Friday, February 4, 2011

"Controversy" Thy Name is The Simpsons: A Streetcar Named Marge

This segment of the blog will not be the same as the normal format for various reasons. But for now, this is just basically going to find 4 episodes that created controversy in the day, point out the controversial moment(s), and judge today whether or not the controversy was justified.

Today we look at a song in A Streetcar Named Marge that actually caused the staff to apologize about it the very next week.

Controversial moment: "New Orleans Song"
NEW ORLEANS! What a crappy place, someone should just jettison it off the map
     Long before the Superdome,
     Where the Saints of football play,
     There's a city where the damned call home,
     Hear their hellish rondelet:
     New Orleans!
     Home of pirates, drunks, and whores...
     New Orleans!
     Tacky, overpriced souvenir stores...
     If you want to go to hell, you should take a trip
     To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississip':
     New Orleans!
     Stinking, rotten, vomiting, vile...
     New Orleans!
     Putrid, brackish, maggotty, foul...
     New Orleans!
     Crummy, lousy, rancid and rank...
     New Orleans!

Why it's controversial: The song essentially calls old time New Orleans a hell-hole where nothing but crime and debauchery occurs.

Staff response: The staff had Bart write "I will not defame New Orleans" on next week's chalkboard gag

Was it justified?: Looking back, I think New Orleans overreacted a bit, the song was a parody of the opening number in Sweeny Todd which mocks London and makes it sound like a horrible place. I think the biggest problem has to be the fact that the lyrics were initially taken out of context in a New Orleans paper and drew a lot of complaints. Today I feel like it would be okay and not controversial (Well far enough away from Hurricane Katrina).

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