David Thompson
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September 26, 2014

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Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I know I've posted it before, but this is the early-morning exercise routine.

Chris S

That rush hour clip. You can tell it's faked, but you flinch all the same. Painful to watch.

Hal

Hardcore cough syrup of yore.

The coughing, sniffling, why am I flat on my back on the kitchen floor at 3 AM? medicine.

Real-time aurora.

Yes, there are aerial curtains. And then there are aerial curtains.

When elephants frolic.

Footfall

Seen in dentist school.

Oh, is that who's called me up on occasion when I'm at the paycheck!!! Now some of those questions and reactions to reasonable answers start making so much more sense . . . .

The relative sizes of fictional spacecraft, updated.

Uh huh. And of course in rather a few instances, Yeah, Right, and you got that built where?!!?!?!!!!

Phantom vibrations.

Oh, not a problem, easily cured with The NoPhone comforter.

. . . your host’s own early morning exercise routine.

Well, David, that's all very nice, but why do you spend your early mornings staring up the front of a building?!?!?!?

Hal

I know I've posted it before, but this is the early-morning exercise routine.

Definitely could be far worse. And you could be on the Malabar front.

Ray

Roller skating monkey.

Librarian says "Eeek!"

David

Also, amputee floor lamp of note.

Sam

An alternative ‘Occupy’ syllabus.

"It's not populism versus the bankers so much as internecine warfare between two tiers of elites."

That.

David

Also, dog not watching, honest.

And for those interested in such things, here’s a long and quite passionate debate about the exact point at which The Simpsons became a hollow, unlovable parody of its former self. Hence the term “zombie Simpsons.

Rafi

Seen in dentist school.

Nightmare fuel. Why do they have ears?

David

Nightmare fuel.

The world of dental training mannequins is a little odd. There are lifelike rubber ones and portable ones. Some of them are almost cute.

And the people who make them do some lovely calendars too.

Rafi

There are lifelike rubber ones

I'm not convinced that's made for dentists.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

"Parasitic worm of note."

I saw a creepy parasitic worm once, but it didn't make anybody dance, it just tried to engage in a shadowy conspiracy to bring down Starfleet.

Then it was destroyed and, though it got off a signal to deep space in a "To Be Continued..." moment, the writers wisely forgot all about it because having parasitic worms as the Big Baddie on your show is even lamer than five foot tall, bum-cleavage-headed Space Jews.

So they invented Cyber-Communist Goths with laser pointers instead. Can you imagine if the Borg were real? Cats would go nuts.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Zombie Simpsons...

The Simpsons jumped the shark in 1997.

Before then, though the writers always poked fun at the characters, they were still written as believable, loveable human beings with recognisable flaws and emotions.

Sometimes it was the little things that rang the truest: in "Radio Bart", Homer is wondering what to get for Bart's birthday and sees a cheesy advert for a microphone that transmits voice to AM radios. When the man on TV says "Order now! Stocks are limited!", Homer yelps and grabs the phone to order one immediately.

It's a funny moment because it pokes fun at advertisers and their sales pitches for products of questionable value, and the gullibility of us, the consumers who buy them. But it's also a wonderfully human moment. Homer wants to be a good Dad and imagines making his boy happy with a toy that he'll appreciate. He's just trying to buy his son a little happiness.

Here's what he says next:

"You know, Marge. Bart's really going to like my birthday present this year. It won't be like those shoe trees I got him last year. Or the shelf paper I bought him for Christmas. I'll buy his love yet."

How many people can relate to that? Probably every parent, and everybody who grew up with their Dad.

By 1997, we had a couple of episodes that, although they had their funny moments, marked a change in The Simpsons that the show has never recovered from.

In "Homer's Enemy", the episode concludes with Homer and everybody else laughing over the grave of poor Frank Grimes. It was sociopathic humour.

In "The Principal and the Pauper", the writers bite their thumbs at us, their audience, by revealing that Principal Skinner is in fact a no-goodnik called Armin Tamzarian. The real Seymour Skinner is literally run out of town on a rail, and a judge orders everyone never to mention it again.

The days of The Simpsons being about a wild and raucous but ultimately believable cartoon family were suddenly over. The Age of Snark had arrived in Springfield.

Nikw211

Also, dog not watching, honest.

Marvellous. Ditto the Cough Medicine, which I understand can still be purchased under other names in certain Kosovan pharmacies.

Meanwhile, perhaps readers of the blog may be interested in a little light weekend reading?:

    Making Your Life as an Artist by Andrew Simonet

Here are some selected passages as an amuse-bouche to the main course:

    Thank you for being an artist … Thank you for choosing this life which can be hard … It is incredibly important that you are doing it.The culture needs you to do it and do it well. (Though the culture doesn’t always know that.)
    The role artists play in culture is essential.But it isn’t well understood … I think of artists like scientists. Just like scientists, we begin with a question, something we don’t know … Failure in science and art is a sign that the process is working.
    Artists are the only people who contribute new knowledge to the cultural realm. Others can refine, popularize, or synthesize our research, but we discover new cultural information. That is a sacred responsibility.

All of those extracts come from Chapter 1.

The title of Chapter 2 is Our Punishing Lives

I can't wait to read more! If you can't either, here it is.

David

All of those extracts come from Chapter 1.

That would be the signature modesty and sense of proportion that so many artists are blessed with.

The culture needs you to do it and do it well. (Though the culture doesn’t always know that.)

And the conveniently nebulous “culture” will presumably be sending a dole cheque any day now.

I think of artists like scientists. Just like scientists, we begin with a question, something we don’t know … Failure in science and art is a sign that the process is working.

That one reminded me of Cate Blanchett’s latest grandiose witterings.

David

Before then, though the writers always poked fun at the characters, they were still written as believable, loveable human beings with recognisable flaws and emotions.

Well, I think it sort of bled-out any of the affection one felt for its central characters. It became much less touching (albeit amid absurdity), more erratic and self-conscious, and self-consciously grotesque, and in the process quite unlovable.

Jeff Wood

Humph. I live, and drive in Italy. That Rush Hour clip is normal here.

Hal

An alternative ‘Occupy’ syllabus.

"It's not populism versus the bankers so much as internecine warfare between two tiers of elites."

That.

As a belated thought, while I was reading through that I was noting that yes, what one has there is one collection of useless gits vs another collection of useless gits, and the lot of the two of them bloody well do deserve each other . . . .

However, as both groups clearly and definitely are anything but elite under any circumstances, then don't label 'em with something that has nothing to do with 'em . . .

ac1

LOL just LOL.

http://www.viralworld.net/39-photos-from-the-past-you-wont-find-in-your-history-books-example-1-osama-bin-laden-on-vacation/5/

I'm not sure it caught on. Maybe it gave Bose an idea.

ac1

"Thank you for being an artist … Thank you for choosing this life which can be hard … It is incredibly important that you are doing it"

Please follow the signs to your designated suspended animation chamber and we hope your stay on Ark-B is pleasurable....

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