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The Homer Simpson effect

Dan Brombach | Thursday, March 10, 2011

A few months ago, I found myself at a casino with some of my friends from high school, breathing in that unique casino smell of body odor, cigarettes and shattered dreams. Upon finding that the only open seats for blackjack were located next to a chain-smoking man with an exciting variety of prison tattoos and more poker chips than teeth, my friends and I decided to wait it out and watch some TV instead. Playing at that moment was a commercial in which men leapt through their TVs trying to grab three dimensional beer cans, causing a nearby man to casually remark, “That’s just plain offensive.”

Although I hadn’t really thought about it before, nowadays it truly is hard to turn on the television without seeing a commercial or show in which a man is doing something blatantly stupid.  Most popular sitcoms, including classics like “The Simpsons,” seem to revolve around a rock-headed man who is consistently saved from his self-destructive antics by his wife or significant other.  It’s reached the point where I’m confident that an alien tasked with finding out all they could about men using only TV as a reference would come away with the impression that we’re a breed of primitive, persistently intoxicated mammals who only take occasional breaks from their daily routine of drinking, fighting, and making bad decisions in order to sleep and watch sports. Some might find this alarming, but my response is “So what?”

  I know that there are some “enlightened” men who like to sit around cross-legged listening to indie music, comparing their berets and complaining about “discriminatory gender portrayal,” but to these do-gooders I would suggest getting a sense of humor.  Quite frankly, watching men behave poorly on television is hilarious, even if the joke is at our expense. Life is more fun if you can learn to laugh at yourself, and so rather than get mad when men do stupid things on TV, I’ll continue to chuckle and tune in next week, because a world without funny beer commercials is not a world in which I want to live.

Dan Brombach


Siegfried Hall

Mar. 9