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The Simpsons - Trojan Horse or Court Jester?
Dátum pridania: 18.09.2007 Oznámkuj: 12345
Autor referátu: Biba16
 
Jazyk: Angličtina Počet slov: 1 578
Referát vhodný pre: Gymnázium Počet A4: 4.7
Priemerná známka: 2.95 Rýchle čítanie: 7m 50s
Pomalé čítanie: 11m 45s
 
The Simpsons episode called The Cartridge Family is almost the same as all the other episodes with humour and serious points in it, but it’s still a bit different. The Cartridge family has a lot more serious points in it, the message the creators are sending out by this episode is quite interesting and quite critical of their own country and its people. This episode can be compared to a famous documentary called Bowling For Columbine, made in 2002. The documentary was produced, written and directed by Michael Moore, who is also starring in it. Bowling For Columbine has won couple of awards; one is from year 2003, it’s an Academy Award for best documentary features. Bowling For Columbine is a documentary showing the reality of gun culture in America. This particular documentary is about the Columbine High School massacre that occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999. It explains what exactly happened, how the two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold came into the school and carried out a shooting rampage. They killed 12 students and a teacher. They also wounded another 24 students before they commited suicide. This event is one of the most deadliest high school shootings in USA.

Bowling For Columbine critisises rising gun sales in both Canada and USA. Moore says that the high gun ownership in America is not responsible for all the violence in America. He backs it up with saying that Canada's gun ownership levels are quite comparable to those in USA.
Michael Moore also questioned and tried to help the two victims of the high school massacre, who paid a high price. They are crippled for life. One of the two boys is on a wheelchair and the other one has problem with walking, the bullet he got shot with was very close to his spine. Michael Moore had an idea and asked the boys if they would like to jon in with his plan which was to go to the shop where the bullets were from and try to stop the company selling them. The shop is called K-Mart and it's got its headquarters in Michigan and so that's where they were headed. The first try to stop the sale was not successful but the second time it worked. Michael Moore knew that media is very powerful and so they asked them to come. The result was wonderful. K-Mart changed its policy and phased out the sale of ammunition. As M. Moore said, "That was more than we asked for".

Michael Moore's documentary is quite depressing and very emotional when they talk about the high school shootings. Parents and family of the victims were protesting and one of the parents held up the picture of his dead son and said: "You don't need an automatic gun to kill a deer".
The N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) had a meeting just two weeks after the high school killings. The meeting was held in Denvor, town near Littleton. The mayor and other leaders asked Charlton Heston to stay away but he didn't listen. This act could have seemed quite cheeky, but when Heston (the president of N.R.A.) held the gun above his head and said "...from my cold dead hands.", he crossed the line. He doesn't want to give up his right of having a gun even though it's thought to be a product of destruction. All of the parents and family were still grieving because of the Columbine shootings, and he still held the N.R.A. meeting.

Do The Simpsons deal with this kind of topic? "There is a political undercurrent in every episode of The Simpsons." Indeed they do, in 'The Cartridge Family' episode many similar issues are dealt with; an outdated constitution, unsuitable people being allowed to purchase weapons; guns being used for ridiculous purposes and the danger of children finding weapons lying around the house. This is all five years prior to 'Bowling For Columbine! The main difference is that 'Columbine' is aimed at a target audience of 15+ whilst the cartoon reaches all ages and perhaps it is more important to reach future citizens and possible gun owners of the future.

It is obvious to me that the programme addresses serious issues in the camaflauge of a simple cartoon, but it is precisely because it is considered a children's programme that they can criticise everyone and everything. After all who could take offence at a cartoon? As for being a Court Jester there is no doubt that for entertaining comedy with constant quality scriptwriting. In conclusion it is both Court Jester and Trojan Horse.
 
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