Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fuck corporate tie-ins

For a long time, I (and many other rabid fans) have held my toungue on the Simpsons rampant merchandising. While they parody the concept of over-the-hill t.v. characters cashing in on their questionable fame constantly, especially through Hershel Schmoikel Krustofsky, Matt Groening and company have certainly gotten the merchandising bug themselves once or twice. Of course, that's a polite way of saying they'll liscence any product that they come within 500 feet of. Especially with the movie, it's gotten insane lately. I've seen everything short of the Simpsons Home Pregnancy Test (Warning: May cause birth defects), but I wouldn't be too suprised to see it at this point.

The rampant commercialism of all these tie-ins bothers me on a philosophical and political level, but also at the much more immediate level. Being an ardent Simpsons lover, well-meaning yet misguided friends and family members have always bought me that stuff, incorrectly assuming that because I enjoy a television show greatly, I would then also enjoy a really shitty product based on said show. Now don't get me wrong, some of the stuff has been pretty cool (I still haven't figured out the Homer rubiks cube), but much of it remains unopened, left sitting there too useles to use, but something I feel too guilty to give away since it was given by a friend/loved one in a genuine attempt to get me something that I would appreciate.

But the final straw has finally broken this proverbial camel's back. Recently, Burger King has designed a website as a cross-promotion for the movie called, where one can ostensibly upload a picture of themselves and have it remade in the style of Simpsons animation. A few people I know have used it, and it's eerily uncanny for the most of them.

So finally, finally we have a lucrative corporate tie-in that's legitimately cool. Has the problem been solved? Of course not, because I can't get it to fucking work for the life of me. I followed all the instructions on the page, down to taking a picture of just my face, with good lighting, in front of a plain white wall, and wearing a text-less t-shirt so as to reduce all possible digital noise. I have tried using said photo on a Mac and a PC, and in both cases used at least three different browsers. And I've come up with nothing. Every time, I get the same infuriating message that the system is too busy and I should try back later, whether I try it at 3 a.m. or 5 p.m.

In a way, this kind of sums up the week I just had. Not particularly bad, but just full of dissapointment on many levels. But hey, it's now less than a week until my birthday, and my parents bought me a coffee maker. And a microwave. And we found a used couch for super cheap that's actually a hide-a-bed. I dare say things are looking up, even though they're not looking Simpsonized at all...


Howard said...

Same thing happens to me. Kinda sad that the only two people who this apparently happes to are us.

i said...

I've heard of this, but haven't bothered to try... most Simpsons characters look the same; except for the hair and clothes and any accessories... just like a Mr. Potato Head.

...Do they have a Homer version of Mr. Potato Head?

Happy birthday!!