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The World According to the Simpsons: What Our Favourite TV Family Says About Life, Love, and the Perfect Donut Paperback – 1 Apr 2006
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This entertaining and informative book is a fun and intelligent look at how our society is reflected in the hit TV show "The Simpsons", and how "The Simpsons" is reflected in society. This book looks at subjects, such as: parenting, gender roles, individuality, expression, politics, and many others. This book is currently being taught at Tufts, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Colorado at Denver.
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For instance, in the chapter about Bart, he talks about deviancy and nonconformity. He does not talk about Nelson and his friends and the difference between them and Bart. Nelson revels in whatever pain he causes and does not care who he affects. Bart generally likes to cause pain to authority figures but shows caring when his family is upset. The book does not acknowledge this important difference.
Later on, he talks about Lisa and intellectuals. He does not acknowledge the double standard in American culture that intellectuals are portrayed negatively as "nerds" or "geeks," yet people are very reliant on "expert" advice and opinions. This is an important thing to consider in the discussion about Lisa's character.
The chapter about the supporting cast is also lacking, with the writer giving a brief description of the important characters and very little analysis. Later on, toward the end, there is a chapter about the issue of guns. The author talks about the issue, but there is a lack of real research. He does not talk about the status of guns in other countries. Other countries have much stricter gun control laws. In England, not even cops have guns. This information is often talked about in the gun control debate.
The chapter about celebrity culture shows little good research. He does mention the history behind celebrity obsession and talks about the obvious. He fails to mention the fact that celebrities are simply America's royalty. We don't have an actual royal family, so the public gossips about the rich and famous. Focusing on the lives of the rich and famous is a form of escapism.
The chapter about education was also a bit short. He talked about some issues that are obvious. It surprised me that he did not mention the seminal scene in "The PTA Disbands" when krabapple and skinner are talking to the issue. The support more money for education, but not more money for taxes and the audience keeps switching their support for the issue. This scene shows the hypocriscy of the public, that they readily support increased education funding, but not increased taxes.
All in all, there are some insights and this book is an entertaining read, but not much more. Definitely not a serious works and could be a lot better with more indepth research.
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