I very, very rarely bother with “Comment Is Free” here. It’s one of the wrongest things about The Guardian these days. But I’ve just read an irresistible article. In it, the Assistant Editor (or perhaps “an assistant editor”—dontcha love these meedja job titles?) of the newspaper’s arts and entertainment blog—that’s its arts and entertainment blog—confesses that she doesn’t find The Simpsons funny and has to have the jokes explained to her.
I suppose it’s asking a bit much from a culture correspondent with a British broadsheet newspaper to expect her to recognize cultural references made by Harvard-educated comedy writers, but I’m a veteran of The Grauniad from the days when it usually only printed nonsense by accident. She also attacks the show for its predictability and for relying on “a gut-wrenching dose of American schmaltz” to “[hammer] home the moral message”. Is she watching the same programme as everyone else? Is there some kind of anti-American phrase generator that inserts this stuff into articles at random? What does “schmaltz” mean in a newspaper whose readers voted Cinema Paradiso the greatest foreign film ever made?
The first comment in response to this piece is from a standard-issue CiFfer who liked the show until the one in which Tony Blair appeared. It gave him too easy a ride apparently. Just one comment in and it’s already a parody of a CiF discussion thread.
Anyway, forget about Matt Groening; The Guardian‘s Steve Bell: there’s a cartoonist who can do allusive, unpredictable, funny satire. Just yesterday he imagined George Bush and Tony Blair’s last meeting. He drew Blair as a little dog and Bush as a monkey.