portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

alternative media | arts and culture | corporate dominance

Simpsons take shot at media conglomerates, indymedia concept

Last night on the Simpsons' season finale, Mr. Burns took over all media outlets in Springfield, but Lisa held out by publishing an indy zine out of her garage. In the end, however, the joke was on both concepts of media ownership.
Last night, the Simpsons concluded what for me was somewhat of a rebound season after a few lackluster years. The premise began when Mr. Burns realized Springfield hated him after he survived a freak accident where he was crushed by a Homer-initiated collapse of a rock outcropping in the form of an old man (think collapse of Old Man in New Hampshire without the crushed billionaire). Of course, Mr. Burns concluded that the only way to get people to like him was, not to perform selfless acts of charity, but to buy all of the media outlets in Springfield. All of the media content is pro-Burns and pro-nuclear power, including a great Itchy & Scratchy episode. Lisa recognizes the problem with this and starts her own indy zine to counteract the disinformation from the Burns media conglomerate. Burns attempts to sabotage Lisa fall short until Burns prints personal attacks and lies about Lisa, afterwhich she relents and publishes her final zine. In a twist, Homer saw how important Lisa's work was and published his own zine, which in turn led everyone in Springfield to publish their own zine.

The knock against media conglomerates was obvious, however the Simpsons also managed to get in a slam against the indymedia concept, essentially stating that instead of being stuck with ownership of the media in one entity, they were stuck with collective ownership of the media in which alot of the content was worthless opinion.

And now, my worhtless opinion and commentary: The benefit of the indymedia concept is that it is up to each of us to read and critically analyze posts. This critical analysis will be different for each reader according to the reader's personal experience, socioeconomic background, etc. What is worthless opinion to one may be conclusive proof to the other. What I find informative and instructive in developing my worldview, you may find irrelevant to yours. That is the benefit of the indymedia concept. It provides an avenue for all information and doesn't seek to run it through the filters until a group of network executives or newspaper editors find it fit for mass consumption.

Anti-Fa 24.May.2004 14:44

Simpsons

I enjoyed last night's episode, and while they did take a shot at some aspects of independent publishing, it was also an accurate shot. Some opinions and theories and articles published here on Indymedia, and in zines, newspapers, blogs, etc., can be wacko, inane and worthless. There is no use denying it. However, I would rather have a boatload of worthless opinions and theories, in which there is some gold, then the monoculture of corporate news. I thought the Simpsons succeded in their satire as they almost always do.

The week before was better 24.May.2004 19:21

ME

The week before was even better. Bart gets caught with his pants down facing his ass to the american flag. There was a huge media outcry over the incident. They were put on national TV where Marg makes the distinction between agreeing with the president, favoring freedom, and the right to speak out against our government. Soon after, they are wisked away by paramilitaries for disobeying "THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS BEST ACT" The simpsons are taken to a "RE-EDUCATION CAMP" with other hollywood activists such as Al Franken ect... They escapse by making a paradoy of The Sound of Music when the children do a dance on stage and as they leave the stage, go into a manhole and run away... Good stuff.