The Telegraph reports that German, Austrian and Swiss broadcasters feel a need to censor any jokes regarding nuclear power in the long running animated TV show, “The Simpsons.” What is Homer without his donuts and one bumbling step away from nuclear meltdown?
This reaction is somewhat similar to the erasing of the Twin Towers from movies after 9/11. Of course, any tragedy of this magnitude, whether natural or caused by humans, is going to be very hard to process. What has happened in Japan is, as we know, a combined natural and human-made catastrophe. But does that mean we should look away and not question nuclear power? It remains an issue whether we want to look away or not.
We can’t stop editorial cartoons when they address tough subjects. Sure, editorial cartoonists can sometimes cross a line. But if it is a fair attempt at commentary, then that should settle it. “The Simpons” have been providing an excellent satire on the human condition for over twenty years. That’s quite a track record. Like it or not, we humans are always prone to a collective bumbling. Our mismanagement of the nuclear genie in a bottle is not something we want to ignore, dismiss or just try to pretend away.