Five hundred episodes and 23 seasons into its extraordinary life, the Simpsons is a pop culture phenom like no other. Interestingly, it was once regarded as counter-cultural and dangerous. Now it’s considered as American as apple pie.
Much has changed in American life over 23 years. Two generations of Bush presidents have come and gone. The internet became a tool for people other than academics and computer geeks. Greed was good. Then bad. Then good, but with bad consequences.
But one thing has stayed the same. The Simpsons have not aged. Neither has anyone else in Springfield. Homer is still 36, paunchy and severely balding. Lisa is still eight and precocious. Maggie still sucks her dummy. Mr Burns is still about 1,000 years old, not 1,023.
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Here’s a new ad from Nike, ahead of the FIFA World Cup, featuring football’s biggest stars. Oh, and Homer Simpson and Kobe Bryant and a few others. Enjoy.
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The internet told me the date was February 10 1991. Which makes sense because I remember having just returned home from one of my first days of the fourth grade.
My knowing eldest brother had positioned himself in front of my mother’s tiny TV while the rest of my brothers and sisters stood around for a glimpse.
Standing silently transfixed in front of that first episode of The Simpsons we were like a group of peasants listening to the Emperor’s voice for the first time over the radio. From here it would all be different.
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And so it begins, although it seems strangely anticlimactic. The reason for that could be because of the two week gap between matches, which was the norm until a few years ago when International tours became compressed affairs so the Test specialists could be shipped off and the one day specialists freighted in.
Now we add the Twenty 20 specialists to the mix as well, so we’re lucky they don’t run the 25 days of the 5 Tests consecutively, or play a Test during the day and a T20 fixture at night as a double header.
We used to enjoy the fact that five Tests took five and a half months to play during which time the players would play a couple of counties between Tests, get to travel to Scotland or Ireland for a couple of
beers matches on a local village green and come home in time to have a week’s rest before the first Shield game started.
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