Tuesday, July 08, 2003

He told me he'd built a time machine, like the one in a film I'd seen, yeah yeah...

It has come to my attention that my site does not seem to be fulfilling its remit; rather than being "The musings of a panda on the world of pop and trash culture", it has recently been more of "the rallyings of a panda against a world determined to get in his way." Now, of course, the easy thing to do here would be to just change my remit. But this panda does not take the easy way out, no sirree Bobette. So I shall attempt to get back on track.

This is the first in what will hopefully become a regular feature (that depends on me having more ideas, which at present is highly unlikely) demonstrating the link between television shows and music. This week/month/year/decade/century/time*: how The Simpsons predicted Evanescence.

Many of you may remember a Simpsons episode from what I believe was Season Five, entitled Lisa Vs. Malibu Stacey, where, disillusioned with the sexist stereotypes perpetuated by her Malibu Stacey doll, Lisa sets out to create a doll that will inspire feminism amongst young girls. The dramatic crux of this episode is a scene where the doll (Lisa Lionheart) is due to go on sale in the toystore for the first time, and thanks to some hype drummed up by local television, there is a crowd of excitable young girls (and Smithers) outside desperate to get their hands on one. That is, until a shop clerk wheels in the latest Malibu Stacey - complete with new hat.

At this point I paraphrase:
GIRL #1: They changed Malibu Stacey!
GIRL #2: She is better than ever!
LISA: No, she hasn't changed! The only difference is her stupid cheap hat. She still embodies all the awful stereotypes she did before!
(Beat.)
SMITHERS: But she's got a new hat!

By this point, you may start to wonder what this has to do with Evanescence. Perhaps if I were to script it...

RECORD BUYER #1: They changed grunge music!
RECORD BUYER #2: It's different and ground-breaking!
VOICE OF REASON: No, it hasn't changed at all! It still embodies all the awful melodramatic self-indulgent rock clich├ęs from before. The only difference is that stupid cheap girl on lead vocals!
(Beat.)
SMITHERS: But she's got a new hat!

Evanescence are simply Malibu Stacey with a new hat. I have been greatly distressed about the number of people who have admitted that the song is pants, but they bought it anyway "because there's a girl singing, and you don't expect that", as if that were a good reason or indeed a reasoned argument. The thing that distresses me most is that I'm not even sure that this Malibu Stacey has a new hat. It may simply be Old Hat in a cunning disguise.


(* delete as appropriate)

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