Politics has always influenced entertainment, and Americans increasingly use popular culture to make sense of the U.
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There is, however, another facet to the relationship between politics and popular culture: education. Exposure to political ideas through television, film, and music generates interest and increases knowledge among viewers and listeners. The presentation of political ideas in popular media often begins a dialogue through which citizens develop opinions about and interest in political ideas.
The resulting discussions of politics and civic life have a significant value as a means to educate Americans about their government. Foy and other contributing scholars offer a variety of perspectives on politics through the framework of popular culture. From the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to the cutting-edge television program Chappelle's Show, the authors use a wide spectrum of entertainment media to explain the complexities of U. The authors not only explain fundamental concepts such as civil rights, democracy, and ethics but also examine common assumptions about government and explore the use of controversial ideas in entertainment.
Jennifer J. Kowalski presents V for Vendetta as a vehicle for understanding American political thought. Other essays test the impact of entertainment news on political knowledge and investigate the presentation of broadcast news in film to determine how well the media serves the people. The book also looks at folk music's ability to popularize protest and offers an insightful commentary on social movements in U.
Popular culture and politics have never been so intertwined in the American consciousness as they are today, with films, television shows, and songs contributing to the debate over the promises versus the realities of democracy. As political knowledge becomes increasingly valuable, Homer Simpson Goes to Washington explains how popular culture can actually help connect people to their government. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Homer Simpson Goes to Washington , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about Homer Simpson Goes to Washington. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Timothy M. The ubiquitous nature of popular culture means that it will have an effect upon us, whether one likes that or not.
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With this book we now have a fun and engaging way to learn and think about political theory through the myths and stories of our time, popular culture. Political theory is one of the most difficult subjects that political science undergraduates encounter and Homer Simpson Ponders Politics opens up an avenue for students to engage many of the broad theories through some of the cultural artifacts with which they are most familiar: popular culture.
These important theories bubble up through all areas of popular culture from Machiavelli and The Godfather to Plato and Star Wars — there is much to learn from this compendium. When she wins it, she and the family travel to Washington, D. Lisa is dismayed after witnessing a bribery scandal in the House. In her final essay, she disdains and condemns the government system , which leads to the arrest of the corrupt congressman who accepted the bribe.
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While Lisa fails to win the contest, her faith in government is restored. The episode was written by George Meyer and directed by Wes Archer , and it was the first episode for which Al Jean and Mike Reiss served as show runners. It features multiple references to the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington , including the scene in which Lisa appeals to Lincoln's statue at the Lincoln Memorial for advice. The episode acquired a Nielsen rating of It received mostly positive reviews from television critics, who praised the episode for its satire on American politics.
However, the timber industry criticized the scene in which Lisa witnesses a timber industry lobbyist offering a bribe to the congressman in order to demolish the Springfield Forest.
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The scene was described as "an easy shot at hard-working people whose only crime is to have been born in a timber town. Homer takes an interest in the Reading Digest magazine after a copy is sent to the Simpson family 's residence. In the magazine, he notices an advertisement for a children's contest in which an essay must be written about what makes America great. Lisa chooses to enter, takes a trip to Springfield Forest, and is inspired to write her essay when she sees the forest's natural beauty and when an eagle lands right by the branch she is sitting under.
Lisa's article is approved for entry in the national finals in Washington, D. While Homer and Bart enjoy the all-expenses-paid perks of their trip, Lisa visits famous monuments for inspiration. At one particular monument, she overhears a corrupt congressman, Bob Arnold, taking a bribe from a Lobbyist of the logging industry to demolish Springfield Forest.
Heartbroken and disillusioned by the dishonesty of government officials, Lisa tears up her essay and writes a more painful, yet truthful essay to show the patriotic judges.
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The new essay, entitled "Cesspool on the Potomac", disdains and condemns the government system of corruption and greed and mentions the names of those involved in the bribery. Lisa's essay causes a ruckus and elicits a hostile reaction from the judges and audience. Messages are quickly sent around the capital regarding Lisa's speech and Arnold is arrested, fired from his job and sent to prison. Lisa's essay doesn't win because of its content, but with the news of the congressman's arrest and his having become a born-again Christian while in prison, her faith in government is restored, while the contest winner commends Lisa for her courage and honesty.
The episode ends with Bart slingshotting an annoying pianist that performed at the contest and he tells Lisa that she was the one who inspired him to stand up for what he believes in. The episode was written by George Meyer.
It is one of The Simpsons creator Matt Groening 's favorite episodes of the earlier seasons because he thought it took the show to another level. Their first episode as show runners was "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" and they felt a lot of pressure about running the show. Jean and Reiss were so pressured that they did six to seven rewrites of the script to make it funnier.
It's not good enough',"  and Reiss added that "we were definitely scared.
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We had never run anything before, and they dumped us on this. Wes Archer directed "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington", which was one of the first episodes to feature the Simpson family traveling to a real-life location. The Simpson family visits several real-life landmarks in Washington, which the animators were able to draw with the help of photographs from the animation studio's library. The Simpsons director David Silverman grew up in the Washington area so he was able to help out with the designs.
You know, you just want to kill him for doing all those tricks and pranks. He thought "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" was a perfectly constructed episode in that sense. The title and plot of the episode is a parody of the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ,  in which the character Jefferson Smith comes to Washington with patriotic enthusiasm, but is instead shocked to see evidence of corruption in the government.
Smith Goes to Washington , in which Smith appeals to Lincoln's statue for inspiration like Lisa did in the episode. Smith Goes to Washington was once again referenced on The Simpsons in the season fourteen episode " Mr.
Spritz Goes to Washington ". In addition to the Lincoln Memorial, other Washington, D.
This is a reference to the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, which was only minted for three years and never became popular.
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