The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Sunday, December 14, 2003
SELF-PROMOTION: Nearly two years after I moved to Baltimore, I've finally written a piece for the hometown paper: an
op-ed in today's Sun about the politics of animation. Specifically: the libertarianism of South Park, the populism of King of the Hill, and the less precisely defined anti-authoritarianism of The Simpsons.

It's a tricky territory to cover in less than 800 words, especially considering the danger of inappropriately projecting your own views onto what you're watching. I didn't want to end up like National Review's Jonah Goldberg, who once singled out Homer Simpson's defense of the Second Amendment ("If I didn't have this gun, the king of England could just walk in here anytime he wants and start shoving you around") as evidence that the series is "the only sitcom in memory to treat gun control with any fairness." Out of context, that might sound credible. In context, the writers were clearly trying to make Homer look like an ass.

On the other hand, a few years later the show really did mock gun control, during one of its Halloween episodes. I guess one writer likes guns and another one doesn't.

And hey -- looks like they just captured Saddam Hussein. This is good news, even to an antiwar type like me. Not just because the old tyrant might actually get what's coming to him, but because it'll allow a real-world test for the oft-stated proposition that with Saddam gone, the resistance will falter. This may require us pundit types to stop talking out of our asses and actually take some new data into account, but I figure that's a small price to pay.


posted by Jesse 12:57 PM
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