Friday Filler – Righteousness and The Missing Apu

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Wow. What a week. Trials, and finger pointing, and loss of righteousness…and that’s just what happened in our little world of TSTO!  I love the fact that TSTO is always here, as a distraction from the insanity of the “real world.”

But sometimes, it seems that the “real world” encroaches on our “happy place,” and we end up “losing our shirt” over something someone says or does.

This has been one of those weeks.  And, man…did it make me feel old and tired.

First, the loss of “righteousness.”  As I have written about before, the “loss of righteousness carries a perceived slight, that isn’t really a big deal at all.  I’m talking about what happens when your neighbors tag (El Barto) you to the point of “losing a couple of stars.”

I’m not going to go into this again…but, the fact is, you barely lose anything real (barely 1%), and it comes back on its own in a day or three, with no effort on your behalf. No walls…no freaking out…they just come back.

As these two screen shots prove… I lost less than a single digit of XP boosting. A Low” of 1,298.15% (which still makes donut farming a breeze) back to 1,298. 65%….
A net difference of .5%…big…damn…woop!

It is the “perceived slight” part that makes people nuts.  “Less Righteous???  Meeeeeeeeee?????  That is so not true!!!!”  Which of course is exactly the kind of whiny, self-involved, self-important kind of behavior that would actually make it clear that your righteousness is lacking in the real world.

But, let’s celebrate this!!  For the most part, EA has mostly fixed the neighbor problem.  And even if they haven’t fixed it all of the way, they have still made it possible of those of us who love tagging, to do so.  It has been reported, discovered, and tested,  that even if there isn’t a “Spray Can” hovering over one of the “tag worthy buildings,” you can still tap the building, and tagging will take place.  I’ve tried it. It works swell! And apparently, my neighbors have discovered this as well, as I found myself in a “less than righteous” state this week.

Righteousness is such an odd thing.  The more you think you are worthy of it, the less you actually are.  In other words, making oneself “self righteous” is actually darn near the exact opposite of what it means to be righteous.

The definition, according to Oxford dictionary, is “the quality of being morally right or justifiable.”  So…being justified in your actions, your intentions or both?

If we are to ask a higher power, as in the Bible (which most people think is a pretty righteous publication), you get, “Righteousness is one of the chief attributes of God as portrayed in the Hebrew Bible. Its chief meaning concerns ethical conduct (for example, Leviticus 19:36; Deuteronomy 25:1; Psalm 1:6; Proverbs 8:20). In the Book of Job the title character is introduced to us as a person who is perfect in righteousness.”

Yikes!! So…being “God-like” seems a little daunting for me. Especially as it pertains to a game, and more specifically, a game based on the Simpsons.

I will stop trying to be righteous, and do the right things in life…which is a pretty righteous way to live, as long as you don’t trumpet it about.  Because there is just so much self-righteousness out there these days! Who needs more pedestal standing, and finger pointing, and holier-than-though-inating?

Which brings us to the recent “wailing and gnashing of teeth” (see how I used Biblical language there?) about the recent news that Hank Azaria has made a statement that he will no longer voice the character of Apu.

You can read a news report, and a short video interview here.

For those less inclined to read, when you have already read this much (which is a lot), the operative quote from the article is as follows: “”We all agreed on it,” he said. “We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.”

The comedian Hari Kondabolu — whose 2017 documentary, “The Problem with Apu,” thrust controversy over the character into the mainstream — wrote Friday on Twitter that he hopes “The Simpsons” keeps Apu and lets “a very talented writing staff do something interesting with him.”

“My documentary ‘The Problem with Apu’ was not made to get rid of a dated cartoon character, but to discuss race, representation & my community (which I love very much),” Kondabolu wrote. “It was also about how you can love something (like the Simpsons) & still be critical about aspects of it (Apu).”

Fox, which airs the show, says “The Simpsons” has no comment. Representatives for Azaria did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.”

Hmm…OK. So it sounds like Hank is passing the Rupee here.  The fact is, he was tired of having interviews about his other projects hijacked by talk show hosts who wanted to keep the controversy alive.  It may or may not have been the decision of Fox, or “Big D” (Disney) as one of our readers stated.  The fact is, nobody needs a bunch of bad press.  Least of all, someone like Azaria who works hard to expand his career outside of the Simpsons.  Even if one of those roles is “Brockmire,” one of the most Un-PC types on TV…although it is all about him trying to change for the better, and stop being so tone-deaf.

Tons of readers here, jumped on the “Get Over It…It’s The Simpsons…and not as bad as Family Guy, or South Park” bandwagon. I get it. Let’s face it…you can always find someone worse these days in media.  You don’t have to look very far on YouTube to find all sorts of miscreants and crudbuckets exercising their “First Amendment Rights” in the name in “Info-Tainment” and fake news, while masquerading as commentary.

But, I am old enough to long for a time when we were simply more civil. I have watched the slow, but very clear degradation of civility, creep into every aspect of our lives, including our elected officials and offices that once held a modicum of respectability, because there were limits to how they communicated with one another.

I get it.  “Everyone has such thin skin these days!” works great, until it is your skin that is being bruised.  Is Hank a racist who is trying to change his ways? Or is he just reciting the  lines that the tone-deaf writers are putting in his mouth for a price?   And, are they tone-deaf, or just pushing the envelope, until it is tattered, worn, and damaged beyond recognition?

I DO get it. Most of what is written for, and about Apu is silly stereotypes about convenience store workers, that has been around since convenience stores became ubiquitous.   But, that doesn’t make it right.

We are supposed to evolve through our shared experiences. And tearing down, or degrading others for a laugh has lost its luster. Or SHOULD have.

If you doubt how things have changed for the “better,” but maybe not enough, watch Eddie Murphy’s first huge 1983 breakout special, “Delirious.”

It’s currently streaming on Netflix.  The first 20 minutes is one long homophobic joke after another.  It makes the comments for which Kevin Hart was pilloried before pulling out of hosting the Academy Awards in 2018, look like the “Gettysburg Address.”

We are supposed to be evolving.

And so, when Hank decides FOR ANY REASON, that he will no longer voice Apu, leaving the harder decision up to Fox/Disney/Gracie and the writers…who can blame him?

I’m 66-years-old.  I can assure you that loads of things I used to do and say in my youth, make me cringe now.  Maybe it’s because I get mad when some punk, says, “OK Boomer” when I tell them to turn down the music on their golf cart, because I’m trying to putt.  Or maybe, it’s because I am just plain tired of seeing “the new normal,” be anything but.

Righteous?  Pfffftttt… I’m far from righteous.  But, I do know that deciding that Hank, or Fox, or EA, or Disney, or anyone is wrong, for trying to do the right thing, is anything but righteous.

Tag me.  I can take it.  Call me old fashioned…but I love the sense of community that tagging my neighbors, and being tagged creates.

But, if you are defending the right to continue to heap on abuse to those who have asked for some sort of suspension of your actions…you are wrong.

It’s pretty basic stuff.  If someone asks you to stop doing something that is hurtful…just, stop.  YOU don’t get to decide what is hurtful. That is not being righteous. That’s playing God.

59 responses to “Friday Filler – Righteousness and The Missing Apu

  1. I lost all of my Righteousness in one day and it’s not coming back. Been over a week now. What’s up? I’m on level 939, I have more than enough to keep it at 5 stars, but it remains empty.

    • Be patient. Are you sure it’s been a week? Besides…like I said…righteousness is way overrated.

      • Two weeks now. Totally gone. Zero stars. You’re right, it doesn’t have a ton of impact but I will fix it if there’s a way to do it. I don’t have many walls at all or really do anything that I know about to earn it. I have two prisons and keep my town clean. I don’t know. Just hate seeing all those stars gone without knowing what to do to get them back.

        • Just buy a bunch of training walls and place them in your town. (If you don’t have a place for them visibly, you can always hide them behind other buildings and decorations. Do that, and you’ll probably never have to worry about losing any righteousness points, no matter how often you get tagged or whatever.

  2. About the Eddie Murphy special, you don’t need to go back to the 80s to find homophobia jokes (many of them clearly not very funny) beging “mainstream”: when Ocean’s 11 was being filmed (around 2000, the movie came out in 2001) George Clooney put a sticket on Brad Pitt’s car saying “I’m gay and I vote” – while I have no idea what the joke is supposed to be here, I’m sure the “I’m gay” part was meant as a sort of insult. These was report widely when the film came out, not because it was homophobic, but just to show that the cast was having fun while filming the movie (again, I don’t see the joke in this sticker, but I would bet that neither of these guys is/was an homophobe in disguise and they would make fun of straight people just as much)

  3. tagging… I like tagging… used to do it in HS… still piece out in my black book,…
    — Anyone watched the Benny Hill show? In living Color?? Mad TV??? those shows wouldn’t fly today…

    • In Basic Combat Training,
      all of us had shaved heads
      A black recruit came up to me, rubbed my head and loudly stated,
      “white boys heads feel like (something) “
      And there was laughter by many of the other black recruits. And I thought how inappropriate this was.

      Several years later I was with a group touring and examining Fish Farms in the south. In Arkansas a Farmer told us he had two men that worked full time for him, and he had two boys that worked part time as needed.
      Two 20 year old white boys were standing tall and smiling, laughing while two gray haired black men stood by staring at the ground, quiet and unobtrusive.

      It cuts both ways. I try to be sensitive and aware that humor often comes at the expense of someone else
      Race, religion, gender, education, location, disability, income…..

      • Being aware is the start…
        I’ve had countless similar experiences…but I am usually the one getting nuts over something some insensitive racist has said. I am an admitted bigot against bigots. I used to have hope that we were getting better since the 60s and 70s…these days I am starting to doubt it.

  4. So is it that a white guy is doing the voice, or the character all together? If a hindu did the voice would that be alright? Is that what we’re saying here or the Apu character is bad?

    • Watch the documentary.

      • I’ve seen it. I watched it again just to refresh the brain. I just feel once again social media has shamed someone/ something into getting it taken away. His parents even laugh about it. What’s the difference with an African American or any minority doing a impression of white people and how we dance…… it’s comedy. I don’t like “dear white people ” or some of the stand ups, but I don’t get upset I simply just don’t watch it… (actually some of it tickles me). It’s America and its comedy. I feel this guy is taking it to personal. I doubt they said hey let’s make it as offensive as possible and on purpose.. it’s one of many characters plus if they just did it to one character then yes, but they joke about white, black, Italian, gay, Republican, Democrats, straight, etc. Let’s not start putting rules on our 1st amendment it’s a slippery slope. Again it’s comedy don’t take it so seriously we should be able to laugh at ourselves and each other, or watch something else. My two cents. Thx… you suggested I watch the documentary I suggest you watch CNN “The history of comedy “. Preferably season 1 episode 5. Thx much love.

        • Sorry…but I stopped reading this about halfway through. Once I got to the “First Amendment, slippery slope” bit. Here’s the thing. You have the right to say anything you want. But it doesn’t make it right. The internet is full of hate speech…and worse…all protected. But it doesn’t make it right.

          “The history of comedy” is a very interesting…but so is the history of racism in America. It’s all about evolution…trying to be better than the generation before.

          • Right on, so I’m not trying to make this into a big thing.I like you Patrick I do, and i enjoy this community. There’s a big difference in hate groups and Apu’s character. He’s not doing it to hurt people, he is doing it as a joke. Nothing more. I’m just saying Hank also does Carl’s voice, and there is no hair on fire it’s the same thing, yes? I guess I just don’t understand. But thanks for the back and forth… Thx. Much love.

  5. **APPLAUSE**
    Agree 100% about Apu. Well said!

  6. Patric and Nicola_Ruby hit the nail on the head…. It’s not the character of Apu that’s problematic (which is why they’re bringing him back)….it’s who they chose to have voice him that was. If you really want to cringe hard, check out this article about various famous white actors who were used to play non-white characters:

    The problem is twofold….first, is the obvious….it’s why blackface isn’t acceptable, and, second, it’s the taking away of jobs from actors who actually are in the character’s demographic (race, disability, etc.). I respect Hank’s decision and agree that only someone in the appropriated group can determine what is offensive and what is not….it’s not for us cis, straight, white folks to decide (and I’ll add “male” for those situations that involve women).

    • Agree with you 100%…

    • Couple of observations:
      I agree in concept

      White, blue eyed Chuck Conner’s played Geronimo

      Mickey Rooney played a buck-toothed near-sighted Asian in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

      Al Jolson sang in black-face and used his star power to ensure Black entertainers were allowed to perform on his show

      Hamilton was White and the artist portraying him is not.

      (Let’s not mention ‘white chicks’ or the one about the white boy going to Harvard Law under a scholarship for black students)

      A ‘global’ view is necessary and an understanding that,
      That as then, this is now.
      That which was acceptable then, is not acceptable now.

      Dad always said he wasn’t a Truck Driver, rather he drove a truck for a living. And I’ve heard many a derogatory joke regarding Truck Drivers.


      • Like I said…it’s easy to “meh it off” and call someone thin skinned, unless it is your skin that is being denigrated. What I find interesting, is that the writers come from that “maligned” group that is now starting to cry foul…old white men. Let’s just agree, there are loads of ways to be funny, without making fun of someone else.

        • Old white man here as well… I’m finally starting to understand the areas where I am _not_ qualified to judge! Apparently, not everyone is a white, cis, American male! Who knew?

      • The comparison is not even remotely a fair one…. I’ve never heard of a truck driver being lynched, put in an internment camp, or told to “go back where you came from” for being a truck driver. Also, being a truck driver is a choice, being of a given race or ethnicity is not. I’m not saying that it’s necessarily okay to make fun of someone because of their job (any honest work is respectable), but there isn’t the same kind of history of systematic and severe oppression and violence against truck drivers as there have been against members of various racial and ethnic groups in this country.

      • My wife dealt with ‘the glass ceiling’.
        The only woman in business in a room full of good old boy southern ‘men’. She did business travel in southern states where she traveled alone and was given tables by the kitchen because she was a single woman,
        She sat in business meetings where the size of women’s breast’s were discussed.
        I had to support her as she dealt with gender discrimination.
        The 15th Amendment passed years before the 19th.

        The recent sitcom BIG BANG THEORY had the character Raj affect an accent and play up a stereotype.

        Stereotypes have always been used for humor. The question is how do we deal with it. Where does it cross the line. When does it promote continued negative images. When I was younger I was told that I should cross the street to avoid confronting a single woman walking toward me – to endure that the woman didn’t feel uncomfortable. When do white males cease to be demonized.

        Southerners, fat people, nerds, poor people, blue collar workers, Italian, German, North African, Su-Sahara Africa,

        We can sub-divide us into groups. But the bottom line is to respect everyone and not demean anyone.

        I don’t watch the Simpson’s. If Hank feels the character is crossing the line, he should cease.
        I don’t have answers, I only have questions and have a couple of careers of asking and observing from as many angles as possible.

        Im rambling.

  7. To carry this further…
    PC is form over substance
    Ethics over Morals
    (The ethnically man knows it is wrong to cheat on his wife, the moral man doesn’t cheat on his wife)
    The ‘N’ word vs the ‘F’ bomb
    The first is so horrendous that it can not be uttered even in an a academic sense (what is the “N” word?)
    The second is just a word and can be used at will — get over it!
    FWIW, I use neither, but occasionally find myself learning something is now ‘offensive’, so ….
    I refrain.

    In short….

    PC is about what is “offensive”, vs.
    What is “wrong”, not nice

    Off my soapbox and onto bedtime

  8. I really hate Hari. A “comedian” without a sense of humor.

  9. Golf carts can play music????

  10. Golf carts play music?

  11. And in a preemptive move, the Spucklers will now be voiced by Ivy League voice actors in a move to placate irate hillbillies everywhere.

  12. How I learned to stop worrying and love the tag: Training Walls.
    I have maybe 70 and they seem to do a pretty good job of keeping my righteousness in place.

    I prefer that tags not be cleared by the tap radius, so that I will know which neighbors I need to visit.

  13. I’m still at the tagging stage where I can tag the taggable folks but not tap most non-tagging neighbors, I can tag ONE of the no-tag neighbors, sometimes! Grrr….

  14. Apu is a stereotypical convenience store franchise owner (of any skin color), but otherwise he is one of the most responsible people in Springfield. I hope they just find another voice actor for him. And a more creative writer for his parts.

  15. “… a Judeo-Christian morality with a Greco-Roman intellect –
    It’s the way we’re short-wired” (Killing Joke ‘European Superstate’) the song may reflect on the NATO summits, but watching the news daily showcases another neverending debate (and that’s as far as I go – ‘no politics’ will be respected here)🤫

    I’m glad to have at least 2/3 of my Neighboreenos back, however, let’s point the finger 👉🏻 at EA again (if they would just use their social networks to announce there’s an Origin Account / Network problem? then chances are I’d get the other 1/3 of my Neighboreenos back AND there would be less “grrrr” posted here about how dumb EA is 🤷🏼‍♂️ ) so tag away!

    Comedian Hari Kondabolu’s complaints go hand in hand with this “cancel culture” we now live in (congrats! you got one of the best Simpson’s Characters kicked off the show! hope you’re satisfied!) and I’m not a fan of that when he could’ve gone another route (maybe be brought in as a writter?)…. 🤔

    I don’t recall my friendly Pakistani Shop owners being any stereotype, except for “smart and business driven” (why else would they go on to own and run some of the best Shops in Hollywood, CA / Carnaby St, London?) ….. but Hank Azaria deserves to be free of our modern tabloid driven news (there’s no way Walter Cronkite would sit and and speak what’s on the teleprompter today!). Hank Azaria didn’t deserve to be harassed about Apu at all – that should’ve been between the complainers and the show’s Producers! 🙄

    As much as I ♥️ The Simpsons? I’d rather see it end on a high note vs get reduced into pc riddled drivel (aka become neutered by Team Disney). After all, there’s a good reason why Seth ‘Family Guy / American Dad’ McFarlane accepted that ‘9 Figures New Contract’ with Universal – Comcast and is about to bail on Fox – Disney in 2 years (and you thought EA was the only Company being dumb with it’s licensed intellectual property!) 🤷🏼‍♂️

    Can we evolve beyond our past mistakes? I think it’s possible, but let’s make a deal … you youngin’s quit using “Ok Boomer!” and I won’t have to point & laugh at your “tide pod eating offspring trying to shove a penny into a walk socket live on Tik Tok!”😂

  16. It’s honestly admirable seeing your response to the Apu controversy. I was a bit worried that it’d be another complaint about people being “offended” by Apu, but it’s great to see you acknowledge the problem and give props to Hank for stepping down.

    Also, I love how the blog title reads like the title of a YA novel.

  17. Evergreen terrace and Seniors..Ignored, mistreated
    Bullying: Zero tolerance in Canadian schools these days
    Gun violence: numerous
    Alcoholism: Moes
    Italians: Luigi Risotto, mobsters
    Akira: dressed in Karate attire makes sushi
    Bumbleeman: enough said
    Crazy Cat Lady, is a mentally ill hoarder

    List can go on forever.
    Who’s next to leave? Is it good thing, maybe?

  18. ❄❄❄❄❄

  19. Apparently a hard working Indian is a bad thing to the people who decided this for him.

    • Apparently.

    • Apu even has a task in the game for a 24-hour shift, which seems so like him.

      This might end up like what happened in The Amazing World of Gumball when Larry, the ubiquitous worker in convenience stores, video stores etc., got fed up and left for a while. The whole community fell apart. Turns out Larry was doing all the work. ALL the work.

    • Hard working Indian = fine. Hard working Indian voiced by a white man putting on a comical Mickey-taking accent = not so fine. And this was purported by another hard working Indian, the chap who made the original documentary film. Obviously I don’t know what race most commenters here are, but I am white, and I dont think it’s up to me to decide whether Apu’s portrayal is good or not. He doesn’t represent me.

  20. MangoFusion01 (FKA NicoRox13)

    The only knock that I have on tagging, graffiti or what ever you wish to call it, is that the effects aren’t cleared via the tap radius. You have to physically clear each one.

    This is a small knock and nothing worth getting too hot over. I personally enjoy tagging g my neighbors and being tagged in return. I especially appreciate receiving the el quattro! That takes a bit of effort, timing and luck.

    Quodo’s to the neighbor who can tag this post first!

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