Posts Tagged ‘Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington


Quote of the Day

“When my family arrived in this country four months ago, we spoke no English and had no money in our pockets. Today, we own a nationwide chain of wheel balancing centers. Where else but in America, or possibly Canada, could our family find such opportunity? That’s why, whenever I see the Stars & Stripes, I’ll always be reminded of that wonderful word: flag.” – Truong van Dinh


Quote of the Day

“Oh, Marge, cartoons don’t have any deep meaning. They’re just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Homey, put down your magazine for a minute.” – Marge Simpson
“Huh?” – Homer Simpson
“I thought you might want to snuggle.” – Marge Simpson
“That reminds me . . . Seven Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage . . . Marge, you have a nice body. And if you’d like to see me in a costume, you have only to ask.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Congressman, this is Springfield National Forest. Now, basically what we want to do is cut her down!” – Jerry the Lobbyist
“Huh.” – Congressman Bob Arnold
“As you can see in our artist’s rendition, it’s full of old growth, just aging and festering away. . . . In comes our logging company to thin out the clutter. It’s all part of nature’s, you know, cycle.” – Jerry the Lobbyist


Quote of the Day

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington11

“What would Ben Franklin say if he were alive today? He’d say . . . Ugh, think of a better opening.” – Lisa Simpson


Quote of the Day

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington10

“Oh, Marge, grow up.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day


“Wow, a shoe horn!  Just like in the movies . . . shoe goes on, shoe goes off.  Shoe goes on, shoe goes off.  Shoe goes on, shoe goes off.” – Homer Simpson


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, 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.


Quote of the Day


“And this control stick is like the handle bars on your tricycle.  Now, would you like to see where we hang our coats?” – Pilot
“No, thank you.  I’d rather push this button.” – Bart Simpson
“No!” – Pilot
“Ahhh!  We’re all gonna die!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“On this spot Richard Nixon bowled back to back 300 games.” – Bart Simpson
“Yeah, right.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington6

“Who is that bookworm, Smithers?” – C.M. Burns
“Homer Simpson, sir.” – Mr. Smithers
“Simpson, eh?  How very strange, his job description clearly specifies an illiterate.” – C.M. Burns

Happy 20th anniversary to “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington”!  Original airdate: 26 September 1991.


Reading Digest: Fictional Fiction Edition

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington7

“We now return to Troy McClure and Dolores Montenegro in ‘Preacher with a Shovel’.” – TV Announcer
“But irrigation can save your people, Chief Smiling Bear!” – White Man

This week we’ve got a couple of links elaborating on the many fake books, movies and products that cropped up on The Simpsons.  Before we get to those, however, that stupid quote from a News Corp executive about a “Simpsons channel” I mentioned last week spun itself to new levels of internet fame this week and needs to be knocked down.  If you don’t care, skip to the second set of dashes:


The story: News Corp’s Chief Operating Officer, a man with a moustache more often seen on guys who tie damsels to railroad tracks, made an offhand comment at a media conference in Beverly Hills two weeks ago.  A Los Angeles Times blog reported that he said they were having a lot of meetings about how to make as much money as possible off the Simpsons franchise, and that one of the ideas they were kicking around was a channel that was all Simpsons.  It wasn’t an announcement, it wasn’t a plan, it wasn’t even a trial balloon.  It was just one of the things they’d mentioned and it wouldn’t be possible for years due to syndication rules and the show would have to stop broadcasting new episodes first but there’s no plans to do that. 

In other words, News Corp and FOX are about as close to launching a “Simpsons channel” as they are to landing James Murdoch on Mars.  The idea was floated along with a bunch of others as ways to get the Simpsons-related money spigot to gush just a little bit harder.  There was no real news, there wasn’t even a rumor. 

Then a site called Slice of SciFi picked it up (Could We See An All “Simpsons” Channel?), and from there it went to /Film last Friday (Fox Considering an All-‘Simpsons’ TV Channel).  That sent it all over the place, from humble little blogs to big, established sites like Cinema Blend (Could The Simpsons Be Getting Their Own Channel?) and the A.V. Club (Fox considering TV channel that plays nothing but The Simpsons).  Now, I understand the need for sites like /Film, the A.V. Club, and Cinema Blend to write things like this up.  They pay their bills with pageviews and a story like this, easy to write and with an eminently clickable headline, is basically free money for them.  I also understand that I see more of these stories than most people and that my perspective is the furthest thing from common.  At the same time, useless repetition like this is one of the constant aggravations and real weaknesses of on-line media. 

All of these stories eventually get around to noting that even if this ever does happen it won’t be for a very long time.  In the meantime they troll for comments, put question marks in their headlines (always a bad sign if you’re looking for actual information), and add their own spin as they rewrite the same non-story over and over again.  The result is that people become misinformed about how serious this is through nothing more than repetition.  I’m not saying don’t write a few hundred words and goose your traffic stats.  By all means, do that.  But please, while you’re doing that drop the sensational speculation and point out just how little there is to the story. 


Okay, my street corner harangue is over.  If you skipped all that, the short version is that rumors on the internet are annoying and misleading and can easily be made less so without anyone having to stop being a traffic whore.  As for the actual links, in addition to the fictional stuff from the show we’ve got an awesome tribute to Phil Hartman, a great movie trailer mashup, crappy merchandise, excellent usage, and donuts.  Oh, the donuts.


He Had Hart, Man: The 11 Best Phil Hartman Characters – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this awesome list that comes with plenty of YouTube.  Three of them are Simpsons characters.

Visiting Huell Howser’s donut at Stan’s Donuts – A visit to a Westwood, California donut shop with plenty of food porn images of awesome donuts, including the famous Homer donut with pink frosting and sprinkles:

By the way, they also have a donut named after The Simpsons. Why? Apparently, they were the official donut makers for Fox when the movie came out and they were sending donuts to various people to promote the film.

Invisible Library Catalog Entry #1: How to Cook Humans – There are a lot of Simpsons titles in the invisible library, don’t forget “Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?”.   

Fictional Movies I Want to See Most – Instead of an invisible library for fictional books, this is about the invisible multiplex for fictional movies.  Either way The Simpsons is well represented. 

Translating the Simpsons: A Case Study – An extensive examination of the subtleties of translating the show into German. 

The Simpsons – Apollo 13 Trailer (via) – I put this up on Twitter on Tuesday, but it works too well not to post:

Letters of Note: With great respect, Marge Simpson – The fake letter the show wrote to then First Lady Barbara Bush in 1990.  This has made the rounds on-line before, but it was going around again this week so I thought I’d post it. 

Drawing Tips (via) – We’ve linked this guy’s Simpsons art before, but here are some wonderfully batshit tips for drawing the Simpsons.  It’s a Facebook link, but don’t be alarmed, you don’t need to be logged in to view it. 

Did It Get Less Funny, Or Did I Get More Mature? – It got less funny.  I have no idea whether or not you got more mature. 

Homer Hamburger Pillow – That’s kinda creepy.  Why is his mouth wider than his head?

Lisa Simpson – Fan made drawing of Lisa.

Voice of Homer Simpson, Dan Castellaneta, sells Palisades home – Hank Azaria bought Dan Castellaneta’s house for $5,500,000.  

Best. Simpsons Clips. Ever. – Via @dailysimpsons comes this Wired list of people’s favorite clips.  There are a couple of token Zombie Simpsons entries at the end, though even that doesn’t speak well for them.  Both are from Season 22, one is the Banksy opening, the other is the Koyaanisqatsi Itchy & Scratchy.  Basically, no one likes anything the Simpsons themselves created past Season 9. 

The end is nigh… – The final installment of the Simpsons comics that were drawn when the author was ten-years-old.

4′ Authentic Bart Simpson Stuffed Toy – Click through for the two larger images to really see how crappy this thing looks. 

The 2011 Emmys…In 10 Words – Note to self: continue never watching awards shows. 

Spurlock’s newest is good, not the "greatest" – Excellent usage in a review of Morgan Spurlock’s latest real movie:

So no one has to necessarily pay attention to any advertising.  It’s like Lisa Simpson and Paul Anka sang in an episode of The Simpsons Tree House of Horror:  "Just dont’ look".

The Best Show on Television – This post makes the case for Parks and Recreation as the current champion.  Along the way, he lists some of his favorite shows and agrees with us:

1996 – 2002: The Simpsons (I hung on about two seasons too long.)

Yeah, I’d say two years is about right.

The Ten Greatest ‘Simpsons’ Characters Who Appear in Only One Episode – As usual, there’s not a hint of Zombie Simpsons here.  (Thanks to Andreas for the tip.) 

Tattoo WIN (?) – Yes, win.  It’s a tattoo of Homer wearing David Bowie makeup. 

Review: “The Simpsons Movie” – This is more positive than I am toward the movie, but does acknowledge that the show has declined. 

New Simpsons Sucks! – And finally, I get to end the best way possible, with someone who doesn’t mince words stating the obvious:

Why isn’t the Simpsons funny anymore? Who’s behind this!? The Simpsons used to be deviously clever, it never tried to hard to make jokes, and a lot of the jokes blew right past me as a kid, but made me fall over as an adult.

He’s even got compare and contrast YouTube clips.  The hitchhiker in “Bart on the Road” always cracks me up.  Oh, and don’t miss the link to classic clips at the bottom. 


Quote of the Day

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington5

“Lisa, I’m Faith Crowley, patriotism editor of Reading Digest.” – Faith Crowley
“Ohh, I love your magazine.  My favorite section is How to Increase Your Word Power.  That thing is really, really, really . . . good.” – Homer Simpson
“Well, good.” – Faith Crowley


Quote of the Day

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington4

“I don’t think real checks have exclamation points.” – Lisa Simpson


Quote of the Day

Jefferson Memorial, Deserted As Always

Image on left used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user pablo.sanchez.

“Mr. Jefferson, my name is Lisa Simpson, and I have a problem.” – Lisa Simpson
“I know your problem, the Lincoln Memorial was too crowded.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Sorry sir, it’s just-” – Lisa Simpson
“No one ever comes to see me.  I don’t blame them, I never did anything important, just the Declaration of Independence, the Louisiana Purchase, the dumbwaiter-” – Thomas Jefferson
“Uh, maybe I should be going.  I caught you at a bad time.” – Lisa Simpson
“Wait!  Please don’t go, I get so lonely.” – Thomas Jefferson


Quote of the Day

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington3

“Lisa, after meeting your father, I’ve decided to award you an additional five points.  Congratulations, you and your family are going to Washington!” – Essay Contest Judge
“Woo-hoo!  Who would’ve guessed reading and writing would pay off?” – Homer Simpson


Reading Digest – Title Change Edition

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington2 “Hey Einstein, put down your reading, it’s lunch time!” – Lenny

Much like Sideshow Bob didn’t like that “bowel” thing, I’ve grown tired of this “dump” thing.  In line with our general policy to name everything after something from The Simpsons the Friday Link Dump will be henceforth be known as Reading Digest, where we take all the Simpsons content on the internet, filter out the crap, and leave you with something that fits right in your front pocket.  Today we’ve got math, some decent usage, a t-shirt I would totally buy if it existed, a non-stupid tidbit on Marge in Playboy, and a couple of people besides us and Harvey Fierstein who dislike Zombie Simpsons. 


Top 50 Cartoon Characters – What’s that, a pointless list designed to generate page views?  I’m shocked.  Homer checks in at #2, Bart is #4.  That is all.  (via Decent Community)

Chicago Bears as Simpsons Characters – Players and staff from the Bears matched up with Simpsons characters and created by a frustrated Bears fan.  Mildly amusing. 

P vs. NP – This is close to the upper bound of what I can understand in terms of math, but it’s interesting, clearly written and cites a Halloween Simpsons. 

Dead Simpsons Characters – A list of seven Simpsons characters who’ve died.  I had no idea they brought back Homer’s mom a couple of times; I was happier not knowing.  (via Norwegianity)

Krusty the Clown is God – I don’t think I can explain the background to this one, you’ll have to click the link.  Supposedly this is a letter Groening sent to a guy who had found some blasphemous knockoff Simpsons merchandise in 1990.  It doesn’t look fake, but even if it is it’s still amusing. 

Springfield Still Life – Speaking of bootleg Simpsons merchandise, this is one of the cleverest Simpsons t-shirt designs I’ve seen in years, too bad it doesn’t seem to exist (yet).  (via Twitter)

A week’s worth of beaches – This is a series of pictures at a beach in Scotland, scroll all the way down for a beach hut with Bart Simpson on it. 

Darine Stern: First Black Woman to Grace Playboy Cover in 1971 – This is exactly what I’m talking about when I complain about the explosion of “Marge in Playboy” crap.  It turns out Marge’s cover image was based off Darine Stern’s, the first black woman to be the cover girl, in October of 1971.  I’m glad I caught this because it’s mildly interesting, but it almost got lost amidst the deluge of “Hurr, Marge Playboy, chuckle chuckle [crappy Simpsons reference]”.  (via Prison Photography).

The Patriot Act: Looking back to 2001 – This is a point/counterpoint type debate about the execrable Patriot Act.  DHS gives the win to Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute for using Lisa’s tiger repellant rock as an illustration.

Susan J. Demas: Bishop-Granholm mutual assured destruction for schools – Decent usage. 

Seven Jokes That Came TrueThe Simpsons and The Critic with video?  Oh yeah, this gets linked. 

Family Guy Meets The Simpsons – This is a fan drawing of Marge leading Lois Griffin around in BDSM gear.  You read all that correctly. 

Sheldon Williams has been hitting the nerve tonic – Does Boston Celtics big man Shelden Williams look like Ken Griffey Jr. after his overdose of Brain & Nerve Tonic?  At least two people on the internet think so. 

Cartoon cronies: ‘Simpsons’ creator and pal coming to Chicago – Groening will be at the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 5th.

Things I Hate: The Simpsons – This would more accurately be titled “Things I Hate: Zombie Simpsons”. 

Fighting H1N1 with Spider-Pig – This is a sign that uses the Simpsons to tell people to chill out about swine flu already, and it was apparently made by The American University in Cairo Office of Student Development.  Neat.

Where Has The Simpsons Gone Wrong? – And finally I get to end the way I like, with another person who thinks Zombie Simpsons is shit.  There’s a lot of Zombie Simpsons hatred at that link, but this is my favorite part:

2: Try to pander to viewers – With the likes of Family Guy, American Dad & Southpark providing animated humour for adults, the Simpsons has had to change to try and keep up, except that without an adult twist, its unrepentant wackiness (Tomacco anyone?) has made it look like a middle age man trying to prove how cool he is (or once was).

Maybe we should call it Grandpa Simpsons instead of Zombie Simpsons?


Then and Now

“Cesspool!  Cesspool! Cesspool!  Cesspool! Cesspool!” – Bart Simpson

Yesterday, all-star commenter D.N. said:

I mean, in the show’s golden age, Homer’s wackiness was channelled through displays of infantile happiness – giddily chasing the dog with the puffy tail, joyously fetching his giant foam cowboy hat and airhorn, caressing his half-eaten, mould-ridden giant hoagie even after it made him deathly ill, etc. There was a definite sense of sweetness about Homer back then – you really did gain affection for him in spite of his offensive characteristics. Alas, for about a decade now, Homer’s default “wacky” setting has been rage – flying off the handle, threatening others and bringing violence upon himself, and generally being an angry and obnoxious sociopath. Homer’s been crude from day one, but he wasn’t always a bastard.

That is dead on.  I was going to write something similar for today but he did it for me.  Now all I have to do is illustrate his point with the two Homer quotes I was already planning on using.

#1 – Homer’s Night Out (Season 1) – After being tossed out by Marge (the first time), Homer does what any man would do: goes to his favorite bar, plants his ass on a stool, and speaks of his woes.  At Moe’s, and full of melancholy, he says:

“Oh Moe, my wife gave me the old heave-ho because of some lousy picture.”

(Since The Simpsons always knew how to handle its feelings with humor, even the sad ones, Moe immediately points to the picture of Homer with Princess Cashmere and says, “What, this one?”)

#2 – The Simpsons Movie – Jerkass Homer walks out on Marge and the kids in a petulant huff for almost no reason.  He goes to Eski Moe’s (because he’s in Alaska, natch) and fires up a video game aimed at people half his age that a guy like him would never play.  Finished, he says:

“Well, I guess I’ve let her worry about me long enough.”

One of these men is a relatable guy who screws up in hilarious ways.  The other is self absorbed dickwad you wouldn’t even want dating, much less married to, any woman you care about.

It’s time to wade into the cesspool of Season 21.


Quote of the Day

Mr Lisa Goes to Washington1

“Look Marge, that guy has the same last name we do.” – Homer Simpson


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