the simpsons-an unathorized history by john ortved

“i love your ass like milhouse love lisa, i love your ass like ninja turtles love pizza”

“When I got into The Simpsons writing room it was like joining the Chicago Bulls at their peak and watching guys hit three-point shots from all over the court. I felt like I didn’t belong there like I should have been selling Amway instead.” (152, Tim Long)

I remember the moment in vancouver when i realized how culturally relevant the simpsons were, and that was at least a decade ago. this book actually garnered me disdain while i was waiting in line to be in the studio audience for a show that i was in the studio audience for for almost four years. i am always reading. always. especially in line. people have commented on my reading, people have asked me what i was reading, but this was the first time someone was personally offended that i was reading this book and not talking to him. to be fair-this person is not very interesting to talk to, and could easily remedy this by reading more books. just sayin’.

this book is good for simpsons backstory and simpsons’ reach. i loved the epiphany that came from reading about matt groening‘s start reviewing punk records. he realized, that although he was quite passionate about the music, he realized that he wasn’t good at it because he didn’t move units of punk music (and how sweet is it that he actually went to the record store to count!)-like, whoa. this is the problem with review writing, and it made me realize that my natural progression not to write reviews anymore actually coincided with the fact that no review i’ve ever written has ever moved units because i don’t write for the consumer (and therefore the publications aimed at consumers), i write for the artist. that’s why i always committed a hard listen (to a whole album) to acknowledge how hard it is to make an album and why i feel a sense of accomplishment when an artist reaches out to me to thank me. this is why i felt feelings when reporters from the globe and mail would roll up to the glow in the dark tour for fifteen minutes and write a cover story, but i was wrong. i was wrong to be upset that the rules were not in my favour and i became write when i stopped playing the game. the masters tools will not dismantle the masters house.

at one point, bart t-shirts were selling at the rate of a million per day in north america, third only to TMNT and KNOTB. that’s insane. so is the fact that the show is a sitcom with no laughtrack that has been going on for over two decades without the challenge of child actors growing up and a merchandising deal that learned fox to never do that again.

“Real people get old. And unappealing. And crazy. Animated people stay exactly the same, and in so doing solidify their identities within an audience, which parlays into ongoing resonance.” (171)

“Very few people ever get to see their creation reach the masses, and no one, expect perhaps DJ Kool Herc, has lived to see something he invented reach an audience the size of The Simpsons. (274)

and just like hip hop, matt groening has been accused of selling out. because he’s been selling out.

“i’m not a businessman, i’m a business, man.”

shoutout to life in hell and the reader (LA to the CHI) for believing early on. it’s the only weekly in any city that i’ve ever been in that i actually read, and not skimmed-well played with the apt name and setting that bar high, peoples. thank you.


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