The War in Springfield

October 25, 2006 at 12:22 am (Uncategorized)

Only occasionally do I join the volleys of debate in here when it comes to matters of politics and war. But now that crazy, yellow family from Springfield is involved so I feel more at ease. Is it appropriate for the show creators to express their views on the war in Iraq? Sure, it is. And it’s their right. Will it be funny? Chances are good, though they’ve struggled in recent years.

kang-kodos-790538.jpgOct. 23, 2006 — It happens every year about now. “The Simpsons,” that animated money-making satire on Fox TV, airs its “Treehouse of Horror” episode to coincide with Halloween — or at least as close to the holiday as possible, given the uncertainties of the World Series.
But this year the show is scheduled to air the first week in November, two days before the midterm congressional election, and it has caused more of a stir than usual.
A synopsis helps explain why. The segment, titled “The Day the Earth Was Stupid,” is a takeoff on Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio broadcast, “The War of The Worlds.”
Dig out your history books. Welles’ broadcast caused widespread panic back then, despite repeated assurances that it was fiction.
Back to the future. In the Simpson’s version, the confusion the radio broadcast created sets the stage for an invasion by Kang and Kodos, the lime-green aliens who have appeared in every Halloween, sorry — “Treehouse Horror” special. The parallels to the U.S. occupation of Iraq are not subtle.
After the aliens destroy Springfield, home to the Simpson clan, they talk about the invasion and the occupation that will follow. “Well, the Earthlings continue to resent our presence,” Kang says. “You said we’d be greeted as liberators!”
“Don’t worry,” says Kodos. “We still have the people’s hearts and minds.” In the show’s characteristic over-the-top sarcasm, Kodos then holds up a brain and heart.
“I don’t know,” says Kang. “I’m starting to think ‘Operation Enduring Occupation’ was a bad idea.”
Kodos disagrees. “We had to invade. They were working on weapons of mass disintegration.”
As the two survey the smoking ruins of their town, Kang deadpans the last line of the segment. “This sure is a lot like Iraq will be.”
The show’s executive producer, Al Jean, has said he’s not sure whether that last line will be broadcast. Some of the writers apparently want it cut. “The debate is whether people already get it, and we’re being too obvious,” he told Radaronline, insisting there was no pressure from Fox. “They didn’t have any objection to this, ” he said.
The possibility of Fox objecting is not surprising, given the politics favored by Rupert Murdoch, Fox’s corporate chairman. He’s conservative, even though he has been described lately as “drifting left.” And, of course, there’s the timing. The episode comes on the eve of the congressional elections, and it’s been suggested that the show’s liberal writers might be piling it on, or at least trying to influence some voters.
Jean finds that laughable.
“I’d like to take credit for being adventuresome, but I think we’re expressing a viewpoint 69 percent of the country agrees with,” he says. He also points out that Simpson episodes are written and produced a year in advance.
If nothing else, the publicity surrounding the episode is bound to ensure lots of viewers. And that, after all, is the bottom line in broadcasting. Ratings. Advertising. Money. It’s something Rupert Murdoch understands very well.

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39 Comments

  1. K2 said,

    The Iraq War is the biggest American mistake made in generations. Kudos to the Simpson’s for calling a spade a spade.

  2. jarheaddoc said,

    This is not the first time that celebrities have spoken out against an unpopular move by the political establishment. It’s their right and to a large extent their responsibility to do so.

  3. Bobbie said,

    The President’s news conference is on right now. Is there anyone else out there who is wondering exactly what Bush is saying this morning? Can someone please explain to me why he can’t give a straight answer to a question without going off on a totally different tangent that ends up making no sense at all?

    I definitely plan on watching this episode of the Simpson, if for nothing more than to see if they play that last line.

  4. MR. ED said,

    For Pete’s sake, Bobbie, the election is in two weeks. This “news conference” is merely another campaign stop, paid for by the American public. Can we all say, “Abuse of Power?”

  5. "The Weasel" said,

    Halloween decoration Ideas………………………

    http://www.tamponcrafts.com/halloween.html

    They also work as diet aides. One of “those” and a glass of water…. It fills you right up.

  6. Linda said,

    Weasel, that’s pretty funny

  7. AO said,

    That has to be the cutest little Halloween ghostie I’ve ever seen.

    I’ve heard that the super plus tampons are more filling than the regular ones.

  8. LaFlamme said,

    You know what you do if that thing catches on fire?

  9. flasher news said,

    Germany’s top-selling newspaper Bild on Wednesday printed the photographs of four German soldiers from the
    NATO-led International Security Assistance Force displaying a skull like scalp hunters.

    The defence ministry said it had launched an internal investigation and was questioning two men, while Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung threatened to throw the culprits out of the army.

    In one of the pictures, a soldier mounts the skull on the cablecutter at the front of a patrol vehicle, which bears both the German flag and the acronym for the international force, ISAF.

    In another, a soldier in camouflage uniform and a bullet-proof vest poses with the skull next to his exposed penis.

  10. "The Weasel" said,

    News Flasher……

    BFD. So what. Who cares?

  11. Mainetarr said,

    You tampon it!!!

  12. Mainetarr said,

    What does an elephant use for a tampon? A sheep.

  13. LaFlamme said,

    Yes, the correct answer is “tampon it.” Mainetarr advances to the next round.

  14. "The Weasel" said,

    Hey Flasher News…..

  15. flasher snooze said,

    ha! ha!

    (ps what’s BDF mean?)

  16. tampon huh? said,

    did you see the heart earrings? ewwww

  17. "The Weasel" said,

    Big Fucking Deal

  18. jarheaddoc said,

    Wee-zo need a hug? too fucking bad

  19. Linda said,

    Ha!! Viagra cufflinks!! too friggen funny. Who would WEAR those?

    Of course it goes without saying, who would wear the heart earrings too.

  20. AO said,

    I have a wedding on Saturday. Maybe I’ll make some of the heart earrings. It would be appropriate, don’t ya think?

  21. Linda said,

    Oh, you are getting married this weekend? That’s a surprise. 🙂

  22. AO said,

    Once was enough for this girl. No, my nephew is tying the knot.

  23. Linda said,

    I just came across a list of obscure facts, like “There are 118 ridges on the edge of a dime”, and “If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.” I can’t vouch for them personally so you be the judges.

    But here’s one that brought the blog to mind so I thought I’d share it:

    “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt.”

    Is it true?

  24. Bobbie said,

    Here’s one for a member of the blog:

    Are there any words in the English language that have all five vowels, in any order, with no intervening consonants?

    We know of only one word in anything like standard use which has five consecutive vowels, and that is Rousseauian ‘pertaining to Rousseau or his views on religion, politics, education, etc.’ Apart from this, and the large vowel clusters in queuing/queueing, there are only the Greek-derived words of the pharmacopoeia type.

  25. Bobbie said,

    The answer is that it’s true, Linda.

  26. Bobbie said,

    Here’s a riddle for you guys this morning:

    This famous rock group consists of four members. All of them are dead. One of them was murdered. What is the answer?

  27. AO said,

    Mount Rushmore.

  28. brenda said,

    rock group! Ha!

  29. Bobbie said,

    My daughter was thinking actual music groups when I asked her that riddle. SHe had to laugh when I told her the answer. BTW, AO got it right.

  30. K2 said,

    Bobbie, you’re taking that joke for granite.

  31. AO said,

    K2, are you stoned?

  32. K2 said,

    Not enough, AO, not enough. Hoping for some kind from Boulder, although I hear Little Rock has some good shit.

    Why can’t Mainers learn to grow more potent strains of weed? Idiots, all of ’em.

  33. Linda said,

    Must be the climate, deficient in some way.

    Boulder’s in a blizzard, am I right? nothing coming out of there tonight.

  34. Linda said,

    Must be the climate, deficient in some way.

    Boulder’s in a blizzard, am I right? nothing coming out of there tonight.

  35. Linda said,

    Wow! computer troubles! what happened to “duplicate comment, looks like you already said that”?

  36. Mainetarr said,

    watching the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre on FUSE tv. Nothing like the original.

  37. AO said,

    K2, I think if you head to “Stone”ington you’ll find some goooood shit. Well, that’s according to “Rock”

  38. AO said,

    Granite, he may be wrong.

  39. Bobbie said,

    Boulder was buried today, along with most of eastern Colorado. I had an excuse for not going anywhere today.

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