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The Things You Learn From Pop Culture
August 6, 2007 6:10 AM   Subscribe

No doubt many of you, like me, have recently seen The Simpsons Movie. I left wondering two things: why the movie was so terrible, and what in blazes is Inuit throat singing. The internet, to my pleasure and edification, was able to answer half of my questions.
posted by sy (83 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
...a very difficult and rare skill to master

On the contrary, I make this sound whenever I stub my toe.
posted by DU at 6:15 AM on August 6, 2007


Haha, stuff from other cultures sounds funny.
posted by hermitosis at 6:22 AM on August 6, 2007


Hey now, I liked the movie.

Spider Pig, Spider Pig, does whatever a Spider Pig does...
posted by Servo5678 at 6:34 AM on August 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


I thought the movie was very well done. Fast paced. Entertaining as I laughed a lot.
posted by davebarnes at 6:35 AM on August 6, 2007


The Simpsons Movie offered the best of New Simpsons (Season 8+)...which was still crap compared to Old Simpsons (Monorail, Cape Feare). I'm getting some coffee.
posted by metaldark at 6:37 AM on August 6, 2007


I did not think the movie was terrible, but I had low expectations in light of the recent seasons.
posted by liquorice at 6:39 AM on August 6, 2007


I don't really see how you can make a post on this without name-checking Feynman.
posted by smackfu at 6:42 AM on August 6, 2007


The movie is terrible because it was for kids, not for adults. The show you remember liking was for adults.
posted by BackwardsCity at 6:42 AM on August 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


(But it doesn't really matter, since your editorial swipe at the movie will hopelessly derail this post. Bravo.)
posted by smackfu at 6:42 AM on August 6, 2007 [10 favorites]


Throat singing that has a raspy hoarse buzz to it is better described as undertones, rather than overtones as the wikipedia article calls it. The Tuvan's use two distinct techniques: the nasal resonance that isolates individual overtones up to high whistling notes; and the buzzing of the slackened vocal chords that makes a deeper than normal sound.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:43 AM on August 6, 2007


The movie wasn't terrible. The past few seasons, terrible. The movie? Not terrible.
posted by inigo2 at 6:43 AM on August 6, 2007


I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking things from other cultures sound funny. I don't know that I think that that is inherently disrespectful.
posted by josher71 at 6:46 AM on August 6, 2007


Refresh my memory, when do we hear Inuit throat singing in the movie? An answer of "When they move to Alaska" would be less than helpful.

Also, I had low expectations in light of the recent seasons and thought the movie was great.

"Maybe WE should kiss, just to break the tension."
posted by mikeweeney at 6:47 AM on August 6, 2007


I'll just be the iconoclast going 'yay'! I was lucky enough to see a performance of Inuit throat-singing a few years ago in DC, and it's magnificent. The rhythms and the melodies created are really beautiful, as are the particular movements that go with the singing. Thank you for this!
posted by kalimac at 6:48 AM on August 6, 2007


Ah, Inuit throat singing, as opposed to Tuvan throat singing. My mistake.
posted by smackfu at 6:48 AM on August 6, 2007


Musician and erstwhile physicist Richard Feynman was a big fan of Tuvan throat singing.
posted by TedW at 6:49 AM on August 6, 2007


Smackfu, I've learned my lesson (first post, so it goes). My intention was that we would all click on some links and appreciate Inuit throat singing.
posted by sy at 6:50 AM on August 6, 2007


I taught myself how to throat sing. Man, you want to find something that annoys your girlfriend, buddy, this is it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:51 AM on August 6, 2007 [3 favorites]


The throat singing was when homer had his epiphany.

I've missed most of the last few seasons, i thought the movie had a bit more of the raw satire of the early seasons.

And we got to see homer give the finger, marge say "goddamnit," and we saw bart's penis.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 6:52 AM on August 6, 2007


Some great throat singing can be heard in two of Zacharias Kunuk's movies: Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) and The Journals of Knud Rasmussen.

Very spooky when used in the right context.
posted by toftflin at 6:54 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually, I was rather impressed that the movie put Homer through a recognizable shamanic initiation. I mean, obviously it was touched up to make it funnier, but they even got the dismemberment and re-integration element right, at least in basic outline. It was certainly more than I'd expected.
posted by jefgodesky at 6:56 AM on August 6, 2007


I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking things from other cultures sound funny. I don't know that I think that that is inherently disrespectful.

In other news, my six year old could TOTALLY have painted that famous abstract painting!

It's dismissive rube-humor.
posted by hermitosis at 6:56 AM on August 6, 2007


BackwardsCity writes "The movie is terrible because it was for kids, not for adults. The show you remember liking was for adults."

Exactly. I downloaded a screener on Saturday and watched it Sunday Morning.

My kid was asking how it was. Her question was, 'Was it prime Simpsons, or current Simpsons?'

My reply: "When the Simpsons is really funny, it's because it has a darkness about it that you just don't see in kids programmes. People face real life problems and sometimes they don't actually have any solutions."

Simpsons used to get that, and wasn't afraid of it. Now, they just do Lowest Common Denominator stuff. So yeah, it was fine, it was The Simpsons. Was it a 'must see'? Sadly not.

Or as my kid would put it -- Not prime Simpsons.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:59 AM on August 6, 2007


And who was the tosser here who insisted you gotta stay throughout *all* the end credits? Pay no attention, people. It wasn't worth the wait.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:09 AM on August 6, 2007


The movie had plenty of dark, i thought--all the govt./EPA stuff (see FEMA, New Orleans, Bush/Schwarzenegger's willful and proud ignorance, wholly corrupt and amoral government willing to do anything rather than actually solve a problem, etc), the religious stuff ("this book doesn't have any answers!", and while Church causes the fit and prophecy, but it's Inuit stuff that saves the day, and that bit with Moe's and the Church trading people, etc), lots of little things like the news treatment of it all--Trappacino, with its own theme music, etc...

I liked it. : >
posted by amberglow at 7:14 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I liked the new movie. I went in with no expectations and therefore enjoyed it.
posted by chlorus at 7:14 AM on August 6, 2007


oh--and Tom Hanks to sell their evil scheme! perfect!
posted by amberglow at 7:16 AM on August 6, 2007


If you are talking about my comment, it wasn't rube-humor, it was actual, honest truth. I watched two complete YouTube vides of this "throat singing". I heard "uh uh uh uh" repeated for several seconds. That's exactly the same sound I make when I stub my toe.

Maybe the videos left out the amazing part.
posted by DU at 7:17 AM on August 6, 2007


There was a very good FPP on throat singing a while back. The singers were from Tuva, and the style seems different, but it was very interesting nonetheless.

And I watched the movie last night and I had a great time.
posted by micayetoca at 7:20 AM on August 6, 2007


I like that it evoked some great running themes of the show--Mr. Burns' evil plans mostly, and Homer's mistakes and always trying to escape the results, and Lisa's care and concerns, and mob mentality, and corrupt govt, etc--and most importantly: the power of individuals to change things for the better and/or worse, and the consequences of our actions on others.
posted by amberglow at 7:23 AM on August 6, 2007


sy, if you actually intended your post to be about Indian Throat Singing, good job causing your own derail with the needless opinion on the movie on a site that delights in pointless "is the Simpsons a good show" trainwrecks. If you really just wanted this to be a thread arguing about the quality of the Simpsons, good job finding a really interesting subject to sugar-coat it with.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:23 AM on August 6, 2007


(i also liked that it was less about Bart)
posted by amberglow at 7:24 AM on August 6, 2007


The movie is terrible because it was for kids, not for adults.

Thank you. That nails it. Though I didn't think it was terrible - it was just fine - but I'd rather watch stay home and watch four hours of Tivo'ed episodes.
posted by ao4047 at 7:24 AM on August 6, 2007


Drunk Bart was the bit that kept me chuckling - "I'll quit tomorrow" - and rather dark comedy at that. And Homer shaking Bart out of the antenna.
But the Inuit throat singing was a huge letdown. I was looking forward to something transcendant; what was shown in the film though was a limp imitation of the real thing. I'm sure many other Canadians were also disappointed - every Canadian kid has to master this technique in order to be able to sing the full version of the national anthem, so we appreciate our throat singing.
posted by Flashman at 7:25 AM on August 6, 2007


Maybe you shouldn't put editorals in posts, as people often respond to that, for good or ill.

because it has a darkness about it that you just don't see in kids programmes.

It had the government willing to kill people other than solve the problem. That doesn't sound happy go lucky.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:26 AM on August 6, 2007


I love Tuvan singing, and it wasn't so difficult to learn how to do. But it has damn hard to do it really well.

If you would like to here more, here is a link to UBUweb: a poetry/poetic site run out of the University of Buffalo.


This link has several examples of inuit throat singing.

posted by munchingzombie at 7:29 AM on August 6, 2007


Very interesting about the throat singing, sy - I had seen stone carvings of figures in that pose but never knew what it represented. Good that this traditional art form was revived before being lost. This page shows singers in native dress as well as a stone carving of singers.

Tanya Tagaq Gillis is emerging in the world music arena as a throat singer - here is a video clip of her - Tanya Tagaq with cellist Rebeecca Foon - pretty astonishing array of sounds! And here is another very different sound at the Calgary Folk Festival.

I enjoyed your first post, sy.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:30 AM on August 6, 2007


I expected the movie to elicit a laugh or two, but ... I didn't even get that. I walked out on it. I am shocked it's gotten good reviews.
posted by xammerboy at 7:42 AM on August 6, 2007


Hey hey - we LOVED the movie, and we're about the about the biggest Simpsons fans around. We're actually FROM Springfield (Oh) originally and we must watch 2+ hours of the show A DAY in Syndication and can out quote everyone. The movie was good, AND I knew what inuit throat singing was before I got there, lol
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 7:59 AM on August 6, 2007


I loved the NSA wiretap center ("you hang up!" "no you hang up!").

What, did you not like the movie or something?
posted by eddydamascene at 8:02 AM on August 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


What killed the Simpsons was the loss of emotional resonance. The characters, back in seasons 3-8 or so, felt like real people. Eventually, as the show's running time got cut back more and more to make room for more commercials, the emotional warmth and character got shunted aside in favor of bigger and "better" gags- and you can't do character-driven humour without solid characters.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:09 AM on August 6, 2007


We've had some other nice posts about throat singing here over the years. (I'd search but my workplace, oddly, blocks the tag pages).

Good post.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:21 AM on August 6, 2007


Jumping on the derail train, I liked the movie more than I expected to like it. I thought it paid attention to the characters (well, some of them, at least) in a way that's not been done on the TV show in a long time.

What I haven't liked are the multiplicity of brainless commercial tie-ins, including the BK King punching out Krusty the Clown. Yuck. Seems like the Simpsons crew were so worried about the movie not living up to profit expectations that they decided to grab the promotional cash cow in a reckless way that they've (for the most part) avoided doing up till now.
posted by blucevalo at 8:26 AM on August 6, 2007


Welcome to "How to Not Make a Metafilter Post" now here's your host, sy.
posted by puke & cry at 8:27 AM on August 6, 2007


Well, epiphany was done much better in my favorite ever ep--the hot pepper/spirit guide stuff.

This was a complete nod to that, as the dome was a nod to Mr. Burn's evil plots--and Scorpio, and the pollution was a nod to tons of old Lisa eps, and even the pig was a nod to Santa's little helper, and then there's the Homer is a bad dad stuff, and Flanders as replacement dad, etc.
posted by amberglow at 8:28 AM on August 6, 2007


I thought the pig was a nod to the pig. "It's still good...it's still good."
posted by kirkaracha at 8:43 AM on August 6, 2007


that's true--and also Stampy the elephant, and Lisa's horse, and all the other animals they've brought home over the years.
posted by amberglow at 8:44 AM on August 6, 2007


Throat singing rules. If you like the Inuits, check out the Mongolians!

Spoiler alert:
The Simpsons movie had some issues. The one that really was difficult for me was Bart breaking character. After all these years, Bart goes over to the dark (Flanderses) side?? That's not the Bart I grew up with!

Why does everyone I whip always leave me?
posted by Area Control at 9:14 AM on August 6, 2007


The movie wasn't great, but it was all right. Certainly not terrible. We laughed. I have a feeling there will be a second one (not just because of Maggie's first word at the end), and the second one may be funnier without all the pressure to include a little bit o' everything.

Good or not, though, it was all worth it for that first scene with Green Day.
posted by katillathehun at 9:21 AM on August 6, 2007


Inuit throat-singing, done right, is astonishing and eerily beautiful to hear. These two young ladies did it right.
posted by Mike D at 9:41 AM on August 6, 2007


My biggest issue was the complete marginalization of Burns/Smithers (one 5 second clip? sigh), along with the bizarre inclusion of Arnold (McBain please) and the EPA character (who should have just been Hank Scorpio, let's face it - same voice and general appearance already). On the upside, lots of easter eggs for long-time fans, and the Marge-Homer dynamic was actually honest and emotional enough to hearken back to the early seasons.

On the topic of throat singing, Tagaq is indeed amazing, and her collaboration with Bjork is worth checking out, called Medulla. She also performed a piece called "Nunavut" with the Kronos Quartet, but I'm not sure if any (purchaseable) recordings exist.
posted by mek at 9:42 AM on August 6, 2007


why the movie was so terrible

I'm surprised people are going to it, myself... though I guess the reviews have been mostly positive (nothing wowza! they really came back but generally it's fun kinda thing). But who really watches the Simpsons anymore? Who would expect their movie at this point to be anything but congrats to one another for having lasted howevermany seasons, and a chance to sell merch?

I was a major Life In Hell fan and was blown away when the Simpsons first showed up on Tracey Ullman. I adored the show for years. I honestly do not know if the Simpsons changed or if it's just that things changed around them and they stayed the same, and seemed stale in comparison. I think it's sad, because they were enormously groundbreaking. I guess it's like Peanuts - I had absolutely no idea as a child that Peanuts was ever considered a good cartoon, and when people talked about it being an important and touching and /yadda yadda/ part of cartoon history, I naturally assumed it was some other cartoon they were referring to, or at very least that the one being run in the paper was no longer connected in any way to the original. But Charles Schultz was drawing that thing until he died. He was just drawing the same jokes that had been original 50 years ago.

It's tough, but in comedy, timing is - timing is a lot. And timing includes cultural timing. THe Simpsons basically opened the way for every other animated show out there, and a lot of non-standard humor besides. They really changed the TV landscape, and I feel like reviewers are being nice to the movie more as a way to give credit to that than because there's much chance it's actually good. but I haven't seen it.
posted by mdn at 9:43 AM on August 6, 2007


"I'm sure many other Canadians were also disappointed - every Canadian kid has to master this technique in order to be able to sing the full version of the national anthem..."

* snerk *

Altogether now, "O Canada, our home on native land..."
posted by Mike D at 9:49 AM on August 6, 2007


It was good, and it was fun. It wasn't a work of art or anything, and it wasn't the best the Simpsons have ever given us, but it was still an enjoyable experience. I'll be buying it. The commentaries on The Simpsons are awesome.
posted by graventy at 9:52 AM on August 6, 2007


favorite scene: at the prospect of Armageddon, the people in Moe's and in the church trade places. Brilliant.

The rest of it was pretty much an average episode extended over 85 min, in other words, funnier than about three quarters of the comedies in theaters.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:56 AM on August 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


mdn writes "I honestly do not know if the Simpsons changed or if it's just that things changed around them"

No, it changed. The earlier shows had different writers and producers, like Conan O'Brien. As has been mentioned, seasons 3-8 was the peak. I still enjoyed it until about season 13. I keep watching, hoping it will get better. It seems the jokes just write themselves sometimes, as the characters have become somewhat predictable and flat. Yardley Smith said in a recent interview that they still laugh at every reading, but it ain't the same for me and a lot of people I know. It's funny, sort of. It's just not nearly as well done. Those early shows are still hysterical. I'm not sure you can recapture that anyway, as the best period was during a time when the show and characters were still developing. Now I think the writers stick to our expectations, particularly in that the sources of humor of most of the gags come from predictable places.

I haven't seen the movie. I'm scared it will break my heart. It used to be such a great show ...
posted by krinklyfig at 9:59 AM on August 6, 2007


I liked the movie a lot--I was happy to see a return to some more subversive social commentary. (my favorite bit: seeing a naked Bart skateboard by, Ralphie says "I like men now." That's a rich quip, like the congregation and Moe's customers trading places.)
posted by LooseFilter at 10:25 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well I saw the Harry Potter movie. In IMAX. With the climax in 3D.

I am taking a perverse pleasure in introducing myself to the story entirely through the movies, without ever reading a single word written by J.K. Rowling.
posted by localroger at 10:31 AM on August 6, 2007


My three-and-a-half year old Godson came to the flick with me and his parents.

When Bart's elephant appeared on screen, he yelled "STAMPY!!" at the top of his lungs.

At least I know they're raising him right.
posted by AloneOssifer at 10:38 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's in vogue to bash the Simpsons, but it's still a lot better than most other shows you see on TV. And that's not unchecked nostalgia talking. Even if the Simpsons were debuted today in its current form, it would be in the upper eschelon of shows, as far as relevancy and staying potential goes.

Your wife starts to look a little dowdy after nearly 20 years, but at the end of the day, you'd much rather have her than nothing.
posted by aftermarketradio at 10:46 AM on August 6, 2007 [3 favorites]


I liked it overall. Especially since the writers actually remembered there was a fifth member of the family, and gave her a few choice moments! All too often in the last ten years or so, the writers barely acknowledge that Maggie even exists. (One of my all-time favorite episodes is "A Streetcar Named Marge" which has the classic Maggie-in-objectivist-day-care subplot.)

Of course, then over the closing credits they either forget or ignore that they did a whole freakin' episode back in season 4 about the kids' first words, for the sake of a pretty weak joke.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:48 AM on August 6, 2007


The reality is that websites like Jump the Shark exist because even the most brilliant shows -- almost without exception -- eventually start not being so brilliant. "The Simpsons" isn't alone in that. And give me a wretched episode of "The Simpsons" any day over the more recent dreck that Fox runs, like "The War at Home."
posted by blucevalo at 10:56 AM on August 6, 2007


DevilsAdvocate writes "One of my all-time favorite episodes is 'A Streetcar Named Marge'"

"But you can always depend on the kindness of strangers to buck up your spirits and shoo you from danger!

"Now here's a tip from Blanche you won't regret: a stranger's just a friend you haven't met!"
posted by krinklyfig at 10:57 AM on August 6, 2007


I live in AK and I have to tell you that I almost missed half the lines during that part of the movie because everyone in the theater was laughing so hard. You people from "down south" saw one thing and we definitely saw another. At least one of the writers must either have lived here or spent a lot of time with an Alaskan.

I enjoyed the movie so very much and not just because of the nod to AK. Let's face it, when something becomes mainstream, the world seems to demand it become bland. I feel like the Simpson's has managed to maintain at least some of it's edge.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 11:10 AM on August 6, 2007


I live in AK and I have to tell you that I almost missed half the lines during that part of the movie because everyone in the theater was laughing so hard. You people from "down south" saw one thing and we definitely saw another. At least one of the writers must either have lived here or spent a lot of time with an Alaskan.

Could you elaborate on that?
posted by !Jim at 12:19 PM on August 6, 2007


DevilsAdvocate: Of course, then over the closing credits they either forget or ignore that they did a whole freakin' episode back in season 4 about the kids' first words, for the sake of a pretty weak joke.

Maggie's first word, "Daddy", was uttered to an empty room. What she says in the credits would be her first words as far as they knew.

She has spoken outside of continuity, to great effect in Treehouse of Horror V in the Time and Punishment segment and in Treehouse of Horror IX, in the Starship Poopers segment.

As far as them forgetting in the movie, they've also used the fact that she's never spoken in the regular series as well.

For the record, here's Lisa's first word and Bart's first word.

Oh, and here's Scary Spanish Live Action Simpsons.
posted by unsupervised at 12:50 PM on August 6, 2007


I laughed out loud about a dozen times during the movie. Loved it.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:54 PM on August 6, 2007


1. When I sing, I don't use my throat at all.

2. LMAO'd all the way through the movie.

3. On the plus side, we knocked over the sun sphere.
posted by neuron at 1:18 PM on August 6, 2007


It was a very funny movie. Everyone who was disappointed can still buy the early episodes on DVD. Or watch the syndicated episodes that are still on at least 3 hours a day. They haven't taken them away from you. Matt Groening is not George Lucas.
posted by Gary at 1:59 PM on August 6, 2007


The one that really was difficult for me was Bart breaking character. After all these years, Bart goes over to the dark (Flanderses) side?? That's not the Bart I grew up with!

Except for Boy-Scoutz N the Hood, when they did something similar. Plus, this time Flanders was giving him fishing trips and hot cocoa, instead of Bible-based board games and "nachos, Flanders' style (that's cucumbers and cottage cheese)".
posted by Gary at 2:06 PM on August 6, 2007


I'm surprised people are going to it, myself...

going to it? ; >
posted by amberglow at 2:21 PM on August 6, 2007


Your wife starts to look a little dowdy after nearly 20 years, but at the end of the day, you'd much rather have her than nothing.

... or you cheat with a hotter, hungrier, younger, funnier chick.
posted by wfc123 at 3:10 PM on August 6, 2007


That video Marge left for Homer, telling him she was leaving was heartbreaking. Her voice...!

Go, her! She puts up with way too much crap from him, anyway.
posted by liquorice at 4:18 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maggie's first word, "Daddy", was uttered to an empty room. What she says in the credits would be her first words as far as they knew.

That's a fair cop. It's still a pretty weak joke.

And count me in with the "The Simpsons is not as good as it once was, but it's still better than the vast majority of what's on TV these days" crowd.

Or to put it another way, I remember watching first-run Simpsons episodes when they were great, not merely good. Like when "Last Exit to Springfield" first aired. I wore an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time...
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:52 PM on August 6, 2007


That video Marge left for Homer, telling him she was leaving was heartbreaking. Her voice...!
I thought they handled that beautifully--and it wasn't just a repeat of her previous anger and disappointment at him. (the Carpenters helped too, of course) : >

I loved that Homer himself insulted all of us at the beginning.
posted by amberglow at 5:19 PM on August 6, 2007


I was a fan of throat singing from the very beginning, when it was just short bits of a longer program. But when it got its own venue, it was incredible! If you say it's not what it used to be, you don't understand its proud tradition. The people behind it made the creative choice to freeze its basic format, not allow anything in it to mature or grow with time. That makes every new work harder to do than the one before. Meanwhile others have emerged with other forms that push the envelope farther, making the more recent works seem tame or uninteresting by comparison. But if it tried to do what others have, it just wouldn't be right, and the fact that it continues to deliver original quality material after all these years and with all its self-imposed restrictions is just incredible. It was nice that its newest project had some elements that had never been tried before, but not too much that would have endangered its pure essence. And if it was easy to notice things that seemed to either duplicate or contradict what had come years before, that just shows how great it has been from the beginning.

Oh, wait. Were we talking about the Simpsons Movie?
posted by wendell at 5:41 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


What really annoyed me about the movie (well, one of the things) was the inclusion of President Schwarzenegger. Shouldn't that have been President Wolfcastle? (Oh wait, am I not supposed to talk about the movie?)
posted by freem at 7:30 PM on August 6, 2007


the simpsons used to be incredible and the older seasons can still make me laugh no matter how many times i see them. the past several seasons can't even seem to get a chuckle out of me. i've been recently wondering why this may be. i think the reason may be that (at least in my eyes) at some point in time homer made the transition from a lovably innocent to an annoyingly retarded character.

having said that doubt i'll watch the movie in a theater.
posted by canned polar bear at 1:18 AM on August 7, 2007


Metafilter: What's a spoiler?
posted by portisfreak at 4:10 AM on August 7, 2007


I am a traditional Inuit throat singer and the part with Homer and the "Boob Lady" made me cringe. Then I remembered it's The Simpson's Movie and the blatant blending of Native Alaskan, Northwest Coast and Inuit cultures was probably based on ignorance and the need for laughs. Though it would be pretty cool if I could send someone on a psychedelic head trip just by blowing on them.

Kalimac: Was that at the opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian? That would have been us.
posted by KathyK at 7:44 AM on August 7, 2007


What? You never saw Buffy St.Marie on Sesame Street as a kid? Though maybe she played a jaw harp and it wasn't throat singing. Next thing you'll say you've never watched the Arctic Winter Games.
posted by GuyZero at 10:55 AM on August 7, 2007


What really annoyed me about the movie (well, one of the things) was the inclusion of President Schwarzenegger. Shouldn't that have been President Wolfcastle?

That pretty much sums up where The Simpsons started going downhill, at least to me. When they made fun of Itchy and Scratchy, they were making fun of all cartoon violence. In a much later episode, when Bart and Lisa were watching South Park, the jokes had all the subtlety of... well, of South Park. It can be a blatant pop culture reference, but at least mask it behind an original character. After all, you can't develop an episode around a real children's television personality reuniting with his rabbi father. (Well, I guess you could, but it would still be weird.)

Anyway, I liked the movie. It wasn't old Simpsons, but it was a hell of a lot better than the recent seasons have been.
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 2:35 PM on August 7, 2007


Buffy Ste. Marie did throat singing? I remember her only as a Joan Baez-type singing protest songs on tv.
posted by amberglow at 3:51 PM on August 7, 2007


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