of this submission: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CfzxUqEVIAAoEsX.jpg

    • 2 Charlie Sweatpants
      15 April 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Oh, man, that’s fantastic.

      • 3 D.N.
        16 April 2016 at 11:06 am

        Australian money is actually pretty funky. The notes are made of plastic (so they’re practically impossible to tear and they won’t perish if they end up in the laundry). And in addition to the various colours, they get longer as the denomination increases:

        The new multi-coloured five dollar bill looks like shit, though.

        • 4 RK
          22 April 2016 at 5:56 am

          Monopoly money!

          • 5 D.N.
            22 April 2016 at 12:07 pm

            Sadly our coins are less exciting:

            I don’t know why the 1 cent and 2 cent coins are in that picture, because those coins were phased out ages ago (the 5-cent piece is the smallest coin currently in circulation, and there’s a push to get rid if it).

            Actually, one of the things that struck me the first time I visited America was the sheer number of pennies I accumulated. I kept thinking, why haven’t you guys gotten rid of these coins yet, seeing as how they take up space and it’s hard to actually spend them? If memory serves I left a pile of pennies on the hotel bed when I checked out.

  2. 6 Dan S
    17 April 2016 at 12:45 am

    The universal clip was shamless sponsored content, im surprised you posted it without even a little cynicism toward it.

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