The very first episode of The Simpsons,“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” debuted the series on December 17th, 1989– roughly twenty-five years ago (I was there watching it live), launching the series and the family into the forever consciousness of pop-culture. I recently re-watched the episode and it shocked me how different the series was when it initially aired.
Watching an episode of today’s Simpsons reveals an entirely different show. The Homer character, while likable and endearing, is emasculated, negligent of others, and mentally handicapped.
Upon re-watching the first episode, Homer is instead presented as a sympathetic, under appreciated father whom, despite his best efforts, finds tremendous difficulty in providing a perfect family life for his wife and children.
Men are universally able to separate all female acquaintances into two categories: women we want to fuck, and the rest.
The more of a beta-doofus you are the more likely it is that you want to fuck everyone you know, but for any man with a shred of dignity there will typically be a line drawn between potential fucks and “the rest.”
A female not being on our literal “to do” list doesn’t mean we want them to fall off the face of the planet or die in a fire, and it certainly doesn’t mean we wouldn’t lend a hand if they were falling off a cliff- it quite literally means that we don’t want to have sex with them. And it is this distinguishing detail that opens up the rather new, from a generational standpoint, possibility of becoming just friends with a woman.
“None of these girls want to be your girlfriend…”
It’s twenty years later and I still remember the uncomfortable feeling my Dad’s blunt assessment produced.