Clash of the Titans LX: The Simpsons

November 19, 2007, 11:00 am; posted by
Filed under Debate, Djere, Erin  | 10 Comments

In this corner, arguing against The Simpsons, is Erin!

And in this corner, supporting The Simpsons, is Djere Hoss!

During my time on the camp ministry team this summer, I learned a few valuable lessons. One was never to buy flip flops that you don’t think can take some serious wear ‘n tear. Another is that, not infrequently, teens’ misbehavior is an expression of much deeper psychological issues, not just rebellion.

The third is — I can’t stand the Simpsons.

There, I said it. Bring on the criticism of my sense of humor, my taste, my ability to see a classic. Of course, the Simpsons has endured for almost 20 years — so why on Earth can I not see that it’s what the people want? If you want, bring on how much I actually laugh at the Simpsons’ rendition of Hamlet. Yes, I do find it funny.

So why can’t I get into the concept, appeal, and vast majority of this apparent masterpiece?

When the team arrived at Jumonville — the Laurel Highlands quite near Pittsburgh, PA — it was four days before the Simpsons movie premiered. I had seen a few commercials (especially during David Beckham’s first game in the USA) and thought only that it looked like something I’d probably eventually see, most likely in a situation where I was extremely sleep-deprived, sugar high, and coerced by my dearest (and most insane) friends.

During the four subsequent days, I honestly can say, I don’t think I heard a certain refrain less than forty times —

Spider pig, spider pig, does whatever a spider pig does…”

And this didn’t stop on July 27th when the movie came out, as I had hoped. If anything, it intensified. We moved onto our next camp in Maryland, a family camp. Certainly, a family camp in the practically-seaside town of Denton wouldn’t have such a great population of Simpsons devotees, would it? I stand corrected. Vast numbers of kids and teens (and a few adults) seemed to have only one thing on their mind: The Simpsons Movie. Or perhaps two things: the Simpsons movie, and its relation to the grand overarching metanarrative of the Simpsons. You’d think that after a point, they’d realize its sheer inanity, that they’d stop being enthralled by a cartoon whose beer belly and doughnut fetish borders on disgusting. That they’d get it.

But no, unfortunately, that was not, and most likely never shall be, the case. So I’ll just mind my own business (unless, of course, I’m writing Clashes) and not criticize other people’s preference in humor or movies or whatever. I’ll ignore the fact that “d’oh” (or, phonetically, doh) has been rather ridiculously added to Webster’s Dictionary (roll over all you want, Noah). And I’ll still giggle at “Nobody out-crazies Ophelia.”

But for heaven’s sake, people, can you stop singing about Spider-Pig?

I, Hoss, personally love the Simpsons, because it provides high-quality entertainment for the masses — just like Djere (who failed to write this Clash, so his 15-year-old brother had to do so).

The Simpsons may be an old cartoon (19 seasons), but I still need my daily fix. The Simpson family is made up of:

Homer — a mean, abusive drunk who never ceases to make you laugh, whether he is creating art for Eurotrash or sneaking into Canada to buy drugs to bring back home.

Marge — a loving mother of three and an enabler, who picks Homer off the cold laminate floor and still loves him just the way he is.

Bart — a little “heck raiser” and the class clown, who does whatever is needed to get a laugh, or else he’ll beat you up and ride off on his skateboard.

Lisa — the gifted child, a book-smart Buddhist who never backs out of an evolutionary debate.

And finally, Maggie — our gunslinging baby.

Then they add a slew of townsfolk to make the thirty minutes so very magical. New this past summer was The Simpsons movie, which — in my opinion — was one of the greatest movies of all time. Homer saved a pig and started singing:

Spider Pig, Spider Pig,
Does whatever a Spider Pig does,
Can he swing from a web?
No, he can’t, ’cause he’s a pig!
Watch out — here is a Spider Pig.

Meanwhile, he was holding the pig to the ceiling and there were hoof prints everywhere…

Another great part was when Maggie went through a sinkhole and escaped outside a fence. When we were watching it, a woman in the audience yelled, “Oooooh!!! That’s how she got out there!,” and everyone else started laughing. Clearly, the Simpsons movie is best watched on a big screen.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that the Simpsons reign supreme over all animated cartoons, and will live forever in the hearts of many.



10 Comments to “Clash of the Titans LX: The Simpsons”

  1. Steve on November 19th, 2007 12:03 pm

    I have two comments here. First — this is what will happen to people who don’t get their Clashes in on time; I will replace you with cheap young labor.

    Second, although I don’t really have a position on this issue, I have to weep at Erin’s statement: “I’ll just mind my own business . . . and not criticize other people’s preference in humor or movies or whatever.”

    I guess it’s a personal choice whether to criticize or keep silent, but I have to strenuously defend the right to cast those stones if you want! Certain entertainment choices (pornography, professional wrestling, Grey’s Anatomy) are inherently and verifiably worse than others (The Princess Bride, downhill skiing, The Office). We need never pretend otherwise!!

  2. Connie on November 19th, 2007 12:55 pm

    I have always and will always hate the Simpsons. They are crude and boorish and without apology for both. And they espouse most everything we stand against as an American Christian family. Unfortunately I am outvoted in my home – which first began with Djere claiming it was “even religious” according to some writer…

    Puleeeaaaaszze. I proudly take my stand with you, Erin.

    Always and forever.

  3. Erin on November 19th, 2007 12:56 pm

    If I caused you to weep, I suppose I have a tissue or two I can provide. My point was: arguing just for arguing’s sake about preference in entertainment, while possibly ego-fulfilling (for men and women) or even thrilling (saying “‘The Princess Bride’ totally OWNS, say, ‘Grey’s Anatomy””and knowing that it is true is a great feeling), rarely does anything besides make people grumble at each other. I enjoy a healthy debate (probably more than I should) but I think to draw the line at what kind of humor you do or do not enjoy (British v. American Office?) may be okay.

  4. Steve on November 19th, 2007 1:09 pm

    Oh, sure, it’s perfectly fair to draw the line anywhere you’d like personally — I just didn’t want you to feel like you needed to apologize, even implicitly, for slamming ol’ Spider-Pig!

    But the tissue might still come in handy. I mostly use napkins, and they chafe my poor eyes so.

  5. MC-B on November 19th, 2007 1:09 pm

    Wait… I’m confused. Can I vote for The Office here or not?

    In any case, I’ve loved the Simpsons longer than I’ve loved most people, though it’s definitely getting further and further past the bounds of good taste in recent years. Perhaps competition with Family Guy has driven them in that direction. Whatever. If my vote for the Simpsons can be interpreted more as a vote for classics like “Marge vs. The Monorail” than the Simpsons’ terrible excuse for a movie, I’m voting with Hoss.

  6. Hank Smithson on November 19th, 2007 3:44 pm

    Friends, here is the true important issue here: What kind of animal is a salmon, and why has that timeless question been outsourced?

    Also, what kind of an animal would choose between The Office and The Office (said in a pretentious accent)?

  7. Steve on November 19th, 2007 4:32 pm

    The salmon question wasn’t getting it done anymore. Even though only about one-tenth of 1% of spam comments were actually getting past our filters [and those on old posts no one goes to], I still had to make sure none were real, and since they numbered in the hundreds, I tired of it quickly. The new system is working perfectly. Zero spam comments.

    First I tried changing the salmon question to a blue heron question, but two Bweinh!tributors kept dutifully (and incorrectly) answering “fish,” then told me they couldn’t comment…. No comment about which ones they were.

  8. MC-B on November 19th, 2007 4:34 pm

    At least it’s an actual word instead of a random letter generator.

  9. Hoss on November 19th, 2007 5:00 pm

    I just want to say that even thought i wrote this clash some of the words that i used where changed to make sense. Believe me the first draft was ruff

  10. David on November 19th, 2007 8:14 pm

    I have never watched the SImpsons and never will. I coulsd not comment because I kept getting blue heron and red herring confused and answering fish instead of bird.

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