Suburbia Malaise: George Jetson vs. Harold Smith

George-Working

harold smith

The premiere of Hanna-Barbera’s sitcom The Jetsons in 1962 introduced America to your average nuclear family of the distant future.  This served as Hanna-Barbera’s counterpoint to their other animated sitcom The Flintstones, which premiered two years prior.  Just as The Flintstones did with its prehistoric setting, The Jetsons used its Space Age setting to make social commentary about the rise of consumerism in the immediate post-World War II economy.

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Suburbia Malaise: George Jetson vs. Harold Smith

“Helloooooooo Nurse!”

Just reblogging this old post in light of the Harvey Weinstein/Bill O’Reilly/etc. sexual harassment scandals.

Cartoon Essays

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I’ve written a lot of posts on this blog related to feminist issues or portrayals of women in media.  I’m not a scholar or an expert on this subject, but I try my best to do it justice.  But I have blind spots.  This isn’t an excuse I’m making; it’s self-awareness.  As a male, my upbringing and conditioning was totally different from girls and women and because of that, there are so many activities or points of view that I either take for granted or don’t even give a thought that girls and women can’t think or act the same way about.  In the city I went to college to, I constantly walked everywhere by myself.  I did so assured that the passersby wouldn’t catcall or harass me, or that someone who smiled at or said hello to me wasn’t trying to proposition me.  And that is just one example.

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“Helloooooooo Nurse!”

Johnny Bravo and the Pitfalls of Satire

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One of my earliest blog posts was an essay defending Johnny Bravo from a feminist perspective.  In my defense of it, I mentioned in passing that one of the ways that the series still falls short of truly being a feminist show was that it potentially diminishes how detestable his behavior towards women is.

This post is partially a response to that one.  I grossly undercut how pernicious the show’s treatment of Johnny’s behavior towards women is.

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Johnny Bravo and the Pitfalls of Satire

Jebediah Springfield: The Symbol vs. the Person

I just watched a video by Lindsay Ellis that I think makes a better argument in favor of rose-tinted historical revisionism than this Simpsons episode in question does. I still stand by the points I made, again I re-emphasize examining who is rewriting history and why they’re rewriting it, but the video essay provides some good food for thought.

I’d also like to mention that digging past historical revisionism isn’t always a disillusioning experience.  Learning the history behind “This Land Is Your Land” made me positively reassess my view of what I grew up thinking was just another banal patriotic anthem.

Cartoon Essays

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The plot of the classic episode of The Simpsons “Lisa the Iconoclast” had Lisa Simpson researching Jebediah Springfield and discovering that her hometown’s beloved founder was in reality a massive fraud.  It turns out that Jebediah Springfield’s real identity was Hans Sprungfeld, a bloodthirsty pirate who once attacked George Washington.  This man who was credited with founding his town on the quote “a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man” in reality hated the people who would inhabit his town.

Lisa being Lisa, she does her best to spread the world about Jebediah Springfield’s true identity and predictably, everybody she informs (except Homer) reacts with hostility and denies her revelations.  Even Marge, who is usually in Lisa’s corner when she gets caught up in issues like this, flatly refused to hear a thing about the beloved Jebediah Springfield being a pirate.  The episode ends with Lisa getting the whole town’s attention…

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Jebediah Springfield: The Symbol vs. the Person

“Both Sides”

Pocahontas is a controversial Disney film.  It’s not hard to see why.  In its attempt to tell a story of a historical Native American figure, especially one alive during the beginnings of European colonization of the Americas, it ended up reinforcing a lot of Native American stereotypes and myths about colonization.  For the sake of this post, I’m only going to address one of the sources of backlash towards Pocahontas.  Which brings me to the song above, “Savages”.

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“Both Sides”

With Allies Like These…

So Bill Maher used the N-word on his show over the weekend.

This being after he cynically uses dead black bodies as a political football to wag his finger at Cornel West for not supporting Hillary Clinton.

This also being after he brings that piece of crap who lead a racist harassment campaign against Leslie Jones on his show and completely kisses his ass.

But that’s all okay, right?

With Allies Like These…

OFF-TOPIC: The Great Debate That Will Never Take Place

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Anyone who watched The Daily Show several years back might remember that Jon Stewart held a half-hour pay-per-view debate with longtime adversary Bill O’Reilly.  It was the debate where Jon Stewart coined the term “bullshit mountain” as a takedown of the way O’Reilly constructs narratives to justify his points of view.

I watched the debate between Stewart and O’Reilly and by the time I got to the end, I couldn’t help but wonder what the point of it was.  I didn’t feel like anything of substance came from the debate besides a couple of funny lines from Stewart (like “bullshit mountain”).  It was just a longer form of the same old debates Stewart and O’Reilly have on each other shows all the time, except now they were asking for money to watch it (I thankfully found an upload on YouTube to watch for free).  The debate wasn’t about enlightening the audience in understanding differing perspectives of points of view.  All the audience was there for was to rally behind whatever side they already supported.  The whole spectacle was more comparable to watching a Dallas Cowboys/Philadelphia Eagles game than a robust, intellectually stimulating debate.

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OFF-TOPIC: The Great Debate That Will Never Take Place