Good news, they’re finally fining The Simpsons for making bad episodes! Well, ok, not The Simpsons directly. And it’s for blasphemy, not quality. But we can at least pretend!!!
Last week, Turkey’s Supreme Board of Radio and Television fined the Turkish broacaster CNBC-E (which I assume is not affiliated with the CNBC that employs Joey Ramone’s muse Maria Bartiromo) 52,951 Turkish Liras – or $29,593.15 in actual money – for airing last year’s Simpsons Halloween special, which featured a blasphemous depiction of God in a parody of Dexter. Here is a description of the segment courtesy of Wikisimpsons:
Ned Flanders drives through a seedy district of Springfield and starts doing lots of good chores, until he dumps a severed body into a local lake. Mr. Burns then drives up to dump nuclear waste in the lake and a large booming voice tells Ned to kill him. Ned does so and dumps the body in the lake too. Back at home, Ned gets ready to kill again when asked by who he thinks is God and also kills Sideshow Bob and Patty and Selma. He eventually finds out that Homer has been ordering these deaths, not God, and goes to kill Homer. Homer then burns Ned’s Bible and the real God comes along and strangles Homer to death. When Marge walks in, God blames Ned for the death. Marge asks God to put everything right but he says that the Devil wouldn’t like it, when he suddenly comes along and asks God to make him tea. Then, Maude Flanders comes along and asks the Devil to come back to bed, annoying Ned greatly.
This doesn’t bode well for the upcoming Turkish adaptation of God, The Devil, and Bob.
[The Hurriyet via BBC News]
Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson and a prominent member of the Church of Scientology, appeared before a legislative hearing at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield (!) to stress that her Scientology-inspired character-education program is totally secular and should be taught to schoolchildren.
The Illinois School Code requires “character education,” defined as “the teaching of respect, responsibility, fairness, [etc.]” to be taught in schools. A House Resolution filed by Rep. Daniel Burke (D-Chicago), recommended several programs and clubs that satisfy that requirement, including Cartwright’s “Good Choices” program, of which the bill specifically “encourages its use and the use of similar programs by educators, coaches, mentors, and other community service leaders.”
Cartwright freely admits “Good Choices” is based on “The Way to Happiness,” a 1980 self-help booklet by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, which teaches important lessons like “Do Not Murder” (precept 8) and “Don’t Do Anything Illegal” (precept 9). While Hubbard’s tract is advertised as non-religious, Newsweek noted that it “uses key words and concepts taken directly from Scientology’s religious lexicon.” Cartwright is a big promoter of the booklet; through her charity, she distributed a million copies of it to the San Fernando Valley in 2007.
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Charlie Sweatpants of the sycophantic Simpsons blog Dead Homer Society nicely asked the Vatican’s newspaper (The Vatican Plain-Dealer) for an unabridged copy of the story where Pope Ratzinger personally declared himself to be the world’s biggest Bart fan and they tried to charge him eight whole euros ($800 American) for the privilege of reading an untranslated article. Has the Catholic Church adopted Rupert Murdoch’s pay-for-news business model? [Dead Homer Society]
VATICAN CITY (AP) – To put it as the devout Ned Flanders would, the Vatican’s newspaper thinks “The Simpsons” are an okely dokely bunch.
L’Osservatore Romano on Tuesday congratulated the show on its 20th anniversary, praising its philosophical leanings as well as its stinging and often irreverent take on religion.
If you’re making a supposedly subversive show and the Vatican praises it, you are doing something wrong [Chicago Tribune]
Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson, has donated $10 million dollars – twice her annual Simpsons salary and twice what Tom Cruise has donated over the past four years – to the controversial Church of Scientology, thus ensuring herself a first-class seat on the spaceship to Blisstonia. [The Daily Dish!]
Those crazy Pagans are at it again, complaining just because an image of a giant-donut-wielding Homer Simpson was painted next to a sacred 17th century image of the Cerne Abbas giant, a symbol of fertility. Don’t have a cow, man! [Boing Boing]
Are you a young person? Do you enjoy The Simpsons? If so, you are the target demographic for the Church of England’s latest attempt to show they’re “hip” and “with it.”
Called “Mixing it up with ‘The Simpsons,'” the new book will be sent to youth advisers across the nation to give them a modern example of the church’s teachings in a more entertaining format, The Sunday Telegraph said.
Among the activities included in the book is determining whether teens can resist temptation by showing them a plate of doughnuts labeled “don’t touch.”
The book also compares Christians’ patient wait for the return of Jesus Christ to the antsy nature Bart Simpson displays toward an upcoming Krusty the Clown show.
“Jesus was a great storyteller — as are the creators of ‘The Simpsons’ — and the power of a good story lies in meeting people where they are, making them laugh and then giving them something to think about afterwards,” said the Rev. John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford.
Come on, isn’t Matt Groening’s ego big enough?? [The Money Times]