Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hugo Nixes Homer - Why?

Strange news from Venezuela, where man of the people Hugo Chavez has pulled The Simpsons from the airwaves, on er moral grounds, and replaced it with erm Baywatch (a show, incidentally, with a worldwide audience in excess of the world's Muslim population). Clearly this isn't, for once, a blow against US cultural imperialism - both shows are American as apple pie - so what is he up to? Is he reinforcing Latin American machismo by giving the nation's young males plenty of bobbing bikini action - or is something else going on? The Simpsons is, of course, one of the most deeply moral TV shows ever made - but you wouldn't expect Chavez to see that. His own contribution to Venezuelan TV last year, I believe, totted up to eight whole hours of ranting against the 'devil incarnate' George Bush and all his works (though not, presumably, Baywatch).


  1. i think it's about time Chavez appeared as a regular character on The Simpsons.

  2. I'll bet he pulled it just so that he could be a character on the Simpsons.

    And anyone who is willing to get on TV and rant against GWB gets a gold star in my book.

  3. "And anyone who is willing to get on TV and rant against GWB gets a gold star in my book."

    Because there are so few of those, aren't there? Because you'd have to be so brave to do so? Because it's not the unthinking rant of every idiot whose sum political philosophy equals: 'America bad'.

  4. What is "he" up to? Would you presume a change in BBC programming would necessarily come from Gordon Brown?

  5. Recusant is right. You'd surely have to lump in govts of Britain, Russia, China into evil workers of modern iniquity. Though assuredly, the US does have the most muscle in the sick crusade, so hats of to those guys. As former Asst Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan, Paul Craig Roberts describes it thus:
    Americans traditionally thought of their country as a "city upon a hill," a "light unto the world." Today only the deluded think that. The Bush administration has announced to the world, and to all Americans, that this is what the United States now stands for: a vicious determination to dominate the world, criminal, genocidal wars of aggression, torture, and an increasingly brutal and brutalizing authoritarian state at home. That is what we stand for. Do we Americans have any honor, any humanity, any integrity, any awareness of the crimes our government is committing in our name? Do we have a moral conscience?

    How can a moral conscience be reconciled with our continuing to tolerate our government which has invaded two countries on the basis of lies and deception, destroyed their civilian infrastructures and murdered hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children?"

    Though, there are souls so sseepedin moral relativity, ie nihilism, that they take exception to the above being pointed out.

  6. Because there are so few of those, aren't there? Because you'd have to be so brave to do so? Because it's not the unthinking rant of every idiot whose sum political philosophy equals: 'America bad'.

    *LOL* Recusant. So true. So true. Anti-Americanism has invariably ranked as the #1 or #2 firmly-held conviction among the elite chattering classes worldwide for almost a hundred years if not longer. Not much of what has been said in recent decades hasn't been said before, but every generation prefers to act as if theirs is a novel revelation.

  7. LOL, Randy, cos if it's been said before it becomes irrelevant, even if demonstrably true. One needs some new more interesting distraction to keep you amused in today's world. I recommend the I-Phone, perhaps in a fetching pink.

    Since the US funded a coup over Chavez while in office which overthrew Chavez' govt, where he'd have presumably been murdered but for a massive popular march on the very rich revolutionaries- Rebels With Enormous Bank Balances- I think Chavez has earned the right to not look with especial favour on the America's political establishment, don't you?
    Or should he say- "All this anti-Americanism's been said before. I won't bore you. They would have had me murdered, and ensured Venezuala stay firmly within the confines of the Banana Republic of Central America, but that's all too tedious for modern man."

  8. There's a great line I saw quoted recently, from I'm afraid I forget which novel:

    "The English expend so much spiritual energy on hypocrisy, there's little left over for intolerance."

    For one thing, it seems to go amazingly unnoticed that whatever foreign exploits America embarks on, you can generally include its incestuous partner, Britain. Criticism of America must include Britain, after all.
    Still perhaps these little Brits are feeling the glorious intoxicant of empire flow through their shrivelled veins once more, and the increase in self-worth manages to half-cloud over the utter transparency of the villainous nature of false gangsters like Blair & Brown.

  9. In the linked Chavez speech, are we meant to smile in amused condescension, Nige, or see the obvious essential truth of Chavez' claims to America's ruling elites' desires. I don't see much to debate about, just look at their Project for a New American Century produced by the neo-cons and bretheren BEFORE 911 where they in pretty much clear black and white of the desirrablity of the establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of all nations. Vice President Dick Cheney is a founding member of PNAC, along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is the ideological father of the group.

    America did fund a violent coup in 2001 which briefly overthrew CHavez' government. If, for example, China organised a coup to overthrow the British govt and replace it with a plutocratic puppet one, how would you expect the dethroned to respond? Admittedly, such an event mightn't be wholly disapproved of in England's green and pleasant land, & one doubts whether a popular surge of the perennial underdogs would surge to save New Labour's heroes.

  10. Perhaps I misunderstand this post, but does it not imply that Venezuela is somehow morally dubious when it comes to culture, and the U.S. is not? The distinctly American mixture of latent puritanism and blatent free economics leads to a situation in which people are regularily violated on screen in acts of perverse violence, yet sexuality (real sexuality, as opposed to the beer-commercial, bouncing-boob version seen on Baywatch) is literally outlawed? Is this a moral model that should be followed? The answer is no (you all don't know how good you have it with the BBC)!

  11. apocrychal: You misunderstood my comment. Given the excessive amount of baggage you appear to be carrying around with you, this is not unexpected. I do agree with you, however, that the people of Venezuela picked Chavez and when he goes, and how he goes, should be their business.

  12. I love this America-bashing coming from a continent that brought us the bloodiest century in the roughly thousand-century history of mankind, including two global wars which the United States could and should have watched from the sidelines.