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Vital Information (10-13-10)

In Banksy, Rich, Vital Information on October 13, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , ,

Banksy Directs An Intro To A Simpson’s Episode

For over 20 years, the Simpson’s have been iconic in the world of Satire.  The show has tackled everything from homophobia and gay marriage to environmental issues, even engaging in personal feuds with a few politicians.  The most famous of which was with George H.W. Bush (# 41 went as far as to call out the show in his re-election speech).

This is why Al Jean’s decision to hire Banksy to direct the introduction to this past week’s Money Bart episode was brilliant.  Banksy has walked a similar path as the Simpson’s for the past two decades, tackling issues such as human rights, environmental destruction and the U.S. government’s slow reaction to Hurricane Katrina in his art.  Also like the Simpsons, Banksy has mastered the key to good satire; a chemist’s balance of digestible content and poignant message.  This combination has allowed both entities to garner mainstream followings while still appealing to a more intellectual crowd.

Here are some interesting points to look out for in this Simpson’s/Banksy Collaboration:

(1) The Banksy tags – Even though he’s known for his more elaborate works, Banksy does have his basic tag.  In the beginning of this clip you can see his signature piece a couple of times.

(2) What Bart Is Writing On The Chalkboard – “I Will Not Write All Over The Walls”.  Very cool detail coming from a graffiti artist.  It was also cool that he wrote this all over the room as opposed to just on the chalkboard.

(3) The Sweatshop Sketch Scene – This is actually a real issue the Simpsons franchise has dealt with.  The show has reportedly had their animation done in less than stellar conditions in Seoul, Korea.

(4) The Rat – No real political message here.  It’s just interesting to point out that Banksy incorporated a rat into the clip, as it is common theme in a lot of his works.

(5) Cats, Dolphin, Unicorn – The morbidity of these scenes are a pretty straight forward attack on two issues that Banksy addresses often; the evil side of excessive capitalism and the resulting animal rights violations it often leads to (see his Village Pet Shop & Charcoal Grill).

(6) The Dreary Fox Logo – This was a clear jab at the Fox Network.  It even resulted in Fox pulling this clip from YouTube.  Fox’s greed is regularly the butt of the Simpson’s jokes but apparently they felt this one had gone too far.

This intro is said to have been one of the closest guarded secrets in television history, which is ironic being that the man who created it keeps his true identity equally guarded.  It also marks the first time that the Simpson’s allowed an artist to direct the opening sequence, showing that even twenty-two seasons in, and with diminishing fan interest, the Simpsons team is still able to ruffle some feathers.

The episode aired this past Sunday (10-10-10) in the US, and will air on Oct. 21st in the U.K.

-Rich

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