Banksy on Simpsons- Feministe Blog

13 Oct

The blog I choose to write my opinion on is FEMINISTE’s Blog and it was written by Jill. In her blog post she only really describes the Simpson episode that aired on Sunday October 10, 2010. The blog post is named Banksy on the Simpsons.
This is a description of the opening of the episode by Jill for those who don’t see the video. “The video opens with the usual “The Simpsons” cloud animation, but this time featuring a bird flying by carrying one of Banksy’s signature rats in its mouth. The animation overlooks the nuclear facility, and centers on two town hooligans cutting the head off of a statue of Springfield’s founder; the head lands on Ralph Wiggum, who drops his ice cream cone. The animation pans upward, past the “Lard Land Donuts” boy, to Springfield Elementary School where Bart Simpson is writing “I must not write all over the walls” all over the walls. Then it’s to the nuclear facility, where Homer walks out beneath the “Three Days Without an Accident” sign with radioactive material stuck to his uniform, and then arrives home to the Simpson abode. The usual mishaps (Bart skateboarding by, Lisa biking, Marge pulling the car into the garage — except this time she hits Homer) get the Simpson family onto the couch. Then the lights flicker, and the animation zooms out, and you see that the Simpsons are actually on a screen overlooking a sweatshop where dozens of female Asian workers are making Simpsons animation panels. The panels are handed off to a little barefoot boy in shabby clothes, who dips them in toxic chemicals before hanging them up to dry. Near the vat of toxic chemicals are stacks of human bones, being picked at by rats. Downstairs there are more workers pushing Simpson’s t-shirts around on racks, and below that there are even more workers throwing small animals (kittens? birds?) into some sort of shredder that expels stuffing, which is then put inside of Bart Simpson dolls, which are in turn placed into a wheelbarrow being hauled by a tired-looking panda bear. Next to the panda is a man boxing up the Simpsons merchandise in “Simpsons” boxes, sealing them by having the tongue of a dead dolphin lick the tape. The scene then shifts to a unicorn chained to the wall, its horn used to punch holes in Simpsons DVDs. It collapses from exhaustion, and the scene zooms out to the “20th Century Fox” logo rising above the prison-like sweatshop buildings”.

I didn’t watch the episode of Simpson this week but I did see the opening segment of it and I re-watched it to write my opinion on it. I didn’t get why Jill wrote “Banksy on the Simpsons” as the title. Then I did some research and found out that Banksy is British graffiti artist. That explained the beginning of the segment where the bulletin board in front of the school was crossed out to say Banksy. I’m not really sure why feministe posted this as a blog post besides the fact that it is offensive. If the blogger’s intention was to bring up the fact that it is offensive, then I would concur. When I first saw it, my mouth dropped at the scene that it showed the Asian girls and boys working in the factory. I know that it is a reality that most of the products in the United States in China but that does not mean there should be scrutiny towards it. It was actually appalling to see that. Why did the Asians eyes have to be so small for? That is such a stereotype of classifying Asians as having small eyes. I felt sad when they showed how outworked the panda and the unicorn was.  The work conditions these people/ children worked in were disgusting like the bones, rats and such. YUCK. However we do see rats in New York subways so it’s not really something I haven’t seen. Why was there a bird carrying a rat after it showed the clouds? That is nasty. It showed animal cruelty when it had a man shove cats into a plower to make cotton for the Bart Simpson doll. Overall it was not a good segment to start off the Simpsons when it usually does begin with a bang of comedy. Disappointment…. Did they find this funny? I didn’t think so. This segment is showing how we rely so much on outsourcing meaning going out to other countries because there is cheap labor. Companies profit if their fixed costs are lower but the workers making the product suffer. The more of a demand, the more workers needed to provide the sufficient amount of supply for the demand. I think if our society wasn’t so materialistic, there would be less people working in these bad conditions with low pay.

-Jessica Wong


One Response to “Banksy on Simpsons- Feministe Blog”

  1. cwalton13 October 14, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    I actually think the artist Banksy did a very good job with the opening. I was amazed yet surprised the producers of The Simpsons let him go there. It is a very important issue to bring to light, even if it was through a cartoon show.

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