Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Healthy for the mind

For the NY Times, the controversial Simpsons' episode is "At Least One Program [that] Runs Toward Controversy", a revealing sign that in the U.S. the cowardice of many broadcasters in the current climate of the cultural war led by the conservative right through the intrumentalization of 'moral values' has not been unnoticed.

No matter what one thinks of gay mariage, the Simpsons is indeed good for bringing out in the open controversial issues and that takes courage in today's chicken-hearted media world.

This is not the first time that this cartoon satires controversial issues. As the Guardian notices, The writers poke fun at those on all sides of the debate, from evangelical rightwing vicars to advertisers and retailers eager to make a fast buck.

One may think of the character of, the religious zealot, Ned Flander who

"co-produces the Super Bowl halftime show as -what else?- a biblical pageant. Homer portrays Noah. The stadium is flooded from a Duff's Beer blimp. Ned preaches the Word. Take that, Janet Jackson"

One may also think of the episode with a mock Fox News ticker proclaiming "JFK Posthumously Joins Republican Party" and frequent digs at the network's output. Remarkable for a show produced by Fox.

This is in the great American tradition of realistic, frank and hard-hitting satire based on the real world, rather than the naive escapism of most entertainment programs, with shows such as 'all in he Family' rarely seen outside the U.S.

The lesson in the end should really be about putting things into perspective and laughing our dramas off for just about anything can be eased with a tiny bit of humor.


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