Thursday, June 21, 2007

Simpsons All Over The World

For those who believe the effort to bring the Simpsons cartoon phenomenon home to our very own Springfield is a waste of time - or perhaps even detrimental to our city's reputation, I can only say that you need to look at this contest from the eyes of an outsider: True Simpsons fans are found all over the world, as evidenced by the hits my little post on the matter has received from places such as France and the United Kingdom. The evening cartoon, immature as it is to so many cynics, has an enormous following and fan loyalties that span the globe. The winning Springfield of the "Simpsons Movie" contest will be recognized internationally as the home of Bart and Homer Simpson. And that recognition will mean, at the very least, thousands of Google searches from folks eager to find out more about the actual city of the Simpsons.

How can this be a bad thing? One argument says that the cartoon Springfield is dysfunctional and corrupt and that people would assume our city to be the same. Well, first of all, for a time it actually was the same. But secondly, and more importantly, I cannot accept that premise as being a serious concern. Nobody is going to "laugh" at our Springfield just because we [may] have won the honor of being the home of The Simpsons. Any laughter that our city gets is due to our actual problems, not anything transferred from a cartoon city. And Springfield has been getting laughed at for all the wrong reasons for several years now, so there's no reason for us to be annoyed by any positive laughter brought in by this movie contest.

People come to Springfield for so many bad reasons - like "affordable" housing and cheap and easily available drugs (it certainly isn't because of jobs). Becoming the home of The Simpsons would be yet another good reason for folks to come to our city.

And it's so easy to make it happen. Win a contest, get the honor. Just like that.

The Simpsons phenomenon may not last for too long, but as long as it does last, it should be Springfield, Massachusetts, that reaps some of the benefits of its fame.

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