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The Simpsons Speak to America

The Simpsons TV show has been running for years and had yet to really tackle the issue of homophobia. Wikipedia's main article today talks of a recent episode revolving entirely around this. In the episode Homer's Phobia, Homer meets a gay man but then distances himself when he finds out because he thinks the man's sexuality could negatively impact his son Bart.

I could care less that The Simpsons are doing a gay episode, in fact I think they're somewhat behind the times if it's taken this long to speak to America on issues of homosexuality. What's fascinating to me is that the Fox Network originally didn't want to air the episode because it was considered too racy. Fortunately there was a shake up with production executives and new execs at Fox released the show. Homer's Phobia went on to win four awards, including an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) and a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding TV - Individual Episode".

I can't believe Americans still live in a society where network executives are afraid of anti-gay backlash. TV has an enormous influence on Americans and can help them, even through satire, realize that being gay and hanging out with people who are is the same as hanging out with straight people. It's astonishing really that there are still many many Americans who haven't yet realized this themselves. If Homer's cool with it, maybe they can be too.

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Lindsay Lohan A Postive Role Model for Young Women

So Lindsay Lohan is getting busted again, this time for chasing someone in another car while driving in a Santa Monica parking lot. She was wasted at the time and in possession of cocaine. Her arrest makes me happy for a few reasons.

1) It used to be just the bad boys of Hollywood that showed their devilish side and got arrested. So Lohan and her brat pack are showing that women too can be as equally dubious as their male counterparts. You've come a long way Baby.
2) It might make parents of spoiled American kids like those on My Super Sweet Sixteen think twice about giving their kids keys to a luxury sports car at such a young age, so Lohan is helping women of the world by keeping them out of trouble.
3) Mostly I'm just pleased to know that Hollywood is keeping it real, and showing us that being an A-hole is not just an act for the sake of all us suckers who feed off the cult of celebrity. Lohan and her brat pack's good old days are over, and that means spoiled girls who think it's okay to act like A-holes too should now be warned they’ll get their just dessert too.


Dove's Evolution Ad Takes Home Cannes Prize

It's the first time in the history of the Cannes Lions Prize that an ad has taken home awards for both the Cyber and Film categories furthering convergence of these two mediums. I first saw Dove's Evolution ad on YouTube last fall and immediately added it to my favorites list, it's brilliant. Since it was uploaded it's been viewed over 3.5 million times, that's a huge audience that sought out the ad and gave it their 1 minute and 15 seconds.

The ad, produced by the Toronto office of advertising empire Ogilvy & Mather, continues to demonstrate the authenticity the Dove brand is known for. I'm continually impressed at their use of media. Two summers ago Dove presented a photo exhibit featuring real and diverse women taken by well-known female photographers (Lieibovitz for example). In tandem they were working on a documentary with Telefactory and the W Network called Beauty Quest which followed a female fashion photogrpaher in Toronto as she confronted her own ideals of beauty. At the end of the day we all want to feel good about ourselves and know there's more to it than buying the perfect product.