old essay on The Simpsons from hermenaut, the first great thing I ever read on the web--
"Two friends are relating an episode (in the sense of event, not television episode, but the overlap is fortuitous, watch) from the other night. This episode could well be described as "suburban surreal" or simply "weird," but one friend declares it to have been "just like The Simpsons." "Yeah," says the other friend. "It was just like that."via (sort of)
But what does this mean? The Simpsons moves largely from allusion to allusion; it therefore contains multitudes. So unless these friends meant to underscore the cartoonish or allusive aspects of the scene they described, their statement made no sense, referred to nothing—because everything is like The Simpsons.
This loss of a referenceable reality will, in all likelihood, eventually destroy our civilization; and when the Northern peoples picking through the rubble of our cities want to know when it all went wrong, I—my face singed and deformed by the radiation, my limbs charred, missing, askew, my voice hoarse, mad, and haunted—I will tell them: 1995. That is when the overlords at Fox decided to put The Simpsons into twice-a-day syndication..."
(you have to search)