Tom Clyde: Every. Simpsons. Ever.
August 29, 2014
When the economists crunch the numbers on national productivity for this quarter, there will be an unexpected dip. They will have all kinds of theories about consumer debt, gas prices, and disappointing back to school fashions. And they will be wrong. There will be a measurable dip in the economy because of Every. Simpsons. Ever.
For the cave dwellers without cable or satellite television, one of the great events in the history of mankind has just happened. The deep satellite channel, FXX, decided to run every episode of "The Simpsons" ever made, back to back, 24/7, for 12 awesome days. All 552 episodes. If you didn’t stock up on Duff Beer and a 12-day supply of Lard Lad doughnuts, it was clearly your loss.
The world is going to hell in a bucket. We’re suddenly becoming allies with the dictator of Syria to fight against somebody even worse, and it looks like we are well on our way to yet another war in the Middle East, and maybe Russia. But Homer lost his Christmas bonus at the dog track, and Lisa’s science project got ruined. And Krusty the Clown is trying to revive his failed career. And that Mr. Burns
I’ve been somewhat laid up by a nasty fall on my mountain bike. I’ve got a bruise that extends from hip to knee on one side, and a tooth that exploded in the process. I can’t sleep. All that adds up to a perfect excuse to binge watch "The Simpsons" for longer than I really care to admit. And after all these years, and combined as a body of work, I still think it is absolute genius. Springfield with all its characters and social problems is as richly developed as Dickens’s London. Yeah, it’s just a cartoon, but there isn’t much else that captures the last generation in America as well.
I have managed to pay a little attention to other stuff. "The Simpsons" isn’t on in the car. Burger King has decided to buy Canadian icon Tim Hortons doughnut shops, and move headquarters to Canada. It’s not entirely a tax dodge, but that’s certainly a big part of it. Of course Congress could fix the US tax code — lower rates and close loopholes that let corporations pay an average effective rate of about 12 percent even though the code says they are supposed to pay 35 percent. But the idea of Congress acting is, well, too absurd for even "The Simpsons" to use in a plot line.
So Burger King will be Canadian. Would you like chips with that, eh? And there will be Canadian bacon on the Whopper. But I guess we’ll get used to it. I haven’t been in a Burger King in so long that I had to Google to see if the "Whopper" was their product or some other grease emporium’s. On the other hand, I absolutely love Tim Hortons, and if the merger results in a Tim Hortons within an hour’s drive of my house, I’m all in. Eh!
I pulled myself away from "The Simpsons" to spend most of Wednesday at the court hearing on the bond amount in the PCMR-Vail litigation. It was considerably more highbrow than "The Simpsons," even if the general plot line would fit. "I forgot to renew the lease? D’oh!" Actually, it was a very impressive bit of judicial action; excellent lawyers presenting their cases to a smart judge who was extremely well prepared. He had studied their written material, asked probing questions, and wasn’t afraid to let the lawyers know when their argument didn’t pass the smell test. In the end, he decided to delay setting the bond until next week, mostly because he didn’t want to tilt the on-going mediation talks.
Vail continues to play the Eddie Haskell role, announcing that they will be the good guys and let PCMR continue squatting if they put up a bond. Then they asked for a ridiculous $124 million bond, which kind of guarantees that PCMR won’t come up with the cash. But it won’t be Vail’s fault it all comes crashing down. The judge wasn’t buying it. My bet is that the bond will be less than $5 million, and it’s business as usual.
Still, the damage is done. Driving over, listening to CNBC on the satellite radio in the car, Jane Wells did a quick but deadly story that basically said don’t plan on coming to Park City for a ski vacation this year, because it will probably be closed. No mention of Deer Valley or Canyons. Posting the bond and staying open kind of got lost in there. I don’t know how we overcome that kind of damage.
Kind of makes you want to spend the rest of the day at Moe’s, right Homer?
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.