In the final segment, The Day the Earth Looked Stupid, my favourite aliens Kang and Kodos invade Springfield after a War of the Worlds-esque radio show leaves the townsfolk with their guard down. Three years later, after the pair has reduced the town to ashes, they begin to have second thoughts:
Kang: "The earthlings continue to resent our presence. You said we'd be greeted as liberators."A less than subtle message, airing just days before the U.S. mid-term elections. The message was loud and clear and was likely the reason producers left out the line: "This sure is a lot like Iraq will be,” was left out. It wasn’t necessary.
Kodos: "Don't worry. We still have the people's hearts and minds." (Holding up a heart and a brain).
Kang: "I don't know. I'm starting to think 'Operation Enduring Occupation' was a bad idea."
Kodos: "We had to invade. They were working on weapons of mass disintegration."
Kang: "Sure they were."
Seeing as the Treehouse episodes take a year to produce, it’s amazing to see such a blunt political message – I would have been surprised to see something like this air in 2005. It is an indicator of the mood of a nation that has been at war for years.
The Simpsons weren’t the only primetime-animated family to take on the Iraq war. Family Guy enlisted Stewie and Brian and sent them through basic training, in full Stripes style. After arriving in country, they end up shooting each other in the foot to get sent home with Purple Hearts. No luck, until remarkably democracy kicks in and Abu Ghraib prisoners turn into frat boys and burka-clad women turn into bikini-wearing car washers.
The next scene shows George W. Bush “the one guy who predicted this” trying to get a slinky to work on the White House stairs. Two popular shows directly tackling the war on the same night? It is quite an indicator of the mood of a nation that has been at war for years.