Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Simpsons and Thomas Pynchon

The Simpsons!! Good ol' Simpsons. Apparently, the Simpson's is the quintessential postmodern television show--according to one Mark McQueen, English Professor at PCC. I took his English 1C class and he let me know about my generation's humor--and even sense of identity, arguably--it is rooted deeply in Postmodernism, on a level that we accept without a doubt, that is it takes effort to undo our mode of thinking--the same thing that T.S. Eliot wrote about when discussing tradition, that we have to be aware of our timelessness and our contemporaneity, the latter of which we take for granted.

As discussed in the lecture, Postmodernism is self-referential and self-aware. It can be situated in a time and place, and is evocative of a moment. It's reactionary to the Modernist movement of the earlier 20th century, and it sought to reject that which had backfired: technological advancements that were created with good intentions, that led to the paranoia of the Cold War, for example. It seeks to expose ironies that occur when people make universal judgments and the contradictions that this practice creates--and that's where the sarcastic humor comes in. It understand that trying to explain why and how something is funny is the most unfunny thing one can do, so I'll let Thomas Pynchon give you a taste:

Just for good measure, here is Moe's take:

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