June 06, 2006

Homer Simpson: Philosopher of Our Age? . . . That's why it is no coincidence that the most insightful and philosophical cultural product of our time is a comic cartoon, and why its creator, Matt Groening, is the true heir of Plato, Aristotle and Kant. BBC article (print version) on why a cartoon character, and no other kind, is a perfect vehicle for philosophy today.

I think it's too broad and . . well . . easy . . to claim Homer's a great example of modern philosophy, but I can't think of another person as relevant or accessible. Meh. Close enough.

  • Bollocks.
  • Oh, please . . . do go on . . . *quickly presses security button*
  • I prefer the 'bite my shiny metal ass' philosophy of Bender. It chimes with the kitfisto family motto of 'Fuck 'em all'.
  • Alcohol - the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. Truer words have never been spoken.
  • mmmm.... forbidden sandwich.....
  • I don't want to judge you, buy my inner critic says you should have read the article! /Marge
  • 'Well, you need at least a basic education to get most of the Simpsons jokes', someone commented years ago when I confessed my addiction to the series. I guess that's the reedeming value of it; you can go for the PC messages, the irony, the cheap jokes at pop culture and religion/politics, or try and deconstruct every scene. Hey, why is Pynchon is wearing that paper bag..? : ) And yes, the latest seasons, harder on shock values jokes, can't hold a candle to the first ones.
  • can't hold a candle to the first ones You mean starting with the second season... the first one is nearly unwatchable.
  • i'd take the first over the last few anyday. The shock-gore-jokes are unwatchable in their own right. And it makes me wonder if the producers just decided to go fishing for a few seasons or something. Bart the Genius Moaning Lisa Krusty Gets Busted techsmith, are you talking about Tracy Ullman shorts or something? Ooohh why doesn't he just let me bat? I wish I was home right now with a big bag of potato chips . . . Mmmmmmmm potato chips.
  • Homer isn't the best philosopher on the show. That's Lisa. She's the one who is the social gadfly, developing her own rational code of ethics. She's the Socratic model of inquiry, but also Nietzsche's superman, embracing both the Apollonian and Dionysian truths offerred by the world around her. Homer is much more of a Taoist tradition, where he is one with his environment and acts in accordance with nature as a whole, as was best pointed out in the Grimey episode. I had a much better argument set out, but my browser crashed, and my post was lost. So you'll just have to take my word on this. Heh heh.
  • 'Grimey'. Ha!
  • "I hate you, Walt Whitman! Leaves of grass, my ass!"
  • Actual books have been written on the subject.
  • The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer is a excellent little book... great for reading on the shitter
  • I take a whiskey drink, I take a chocolate drink, And when I need to pee, I use the kitchen sink. I sing a song that reminds me of a urinating guy...
  • Yet we need reminding that the dots are just dots, and that errors are made more often not by those who fail to examine the dots carefully enough, but those who become fixated by the brilliance or defects of one or two and who fail to see how they fit into the big picture Dots aren't all that funny. But how about that episode where Homer is hanging onto the hot-air balloon and he's buttnaked and then the balloon drags him across the church's cathedral window. And his bum makes a squeeeeeek sound. I wish someone would remind of that.
  • "Kids, you tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is, 'Never try.'"
  • I think you could interpret Homer as a cynic in the ancient philosophical sense, disdaining the hypocritical pretence of civilisation, concern for others, and higher feelings, and living out life on a simple, animal level. But then you could probably do that with any greedy moron.
  • 'tis a cynical age, 'tisn't it.
  • I doubt it.
  • Homer is my hero, I hope to be just like him when I grow up.