The Konformist

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June 2002

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Homer Simpson Suppressed

Paul Krassner

Homer's Intro

Bart Belly Button Tattoo

To: Danny Goldberg

From: Paul Krassner

 

June 7, 2002

 

Dear Danny,

 

Dan Castellaneta, who is the voice of Homer on The Simpsons, and I have long been fans of each other¹s work, and he has attended several of my performances. When you invited me to do another album for Artemis Records, I asked Dan if he would introduce me at the taping in Homer Simpson's voice.

He said he would consider it an honor and a pleasure. He typed out a manuscript and I observed him studying it before the show. Then he introduced me from an offstage microphone.

I had already been informed that Fox TV wanted to hear the entire CD before granting permission, so of course I mentioned that to the audience, adding, "Who would ever have thought that some day Homer Simpson would become an intellectual property?"

Then I learned that Fox wanted seven copies of the mastered tape of Irony Lives! I prepared myself for their refusal; the word in the industry is, "Never mess with Fox lawyers." And, "They're worse than Disney."

Next I was told that Dan's attorney said Dan didn't know his introduction would be included in the actual CD. This was simply not true. I gave Dan's phone number to Artemis attorney Adrian White so that she could check with him directly.

It turned out that the lawyer was concerned because the introduction leads into the first track (an organic process) which is titled "Terrorist Attacks." I immediately instructed artist Kalynn Campbell to list "Introduction by Homer Simpson" and, beneath that, "Terrorist Attacks."

Next, Fox wanted $500 for a licensing fee, which is apparently the going rate these days for a pound of flesh. Artemis agreed, but the delay continued, and Fox still hadn;t signed anything.

You told me, "It would be cooler to have Homer's introduction on the album than not to," and I concurred.

As a result, the release of my album -- originally intended for July 16 -- would have to be delayed for three weeks. This was frustrating, partly because so much of the material is topical, but also because I would be touring for my book, Murder At the Conspiracy Convention, in June and mostly July, and I knew that he-writes/he-talks would provide a good publicity angle.

Today, designated bearer of bad news Jason Janego informed me that, "Unfortunately, Fox declined our request, and in doing so failed to go into any detail as to what their reasons were." He asked if there could be any situation where they would allow use of the introduction, and the Fox lawyer said he would go back and ask again.

Yeah, as they say, right. But there's a blessing in disguise here.

I've decided that I don't want to have a second delay in releasing the album, and in my own Aikido-like fashion of turning negative energy into positive energy, I now believe that it would be cooler NOT to have Homer's introduction on the CD.

Rather, its suppression is much juicier than its inclusion, the kind of story that the media enjoy spreading, all the better for creating a buzz that will only serve to promote the album.

This will begin on the first leg of my tour, in Los Angeles, June 10-12, where so far I¹m scheduled for one local radio program, one syndicated TV program and one dinner with a columnist for the L.A. Times.

Plus -- and gosh, I just can't imagine how this has happened -- there are already bootleg copies of Homer's introduction in the hands of friendly print journalists, web sites and disc jockeys. I'll be sure to inform them to play it at their own risk.

I daresay that more people will hear Homer introducing me than would have heard it on the CD itself. The irony of Irony Lives! is that the result of Fox's attempt to disassociate themselves from the album will backfire.

Would you arrange for it to be remastered in New York so that the introduction is eliminated and the first track begins with the applause, or will it be necessary for me to have that done out here?

I realize that this kind of censorship is not a 1st Amendment issue, since it's not being done by the government. Nevertheless, I have to deal with it.

Burn CDs, Not Books.

Love,

paul

* * *

Homer Intro

Fox owns only Dan doing Homer's voice, not a transcript of what he said -- here is the text of the introduction that will accompany the liner notes:

Hello. I'm Homer Simpson.

There have been many great counter culture heroes I have admired over the years. Steve McQueen, Dr. Demento, Dr. Denis Leary and Wavy Gravy. Mmmmm gravy.

But even some counter culture heroes go too far and step over that line between dissent and in-dissent...cy.

I'm speaking of Paul Krassner.

The first problem I have with Paul Krassner is that the only good song he wrote for The Jefferson Airplane was, "Crown of Creation." And even then his name is spelled K-a-n-t-n-e-r even though it is pronounced Krassner.

I also have a problem with the fact that he is an atheist. If there is no God then who has placed a pox on me and mocks me every day? Of whom do I live in fear and mortal terror? Buddha? I think not. He's way over in China where thankfully he can't get at me.

I have a problem with his constant use of words such as "penis." "Larry Flynt," "premature," "ejaculation," "CIA," and on several occasions he has been known to use the words "Bush" and "Bush Jr." in mixed company. Did I mention "penis"? Yeah, here it is--"penis" (Laughs). (To self) Penis.

Let's see, where was I? I mentioned, "penis," "gravy," "Buddha," "God," "Jefferson Airplane"...

No. That's it...

Will everyone please put their hands together for that raving unconfined nut...here's hoping he opens with "Crown of Creation"...Paul Krassner!

 

[Note: Homer Simpson's introduction can be heard here and on paulkrassner.com]

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