Friday, February 25, 2011

"Controversy" Thy Name is The Simpsons: Compare and Contrast: Bansky vs Itchy and Scratchy the Movie

Recently, there was a "controversial" opening couch gag that garnered quite a bit of attention from everyone. And to be quite frank and honest, I think it was way overblown and does not deserve the attention it got. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for honest work and honest pay for hard working people, the problem I have is that the joke was already done and it was humorous in the way it was done (Also, based on sources, it was completely false and seemed more like a joke for the 80's not for this decade). This on the other hand seemed like an attack aimed at nobody that didn't seem to try to promote better working conditions but instead couldn't decide if it was supposed to be satirical or serious. For me seeing the attention it got was like watching two brothers biking and the older brother falls off and scrapes his knee. The mother comes and tries to make him feel better, the younger brother seeing this "falls off" his own bike and cries even louder thus getting undeserved attention. But hey as the saying goes "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" and boy did this get a lot of grease. But in the end was it deserving? Well that's what I'm here to find out.

Controversial moment: The portrayal of overseas animation departments as hell holes.

Why it's controversial:

  • MoneyBART: It was a dark portrayal of how animation is produced at minimal cost for the producers (Which is inaccurate as the animation staff is given quality conditions to work with)
  • Itchy and Scratchy; The Movie: None (Tried searching but nothing came up, only thing that came up was the MoneyBART opening)
  • Both treat the animation department as a harsh work environment where the workers are basically slaves
  • Both are supposed to be an attack on the animation process of big-time animated shows
Because as we all know, the animators are treated like slaves
  • The Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie was meant to be taken in a comedic sense as soldiers pointed guns to the animators to get them to work
  • MoneyBART includes merchandising alongside the animation department in terms of horrible conditions
  • MoneyBART had more of a darker atmosphere and went over-the-top in its "What have we become" symbolism
Now when it's meant to be a joke, it can be funny
Staff's response: 
  • Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie: The animators were a little mad with the writers and directors for putting that in. But nothing came of it and the animators took frequent shots back at the staff by inserting them as background characters (When the script called for "Stupid background characters")
  • MoneyBART: The writing staff was firmly behind Banksy's opening allowing for the majority to air. The animation staff threatened to walk out because of the way it was portrayed. 
Did it deserve the controversy?:
  • Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie: N/A (Like I said, it didn't get any real reaction that I could find)
  • MoneyBART: No, no it doesn't. It doesn't deserve any of the attention it gets, it's a terrible, dated, inaccurate satire that's tries way too hard and ends up falling flat on it's face. Honestly I could not believe how much attention it's getting on the internet and for what reasons? Because it's dark? Yeah because that's never happened on the show before. Because it's edgy? Yeah inaccurate and edgy are two different things. I could BS a documentary about the "sweatshops" of the Netherlands, because as we all know, the Netherlands is the 16th best economy in the world and that means it's full of sweatshops and cheap labor. I could continue on, but I think you get the point; Cheap labor is unethical, but please, don't give attention to something that's not true or funny, it's nothing more than a cry for attention.
Well that was an interesting month. Unfortunately, after a little bit of stress from this month, there will be no theme month for March and the Season 20 reviews will be moved to Friday. Look forward to seeing you all next month.

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