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Saturday, August 31, 2019 

The Simpsons will be keeping Apu on the cast after all

Found this a few days late, but it looks like, after all the silly controversy, handled all the wrong ways, about Indian character Apu Nahasapeemapeliton on the Simpsons, Variety reported the still pretentious creator Matt Groening confirmed he'll be kept on the cast of characters after all:
Meanwhile, the show also confirmed that the character of Apu is not leaving “The Simpsons,” despite earlier reports to the contrary. Following the controversy surrounding the long-running character, creator Matt Groening reaffirmed the show’s commitment to the Kwik-E Mart clerk on Saturday during the show’s D23 Expo session.

When asked by a young fan whether Apu would remain on the show — following reports that the character had been written out of the show — Groening said, “Yes. We love Apu. We’re proud of Apu.”

[...] Hank Azaria, the voice of Apu, also told reporters last year that “The Simpsons” was mulling how to address the future of Apu and what the show might do differently with the character.
Well what they could do is offer him what might be considered more positive representation, say, in terms of his accent. But how come only non-white characters seem to be a concern? For many years, Doiby Dickles, co-star in the Golden Age Green Lantern stories, had a thick New York accent, Rogue and Gambit had thick southern drawls in X-Men, and nobody had any problems with those. Yet when a character of foreign origin like Apu comes along and sports an accent, suddenly it's a problem? My guess is that, even if there had been another character with a simpler accent to go alongside characters like Apu, it still wouldn't matter to the PC bunch.

And while it be fortunate in its own way Apu won't be phased out, the political leanings the show's been taking of late are just why, alas, it really doesn't make much difference where they're going now. As Variety notes, there are questions of how Disney jokes will be conducted on the Simpsons now that 20th Century Fox is owned by the Mouse. It could be very different from how Fox, by contrast, allowed them to make jokes attaching the news branch, which is largely separate now from the rest of the studio. Let's not be shocked if that's the case, and based on Disney's modern leftism, they opt to tone it down.

Since we're on the subject, National Review commented on the political clip the Simpsons producers brewed up, and says it a result of tribalist influence:
The recent Simpsons clip in which “the Squad” takes on Donald Trump has gotten flak for being “cringe,” but it is valuable as a particularly clear example of what is wrong with much of mainstream, topical comedy. The short is bland, sloppy, and timid not because the creators lack talent but because they lack integrity. And before we blame them, we should consider that the people who made the clip are rationally responding to the tribalization of mainstream comedy and the fear of left-wing cancel culture. [...]

The stultifying atmosphere of mainstream comedy has been attested to by legendary comics including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Dave Chappelle. These comedians already have vast wealth and pre-existing fan bases. They can take a hit from the New York Times for the crime of not being perfectly left on everything. They can afford to say what they think. Anonymous sitcom writers don’t have that luxury. They have to say what the Devon Gordons and Joanna Schroeders want them to say. Where networks used to fear petitions organized by midwestern housewives, they now fear cancel-culture campaigns that can be organized by any semi-employed liberal-arts grad who lives on social media.

Both these influences — the tribalism and the fear of cancel culture — can be seen in the Trump-vs.-Squad Simpsons clip. First is the laziness of the opening gag where Trump sings “No one but me in America, no taxes for me in America.”

It isn’t just that the gag is feeble. It is that the writers have given up. They know that the audience they are writing for will accept slop as long as the message is vaguely reassuring. The Simpsons started as a parody of bland, conformist 1980s family sitcoms, but the writers of those sitcoms weren’t untalented. They were just scared and defeated. They knew that a phony, unmoving scene in which a kid learns a valuable lesson from a parental figure was safer than a much smarter joke that caused a stir. The opening Simpsons gag is the exact same kind of defeated conformism, only it is a conformism of political contempt. If you have the right target, better safe than funny.
I suppose there's something to that. Not that National Review is considered a great resource for conservative commentary these days, but they could be right in a sense that sitcoms as we know them from the times always suffered from political correctness in some way or other. If anything, I believe sitcoms like Mork and Mindy, Perfect Strangers and Full House brought down the level of sitcoms even further, because the jokes there were, IMHO, juvenile and pathetic. By the mid-90s, most sitcoms were getting worse and worse, and at this point, I've long given up on the genre.

The magazine also notes an irony:
The final gag is perhaps the greatest betrayal of what had once been a great show. The Democratic presidential candidates form a chorus line and display a unity that has been notably absent from the recent debates. While, in the real world, the Democratic candidates are calling one another closet segregationists and corrupt, out-of-control prosecutors, an alleged comedy show portrays them arm in arm. The scathing, satirical Simpsons that parodied Bill Clinton and the Kennedy family is now reduced to idealizing the Democratic party more than the Democratic party idealizes the Democratic party.
Yes, once they were at least willing to lampoon leftists like Clinton. Now, it's far less likely to happen, and besides, as noted before, Groening hung around with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, in whose company Clinton also spent time. And that doesn't inspire confidence this is a smart man we're talking about producing the TV series. As a result, even if Apu's not being phased out, I still don't see any point to resume watching an otherwise pretentious cartoon that was never truly the masterpiece NR thinks it was.

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I think your blog is dying judging from the fact that not many people are commenting on you nowadays.

Not dying

Just because people don't comment doesn't mean they're not reading. You're just saying that because you're a troll who likes to stir up trouble.

When people do comment, though, there is more of a healthy debate and less of the usual suspects patting each other on the back. And when a commenter expresses bigotry and antisemitism, he gets called out out on it. This makes the site a lot more worth reading.

It is the job of satirists to make fun of the people in power. Just reading the lyrics to that Simpsons video, I can hear the tunes to the west side story songs they are satirizing play in my head; they did a real good job in that sense. Sad that the national review only thinks it is funny when it is the other guy being laughed at.

"It is the job of satirists to make fun of the people in power. Just reading the lyrics to that Simpsons video, I can hear the tunes to the west side story songs they are satirizing play in my head; they did a real good job in that sense. Sad that the national review only thinks it is funny when it is the other guy being laughed at."

So how on earth are they mocking the Squad in that video? If they had also depicted the Squad in the video as doing bad things or stupid things rather than implicitly depicting them as better than Trump, like I don't know, showing them also demanding they bring illegal criminals across the border to cause carnage while at the same time making Trump look like a narcissistic power-hungry dullard, that would be one thing (like with "Sideshow Bob Roberts". Even though they made that episode a Republican attack episode for the most part thanks to the 1994 election results, they nevertheless made sure that Mayor Quimby, a Democrat, did not come across as a saint at all simply to ensure things were "equal-opportunity." We don't even get THAT from the Squad music video.).

Besides, Voltaire was a satirist, and yet he tried to push political messages blatantly, with plenty of evidence to suggest he was deliberately trying to destroy Christianity and put atheism in its place. For starters:

*https://www.wnd.com/2006/04/35810/#LFe1HvZ0eTHxBBmT.99

*https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/Encyclopedists

*http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05418a.htm

"When people do comment, though, there is more of a healthy debate and less of the usual suspects patting each other on the back. And when a commenter expresses bigotry and antisemitism, he gets called out out on it. This makes the site a lot more worth reading."

So why aren't you calling out the Oscars or Jimmy Kimmel, or even iO9, Antifa's trying to silence Conservative speakers via mob violence, or guys like that? Those guys are practically all about usual suspects patting each other on the backs as well, favoring leftist politics over actual healthy debate, yet I don't see you calling them out on it.

Conservatives are allies, Liberals are enemies. That's what Green is sticking to in his beliefs, no matter the amount of evidence to the contrary.

"So why aren't you calling out the Oscars or Jimmy Kimmel, or even iO9, Antifa's trying to silence Conservative speakers via mob violence, or guys like that? Those guys are practically all about usual suspects patting each other on the backs as well, favoring leftist politics over actual healthy debate, yet I don't see you calling them out on it."

Whaddabout-ism rears its ugly head. There are not enough hours in a lifetime to call out all the wrongs that need calling out. It is important to speak from what you know. The worth and purpose of traditional American values like diversity and the first amendment is that they bring to the table a lot of different voices with a lot of different knowledge.

Some people watch the Oscars and Jimmy Kimmell; others of us no longer watch them or have never seen them in our lives. It would be dumb of me to condemn something I don't watch, and anyway I would think Jim and Oscar have the right to express their opinions too. The only place I ever hear about i09 is on this particular blog; I couldn't care less what they say. And I don't know nearly enough about antifa to start condemning them just for the sake of virtue-signalling. As far as I can tell, they target far-right extremists and white supremacist fight clubs, not actual conservatives. And also as far as I can tell, they are a loose coalition at most, a label for shared sentiments, not an organization with any central planning. They don't exist in the way the Republican Party exists, so it is hard to condemn them as a group for any particular action by people who may or may not be a part of something the MSM has labelled antifa. Antifa seems more like an MSM bogie-man than an actual thing.

But again, that is the beauty of diversity; if we all condemn the wrongs we know about, and not just shout out about things we are ignorant to prove our right-wing credentials, the truth will out.

What truth? All anybody cares about these days is who's the more attractive party to follow: conservatives or liberals?

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About me

  • 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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