Dr. Kimberly's Comedy School: Pairing the absurd with the mundane

If you have access to it, watch The Simpsons, Season 1, episode 3, “Homer’s Odyssey.” This bit happens at around 12:50: Depressed due to losing his job, Homer decides to throw himself off a bridge. He ties a rope around a huge boulder, then ties the other end of the rope to his waist. When he goes to open the gate in the fence around the yard, struggling to carry the boulder, he finds the hinges squeak. He then interrupts his suicide attempt to get a can of oil and oil the gate’s hinges. This cracks me up because in the middle of a devastating act that he is carrying out in a ridiculous way, he stops to take care of this mundane problem.

Is he doing it because he doesn’t want to wake his family with the squeaking? Could be. The rationale is irrelevant. It’s the juxtaposition of the extreme and absurd with the quotidian that makes this moment work for me.

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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 This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 .

I acknowledge that I live and work on unceded Lumbee, Skaruhreh/Tuscarora, and Shakori land. I give respect and reverence to those who came before me. I thank Holisticism for the text of this land acknowledgement.

We must acknowledge that much of what we know of this country today, including its culture, economic growth, and development throughout history and across time, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, and Jim Crow. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today. I thank Dr. Terah ‘TJ’ Stewart for the text of this labor acknowledgement.