OCTOBER 14, 2019 APU HAS DONE the reading. I know. I know that Apu — The Simpsons’s collection-of-South-Asian-stereotypes voiced by Hank Azaria in brown-throat — is canceled. I don’t mourn his passing. But under consideration here are some of the assumptions of The Simpsons’s Ivy League–larded writers’ room, and what those assumptions might reveal or suggest about the nature of our historical memory.
I thought it would be fun. And, as a volunteer judge for this year’s National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award (given to an “outstanding first book in any genre”), I did have fun. At least, I had fun doing the reading. But as the clock ticked toward the 5 p.m. voting deadline on a January afternoon, I sat in my local public library branch clicking and unclicking boxes on the Google form that served as our ballot.
Len Dawson, during halftime of the first Super Bowl; January 15, 1967 (credit: Bill Ray)MY FIRST AND ONLY football injury left me unable to breathe. It was a late October Sunday and we had to stay after church to bus the tables at my parochial school’s annual chicken soup fundraising dinner. As we climbed in Dad’s car for the drive home the game was just getting underway.
@flglmn I read The Corrections (pretty good!) when it came out because I was 22 and thought that he was being a serious artist and not a self-important blowhard. Or, rather, at 22 I didn’t know the difference.