Praesidium

Friday, November 17, 2006

Simpsons, Again

Continuing the theme that The Simpsons is philosophical, or at least educational, tonight Channel 4 showed a rather interesting episode that told the stories of Odysseus, Joan of Arc and Hamlet.

Unfortunately, aside from obviously rather truncating events, they did get some key details wrong. We saw Homer - as Odysseus - leave Troy, but the only adventures we see on the way home are Circe and the Sirens - no Cyclops or Scylla.

What's more, they get some of these parts horrendously wrong - in the actual epic, Odysseus orders his men to plug their ears, while he is tied to the mast to listen to the Sirens' song (hence the title of Elster's book on bounded rationality). In this version, the crew row happily toward the rocks, only to be repelled by the Sirens' hideousness (they're Patty and Selma). And when Odysseus finally gets home, he simply skewers Penelope's suitors on a spear, rather than going through all the trouble of disguising himself and stringing a bow.

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