Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Where is Springfield?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

In the extraordinary "Behind the Laughter" episode, it is revealed that the Simpsons are from northern Kentucky. In other airings of the episode, northern Kentucky is replaced by southern Missouri. And yet, the show within the show here is an elaborate fabrication. As this interesting site concludes, after examining the evidence, episode by episode, the Simpsons' Springfield "does not exist" -- or, rather, it is not a Springfield that does exist, and there are many of them across the U.S. It exists "on your television" -- a town that is nowhere, and yet everywhere, just like the Simpsons themselves.

And yet the winner of a USA Today poll to determine which real Springfield would host the premiere of the soon-to-be-released Simpsons movie is:

Vermont!

Yes, Vermont, which narrowly beat out Illinois and Oregon.

Does this mean that the Simpsons' Springfield is in Vermont? Surely not. Springfield, Vermont, in my estimation, isn't quite all-American enough, or at least not as all-American as other Springfields. But no matter. It is the fictional Springfield that is the all-American town, and, again, it is everytown, everywhere.

But congrats to Vermont, a lovely place, for the victory.

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