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October 21, 2013 11:41 AM   Subscribe

"She said that there was a plot by the teacher to kill the father and the kids to kill the teacher. There was also a part where a little boy watched a little girl pee. She says that in the episode the whole town goes cannibalistic and begins to eat each other. The mother is advised to kill her daughter, which she does, with the understanding she can apologize to her in hell. The father Simpson is revered as a savior and he sings a song announcing he is gay and advises the population of men to, "find a man!". There was swearing and cursing as well."

Informal complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the television show ‘The Simpsons,’ 2010-2013

"Governmentattic.org provides electronic copies of thousands of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."

Bonus: Complaints received by FCC about 'South Park,’ 2010-2013
posted by Atom Eyes (89 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Finally, federal proof that The Simpsons has gone downhill in recent years.
posted by hwyengr at 11:42 AM on October 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


People seem upset over the well-being of Bart's groin.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 11:42 AM on October 21, 2013


Page 6 of the first pdf is like timecube made a scary baby with a youtube comment.
posted by elizardbits at 11:44 AM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think I'm in the minority on this, but as a casual fan of the Simpsons, I always felt like their Halloween episodes routinely crossed the line and are just no fun to watch. Scientific evidence of this came yesterday when my 11-year-old son and I were watching the latest one on the on-demand box, and he asked me to please turn it off because it was making him ill.
posted by jbickers at 11:45 AM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Actually many pages are like the timetube babby.
posted by elizardbits at 11:46 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and then the baby looked at me."
posted by entropicamericana at 11:51 AM on October 21, 2013 [80 favorites]


I feel like these kinds of complaints shouldn't be publicized. When I was investigating police misconduct, we'd get a few people with mental illness each week, who sometimes for good reason had special complaints about the NYPD. But then there was a lot of nonsense about aliens or round-the-clock helicopter surveillance. When we could, we tried to point them to services that could help.

But we also laughed at them, among ourselves, and I feel that's one of the lowest things I've done. I wish I hadn't. And this looks like an invitation to the internet to make that mistake with even less experience of the kinds of suffering that make people say such things.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:52 AM on October 21, 2013 [30 favorites]


Do people really think that by putting little notes, even the official sounding ones, in their reports in all caps that they are more likely to get the outcome they're requesting?

PLEASE ANSWER ME AND I THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR TIME.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:52 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I consider the 2010-2013 seasons offensive and degrading to everyone involved in the production of the show during the 1990s.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:53 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


A family cartoon show, Mr. Simpson was in his house totally nude & went outside naked while his neighbor was watering her grass. Then his wife ran out of the house trying to cover him with a towel.

I assure you. Ned Flanders was not upset by this. Homer has done much worse.
posted by three blind mice at 11:55 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, the complaints make the shows sound much better than they actually are.
posted by Mister_A at 11:55 AM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Some of them definitely sound quite unhinged, but a lot of them are also the sort of complaint you would hear from serial complainers with too much time on their hands.

"someone said POOP and PEE and the laws which allow this should be repealed!"
posted by elizardbits at 11:57 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do people really think that by putting little notes, even the official sounding ones, in their reports in all caps that they are more likely to get the outcome they're requesting?

You might be surprised. In monitoring my business' Facebook page, I had occasion once to remove a comment from someone who had levelled several personal insults against the owner of a franchise. I dropped the user a note to cut it out and her response began PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:00 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just once, maybe for like a day or something, I would love to be able to know what it's like to be the kind of person who writes these sort of things. Someone so scandalized by even the mildest of transgressions that they fly into paroxysms of indignation over cartoon sitcom tomfoolery. It's like the whole lolVictorians get bent out of shape seeing a lady's ankles thing. So amazing.
posted by phunniemee at 12:04 PM on October 21, 2013


"someone said POOP and PEE and the laws which allow this should be repealed!"

"I am not a crackpot!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:04 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


To be fair, the second complaint is regarding a commercial for a show on FOX where the promo was wildly inappropriate during a family show.

At the risk of being labelled a potential FCC crank, which I'm not, as I find this place cathartic for venting impotent rage, ads for other shows are sometimes the worst. Specifically during football telecasts when it's not inconceivable that kids will be around the network feels the need to promote new shows using what appears an outtake from The Human Centipede. Yesterday's offender was a promo for Dracula during Sunday Night Football.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:05 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also, wow, the South Park one has like 20 complaints in a row from one extremely outraged person in Denver.
posted by elizardbits at 12:05 PM on October 21, 2013




Homer was also imagining was Marge Simpson having a lesbian kiss with another woman.

I think I like this one mostly because the complainant has made sure to specify that it was a lesbian kiss. And not, like, Marge sharing a heterosexual kiss with another woman. Let's be clear here.
posted by phunniemee at 12:07 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


And it was dirty and wrong and children should not be subjected to such dirty wrongness!

This is why I would never work in customer service because I would send back a photo of myself tongue kissing a Marge Simpson doll right on the plushie yellow overbite.
posted by elizardbits at 12:09 PM on October 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Consumer saw cannibalism and murder on the Simpsons. She said that there was a plot by the teacher to kill the father and the kids to kill the teacher. There was also a part where a little boy watched a little girl pee. She says that in the episode the whole town goes cannibalistic and begins to eat each other. The mother is advised to kill her daughter, which she does, with the understanding she can apologize to her in hell. The father Simpson is revered as a savior and he sings a song announcing he is gay and advises the population of men to, "find a man!". There was swearing and cursing as well. She says that the program is indecent and profane

I have seen every episode of The Simpsons and I've seen every Treehouse of Terror multiple times. And I can't even begin to figure out which one this is supposed to be. It really sounds like one i'd be interested in.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:10 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


That was actually an episode of The Aristocrats. You should see the rest of the complaints the FCC gets on that show.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:11 PM on October 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Some of these do have a point, remaking Small Wonder does seem like a better idea than making any more new Simpsons episodes.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:12 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's totally "Treehouse of Terror XX", I now realize to my shame. But I don't think the "consumer" in the complaint understood a lot of what was happening, given that most of what is described as happening doesn't actually happen.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:15 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


My favourite complaint was the one about an episode where marijuana is fed to a train as fuel and they said that "this is very concerning since it glamorises drug use to children who may be watching".
posted by littlesq at 12:16 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is very concerning since it glamorises drug use to children who may be trains.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:26 PM on October 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


They specify marijuana LEAVES which made me lol. That train is not educated about proper drug use and has likely been ripped off by an unscrupulous friend of a friend.
posted by elizardbits at 12:26 PM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Kids, Don't choo-choo-choose pot.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:28 PM on October 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


Once I understood that many of these complaints focused on the Treehouse of Terror episodes, they started to make a little more sense. And I can see how those would be confusing and disturbing to many folks who aren't used to the Simpsons at all (and frankly, the recent ones are disturbing in their quality to long-time Simpsons fans too), not to mention that I suspect some of these are also from people struggling with some mental health issues.
posted by nubs at 12:29 PM on October 21, 2013


"someone said POOP and PEE and the laws which allow this should be repealed!"

"Amendment XXVIII. Congress shall not deny or abridge the Right of Natural-Born Citizens of the United States to willfully utter references to sundry Bodily Excretations within their own homes or furthermore in Rightful Missives and Communications directed toward Other Citizens of the Republick."
posted by aught at 12:30 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Something, something, '90s Simpsons.
*adjusts onion on belt, enters monorail driven by a
Inanimate carbon rod and a possum named Bitey*
posted by littlesq at 12:34 PM on October 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


Yo I hate it when people use 'concerning' that way - - 'this is very concerning to me.' Just stop doin' it y'all.
posted by Mister_A at 12:35 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Some are these obviously originate from UNWELL MINDS and are difficult to read.
posted by Young Kullervo at 12:36 PM on October 21, 2013


Timecube and YouTube were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and then the baby winked at me
posted by infinitewindow at 12:37 PM on October 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: This pertains to things being said that I insist are about Me. I have in the past sent You a hand written complaint regarding this, I was told sorry. There is more then one infraction too. Forgive the information I submitted because I know it is wrong, it has been a couple years since the crimes have been committed, which is one reason I am interested in urgencie, statutes
only last for so long. I had complained about Craig Furguson saying, "Richard Pattison, Killeen Texas!". This is a bizzare case I admit from The beginning, but one that is factual. "Marge! Marge! Marge! Or is that? Kelly! Kelly! Kelly! Oh, I wanted the Magilla Gorilla!", was said on the Simpsons also. Let Me explain something here, I went to school with Richard Pattison and He knew I was I living in Killeen at the time Furguson did what He did. I was playing My guitar and singing when a Guy came walking into the area I had My tent set up, I was homeless for a spell, He was yelling My name just like it was said on the Simpsons. I was working for a good Freind of Mr. Pattisons at the time, He would have known exactly where I was. I told His Freind after I figured out what game They are playing, His name is Jon Peirson, to tell Him to say, "Eeaah." to prove what They are up to. It was said on Tyler Perrys show, "They said Grandpa Kelly says Eeaah.". This is not a hoax and has Me angered enough to take matters into My own hands. I really would rather have it handled in a manner that keeps Me from going to jail. This is an outrage, and highly insulting to My life. I thank You for Your time and await a positive response.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 12:39 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think I'm in the minority on this, but as a casual fan of the Simpsons, I always felt like their Halloween episodes routinely crossed the line and are just no fun to watch. Scientific evidence of this came yesterday when my 11-year-old son and I were watching the latest one on the on-demand box, and he asked me to please turn it off because it was making him ill.

I often agree with you. I will gleefully laugh at things like American Psycho and Return of the Living Dead, but for some reason, when Homer's constant strangulation of his son results in Bart having a long, weak neck that can't even move his head out of his cereal bowl, I am not amused. Because that's just... messed up.

Just once, maybe for like a day or something, I would love to be able to know what it's like to be the kind of person who writes these sort of things. Someone so scandalized by even the mildest of transgressions that they fly into paroxysms of indignation over cartoon sitcom tomfoolery.

Point of anecdata: I once wrote a strongly-worded letter to Entertainment Weekly when, during their first year of publication, I received three different issues with Madonna on the cover. This third cover had her walking down the street naked, and let me tell you, buddy, I had had about enough of that. And my letter was published! I was a 12-year-old girl and felt totally threatened by sex, and justified in complaining because that subscription had cost me two weeks allowance.
posted by heatvision at 12:43 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Once I understood that many of these complaints focused on the Treehouse of Terror episodes, they started to make a little more sense. And I can see how those would be confusing and disturbing to many folks who aren't used to the Simpsons at all

The first two or three Treehouse of Horrors had a disclaimer by Marge before the episode for this exact reason. The producers got rid of them; they didn't think they needed them anymore. Maybe they do!

But people have complained about the Simpsons since Day 1, and, honestly, I find these types of complaints far less tedious than the incessant "worst episode ever" complaints by the fans.
posted by girlmightlive at 12:46 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think I'm in the minority on this, but as a casual fan of the Simpsons, I always felt like their Halloween episodes routinely crossed the line and are just no fun to watch. Scientific evidence of this came yesterday when my 11-year-old son and I were watching the latest one on the on-demand box, and he asked me to please turn it off because it was making him ill.

Make him keep watching. I experimented on myself by watching all kinds of shit and am now utterly desensitised. Science can also cure your child, but of course there might be a tiny bit of pain first, its just like getting a vaccine.
posted by biffa at 12:51 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not surprised the Simpsons made an episode about putting marijuana in a train, there's a long history of using herbs as locomotive fuel, dating back to when Mussolini made the trains run on thyme.

(cue groans)
posted by Ned G at 12:51 PM on October 21, 2013 [42 favorites]


The Simpsons did this in the episode where Kent Brockman utters the horrible "super swear" word. And accurately, it would appear.
posted by tommasz at 12:53 PM on October 21, 2013


The caller wants to report that he heard them use the "A" word. He wanted to report that language being used.

OH NO, not the "A" word! Not that language!
posted by oceanjesse at 12:57 PM on October 21, 2013


Metafilter: This pertains to things being said that I insist are about Me....

Technically shouldn't this not be posted here but be taken to MetaTimeCubeTalk?
posted by aught at 12:59 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why did they feed psychedelics to the train?
So they could have a loco motive.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:59 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mussolini made the trains run on thyme

By the way, Ned G: the favorite I just gave you should not be interpreted as a token of my of approval of that pun.
It simply means you've been added to the watchlist.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:02 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


How did they prove the train was running heroin?
The route was covered in track marks.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:03 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was hoping that at least one of these would end with "BABA BOOEY, BABA BOOEY, HOWARD STERNS PENIS"
posted by dr_dank at 1:04 PM on October 21, 2013


Okay, I kind of love this one, kind of hate this one.... (from south park complaints):

"The censored material was an obscene action against the First
Amendment of the US Constitution. It is appalling to watch this show with such distractions.
I am requesting that the episode be re-aired uncensored as an effort for Comedy Central to redeem itself from the preceding indecency and to restore the quality of the best show on television: South Park. "

Wow, to actually sit down and write a letter to the FCC complaining that something was censored. Like it's the FCC's job to ask networks to air more offensive materials. So that's somewhat awesome.

Less awesome: the only letter asking for more offensive materials was asking for uncensored blasphemy against Islam.
posted by el io at 1:05 PM on October 21, 2013


Spot the real complaint:

during the simpsons a commercial aired for schick which publically aired shots of a woman's barely covered vagina area+of a woman in her underwear which barely covered her vagina with her legs gaped wide open all of which was obscene&lewd&pornographic&unnecessary.you used to have to buy pornographic magazines in order to see female nudity like that!]while surprise the male was fully covered.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:08 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


the male was fully covered?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2013


I mean, it's probably going for What A Double Standard!, which, fair enough, but it just reads like a punchline.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:18 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of amused that someone describes poop-eating as "Adult" humor, since probably 90% of the people who are amused by that are not.

(Of course, I'm an adult, and the phrase "MALE PENIAL AREA" made me laugh out loud at my desk, so maybe not...)
posted by capricorn at 1:18 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


As the parent of a couple of small kids some of these complaints resonate with me. A little. Not the homophobic complaints, but the ones about content (especially in commercials) that isn't necessarily appropriate for a given show's stated audience. But most of the complaints could be solved if the people complaining just didn't watch, and didn't let their kids watch.

The problem is... as concerned parents we have a responsibility to pay attention to what our kids are watching and filter accordingly if we think it necessary. My wife and I use Common Sense Media's website to get a feel for stuff we're not familiar with, then use our judgment. We also pre-watch some of the shows my kids want to see, and say "no" if something seems inappropriate.

If you have kids and you have concerns about what they're watching on tv, then it's your job to be proactive. The Simpsons and South Park are known quantities. They're both heavily reviewed by members on sites like CSM. There's no damned reason why any parent shouldn't know what they're in for with those shows.
posted by zarq at 1:19 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Point of anecdata

Anecdatum?
posted by dudemanlives at 1:19 PM on October 21, 2013


Dear Advertisers,

I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on television. We are not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals who remember the good old days when entertainment was bland and inoffensive.

The following is a list of words I never want to hear on television again:
  1. Bra
  2. Horny
  3. Family Jewels
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:19 PM on October 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


This person in Denver really HATES South Park, don't they? It must be absolute torture to watch every single airing, especially when they appear to air multiple episodes back to back, sitting there, trying to capture every little bit of profanity and filth. Why not just, I dunno, NOT WATCH IT?

One of their complaints was the line, "...stem cells numb nuts...". I'm not sure which part of that they found more offensive.
posted by BrianJ at 1:30 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


the timetube babby

I've been playing Fez, and this brings up bizarre images. I hope I don't unlock that.

I feel like these kinds of complaints shouldn't be publicized

I can understand that, yes. But we as a culture have a need to know what people complain about our media are saying, because many times in the past those complaints have been at the base of dangerous attempts at censorship.
posted by JHarris at 1:37 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]




As a father of a small child who has not watched The Simpsons in years I can only say I think I hate nearly every one of these complainers.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 1:45 PM on October 21, 2013


Actually, I will buy the second complaint about previews for shit I would never let my kids watch (scary/gory/creepy) that air during what I consider to be pretty harmless television like The Simpsons. That guy from Killeen, however, is just nuts. He's picking up transmissions from his fillings, I'm pretty sure. (edit: I still won't let my kids watch The Simpsons either, but if they should wander into my room on the rare occasion when I'm watching, I won't run them out)
posted by PuppyCat at 1:46 PM on October 21, 2013


barley covered vagina. MMMMMMMM. AAAAUUUUUUGHGHGHG...
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:50 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do people really think that by putting little notes, even the official sounding ones, in their reports in all caps that they are more likely to get the outcome they're requesting?

Yep. I monitor public-facing emails for a couple of my clients and it happens all the time. Also popular is writing...the best way I can describe it is like a rube putting on a monocle and trying to write the way they imagine an 18th century gentleman would write to their peers, so it's like (just to use the current thread as an example):

Prithee, good sir, and do attend to my writings. I was gazing upon the electronic picture box this evening whilst contemplating the terrible situation in Afghanistan when I noticed an animated woman named Marjorie Simpson (nee Bouvier) displayed what could only be a bosom and what I believe to be a mammary. Naturally, I was astonished to find such filth upon your fine network, which I have enjoyed since I was merely a boy at my mother's knee, however, I could only hold my recollection to be true. I trust you will handle this matter with all due expediency.

Yours,

Some Clownshoe.

It's a unique combination of a hi-falutin' vocabulary and no idea how to use it. (Metafilter: A unique combination, etc.).

Just once, maybe for like a day or something, I would love to be able to know what it's like to be the kind of person who writes these sort of things. Someone so scandalized by even the mildest of transgressions that they fly into paroxysms of indignation over cartoon sitcom tomfoolery. It's like the whole lolVictorians get bent out of shape seeing a lady's ankles thing. So amazing.

I know people like this that have all sorts of triggers like that (social justice warriors are particularly common in my demographic) and it's hilarious to watch until it gets exhausting because, really, the 18th time you've flown into a tantrum because of something completely mundane, most people just start tuning you out. Still beats the people that constantly share sad pictures of abused animals, though.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:51 PM on October 21, 2013 [17 favorites]


The problem with busybodies is that they're always so godddamn busy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:03 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I sent a complaint to Tim Horton's a few weeks ago about an intimidating blind woman selling muffins door to door who would not leave my property. After she returned for the third time, I took her arm to escort her from the building and she raised a fist and said, "Go ahead! See who they believe -- you, or the poor, blind woman!"

I think the Tim Horton's rep thought about me what the FCC thinks about these crackpots. They wrote back, "We don't sell muffins door to door. CALL THE POLICE!"
posted by dobbs at 2:08 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


...and the horse you rode in on.
posted by moorooka at 2:16 PM on October 21, 2013


What irks me is that the very valuable very good FOIA is being used for crap like this. And that government employees have to waste their time on it.
posted by SLC Mom at 2:28 PM on October 21, 2013


MetaFilter: Yours,

Some Clownshoe
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:33 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a unique combination of a hi-falutin' vocabulary and no idea how to use it.
A little like a mule with a spinning wheel....
posted by Flunkie at 3:01 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


A little like a mule with a spinning wheel....

...making yarn for knitting ass hats.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:05 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]




Oh, that was the Simpsons? I thought they were talking about Game of Thrones.
posted by happyroach at 3:50 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


What irks me is that the very valuable very good FOIA is being used for crap like this.

Sturgeon's law. You accept the 90% because it makes the 10% possible. The alternative would presumably be allowing the responding agency to decide what is a worthwhile request, which would be ridiculously open to abuse.
posted by Space_Lady at 3:51 PM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


I love the poetry.

On the simpsons about half way
through there's a scene were homer is
in a meth lab and about to hit the
merge pipe and after there is a line
outside with cledus and his family sayin
they just radedtjere best merge house.

posted by The Deej at 4:17 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Homer is coming. The treehouse is dark and full of horrors.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:29 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ghostride The Whip, that's great. If I could get that voice down, I'd complain about all kinds of stupid crap, just for the hell of it.
posted by JHarris at 5:35 PM on October 21, 2013



...It simply means you've been added to the watchlist.

Another faux pause on the tabbouleh rasa
posted by y2karl at 8:27 PM on October 21, 2013


Need to use better language as in the past when language was more pure.

Sometime before Chaucer started throwing the q-word around like nobody's business?
posted by bibliowench at 10:04 PM on October 21, 2013


Just once, maybe for like a day or something, I would love to be able to know what it's like to be the kind of person who writes these sort of things. Someone so scandalized by even the mildest of transgressions that they fly into paroxysms of indignation over cartoon sitcom tomfoolery. It's like the whole lolVictorians get bent out of shape seeing a lady's ankles thing. So amazing.

I'm guessing it gives them a bit of excitement, along with a sense of righteous purpose, albeit modest. If they can devote some of their time and energy to looking out for people saying “poop”, alluding to the existence of homosexuality or taking the Lord's name in vain and write a letter setting the avenging angels of the FCC on the transgressors, it lets them feel like part of a greater cause; it's not quite cutting down Saracens in the Holy Land, but as close as a retiree in a small town can get.
posted by acb at 2:36 AM on October 22, 2013


I would love to see the newsletters these folks subscribe to.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:17 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, it's this one I assume.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2013


I feel like this is the place to tell you guys that my mom tried to ban all of us kids from watching The Simpsons when it first started airing in the early 90s. She said she didn't like how Bart was not respectful to his father.

Obviously she was overruled.
posted by Sara C. at 6:25 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a unique combination of a hi-falutin' vocabulary and no idea how to use it.

I see this almost every time I do anything that invites email from the general public (craigslist job postings being the most recent example that comes to mind). I think a lot of people just aren't very fluent with professional written communication, and they're like "I DONT KNOW ADD MORE DEAR SIR OR MADAM PROBABLY". It's like cargo cult correspondence.

Meanwhile just writing, "Hi there, I'm interested in applying for the [job] position. I have X and Y relevant experience. My resume is attached" would be just fine.

Maybe some variant on the U/Non-U thing? I don't know. This fascinates me.
posted by Sara C. at 6:29 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like this is the place to tell you guys that my mom tried to ban all of us kids from watching The Simpsons when it first started airing in the early 90s. She said she didn't like how Bart was not respectful to his father.

This was definitely A Thing in the early days of The Simpsons. I remember not being allowed to buy a Bart Simpson t-shirt.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:37 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


This was definitely A Thing in the early days of The Simpsons. I remember not being allowed to buy a Bart Simpson t-shirt.

This is so funny. I distinctly remember sitting and eating dinner with the TV on as a tiny child, with Simpsons on in the background. There was a fake commercial on, the one advertising family counseling, where you see a lady yell at her husband "why don't you shut up!" and then the guy yell back at her "why don't YOU shut up!" and then over to their kid who shouts "WHY DON'T YOU BOTH SHUT UP!?" and I remember us all freezing, because that was a scene that had played out so many times in our house it was a little too real. And we sat and watched the shock therapy episode together and laughed and laughed and laughed, because finally there was someone on TV who was just like us.

The Simpsons were basically required watching in our household growing up.
posted by phunniemee at 7:48 AM on October 23, 2013


This was definitely A Thing in the early days of The Simpsons.

That whole episode (in our culture, not of the show) crystallized in my mind how damn malleable our culture, and lots of loud-mouthed people in it, are to manipulation by media figures and politicians. It seems quaint now, perhaps, but don't think there isn't still a host of people just waiting for marching orders, ready to think whatever the Right tells them to think. (Not that the Left doesn't have those too. But they aren't quite nearly so industrial about it.)
posted by JHarris at 8:50 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


distinctly remember sitting and eating dinner with the TV on as a tiny child, with Simpsons on in the background. There was a fake commercial on, the one advertising family counseling, where you see a lady yell at her husband "why don't you shut up!" and then the guy yell back at her "why don't YOU shut up!" and then over to their kid who shouts "WHY DON'T YOU BOTH SHUT UP!?"

Oh, man, this is like a microcosm of everything my mom didn't want us doing/watching/knowing about/participating in. (Specifically TV during dinner, The Simpsons, and the expression "shut up", which full disclosure I thought was a swear until I was like 8.)

Not to say I grew up in a wonderfully enlightened family where nobody ever yelled and everyone loved each other unconditionally. But my mom was incredibly anxious about shutting down any notion that we were not enlightened/quiet/loving/unconditional.

Looking back, I also wonder how much of her anxiety about certain TV shows was about class. She was also way not into us watching Married... With Children. Roseanne was encouraged, though, so I might be wrong.
posted by Sara C. at 8:54 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


barley covered vagina

Was it a beer commercial?

posted by zakur at 5:02 PM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


No whey!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:03 PM on October 23, 2013


Oh yeah, The Simpsons was...god, I'm trying to think of something current that's as subversive. Beavis and Butthead in its day. South Park before everyone grew up watching it. They along with the Bundys were one of the first real sitcom families that weren't the Leave It To Beaver/Happy Days sort and there was a huge uproar around them. Schools were banning Bart Simpson shirts and Very Serious commentators were clucking about a bad influence on society and family life and the usual religious suspects were involved. The Simpsons, hard as it is to believe now, were edgy as hell for a few years.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:29 PM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


...Roseanne was encouraged, though, so I might be wrong.

Don't worry -- at some point, you should be able to collect disability for that fact alone.
posted by y2karl at 11:57 PM on October 25, 2013


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