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The Depiction of Politicians in The Simpsons

By Pete Woodcock

Abstract

Due to its longevity (almost 400 episodes and 18 years), and the sheer number of\ud supporting characters that appear on it, the writers and producers of The Simpsons\ud has created a model of society which can be exploited by the political theorist. This\ud paper aims to explore the social and political ramifications of this model of, especially\ud the accusation that the programme in inherently conservative in its portrayal of\ud gender and the nuclear family.\ud \ud \ud This paper will also look at the depiction of politicians in the programme (for example\ud fictional politicians such as Mayor ‘Diamond’ Joe Quimby and Sideshow Bob as well\ud as real politicians Bill Clinton and George Bush snr), and suggest that whereas The\ud Simpsons may appear to mock all politicians, this is not in fact the case, and that The\ud Simpsons does provide us with examples of the types of qualities that are admirable\ud in a politician. It will be argued that the writers of The Simpsons only mock two types\ud of politicians; actual living politicians (it is from this fact that it gets its reputation for\ud being impartial), and dishonest metropolitan-type politicians. Local, hard working\ud politicians (most notably Governor Mary Bailey and former Sanitation Commissioner\ud Ray Patterson) are exempt from their criticism, suggesting that they prefer local\ud substance over glitz and style

Topics: BF
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:4816

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Citations

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