If ever an occasion marked the need for quiet contemplation, the opening of the Simpsons movie is it. Okay, so you can sense the sarcasm. After all, Homer Simpson lives for beer, is easily antagonized by his son Bart, and has no qualms about revealing a bit of his posterior whenever he bends over. Not exactly the model citizen, he. Yet, if he was all that repugnant, why would he hold our interest for almost 20 years? Sure, you could argue that it’s fun to live vicariously through someone so hopeless, as in: no matter how bad we get, we’ll never be like him. However, I think the opposite is true. It might just be that, in more ways than we know, Homer shows the work/life balance challenged how to live. Here are a few reasons why:
1.Unlike us obsessed, overworked types, Homer can’t wait to get the heck out of work.
2.While at work, Homer does not take things too seriously, innately understanding that the everyday duties we get so stressed about are ultimately not that important. (All right, so he works in a nuclear facility. We’ll let that slide.)
3.Homer maintains active and enjoyable leisure time with his colleagues from the job. Belching contests in a bar are just as valid a bonding technique as, say, golf. And you can’t slice a belch into a sand trap, thereby ruining your entire day.
4.Homer often goes to his wife Marge with problems that have been weighing on his mind, and even solicits her support and affection. Maybe it’s just that reassuring beehive of blue hair that makes him know he has a safe place to unburden.
5.As has been indicated in many episodes, Homer and Marge still enjoy a healthy love life. And I’ve heard that cartoon make-up sex is even better than in real life.
6.Despite his run-ins with Bart, Homer goes to great lengths to be there for his children, often enduring physical harm to his own person in the process. (Who can forget the Bart skateboarding episode in which Homer hit a series of tree branches in an epic fall that contained an uninterrupted string of “D’oh’s”?
7.Homer supports his daughter Lisa’s many attempts at coming into her own, even though he is so pitifully her intellectual inferior.
8.As a dad, Homer is not afraid to get mushy with his children, often talking baby talk and letting his own inner child out to play. You go, Homey!
9.Homer is rightly afraid of Mr. Burns, who represents the emptiness of wealth and achievement. Mr. Burns is the embodiment of that famous quote “for what does it profit a man if he gaineth everything but loseth his entire muscle mass?”
10.Finally, Homer Simpson is a big goofball and proud of it. And that is the last thing anyone who thinks the world revolves around them would ever admit. Homer knows who he is. Do we?
Well, repressed goofballs, I’m sure there are more reasons Homer can teach us a thing or two. Any you’d like to add?