Tag Archives: The Simpsons

Finals Frenzy, Fair-Weather Fans

We are in the midst of another NBA Finals Frenzy here in south Florida. It’s hard not to get swept up in it. Even people who ordinarily hate basketball are finding themselves wearing LeBron jerseys, googling pictures of the Birdman, staying up late to watch the games with riveted intensity, and enthusiastically talking Heat basketball on Facebook.

There’s a shared sense of palpable excitement in the air. It’s gripping and awesome… even though we all know it’s such a fleeting thing – and even more cynically – that our love for the Heat is entirely dependent on the outcome of game 7. Win, and the adoration continues. Lose, and we quickly move on to caring about whatever the next big thing may be. (Dolphins in ’13??? Nah you’re right probably something else.)

That is a bit of a sad thought, but it says a lot about human nature. Continue reading

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Flanders, Ned

Father. Neighbor. Holy Roller. True believer. Mustachioed. Lefty…

One of the most beloved residents of Springfield, Flanders, Ned (full name Nedward) has given us so much over the years. A faithful provider of positivity, forgiveness, uplifting exhortations, enduring catch phrases, and gentle reminders of hell’s eternal flames, steady Ned has been our delightfully cheesy moral compass since his debut in 1989.

Longtime fans of The Simpsons have been through quite a lot with Ned. He’s been subjected to more tribulation, twists and turns than perhaps any other character on the show (other than Hans Moleman).

'I was saying Booo-urns.'

‘I was saying Booo-urns.’

He’s lost a wife and nearly his faith on multiple occasions. He’s had to endure living next door to Homer for more than two decades. But despite all this trauma – or perhaps because of it – it seems Ned has also experienced the most profound transformation of any Simpsons character.

From “Funny” to Beloved

The Simpsons has undergone quite a transformation itself over the years. From its humble beginnings of getting cheap laughs from Bart’s sassy one-liners (Eat My Shorts!), and the crudely drawn family engaging in crude behavior (Homer choking Bart, shocking one another at Dr. Marvin Monroe’s clinic, etc.), The Simpsons eventually became the smartest, most insightful, most important TV show probably of all time.

How did they go from “funny” to an unmatched intergalactic phenomenon with legions of devoted fans?

I think a key to the program’s rise to greatness can be found in Ned Flanders’ ascendance from one-dimensional goofballery, to the complex, nuanced man that eventually emerged. Continue reading

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Filed under F Commentary, Faith, Film, F Entertainment

Face Off! FoxTrot vs. Far Side, The

This week’s face off pits two of the greatest comic strips of the recent era against one another: FoxTrot vs. The Far Side. Both very funny, both with loyal followings and a stellar run of success, but today only one can emerge victorious. The loser of course shall go down in ignominious defeat – relegated to the scrap heap of Comics shame – next to The Lockhorns, or Cathy.

“There can be only one!” — All the Highlander movies Continue reading

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Finnish Him!

Today we’re talking about Finland.

Finland is so hot right now! Number one in education, chock-full of beautiful, athletic people, close to the top of the Happiness Index, boatloads of reindeer, world-class infrastructure, dominant in all those economic/health/quality of life categories; the Finns are absolutely crushin’ it.

How do they do it? What are their secrets? 

Finland is just crushin’ it these days! Flag via CIA Factbook, so don’t do anything weird with it.

This of course should be at the top of every U.S. politician’s agenda (figuring out how to co-opt things and ideas from other countries in a way that is beneficial to us) but it’s not easy to admit when you’ve been outhustled, outmaneuvered and outcoached. The truth is, we’re being out-America’d.

It’s time to put the pride aside America. Time to head to Helsinki, flat-billed MLB hats in hand, and say, “Alright, how’d you do it?” Better we do this now as opposed to a Kent Brockman-esque welcoming of our new Finnish overlords in 2085. “Hail, Finns!” Continue reading

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