Tento článok bol vytlačený zo stránky https://referaty.centrum.sk


The Simpsons - Trojan Horse or Court Jester?

The Simpsons. An American cartoon which shows the extravagant and chaotic life of the people of a fictional town called Springfield. This programme was first viewed in year 1987, they had a five-minute slot on the Tracey Ullman show. The creator of The Simpsons is a man called Matt Groening. He is the one who had the great idea to make a story of an American family, using quite a lot of exaggeration. This idea got bigger and now they have their own show. The Simpsons family consists of five people. The mother, Marge, the father, Homer and their three kids Bart, Lisa and Maggie. They also have two pets, a cat called Snowball and a dog called Santa's Little Helper. Matt Groening named all the characters of the Simpsons family members after his own family. The only name that's different is Bart, which is an anagram of the word brat. Bart is the oldest child, the one that is always causing trouble, he isn't interested in anything if it doesn't suit his own purposes. Lisa is the smart one, a child that always gets the best marks and often corrects her own father Homer who is the dumb one. The youngest child is Maggie, she is one of the characters that are not so important in The Simpsons, she usually isn't the character who is making the episode interesting.

The creators of The Simpsons are making sure that the cartoon attracts all the generations of people. They are using all kinds of humour, mostly with a serious point. To attract the younger population, they are using primary colours: all the people in The Simpsons have yellow skin; Marge's hair is blue, just like Homer's pants. Also the music they are using is simple and makes children like it and listen to it, they find the cartoon interesting. To make the children like it they are also using slapstick humour, which children understand and find funny. To attract the adults, they are making a lot of incisive comments regarding their own government, the country and other things hidden in the humour although exaggeration is used. Matt Groening said "It always amazes me how few cartoonists in print or animation go after bigger issues, the kind of things that keep you lying awake in the middle of the night... And that's what I try and do inject the stuff that people really care about into my cartoons!" A lot of the characters from The Simpsons are stereotyped. The humour that is used quite often includes sexual innuendo and double entendre. That's the type of humour used to attract the older audience. Also for the older generation they are using homage, which refers to other programmes, songs or films. The humour that is used quite often in real life, not only in The Simpsons, is called satire. It's that kind of humour, which makes fun of someone but does make a serious point and this perhaps reinforces the likelihood that the programme is in fact a Trojan Horse. As C. Turner says in his book, Planet Simpson, "Disguised as an inconsequential children's confection-a mer cartoon-The Simpsons erupts each week in a series of spectacular satirical detonations, expressing a deeper contempt for authority than anything else on primetime".

The Simpsons is one of the most successful sitcoms in the world. The number of awards the show had won is countless. It is strange that some parents once disapproved of such a popular show. They weren't too happy about the show because they thought Bart was a very bad role model for their children. His "I don't care attitude" and also the way he behaves and what kind of a student he is made them think that their children might find it amusing and do the exact same thing. And so some of the parents did not enjoy the show very much. At the time, when George Bush was a president of the USA, he made a comment on the show. "We're going to strengthen the American family to make them more like The Waltons and less like The Simpsons." The wish he openly stated seems very naive and surely unrealistic. As a president of the USA he can't expect the people to be the same as they were ages ago. His wish is quite impossible because what he obviously wants from Americans by saying this is to be perfect, which cannot be done. The Waltons was a television show set in the 1930's and 1940's although produced in the 70s. The Waltons were always portrayed as a perfect family. Even though there are real actors in the show, there is less reality in the situations. The Simpsons might be the cartoon characters but still the way they are and the way they deal with many situations is a lot more realistic, even when the exaggeration is used.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.

Koniec vytlačenej stránky z https://referaty.centrum.sk