Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Learn to Talk, Wilberforce

So I've written numerous times that The Simpsons are not as good as they used to be and how the show should just come to an end. Since that doesn't seem to be in the near future, I have decided that this season would be the last season of The Simpsons that I will watch (barring maybe the final season whenever that happens). This season also happens to be the one where the 500th episode will be broadcast so there is a lot of things around the blogosphere of random people talking about what's going to happen with the 500th episode. There is a blog written by the Music Editor of The Simpsons who is reminiscing about his time on the show. He starts a diatribe against people saying that the series needs to be canceled with this:
I know that it’s popular these days on some fansites on the Interwebs to not only bash the show for having overstayed its welcome, but to go so far as to call for its cancellation. I am way too involved in the show’s history and its future to be even remotely objective when commenting on such things, but I’ll try. Indulge me for a moment.
So the few people out there who have watched every single episode for 23 years and continue to plan on doing so even though they feel the welcome is overstayed doesn't matter. So you want me to not shoot my 23-year-old dog who can't control his bladder, can't see, is missing three legs, missing huge patches of fur has to wear a cone and can only move by being strapped onto a small cart just because at one point he was a damn good dog.

I know that metaphor is probably a bit out there but I did go through that with my cat. He was slowly dying because of diabetes that we just couldn't afford to help him with. Everyone said we need to put him down because all he does is sleep under the bed and is probably in pain. But he would come out from under the bed for us, his owners. But we finally had to put him down.

He then continues with:
The Internet now allows anyone with a computer and an ISP to voice their opinions on whatever subject they choose in a very public and far-reaching way. In the old days, your only shot at having such a voice was to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and maybe it would get published and maybe some of your friends or family would read it.  
In the comments he talks about hating when "anonymous" people complain about the show. Last I checked, I am not anonymous. My name is over on the side and this site links to my Twitter and from there you can do a Facebook search and find me. Heck, 9 out of 10 sites, I have the same user name. I don't agree with anonymity on the Internet, especially if you are fairly active on it posting comments on random blogs and news sites but unfortunately, that is what happens on the Internet.

But then he goes off on a stand that I've only heard mentioned a few times in reading about the decline of The Simpsons:
 I come in direct contact on a weekly basis with at least 100 different people who work hard making an honest living producing THE SIMPSONS. Calling for its end is also asking to put all these people out of a job. Oh yes, the upper 1% of the folks who work on the show are making $$ the likes of which you and I can only dream about. The rest of us? We make a good, but unstable living.
Nuh-uh. If these people stay on the show until its end (like you clearly are), then they would be out of a job anyway. Since, as you've said before, you have a vested interest in the series, you are not the best advocate for keeping the series on the air. Television series are a business and everyone in them need to treat them like your regular office-with-a-cubicle job. Were there protests when Bill Cosby decided to end The Cosby Show after eight years? Cheers after 12? Seinfeld after 9? Friends after 10? No because everyone who worked on the show knew that it had to end sooner or later. Why have I only seen complaints about job loss with The Simpsons?

He then remarks on something that I briefly thought about but then forgot about because essentially, it is a red herring:
When bloggers or forum posters call for the cancellation of the show, that means a half-hour on Sunday nights on FOX will need to be filled with something else. Hey, there’s no guarantee that what will go in that slot will be any better than what’s there now.
But there is a chance what they put on will be better. At least a 50% chance. As it is now, I watch very little stuff on FOX. If what FOX puts in place of The Simpsons is something I would want to watch then I will give it a chance and decide from there. The same way I decided to watch The Simpsons.

FOX believes in the show enough to keep it going a couple more years and they have to put up the money – bloggers and posters don’t have that kind of vested interest in it.

and let me and all my colleagues keep working as long as FOX and the American viewing public will allow.
Again, FOX only "believes" in the show because it gets an average of 5 million viewers a night and they can continue to develop toys, action figures, DVDs and comic books in order to make more money. As for the bloggers and poster not having a vested interest in it, they probably did at some point. Someone was buying those toys, action figures, DVDs and comic books and it probably wasn't anyone staffed on The Simpsons. But there you go, advocating to keeping something around that you have a vested interest in.

And I'm fine with that. But it's kind of like what's going on in our school district right now. The district wants to close one to five elementary schools in the next ten years so have commissioned a group of people with a vested interest in each school to decide which schools to close. That makes sense. This is why choosing which shows to keep and which to cancel are handled by the network and rarely by the cast and crew because otherwise we'd be celebrating the 48th season of Gilligan's Island.

The point of this is most people who try to say The Simpsons is just as good in its 23rd season as it was in its 6th are either easily impressed or is someone who has interest in the show for one reason or another. Go on, I dare you to watch Moe Goes from Rags to Riches and say it is better or as good as Last Exit to Springfield. Go on. I dare you. Hell, I'll even let you compare it to Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind. I expect notes and citations explaining how you reached your conclusion.

I would like to think that Wilberforce just walked into the room and Brutus began talking about talking before Wilberforce even said anything but you know Wilberforce was just yammering something about Hurricane Hattie and her touchy-feely uncle, Mr P. Bear.