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Did The Simpsons Predict All These Predictions?
Jun 20th, 2015 by Dr Karma

No.
It seems like every time I turn on the computer, someone is arguing that The Simpsons “predicted” something or other. Most recently, people are pointing to an episode (“Brother’s Little Helper”), in which the Cardinals spy on people. This is being sold as evidence that The Simpsons has some kind of predictive power.

The MLB satellite

The MLB satellite

Of course, in that episode, Major League Baseball is spying on all of us–a Cardinal player (Mark McGwire) is just the representative shown. In that case, The Simpsons predicted McGwire’s cheating and every other baseball related scandal too.

Sigh.

One of the more annoying articles about this came last year, when people “discovered” that The Simpsons made an Ebola joke in 1997. This was evidence, apparently, that The Simpsons knew there would be an Ebola outbreak in 2014, rather than being evidence that The Simpsons made a joke about an earlier outbreak (which is why we all go the joke in 1997). curious george

I’m tired of it. The Simpsons writers are brilliant; they’re great at tapping into the zeitgeist. And, with 26 seasons of episodes, there’s bound to be a lot of overlap between the fictional and the real.
However, we need to stop jumping to conclusions that any of this is intentional, especially without doing some research first.

For example, some of my students watching “Duffless” thought an ad for Duff Beer was a parody of Red Bull ads. The Duff Beer ad was created way before the Red Bull ones, so it would be more logical to assume that Red Bull owes The Simpsons some money. However, both ads are playing off of old-fashioned ads for cigarettes.

Duffless Ad

Duffless Ad

It’s tempting to see things and to try to create a pattern. I did it years ago when I noticed that three Simpsons episodes about spiritual quests feature the song “Short Shorts” (“The Mysterious Voyage of Homer,” “She of Little Faith,” and “Homer the Heretic”).

Homer the Heretic

Homer the Heretic

She of Little Faith

She of Little Faith

mysterious

The Mysterious Voyage of Homer

Thus, I did what any Simpsons’ scholar would–I asked someone on the show. Chris Ledesma, music editor extraordinaire, took my question to the writer/producers. They were floored by the coincidence. They were also floored that nerds like me are paying that much attention.

I would still like to believe that the show has a subtle message: To achieve enlightenment, wear skimpier clothes.

All that said, I’m surprised I haven’t been bombarded by articles about something The Simpsons may actually have anticipated.

Remember back to a few years ago, when bacon with chocolate was new? When it seemed odd, but you decided to try it?

In 2003, Homer Simpson commands God (through prayer) to come up with a new taste sensation–a new snack. Homer’s prayer then inadvertently (or advertently–God works in mysterious ways) causes an accident between a bacon truck and a fudge truck.

Homer thinks it’s awesome.

So do I.

Coincidence?

That's bacon covered fudge flying to him!

That’s bacon covered fudge flying to him!

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The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating: Entry 2
Jun 9th, 2015 by Dr Karma

“The Smell of Desperation”

My profile’s been up for a few weeks now, but I’ve only had a few dates, both because some people screw themselves out of one (see Entry 1) and because of time/inclination.

Recently, I had a rather sad one. A handsome, smart Indian man met me at Sophia’s for drinks.

The problems? He’s moving to San Jose (pretty far) and he’s just filed for divorce. The arranged marriage was never good, but now, 10 years on and with an oops 1 year old, in addition to 2 other children. they’re calling it quits.

That was a lot to take in, but then he explained that he’d decided to put his profile up for two weeks, and that if he didn’t find someone in that time, he’d give up for a while. He said the two weeks were up.

Before I could even assure him that finding someone takes more than two weeks, he pulled out his phone and showed me the four other women he’d contacted.

It was a weird move.

Apparently, two of them never emailed back, and one emailed to say she didn’t want to date a man with kids.

“That leaves you.”

What could I say?

“I have to get home and make dinner; it was great to meet you.”

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The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating: Entry 1
Jun 2nd, 2015 by Dr Karma

“Are you busty?”
Sigh.
After quite some time, I’ve returned to OK Cupid, where I found my last BTP (boyfriend-type-person). OK Cupid has a couple of advantages: its basic service is free, and it asks you a bunch of questions. It then allows you to see how your answers differ from other people’s. (Some silly people don’t answer many, which probably reduces our interest in them.)
There are disadvantages to OK Cupid too. First, there are bots–fake profiles to keep you interested or to encourage you to upgrade your service. Second, there are scammers. Nigerian princes and the like take advantage of the free platform. Third, OK runs tests on its members–it made news that they sometimes lied, telling people they were a match when they weren’t (and vice versa) to see what happened.
I’ve run into another drawback to OK. Apparently, sometimes a technical glitch disables your account. Thus, conversations you were in come to an abrupt stop. OK doesn’t seem to answer queries, and there is no phone support.
Right now, I’m a woman looking for men, but men can’t look at me, message me, or see my messages to them.
Sort of defeats the purpose.

Dating is fraught enough. In fact, two and a half years ago, I posted a column on how to date me on the nternet, giving advice based on the annoyance I was experiencing at the time. I didn’t end up dating much after that since one man had followed the advice instinctively, thus becoming the BTP.

To help with the angst, I’m going to do a couple of blogs as I go.

Entry One:
One man had been texting me after some initial flirtation on OK Cupid. Yesterday morning, he texted and asked when we were going to go out.
I proposed lunch today.
Long wait.
“Why is your profile disabled?” (It had gone down a few hours before.)
I explained the problem.
“Can you send me some pics so I know what you look like?”
Now, there were several pics on OK Cupid. He’d already seen me and been interested to contact me, to flirt, to ask me on a date.
A barrage of texts came, asking for pics, sending pics of him, before I had a chance to answer (the pasta water was boiling).
I told him to google me (there are tons of pics there).
“I like your looks.”
He then proceeded to ask follow up questions. Samples:
“What do men like about your body?”
“Are you busty?”
I texted that being asked to provide evidence that I’m hot enough to have lunch with after being asked out was a turn-off. And that was the last text in the exchange.

I had lunch in my office and wrote a draft of this post.
(Do I even need to mention how he said he hoped I wouldn’t mind his giant thick penis since so many women just can’t handle it?)
Sigh.
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