If you're into pop art or even just pop culture, you've probably heard of a British street artist that goes by the alias Banksy. Banksy is known for being sort of a satirical, painter and graffiti artist, political activist, and counter-culture icon. He's made headlines when one of his paintings was purchased by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for over a million pounds
, for the documentary (that doesn't really focus on him) "Exit Through The Gift Shop
," and now this past Sunday for directing the most intense intro to the Simpsons ever.
The intro scene throws a jab, no, a hay-maker, at The Simpsons itself and Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox. At first, it starts out with a good bit of slapstick humor, but when the Simpson family sits down on the couch things get really dark. In a nightmarish but very imaginative sequence, the pop artist addresses outsourcing and working conditions for the network and the show itself, who outsources much of its animation production to companies in South Korea such as AKOM and Sunwoo Entertainment’s Anivision Studios.
"How did this ever make the air!?" is the first question that comes to mind. I guess that even though it's at a cost to the reputation of The Simpsons and Fox, the viewers and attention drawn, negative or positive, outweighs the number of viewers who will actually change their lifestyle based on the satirical introduction. I mean honestly, people aren't going to stop watching The Simpsons for anything, even this garbage Ke$ha stuff. Fox has already proven to itself that it can live just fine in the heat. They have had so many screw-ups that they've had to publicly apologize and they're status is still "dandy."
Ratings were probably even higher than normal, with all of the people that support Banksy's work watching. The double irony is really what's getting me. First the show airing images that bash itself for its morals and ethics, and then the Banksy crowd, who are all about counter-culture and political activism, sitting there watching and increasing the ratings, thus increasing the potential revenue of the corporation that they would love to see brought down.
The question is, can a political artist launch an attack on the media while using it to propel their own message? Banksy gets his work seen by the entire Simpsons fan base, which is HUGE, but Fox makes it out with the loot.