Aside from the beginnings of World War III and the ongoing degradation of the global environment, it's a slow news day. Which is a good time to share this insightful story from the BBC.
To speak truthfully and insightfully today you must have a sense of the absurdity of human life and endeavour. Past attempts to construct grand and noble theories about human history and destiny have collapsed.
We now know we're just a bunch of naked apes trying to get on as best we can, usually messing things up, but somehow finding life can be sweet all the same. All delusions of a significance that we do not really have need to be stripped away, and nothing can do this better that the great deflater: comedy.
The satirical cartoon world is essentially a philosophical one because it reflects reality by abstracting it, distilling it and presenting it back to us, illuminating it more brightly than realist fiction can. The Simpsons does this brilliantly, especially when it comes to religion. It's not that the Simpsons is atheist propaganda; its main target is not belief in God or the supernatural, but the arrogance of particular organised religions that they, amazingly, know the will of the creator.
For example, in the episode Homer the Heretic, Homer gives up church and decides to follow God in his own way: by watching the TV, slobbing about and dancing in his underpants. Throughout the episode he justifies himself in a number of ways.
* "What's the big deal about going to some building every Sunday, I mean, isn't God everywhere?"
* "Don't you think the almighty has better things to worry about than where one little guy spends one measly hour of his week?"
* "And what if we've picked the wrong religion? Every week we're just making God madder and madder?"
The author concludes with this:
That's why it is no coincidence that the most insightful and philosophical cultural product of our time is a comic cartoon, and why its creator, Matt Groening, is the true heir of Plato, Aristotle and Kant.