So I said, “Supercollider? I just met her.” Oh, hi. I didn’t see you there. This column takes its title from an episode of hit Fox sitcom The Simpsons. In the episode, thousands of babies riot because a concert featuring a popular baby-oriented singer/songwriter/performer is cancelled due to inclement weather (it is exactly as funny as it sounds) and the townspeople of Springfield, the fictional non-state city in which The Simpsons takes place, have to foot the $1 million bill that results from the ensuing damage. This inspires the creation of SSCCATAGAPP (Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens and Gays Against Parasitic Parents), a group dedicated to the intolerance of children. “Children are the future, today belongs to me,” they would say. Through the righteous crusade of SSCCATAGAPP, the town becomes a veritable utopia where the families have to conform to fit into society and not the other way round. This disturbance in the force caused by SSCCATAGAPP’s floccinaucinihilipilification of the rights of children and families is finally rectified in the end by matriarch Marge Simpson’s counter group PPASSCCATAG (three guesses what that stands for) and normalcy is returned.
This idea of uptight parents trying to ruin the world for everybody is hardly a new one (recall Tipper Gore’s crusade to establish the parental advisory sticker in the late 80s, the public blaming Brian Warner, a.k.a. Marilyn Manson, for the decay of morality in the late 90s, Kyle Broflovski’s mom in general) but it has gotten a something of a second wind in this apparent moral vacuum of a post-Janet Jackson world. I may be a bit biased because the show was produced by MTV—and I think everything that MTV touches turns to crap—but still, the fallout seems to greatly outweigh the proverbial explosion. Granted, I am not an expert on the subject, but… uh… I don’t know where to go with that.
Among those caught up on the fiendishly evil side in this apocalyptic wasteland, a world brought on by the decidedly short, somewhat obscured, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it exposure of the right breast of urban singing sensation Janet Jackson, a world where immorality lurks behind every corner just waiting to pounce upon naïve and unsuspecting youths, is popular radio personality Howard Stern. Stern, who has filled his evil coffers with devil money, has received for discussing the filthiest activities in which a person can legally engage and has been a vocal supporter of his First Amendment rights since he first arrived on the scene as merely the self-proclaimed prince of all media. The campaign to remove Mr. Stern from the airways—not because his show is bad, which it is, but because little Timmy and little Jenny, on their way to wholesome, equally atrocious pop music, might hear a discussion about whether girl-on-girl action is awesome or merely very good—is due to the disdain the so-called watchdog groups have for language they view as base and detrimental to humanity. I heard from some guy once that the definition of free society is being offended from time to time. These watchdog groups must be living by the mantra that says people in a truly free society should not have to be exposed to offensive materials against their will.
Charles Michael Kitridge Thompson IV, front man of The Pixies, says, “People don’t [care] about lyrics. Some people do, critics do, but most people just want to hear rock music. When I was a kid, I never got into lyrics. I just wanted to know is it a good song, or a bad song? You always come back to that point.”
Just so you know, the episode of The Simpsons, by which this column is inspired, ends with Homer and Marge Simpson (the parents) saying that life is once again as it should be, and they dump their kids, unsupervised, at a movie while they go have fun by themselves. Now that’s biting social commentary.
Thaddeus Edwards, III is a Trinity sophomore. His column appears on Tuesdays.