About the Author
Nathan Thoms was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, but has resided in the Belfast, Maine area since 1990. Nathan graduated from Belfast Area High School in 1999.
Majoring in History, he entered the University of Maine in the fall of 1999. He switched to the Political Science program shortly after beginning the spring 2000 semester.
In 2005 he graduated with high honors from the University of Maine and subsequently entered its graduate program in Public Administration.
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The Simpsons is the longest running animated television series in history and with the Fox Networks renewal of the program until 2005 it will inevitably become the longest running comedy series in television history before the series ends. From humble beginnings as animated shorts featured on The Tracey Ullman Show to its debut as its own series in 1989 it has earned more than one billion dollars for the Fox television network and is currently watched by 60 million viewers weekly in sixty countries around the world and has beaten Baywatch as the most watched television program in the world.
As the worlds most watched television program, the massive political messages and commentary included in episodes of The Simpsons reach millions of viewers each week and with the shows popularity its messages are received by those millions of viewers, helping to shape their understanding of the world, politics, and government.
Currently entering its sixteenth season The Simpsons has not only garnered the attention of the television industry since its inception, the series has quickly become a staple of academic study in nearly every discipline ranging from media studies, to political science, to inclusion even in medical journals. Millions of books are currently in print dealing with the content of The Simpsons including "The Simpsons and Philosophy: The Doh of Homer" and "The Gospel According to the Simpsons." At least two university courses are currently offered which deal specifically with the content of the show: "The Simpsons: Sitcom as Political and Social Satire" at the University of California, Berkeley, and "Animated Religion and Philosophy" at Sienna Heights University. The Simpsons is becoming an important resource in the study of society, religion, and political science, and it is important to recognize its impact and therefore attempt to analyze the messages that the show broadcasts weekly.
While the title of this book is "Machiavelli Meets Mayor Quimby: An Analysis of the Political Commentary of The Simpsons 1989-1990," please note this title was selected because it symbolically encapsulates the scope of the paper with a representation of politics in the form of Ma-chiavelli, and a representation of politics within The Simpsons in the form of its corrupt, Kennedy-accented Mayor Quimby, and not because it will provide a Machiavellian analysis of the content of the television program. The question this thesis answers is: What are the political messages in the episodes of the first season of The Simpsons?