Simpsons Poem 9F19

"Krusty Gets Kancelled", The Simpsons episode 9F19 (still), 1993.

In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", "The Itchy And Scratchy Show" jumps ship to a more popular show. Krusty replaces it with Eastern Europe's favorite cat-and-mouse team, "Worker and Parasite". The title credit reads:
Вфхуи ZоРиᴇ m:


Снᴇbzon фt Уmeztoix ©1959 zᴇm
(That took far too much effort to try to transcribe, and it might not properly render on your browser. But it taught me that backwards-P is, for some reason, not really used as a variant letter in any familiar alphabet; I nearly used ¶ for it.)

So this is not an actual Eastern European language, one that uses an odd mix of Cyrillic, Latin, and, you know, a backwards P that is hard to replicate. But on the other hand, Eastern Europe in the 1950s, taken as a whole, did use a mix of Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. So perhaps this is an elaboration on what a pan–Eastern European language would look like.

The soundtrack, which I am too lazy to try to post here (and any YouTube links would surely not last long), is delightful -- the cat and mouse make a mix of strange backwards-sounding "yeeps" mixed with the occasional vaguely Russian (to American ears) words. I should check with my Russian-speaking friends to see if any of the words actually are Russian, but I doubt it.

"ФЯХИСБ", or something like that, reads the podium. Why do certain letters (Ф, И, Я, Ж, С) seem more "Eastern European" or "Soviet" than others (Ю, Г, Д, Л, Э, Щ)? And yet why use "Et.", which seems French or Latin, for what is surely the "and" in "Worker and Parasite"?

Ten seconds later, the cartoon is over: "Endut! Hoch Hech!", a very Germanish ending to a very Russiany cartoon -- but then, that's Cold War Eastern Europe for you. The substitution isn't as disorienting when you watch the cartoon as it becomes when you think about it.

I guess I haven't properly concluded this, but I've got another cold and the NyQuil is kicking in and I should get to sleep. So I'll end with this: Elaboration, as in, working something out, working out what makes something look like proper text without it being proper text, or working out what makes it look like Eastern European writing, despite there being a wide variety of languages that fall under the category of "Eastern Europe".

(To be continued. Only one more part!)


  1. Unknown said...

    Canadia won't even exist as a country in 1000 years, so what do you care?  

  2. Chris said...

    Well, it probably won't, but who knows? But it exists now, so that's nice. I don't know what this has to do with the Simpsons, though.  


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