Throughout the years, there have been so many “The Simpsons predicted it” clips that it became a meme. While some of these predictions were rather eerie (i.e. Donald Trump becoming President), many could be dismissed as pure coincidence. Because, after all, The Simpsons aired a total of 202 hours of programming over three decades. So, at one point or another, some of the stuff that happens in the show is bound to be reflected in real life.
However, since the coronavirus outbreak, some of these clips have been raising major eyebrows. For instance, in an episode from 1993, people are begging for a cure for the “Osaka Flu”, which came from Asia. They are then attacked by killer bees.
In 2020, people are begging for a cure for the “Wuhan virus” and are terrified of murder hornets.
While this clip is somewhat mind-blogging, there’s another one that is much more relevant today. And strangely enough, it is getting little to no media attention. I am almost inclined to believe that media purposely ignoring this clip because it thoroughly ridicules its entire narrative.
At the beginning of the 2010 episode titled The Fool Mounty, a “secret conclave of America’s media empires” looks to create a “phony-baloney crisis” in order to “put Americans back where they belong: In dark rooms, glued to their televisions and too terrified to skip the commercials”. That phony crisis is a deadly virus.
Here’s the clip.
There’s a whole lot to unpack in this 3-minute clip as nearly every scene is eerily echoed in 2020.
So Many Coincidences
The episode begins with a helicopter dropping off a Fox News representative to a secret meeting that is taking place in a symbolic location.
The fact that the secret media cabal is plotting against humanity inside the crown of the Statue of Liberty is symbolic in a sad way. There’s also another weird fact: Corona means crown. And this episode is about a planned virus crisis.
The man running the meeting says:
“I’d like to call to order this secret conclave of American media empires. We’re here to come up with the next phony-baloney crisis put Americans back where they belong: In dark rooms, glued to their televisions, too terrified to skip the commercials”.
The man continues:
“I think we should go with a good old-fashioned public health scare.”
A woman adds:
“A new disease. No one’s immune. It’s like the summer of the shark except, instead of a shark, its an epidemic. And instead of summer, it’s all the time!”
In 2020, it is difficult to hear these lines and not think of COVID-19. It is a new disease. No one’s immune. It is also “all the time” as media sources are already warning the public that his virus is here to stay. Here are some recent headlines:
Back to The Simpsons, another media representative says:
“We do have standards, this can’t be a made-up disease. The only moral thing to do is to release a deadly virus to the general public”.
So they come up with the “Cat Flu”.
Newscaster Kent Brockman says:
“The house cat flu is coming people! The Center for Disease Disinformation predicts, with some degree of probability, that the house cat flu might, hypothetically, spread in the following outbreak pattern:”
So, Brockman actually says “Center for Disease Disinformation” – a jab at the CDC which has been accused in the past of grossly overhyping epidemics such as H1N1. Then, Brockman talks about “hypothetical” projections with “some degree of probability”. This is a joke about media going straight to the most terrifying and catastrophic scenario – even if the probability is low – to drum up fear and panic.
The Cat Flu eerily echoes COVID-19. Since the start of the outbreak, a steady stream of headlines has been associating the virus with cats. Here are some recent examples from various news sources.
Then, Kent Brockman ramps up the fear-mongering by listing ridiculous “symptoms”. He says:
“Springfielders are advised to stay tuned for more information if they experience any of the following symptoms: Mild thirst, occasional hunger, tiredness at night”.
According to most sources, COVID-19 symptoms are fever, dry cough, tiredness, and sore throat. In other words, it really doesn’t take much to launch someone into COVID-panic-mode.
As Homer goes crazy about the virus, Marge tells him that a vaccine it out. So they go out and get it.
This clip from 2010 was probably inspired by the H1N1 crisis which was found to be grossly overhyped by organizations such as the WHO and the CDC. It nevertheless ended with a mass vaccination campaign.
Ten years later, this clip is more relevant than ever. It is about media sources plotting together to drum up fear, newscasters turning into doomsday sayers and the public going into a frenzy.
One thing is for sure, the COVID-19 lockdown successfully accomplished one thing:
“To put Americans back where they belong: In dark rooms, glued to their televisions, too terrified to skip the commercials”.
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