Application of the Critical Theory

'The Simpsons' and the Neo-Conservative's stance on Flag Burning

Summery of Relevance by Walter Jensen: In 'The Day the Violence Died,' an episode of the television cartoon series 'The Simpsons,' a song is sung that offers great insight into the conservative mind. The song expresses the conservatives' stance on flag burning and how they wish to limit 'freedom of expression' and the individual's rights. The scene starts out with Lisa and Bart watching the Krusty the Clown Show.
The song was written by John Swartzwelder.

Original Airdate: March 17, 1996
Season: 7, episode 18 (a.k.a. 146)
Production Code: 3F16
Directed by Wesley Archer
Cast for this scene includes: Krusty the Clown (Dan Castellaneta), Kid (Pamela Hayden), Amendment (Jack Sheldon), Bartholomew Jo-Jo Simpson (Nancy Cartwright), Lisa Marie Simpson (Yeardley Smith), and Big Fat Guy (Harry Shearer)

Well Itchy and Scratchy are gone.
But Here is a cartoon that tries to make learning fun!
(Krusty tries to laugh but ends on a sad note, then moans)
Sorry about this kids, but stay tuned; we've got some real good toy commercials coming right up, I swear.

(Music starts playing)
Kid: Hey, who left all this garbage on the steps of Congress?

I'm not garbage.
(Amendment starts singing)
I'm an amendment-to-be, Yes an amendment-to-be,
And I'm hoping that they'll ratify me.
There's a lot of flag-burners, Who have got too much freedom.
I want to make it legal for policemen to beat'em.
Cause there's limits to our liberties,
At least I hope and pray that there are,
Cause those liberal freaks go too far.

Kid: But why can't we just make a law against flag-burning?

Amendment: Because that law would be unconstitutional. But if we changed the Constitution...

Kid: Then we could make all sorts of crazy laws!

Amendment: Now you're catching on!

(Scene flips back to Bart and Lisa)
Bart: What the hell is this?
Lisa: It's one of those campy "70's" throwbacks that appeals to Generation "X"ers.
Bart: We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little.

Boy: But what if they say you're not good enough to be in the Constitution?

Amendment singing:
Then I'll crush all opposition to me.
And I'll make Ted Kennedy (1932-2009) pay.
If he fights back, I'll say that he's gay.

(Big Fat Guy in a brown suite comes running up and states)
Big Fat Guy:
Good news, Amendment!
They ratified 'ya.
You're in the U.S. Constitution!

Amendment: Oh, yeah! Door's open, boys!
(At this point, other "right wing" bills and amendments run up the stairs of congress, shooting guns into the air and throwing bombs around).

(Scene flips back to Bart and Lisa)
Lisa: So it's true: some cartoons do encourage violence.
(Lisa punches Bart)
Bart: Ow! We gotta get Itchy & Scratchy back.
Lisa: And soon!
(Lisa punches Bart)
Bart: Ow!
(Lisa chuckles)

Revised 08-03-2012

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