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Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

SJWs went after the Simpsons for all the wrong reasons

No surprise, obviously. I read an article on the Federalist about the left's pushing moralizing to extremes, and how it wound up extending to Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian immigrant who manages the Kwik-E-Mart store in the Simpsons:
Not even “The Simpsons,” which has been around for 30 years, is immune to the moralizers of our day. We’re told now that Apu, the beloved Indian-American owner of Springfield’s Kwik-E-Mart, is a hateful racist stereotype of Indian-Americans and should be removed from the show, preferably with a simpering public apology from the show’s creators. Comedian Hari Kondabolu, an Indian-American, made an entire documentary about how he’s offended by Apu.

A recent episode of “The Simpsons” responded to Kondabolu with a scene of Marge reading Lisa a politically correct—and boring—bedtime story. At one point, Lisa faces the camera and says, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” The camera then pans to a framed picture of Apu with the line, “Don’t have a cow!” written on it.

Kondabolu and other critics proceeded to have a cow, accusing the show of trivializing their problems with Apu and the supposed racism and negative stereotyping his character foments.

Never mind that Apu, as Tunku Varadarajan recently noted in the Wall Street Journal, “represents the American trajectory of immigrant success and assimilation,” or that he’s been a beloved character on “The Simpsons” for three decades without provoking widespread outrage. The real problem with Kondabolu’s critique is that its entire purpose is to control what others do. He wants “The Simpsons” to purge Apu from the show, apologize for causing offense, and submit to his pop cultural prerogatives.

The moral response to such moralizing is to say that if Kondabolu and others are offended by Apu’s character, they should go create their own comedy show and leave “The Simpsons” alone. In that sense, the show’s muted response demonstrates one effective way to respond to petty moralizers: not with an apology, but with disdain.
The points made here are valid, and speaking as somebody who once watched the Simpsons and once thought it was funny, I think it's regrettable they wouldn't pan it for the same reasons I now find the series alienating, including jokes about sexual harassment/abuse and nazism. Even the scriptwriters' apparent hostility to Fox News - so far belonging to the same studio that produces the Simpsons unless Rupert Murdoch intends to sell it off - was dismaying, as was their negative stance on Trump and his staff. Indeed, where were these SJWs when all that happened in the past 2 decades? Attacking a character (and it's pretty apparent they blame Apu rather than his characterization) is very cheap, pathetic, lacking in altruism, and only confirms they don't believe in good writing applied to characters and casts.

All that told, this subject made me think of how it's now become applied in even worse ways to all sorts of comics characters. For example, as the recent UN members' objections to using Wonder Woman as a project mascot shows, along with refusal by feminists to defend the famous Amazon, WW is no longer appreciated by today's feminists, having suddenly become a pariah figure in literature because she's gorgeous. Many such SJWs are also guilty of destroying Carol Danvers as they shoved her into the role once maintained by Mar-Vell of the Kree and his son, Genis-Vell, in the late 90s-early 2000s Captain Marvel series written by Peter David, all for the sake of putting a Muslim character in her more ideal role. And I'm sure that's just the beginning of all the social justice pandering monstrosities Marvel's been pulling. If this denigration of notable comics characters is not challenged effectively, it will continue unabated. For those of us who admire the wonders of the past, we cannot allow all these modern-day witch-hunters to ruin the best of pop culture and literature to appease their bizarre notions of what entertainment's supposed to be or not. What matters is whether the socio-political issues featured in the stories are in good taste or not. Too bad the SJWs don't actually care about that.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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