Since it's Oscars week, why not showcase one of the nominees from the Best Short Film (Animated) category, Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare'?
Much like watching any recent episode of The Simpsons, I found this a slightly melancholy experience. The political humour is still there: we get jokes at the expense of the national security state and a callously indifferent education system. But the fact that the whole film takes place at the Ayn Rand School for Tots, originally featured in the classic 1992 episode A Streetcar Named Marge, just reminds us of how much better The Simpsons used to be.
As something of a political philosophy nerd back in those days (hard to believe, I know), I was gobsmacked that a mainstream comedy program could casually toss out jokes about a relatively obscure libertarian novelist. My favourite quote, featuring the stern headmistress of the Ayn Rand School:
Ms. Sinclair: Mrs. Simpson, do you know what a baby is saying when she reaches for her bottle?
Ms. Sinclair: She's saying "I am a leech". Our aim here is to develop the 'bottle within'.