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I’ve been on a pixelated kick lately, digging up examples of early internet GIFs, Video Toaster screencaps, Game Boy sprites and After Dark screensavers. One file I’ve copied from PowerMac G4 to current laptop is a folder full of Simpsons icons, compiled by a website  so long dead its server host no longer exists. The icons are exhaustive, covering even the most obscure characters. Given the extreme gap in translation ability, they look to be the work of several hands and not a single artist. I actually like the ones that look like a 6th grader painstakingly put them together in MSPaint; their lack of shading, poor color choices and bizarre textures make them the folk art of the 90s.


Instead of flat orange/red, Bart’s shirt is Freddy Krueger-colored.

crappy bart



Here’s an example of the gap in ability I mentioned – two different ‘Bart from Treehouse of Horror III’ – note the use of shading, economy of space, and pleasing color scheme of the one on the right.

clockwork bart crappy clockwork bart



Possibly depicting Scratchy’s severed head instead of just a bust shot. I love the wall-eyes, gaped mouth and color scheme.



Grandpa Simpson wearing 90s style Matrix sunglasses.

grandpa simpson


Troy McClure weirdly squished with Bob’s Big Boy checkered hair.

troy mcclure


Checkered Itchy; it looks like he has mousepox.



This Jimbo’s eyes and face are so wonky…there’s a decent Jimbo icon in the bunch, but this one’s more compelling.




When I said these were exhaustive, they really went to the outer limits of obscure characters. These range from ‘Potentially Recognizable’ to ‘Why Would Someone Have That As A Desktop Icon’?

Worker from the lone ‘Worker And Parasite’ cartoon replacing ‘Itchy And Scratchy’ on Krusty’s show.

worker cat



The mutated laser-eyed squirrel from ‘Marge vs. The Monorail’

laser squirrel







Spinal Tap’s Half Inflated Dark Lord

our half inflated dark lord



Bart The Raven from ‘Treehouse of Horror I’

raven bart



Edward The Penitent: actually I might use this one as an icon. “I’m afraid ‘sorry’ doesn’t cut it with this Pope!”

edward the penitent



Llewellyn Sinclair – another appearance of Jon Lovitz as the director of ‘Oh, Streetcar!’

theater guy



Sideshow Luke Perry

sideshow luke perry



Neil Patrick Harris as Bart in ‘Blood on the Blackboard: The Bart Simpson Story’

bart simpson story



“You kids probably know me best as Sgt. Fatso Judson in ‘From Here To Eternity’!

ernest borgenine



Perennial kids’ favorite Garrison Keillor!

garrison keeler



Then there’s icons with no basis in Simpsons canon whatsoever, like this Klingon Homer,

klingon homer


…or Mad Scientist Bart,

mad scientist bart

…or Old Bart, though Older Bart has been shown several times, including as male stripper ‘Bang Bang Bart’ and Supreme Court Justice Simpson.

old bart

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I swear there’s a logic behind this madness!!!  After coming across an actual movie called ‘The Gay Bed and Breakfast Terror’ on Netflix Instant I (obviously) had to look it up, which led to finding a trailer for it. Which led to some other bad movie trailers. Which led to MST3K trailers, which of course led to looking up MSt3k quotes on Wikipedia, where I found a page for Tom Servo. What’s that? There’s a category for ‘Fictional Robots’? Why yes, I will click that….SWEET LORD THERE’S OVER 18 SEPARATE CATEGORIES!


Whiiiiich somehow led to clicking on some fairly bad movies, in turn leading to Roger Ebert’s list of his personal Most Hated, which for some bizarre reason includes ‘Stargate’, starring the delightfully miscast James Spader and Kurt Russell.

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.07.22 PM

Yes, the role that earned him money. Then I started digging deeper on ‘Stargate’, a movie watched nearly as much as ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ (and so I fully reveal my masochistic love of history-butchering movies with outstanding villains).

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.08.26 PM

If you can’t read the above, the important takeaway is a shot was reframed due to Ra’s refusal to remove his nipple rings.

The whole thing was lumped in with several ‘worst’ lists, and I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t compelled to see what Wikipedia declared ‘worst songs ever written’:
Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.14.26 PM

Oh, the ‘Talk’ page on that one. I also was not aware Cliff Richard (the UK’s watered-down Elvis) was still recording in 1999.

This led to several other music pages, including the irresistible ‘Accusations of Plagarism: Song’ page. This may be the best sentence I’ve read all week:
Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.17.34 PM

This quickly led to ‘controversy: Music’ which led to controversial music, which led to Boyd Rice and NON, where I found out amongst other projects Mr. Rice is a staff write for ‘Modern Drunkard Magazine‘. Curious as to who even entered that as a thing, I found the ‘Talk’ page marked it as ‘Category: Unknown Importance-Magazines’. Such depressing things listed under that header. Of them, this may be the most boring-sounding one:
Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.19.50 PM

….this is where I stopped, though really, I can never stop again. As I stared deep into the chasms of Wikipedia, they stared back into me. Like the narrator of ‘The Raven’, my soul is trapped within these dark shadows, to be lifted…nevermore. Speaking of which, did you know Joaquin Phoenix was up for the role of ‘Edgar Allen Poe’ in ‘The Raven’? 

(helllp meeeeee…)

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Thank you once again, Internet Archive. You have created the Most Ironic Thing on the internet – a downloadable copy of Playboy, in braille, scanned into a computer. By the Library of Congress.

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Sometimes The Crafts  Are Just As Surprised As We Are.
You’re shitting me! I’m going to be on the cover of Doll Crafter magazine!?! Tell me you’re not shitting me!! You have got to be shitting me!
My job has me sitting unsupervised in a basement for 4-6 hours out of the day. I could be spending this time productively, writing the next great screenplay or consuming classics of literature. Aside from the time spent staring vacantly, most of it is spent gazing at this very screen. Oh, Internet! How can I loathe something that brings me so much useless information! How can I enjoy something that has me frittering away my life looking at the most pointless wastes of time?
Filming at the middle school today was a bit chaotic. Aside from the fact it’s a crammed repository for walking piles of barely repressed hormones, it was 80 degrees inside with no air conditioning. Right after the equipment was put down, a girl runs in with her friend screaming about ‘that bitch gonna die! She just came up out of nowhere! I didn’t do nothing to her!!!” and so forth. Apparently another girl, Shaniqa, came up and hooked her right in the eye for ‘going with’ some boy she liked. The whole class starts hollering and going on about both girls and what they saw and who did what like it was a Jerry Springer live studio audience. The teacher snaps into action, saying ‘Fights are NOT funny! I do NOT want to hear aything about this; it’s just harmful gossip! Next person who says ANYTHING stays after with me, got it?”
Not even five seconds later Shaniqua goes by the door screaming ‘I’M ‘A FUCK YOU UP, BITCH! YOU GONNA GET FUCKED UP!!!’ before getting hauled away by a security guard. The film crew and I tried unsuccessfully to not snicker. The students were supposed to be figuring out whether or not some dice game was fair for both players, but mostly they talked about who was ‘going with’ who. I have to copy one of the tapes from last week-it’s just 45 minutes of a girl, Kianja, and a boy, Terrill, sitting at a table tormenting each other. When she doesn’t have her head down on the desk, she’s staring at Terrill shouting ‘I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU.” and he’s singing ‘Yoouuuurrr mooommmmmm…your maaaamaaaaa, your big fat mooommmmaaaaa….’ “I’M A’ STAB YOU.” “With what, your big ol’ head? You got a big ol’ head.” “I HATE YOU.” Then she stares up at the microphone and mumbles “why you keep trying to tape me? I didn’t do nothing…” “Nothing but show your crooked braids and busted face…” “I’M A KILL YOU. I HATE YOU.” And so on.
These kids are in 7th grade and can’t write a single grammatically correct sentence. They’re not stupid, though they do only seem to care about competing with one another at everything, which leaves me to wonder: were they never taught proper grammar in the first place, or did it just not stick? And why is no one trying to correct it now? Crikey. I’m sure grammar is the least of their problems. My mom always said her greatest fear as a teacher was going into the hospital for an operation and hearing ‘YO, Mrs. Burgos!’ coz she knows for a fact these kids can’t read measurements or pay attention for crap. Working with students has taught me two things: 1) I fear for the future of this country. 2) I will never become a teacher. Holy crap, will I avoid it like the plauge.

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