I will start off by saying that I never watch cartoons. I do think they are cute at times, but not something I must watch, like my reality shows lol. But…. I will also say, of the cartoons that I do watch The Simpsons is one of them! I love the humor in The Simpsons, the long standing success they have achieved, and the fact that they are never politically correct. I can remember as a child growing up in a strict Pentecostal home, not being allowed to watch the Simpsons, which only made me want to watch it even more!!! Then as technology progressed, and I had a tv in my room, I was forever addicted to The Simpsons. The show really makes me laugh, and I love to genuinely laugh out loud. I also use to watch other cartoons like Recess, Doug, Darkwing Duck, Talespin, Bobby’s World, Winnie the Pooh, Animaniacs, Captain Planet, and King of the Hill (as an adult). As a kid I loved my shows, and I guess I related to cartoons more then, since that was basically all I was allowed to watch. It was between that and TBN, so yeah I chose cartoons.
Also because cartoons has an ability to draw children, and adults in for it’s pure nature of entertainment. I still will watch the Simpsons from time to time, and will still laugh my butt off.
Cartoons have an ability to teach children and adults morals and values, right from wrong, ethics, and manners, etc.. Cartoons and any form of television that we watch is consistently embedding in our minds numerous messages. They tell us what to think, what to like, what’s socially acceptable, how to obtain happiness etc. Cartoons are constantly sending messages to children and adults shaping them into the people they are. I believe Homer is one of the main reasons why kids and adults think it’s cool to drink beer.
It’s funny because many people have tried to create their own Duff beer without a license, but are constantly in a legal dispute for not getting permission from Matt Groening. I don’t know why Matt wouldn’t have the original Duff beer in every bar, and every store?!… but I guess you can get the original licensed Duff beer near The Simpsons ride at Universal Studios, which I did indeed ride, and it was awesome!. but I somehow missed the Duff beer 😦
I have learned so much from cartoons. When I watched episode, Season 5, episode 9 “The last Temptation of Homer”, it brought to light the fact that it’s ok to have dinner with a “friend” in hopes of getting laid, behind your spouses back, but that overall you know it’s wrong, and have a flood of overwhelming emotions of guilt. It sent the message that women can be hoes at times, and Homer must stay strong to fight off these women, because they only want to trap you. Ultimately, Homer falls for the trap, kisses her, but somehow that brings him closer and more attracted to Marge?! I guess I learned sometimes cheating does the trick of renewing a boring relationship.
Cartoons have a ton of influence on the way we view ourselves and the way in which we perceive others. They mold us and shape our thoughts and values. This can happen instantly, or over years of watching. Maybe one relates to the cartoon in the first place because it portrays similar values and humor that they do, or over time, it can persuade and change their thinking without even knowing. In the Function of Fiction by Jennifer McMahon, she touches on some important points about Homer’s heuristic value, and his power of engaging audiences while shaping their moral compass. I believe Homer Simpson is one of the most powerful men in the world, he’s a familiar man, that has been in my life since 5 years old, hey he’s been their longer than my father lol. Kids grow up with him, love him, and ultimately look to him for all life’s answers (or maybe that’s just me). McMahon explains the reason it is extremely appealing is because it, “combines slapstick comedy seamlessly with sophisticated humor, creating a complex comic fabric that appeals to a diverse audience.” This general appeal of The Simpsons makes for an incredible and popular and relatable show. Every one has a little Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa in them. We have all had a job that we hate, or a God fearing neighbor we want to strangle.
The Simpsons ability to connect with it’s viewers on so many levels creates a vulnerable audience, that willing and subconsciously has no problem receiving and storing messages, that ultimately mold them into the person they are. There is so much to learn from cartoons, and like The Simpsons, it teaches us how to have a sense of humor, and how life may not always be fair, but that’s life. You must push through, and make the best out of any situation. That’s life. So have a beer… and in the words of Homer Simpson, “Trying is the first step towards failure.”