Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Banksy Critiques The Simpsons

Powerhouse political artist/activist Banksy reimagined the iconic intro to The Simpsons last night. The clip starts innocuously enough, the idiot bullies lopping the head off a Springfield statue and rodents running across the landscape.

However, at the end of the intro, when Homer is pushed through the Simpsons’ garage into the family room, the ordinary tableau of the animated family in front of the TV abruptly shifts to a dark critique of commercialization: animators pushing out animated stills, factory-like; Simpsons dolls stuffed with rat guts; and a deflated unicorn (absurd and heartbreaking at the same time) being abused by a worker producing empty entertainment.

Nice to see that the creators of The Simpsons are once unafraid to critique the structures they work within.

Filed under: culture, entertainment, pop culture, television, , , , ,

What’cha Talkin’ About, Willis?

That familiar phrase is gonna be everywhere in the next news cycle.

Gary Coleman died this morning in a Utah hospital after suffering a coma. Like so many of us who grew up in the 80’s, I have fond memories of Diff’rent Strokes and Coleman’s wise-cracking little kid. Such a strange, misguided, yet eminently addictive show about a rich white family adopting two black kids from the hood. Gawker compiled a feature with clips spanning Coleman’s television career.

Coleman was 42.

Filed under: entertainment, television, , , , , , ,

Betty White, Comic Genius

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Can we just take a moment to relish the wonder that is Betty White? And the five decades–five decades!–that she’s graced our television screens? And the mounting anticipation of her hosting gig tomorrow night on Saturday Night Live?

By now, it’s old news that White’s helm of SNL began as a Facebook campaign. White is surely a comic genius. Here’s hoping her appearance on Saturday matches the hilarity of her Golden Girls days.

Filed under: humor, television, , , , , ,

Not-So-Subtle Homophobia on NBC

It was great to learn a while back that the gays’ best friend, Kathy Griffin, would make a guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU, one of the most highly-ranked series on network TV. Griffin has been a staunch supporter of LGBTQ rights, in addition to just being wicked funny.

Equally surprising to learn, then, that the scene in which Griffin’s character crushes on a woman was edited to exclude an already filmed same-sex kiss. Harkens back to just a few years ago when there was a big brouhaha on Will & Grace over two male characters smooching.

Come on, people, this is 2010. Does a same-sex kiss on television equate with the beginning of the end? Is this sight doomsday for impressionable children (rather than an ordinary, healthy occurence)? Placed beside the number of male-female kisses flashed before us every day, would one lesbian kiss bring down NBC’s viewership to zilch?

Or is NBC–and other networks that censor out musician Adam Lambert and the myriad of representations of homosexuality–merely looking at the bottom line: loss of advertisers’ dollars?

Filed under: gay life, television, , , , , , ,



» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
August 2020


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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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