Banksy is, let’s be honest here, vaguely amusing but ultimately, irritating as piles. He’s the art-world’s Bono, constantly asking us to look at ourselves like we’re brain-dead scum. Of course, fans of his will claim a moral victory because he’s managed to put into his work what they couldn’t say in words. Or, more realistically, they like to be seen to care about… y’know… stuff.
And with his fame, Banksy has managed to make a decent living out of being unknown. He’s done pieces in war-torn areas, New Orleans and various famous landmarks, all the while, telling us how we’re hopeless consumers, willing to lap-up anything we’re told… then selling a shed-load of books.
And now, he’s managed to land the gig of creating the title sequence of The Simpsons. And it’s oh-so bloody controversial.
The intro was shown in the US last night and opens with the graffiti artist’s tag doodled all? over Springfield. That’s all well and good.
Then comes the controversial part.
It switches from the Simpson family’s living room to a massive sweatshop, with depressed looking workers in an austere warehouse painting cartoon cells and making Simpsons merchandise, filled with dead animals and blah blah.
Amusingly enough, this weak-wristed attack on mass-production will no doubt end up on a Simpson’s DVD at some point, made in some unpleasant warehouse somewhere. That’s nice isn’t it? It’s like Radiohead advising their fans cycle to their shows while jetting around the world in planes fuelled by rocking horse shit.
Apparently, this extended intro was inspired by reports that the show outsources the bulk of their animation to a company in South Korea.
Banksy has stated that his storyboard led to delays, disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk out by the animation department.
Then, Al Jean, The Simpsons executive producer, showed Banksy how to be funny by dismissing the furore with:
“This is what you get when you outsource.”
The episode, called MoneyBart, will be shown in the UK on 21st October or, if you’re cod-political, you’ll get it on a torrent.
Here’s the intro.