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Movies and TV - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 21 February 2012 The Simpsons: The Signs of Degraded Humanity and Declining Culture “A boy can learn more in an airport than he can in any school,” Homer reassuringly says to Bart. The impact is the humorous condition of how father and son bond due to similar levels of intellectual, social, and psychological immaturities…
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Movies and TV

Download file to see previous pages... Through complex and often contradictory signs, this episode shows that people cannot change their economic, political, cultural, religious, social, and gender conditions, because they subscribe to implied stereotyped myths that simplify their lives and renders complex issues of degraded humanity and declining culture as invisible. The episode depicts the complicated signs of myths in direct and indirect manners, especially those pertaining to teaching and religious signs. People accept myths, where they are “more than true” (Seger 347). Myths “connect and speak” with many people. One of the myths in the Simpson’s episode is the myth of a great teacher (Moore 404). This myth argues that a funny and creative teacher can change his/her students’ lackadaisical attitudes and behaviors toward learning and life (Moore 404). Lisa’s teacher aims to change them to model students, but in a bad way, because she has been recruited by the Movementarian sect already. The “sign” in the episode can also be indirect and contains conflicts, because Lisa struggles with her grade-sensitive personality and the need to assert her independence against social brainwashing tactics. When she falls into the brainwashing of society, the episode underscores the futility of fighting powerful institutions. Myths are better, because they make life simple and easier to understand. Another myth being dismantled in this episode is the myth of faith in God. The episode shows signs that directly attack sects like the Movementarian that takes advantage of the weak-willed and weak-minded. It, however, draws parallel with the Catholic Church, because the latter also takes money from its members in form of donation and promotes “truths” about life and how it should be lived. The Church also uses seemingly hypnotizing, repetitive chants. The main argument of this episode is that God has been turned into a lucrative business. The hero symbol is also present when people idolize God, because “glamour is always vulnerable to those who love it” (Postrel 354). People want a savior, someone who is more than themselves and yet seemingly similar to themselves. The episode cautions people who easily fall into the trap of blind faith, such as when people do not even check who that man waving inside the Rolls Royce car is and if there actually is a spaceship inside the barn. With the myth of faith and the superhuman God, people are lambs that can be led astray to their misfortune and death. The Simpsons also perpetuates and questions gender roles and stereotypes. Neuhaus argues that The Simpsons presents a comparatively placid appraisal of domestic gender roles (762). On the one hand, it “playfully and humorously questions the function of the nuclear family in American society” (Neuhaus 762). Marge always forgives Homer, no matter how insensitive and irresponsible he can be as a husband and father. On the other hand, the episode also imbibes the “centrality of female domesticity to the very definition of ‘a family’ ” (Neuhaus 762). Marge follows her husband’s decision, although she feels wary about it. She is still under the male grasp. The episode, however, portrays a conflicting role, when Marge escapes the Movementarian’s community and seeks help from Reverend Timothy Lovejoy. She and the Reverend save Homer ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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