Friday, Jan 8, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Bee Wilson
Intelligent Life (Winter 2009)

“After 20 years “The Simpsons” is almost as established as Disney. Bee Wilson compares and contrasts two giants of pop culture ...Homer Simpson, that lovable yellow lunkhead, is probably the best-known idiot on the planet. His catchphrase–-D’oh–-is the expression of a deeply limited brain constantly surprised by its own folly. In episode 257 of “The Simpsons”, “HOMR”, we learn that he wasn’t born like that: he has actually had a crayon lodged in his brain since the age of six. Following an operation to remove the crayon, Homer finally becomes smart. “I was working on a flat-tax proposal”, he remarks, “and I accidentally proved there’s no God.” But intelligence has its downside. For the first time, Homer feels alienated by the stupidity of mainstream culture. He drifts past a Disney store, and he is filled with unbearable sadness, no longer able to relate to the homogenised rubbish on sale. In the end, he can take it no more, and pays Moe the bartender to shove another crayon in his brain, so he can rejoin the Disney-watching, donut-munching masses.”

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//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article