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Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation Paperback – October 18, 2005
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Now if they would just hurry and make that movie they've always talked about...
Unfortunately, it falls flat when it tries to dig deeper. The arguments come across as those from a serious fan of the show trying to justify it's importance by placing it in external paradigms. Many of the arguments could easily be applied to just about any other aspect of pop culture. (The Fruit Loops Generation?) The insight that pop culture has become a strong identifying factor in a fragmenting society is interesting, but by no means original. The strange irony is that a corporate entity is needed to provide a unifying force for a youth culture rebelling against the corporatism of society. For a Simpsons fan like the author, Simpsons serves as that force, and the thesis of this book will apply. However, for others, including those that have a shared interest in the Simpsons and other things, the argument falls flat.
I like Canada.
I like media critiques, cultural critiques, and especially social analysis of pop-culture phenomena.
I work with academic research every day.
I deal with plenty of leftist politics, given where I live.
But I didn't like this book at all. Two parts Simpsons-fan one-upsmanship, two parts journo trying to overwrite his way to academic credibility, one part irrelevant Canadiana, and one part the "Don't you hate George W. Bush? Man, I hate George W. Bush. Doesn't everyone hate George W. Bush?" trope so common in early-'00s book releases with little topical connection to the U.S. president of the time, more intended to establish the author's cool factor than provide any information.
He could've written a great social history by removing himself from the narrative and cutting the overwriting back one notch. I assume he knows this, given his professional success. I'm stuck with the conclusion that he didn't want to.