The Simpsons (still on the air!) took a higher-ed potshot on Sunday, as it has from time to time over the past 25 years (remember Homer’s brief stint at Springfield University?). The butt of the joke this time around was Bates College:
But rather than lick its wounds over the slight, the college decided to own the joke. On Monday it posted the above re-creation on its Facebook page, attaching an encouraging message for Lisa, who has often agonized over her college choice.
Cute gesture, and a fun use of the college’s social-media platforms. But — let’s be real — Lisa’s going to Yale.
And if you are wondering just what happened (and why this is not off-topic other than Lynne Lewis [of Tietenberg and Lewis] works at Bates):
The episode sets up Lisa’s scientific interest by showing her ill-fated entry in the town’s alternative energy automobile derby. Her solar-powered car loses when the Duff blimp blocks the sun, prompting a chorus of strangely specific insults about her having to settle for an education from Bates College. As a Mainer (and a graduate of Bowdoin—disdainful sniff), I can confirm that Bates is a fine school and a worthy Division III basketball power. Maine is also very cold in the winter. (Now Colby, on the other hand...)
I haven't seen the episode so don't really know if the town's alternative automobile derby was inspired by David Brooks / Alexander Hamilton.