The Simpsons: So Close, Yet so Far
Published: December 20, 2003
The animated television program The Simpsons is wildly popular. The show is highly original, features humor that is often savagely clever, and even exhibits a charming kind of whimsy, as well, not often seen on television. The program also captures, interestingly and wonderfully, the amusing behaviors of small children. This writer counts himself a fan.
However, all is not well in Springfield (the fictional location where the Simpsons family resides), as the show provides a firm and continuing helping hand in the vulgarization of America, especially with regard to children. Other animated programs that appear to fill this same pernicious role include South Park and Family Guy. This week, I listened to a portion of a National Public Radio Fresh Air interview with Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons. He asserted the show operates on several levels, each of which is appropriate for a certain class of viewer. However, having watched many episodes, this writer has identified several salient problems with this heralded and seemingly innocuous cartoon program:
"We're putting that bitch on ice!"
This remark, and the language and sentiment it expresses, is disgusting, vulgar, malevolent, and undesirable for any stratum of viewer. For children, however, who can clearly identify the language, and probably comprehend it, depending on their age, this remark is absolutely unacceptable.
Were the network censors asleep? Are they corrupt?
This writer urges The Simpsons to refrain from content inappropriate to children when producing new program episodes. It is further urged to edit such content from every existing episode, including episodes already packaged for sale on videotape and DVD. Do these recommendations seem extreme or impractical? In fact, the real limits of extreme reside in the backdoor manner in which our entire culture, and world culture by proxy, is morally imploding from within, slowly but steadily. This social devolution is egged on by programs like The Simpsons, a "childrens" program doing substantial injury to children.
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