The Simpsons invaded America in 1989, taking over our TV screens like Kang and Kodos, opening parents’ wallets wide through mass commercialization, and reveling in the seeming religiosity of its singular inhabitants. For a boy roughly the same age as Bart when the series began,Â The Simpsons was the first TV show I wholly identified with, even as many of the cultural jokes sailed over my naive little head. Still, the show resonated with me and proved that it’s OK to laugh at yourself.
Religion, and Christianity in particular, can be very funny things.[ref] In light of yesterday’s post, I thought a little levity would do this blog well.[/ref]
InÂ The Gospel According to Breaking Bad, I talk about one of the books that inspired me to write it, Mark I. Pinsky’s well-researched and well-writtenÂ The Gospel According to The Simpsons. If you’re a fan of the show, or just appreciate great words that look at the intersection of faith and culture, you’d do well to add that book to your library.
Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter of my book talking aboutÂ The Simpsons‘ effect on my young psyche:
“The Simpsons were culturally astute despite the dadâ€™s seeming stupidity. They made fun of my religion, but not really. They made me laugh, constantly. Those crafty cartoon devils even arrived at my house every Sunday night, beckoning me to stay home, bent on ruining my relationship with God. Iâ€™d suffer the plaintive cries of my mom, ‘You shouldnâ€™t be watching that show.’ Iâ€™d nod in agreement, but the channel wouldnâ€™t change.”
Surprisingly, I’m not even remotely the first one to associateÂ The Simpsons withÂ Breaking Bad. In fact,Â The Simpsons paid homage toÂ Breaking Bad in a spectacular couch-gag scene from its most recent season:[ref] I would likely pay good money to seeÂ Heisenhomer: The Simpsons Break Bad[/ref]
Considering these varied connections, I sent a copy of my book to Mark Pinsky with a humble request for an endorsement. He graciously provided me with one, viewable here, as well as further recommendations to help this book gain some traction upon its release.
If there’s one thing I’m learning this year[ref]Considering I’m self-publishing, I’ve learned 1,000 things in just the last two weeks.[/ref], it’s the Art of The Ask. As we say (quietly) at work, “It’s OK to make an ask of yourself.”
In other words, it’s OK to be like Homer because good things can happen, even to the most bumbling of us all.