Simpsonism

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The Simpsons are the perfect example of the pessimistic left.

    Homer: hedonistic dog
    Marge: left wing cat
     Bart: hedonistic cat
     Lisa: left wing dog
Mr. Burns: scroogeish cat

Marge is constantly thwarted by Homer's veto. Meanwhile, Lisa only ever criticizes. The best she can do is thwart Mr. Burns's latest scheme. Thus, with the hypnotic repetition of a TV series, nothing ever changes.

Was this done on purpose? I doubt that Matt Groeing intended it. The show is definitely left wing social commentary. What about FOX? There's a slight possibility, there is something to gain from promoting the Simpsons, but... no, it's Machiavellian beyond plausibility. The most plausible explanation is that... it just happened.

Buffy is an example of a more optimistic show. There is a plot arc for one thing. Plot arcs are a major problem for the optimistic attitude -- it's hard to have a show in which the world just keeps getting better and better -- you can't just keep churning it out year after year. One way around this might be just to say to hell with continuity, and just do each season as a variation on the same year.

Even with Buffy, though, there is evil to be fought. What I really want is a show that deals with making the world as it is better. We have enough problems without bad guys. How about a show about actually creating something new. How about... Idol?

Oh the horror :-), how... unsophisticated. The cringe you feel, that is what i mean by the pessimistic left.

Seriously, Idol. At first glance it is ye olde competitive reality TV show, but how it actually worked out in Australia last year was two people effectively won -- managing to create pop hits. Not very zero sum. It's also a coordination ritual for selecting a sort of archetype of national character -- a surprisingly cheerful, goofy archetype as it turned out. Common knowledge has been created that a cheerful grin and big hair is OK.




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