While the latest episodes have become dull and just barely passable, the Golden Era of The Simpsons (anything before Season 13) stands out as some of the best television ever made and a recent trend known as Simpsonwave has breathed new life into this nearly 3 decade long show.
Vine is home to some of the most awful content ever to appear on the internet as well as some despisable people overall though there are one or two gems that manage to slip through the crack. The latter is as true today as it was last year, specifically October 27th, when creator Spicster made a vine that amalgamated The Simpsons episode Bart On The Road with the track “Resonance” by chillwave artist HOME.
This is widely accepted as the origin of ＳＩＭＰＳＯＮＷＡＶＥ which, defined by many, is “a video remix series featuring clips from the American cartoon sitcom The Simpsons edited with vaporwave-style music and aesthetic visual effects”. For those who aren’t aware of what either of those things are then let me clear things up: Vaporwave is a genre that’s inspired by chillwave and EDM and usually revolves solely around instrumentals with Aesthetic being retro inspired art with the two usually being affiliated with one another.
So now that we know what ＳＩＭＰＳＯＮＷＡＶＥ is and how it came about, the question you’re no doubt asking yourself, other than why I’m writing an article about a meme, is why is it a thing? Whilst it may seem like your enjoyment of it would rely solely on your attachment to the longest running animated series of all time, there’s two clear groups of those who enjoy these style of videos.
The first group is one that’s a bit hard to describe without being aware of what made The Simpson’s golden era so, well, golden. The show has always had a funny bone and a lot of fan’s fondest memories are usually those that had them shedding tears due to laughing so hard but where The Simpsons truly shines is when it becomes heart touching. Delivered in the style of ＳＩＭＰＳＯＮＷＡＶＥ, the emotional element that many adore is put front and centre and I myself believe that the nostalgia vaporwave usually associates with helps to pack even more of a punch to this.
This is most true with C R I S I S, a video that basically plays as a compilation of Homer’s lowest points accompanied with the song “Decay” by Home. Starting off with a borderline depressed looking Homer sitting down on his own to play his cassette player in the dark, the video continues by wearing its visceral monologue on its sleeve. Homer’s reliance on alcohol, the things he has lost, his fond memories, there seems to be a running theme regarding our lives and how we live them and with Vaporware seen as a satire on corporate and consumer culture, the two go hand in hand.
Then there are those who fall into the second category of “I like how it looks” and this is fine as well as there’s no wrong group to be in. In Fact, what appeals to me about this trend is that it’s not simply just a linear experience. Every viewer will feel completely different and whether or not it’s the fuzzy, nostalgic visual effects or the emotions that it stirs that does it for you, it’s clear that this “meme” holds a bit more substance to it than, say, dat boi or *shudder* damn daniel.
– Liam Menzies