Sunday, July 22, 2007

GOD BLESS THE SIMPSONS:
ANECDOTE TO NICHIFICATION

When I was a Boy Scout, back in the days of 8-tracks and lava lamps, we used to spend our idle hours on the bus or around the campsite sharing bits of pop culture. I remember we spent weeks trying to figure out the meaning of all of the lyrics in Don McLean’s “American Pie.” The script for the movie “Monty Python & the Holy Grail” was a sure-fire conversation starter well into the ‘90s.

Then something happened. I call it “nichification.” It’s the fallout of 400 channels and 100 Internet radio stations. There’s almost a niche for everybody in the country. All this bandwidth gives us freedom from having to entertain ourselves with whatever everybody else is watching, but the downside is that we find ourselves alone in our niche.

Ever gone to a theatre and watched a movie by yourself, then found out no one you know saw that movie? What good was it if there’s no one to discuss it with? Sharing our experiences with others brings us into the community. And it’s nice being part of the community—your friends, your church, your city, your Scout troop and patrol.

Today’s music scene is a nichification disaster. All of those people walking around with iPods in their ears rudely shut out the community surrounding them. So much mediocre music exists now that the odds against two people knowing the same new song are approaching certainty.

Now I’ll admit that the hype served up around American Idol is annoying. But I have to give it credit for bringing a little “community” back to the music scene. If a song is featured on that show, there’s a pretty good chance you can have a conversation with somebody about it.

Our Scout troop is talking about going together to the Simpsons Movie this weekend. We haven’t been to a movie as a troop in years—primarily because of nichification: they can’t agree on what to see. But for the last 17 years, the Simpsons has provided that common thread that entertains our Scouts. Everybody loves the Simpsons. Scouts even make up Simpsons trivia questions to pose to each other.

Thank you, Matt Groening & Company! Your parodies, characters, sound bites, and gags entertain us while we are Scouting far away from the television.

Okay, your turn…
What’s your favorite Simpsons one-liner? Mine are the sage advice from Homer: “Trying is the first step toward failure!” and Marge’s admonition that Homer “couldn’t predict six o’clock at five-thirty.”

6 comments:

lonestarscouter said...

Just found your blog and I'll be back to visit. Keep up the good work.

lonestarscouter

Dayle said...

hahaha o man... mine would probably be:

Scully: Homer, we're going to ask you a few simple yes or no questions. Do you understand?
Homer: Yes. (lie dectector blows up)

B C Justice said...

Ah yes, Dayle! One of many memorable video gags!
-B.C.

cal said...

The simpson's is full of those one liners. A good one is from the episode where they are in Africa (my favorite episode)and the guide comes out of the tree house and tells Homer he will be down to help him with his things, and Homer says "No no, I got it" and chucks his suitcase up at the tree house. It bounces off the rail, then off a tree into a giant spider web where a giant spider comes down, sprays poison on it, and the luggage shrivels up. Homer's response: "eh, bound to happen." Other good ones from that same episode:

homer: "Quick! in the water! hippoes hate water!"


Homer: "Quick! Somebody light this monkey!"


Lisa: "look, a chimp, maybe it will lead us to some fruit"
Homer: "or more mouth watering monkeys!"

B C Justice said...

Yeah, that episode is loaded with choice ROFL sound bites. Funny how it didn't make the "top 20 episodes" on the local FOX 26 vote.

I guess "all ballots were lost and the vote totals made up." (From another episode that didn't make the "top 20": the American Idol parody.)
-B.C.

cal said...

Yeah i'm pretty sure fox is full of it. Anyways, I saw the Simpsons movie and it was absolutely hillarious, I was laughing pretty much constantly through the entire thing.