[Marxism] A Marxist analysis of the Simpsons

Doug Nesbitt djnesbit at connect.carleton.ca
Mon Feb 19 12:16:46 MST 2007

Louis Proyect wrote:


Allow me to summarize the article for everyone:

"At first, the show was more serious. Then it became more silly and "zany".
I liked it more when it was serious, especially because it subtly reflected
working class and teenage angst and despair."

Actually, it is an interesting little piece. Sorry to be so cynical. I just
get irritated by people who moan about the evolution of The Simpsons.
Granted, at its very latest it does kind of suck but thats not because of
the evolution of the style of the show, its just... I dunno, laziness. When
it first evolved into its zany style, it was still very good. Lament, but
don't complain.

Sorry for the worthless rant.


Thanks for the response, Jeff. I wrote the piece not because the Simpsons
stopped being "serious" but because it stopped being funny. I didn't start
watching the show when I was nine because it was "serious" and "subtly
reflected working class and teenage angst and despair". Quite the opposite -
I watched it precisely because it was zany.

My central assertion is that the show has been removed from the workplace,
home and school, thus reducing its resonance with viewers,  particularly
younger working class kids. In lieu of this, we get ever more fantastical
journeys, celebrity cameos and I should also add, an unhealthy over-reliance
on self-referential jokes. You say the show sucks because of laziness and
you're right. Class-conscious political satire is diffiicult to find, wheras
assembly-line sitcom crap is readily available.

If I wanted the fart jokes, cheap pop culture references and tokenistic,
shallow political satire that the Simpsons now spews, then I'd watch a show
that does it much better, like Family Guy.

Doug Nesbitt
Ottawa, Canada

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