Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, October 11, 2021


Last night’s “MoneyBart” episode of “The Simpsons” likely won’t be remembered as anything more than yet another latter-day edition of a series well past its prime. On the other hand, its opening-credits “couch gag” sequence might overshadow it, thanks to the participation of British graffiti artist Banksy:

The minute-long opening sequence begins almost as usual, but with Banksy’s tag being sprayed across Springfield monuments, and a masked Bart writing “I must not write all over the walls” over the walls of his schoolroom.

It then pans to a dark, dilapidated factory where dozens of workers animate sketches of the family. Cats are shown being thrown into a wood chipper to create stuffing for merchandise such as Bart Simpson dolls. A unicorn, chained to the factory wall, is used to punch holes in DVDs.

The titles end with a grim image of the logo of the show’s owner, 20th Century Fox, guarded by searchlights, a watchtower and a barbed wire fence.

And let’s not forget the beast-of-burden panda being whipped, or the decapitated dolphin-head whose tongue was used to seal merchandise boxes. And this did actually air on network air.

It’s important to remember that such over-the-top imagery is traditionally par for the course for the series. All the online debate over a “message” being sent by Banksy is ill-founded — the absurdity of the politically-incorrect symbols exposes the inherent parody. And, as has been noted, if the FOX higher-ups signed off on this expression, just how “subversive” can it truly be?

Still, something memorable from the old animated warhorse. Almost makes up for the fumes the show has been running on for the past decade-plus.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/11/2021 11:23pm
Category: Creative, Pop Culture, TV
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I spent the first eighteen years of my life in the northeastern US. Somehow, I never caught on to the strident popularity of Fall Foliage Season around these parts.

And don’t kid yourself — it’s big. Big enough that Yankee Magazine sees fit to maintain a dedicated website with prime New England foliage maps and other leaf-gazing esoterica. This is, no doubt, crucial information for the tour groups who are regularly courted by charter buses for day trips to nearby arboreal hotspots in Connecticut and upstate.

Seriously, who knew? I appreciate autumnal charms as much as anyone else, but it’s never occurred to me to make a sport out of tree-watching. Maybe there’s still too much Floridian in me to fully groove on all the brown-yellow-orange scenery hereabouts.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/11/2021 09:59am
Category: New Yorkin', Publishing, Weather
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