The couch gag for Simpsons S26E01 was terrifically thought-provoking. It was stirring. It swirled my emotions and left me staring, quiet, mouth agape, thinking profound thoughts.

Even when people who otherwise say intelligent things go on to suggest that The Simpsons has unquestionably changed for the worse, it hasn't. It remains a medium of penetrating yet somehow ordinary glimpses into the many fascinating qualia of life.

About the gag: The future is unpredictable. A portrayal of it should not look futuristic; it's unpredictable. Let the impact of this sink in. It doesn't matter what you hope it will look like; you can't imagine it–not really. No one has and no one will. The future will be weird, because it won't be what anyone was expecting. How beautifully this was depicted.

The gag implied that The Simpsons will live forever. Somehow. The Simpsons will endure even if it is not recognizable to us anymore. The future would not be recognizable if viewed from the present, so why would The Simpsons be? In another sense, we have absorbed The Simpsons. It is a part of us. We are a strange loop with it. It lives in all of us who have loved it. Moreover, it lives in our culture–in the substrate that floats across and above individuals and outlives us all. It is amazingly unique in this distinction. If not unique, it is amazingly rare.

We should hope that one day The Simpsons will look unrecognizable and weird to us; it will have lived into a future where we have not.


* A Love Letter To The Simpsons is a great video–much more nuanced and considered than my obloquy gives it credit for.