Twitter Screenplay About Simpsons Smoking Weed Is Strange and Hysterical
July 26, 2014
"What if Homer Simpson smoked weed? It's not that crazy to imagine."
It really isn't that crazy to imagine, but a full-length screenplay written entirely via 140-character-or-less Twitter tweets, all about the Simpsons getting high, is.
Earlier this month, one such screenplay, aptly named Marijuana Simpson (@Homer_marijuana) rose from Internet obscurity to gain a substantial cult following. At the time of publication, the account had almost 20,000 followers, but follows just one in return: Eminem. Marshall Mathers doesn't appear anywhere in the play, though—just one of Marijuana Simpson's many strange non-sequiturs. (Read it here.)
The author, who remains anonymous, composed 5,501 tweets from beginning to end, weaving in family strife, global politics and religious epiphany with abundant quantities of cannabis. Smoked in various ways, the Simpsons and citizens of Springfield—including cameo appearances by Sonic the Hedgehog and Bender (of Matt Groening's other animated series Futurama)—bond over marijuana in a magical world where everyone's a stoner. There is even a new Simpsons boy named Ken. (Nobody really likes him.)
Written in the terse, tragicomic style reminiscent of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot (for Beckett fans, Vladimir and Estragon also make an appearance), the story follows Bart as he's drafted by the army and sent to the Middle East, where Homer goes to find him with the help of Milhouse, "the main hash supplier for Al Qaeda."
Between bong rips are asides that reveal private longings, misgivings and grudges. The wise and omniscient sages—Carl, Lenny and Moe—chime in to summarize a scene, in case you've missed a plot point. (A reader could become mesmerized by the frequent use of the words "blazed," "emblazoned" and "post-emblazoned.")
When the Simpsons can't find actual weed, they have to buy synthetic marijuana from the gas station, a sad poverty the family laments. (Several U.S. gas stations were recently busted for selling synthetic marijuana as part of a Middle Eastern drug ring operation.)
In a way, it's a parody of stoner culture written by a lover of stoner culture. A fan fiction for the people, by the people.
The story begins with a number of characters discussing the possibility of Homer smoking weed. There's a deadpan joke referencing Erroll Morris' 2013 documentary The Unknown Known, which covers Donald Rumsfeld's infamous foray into epistemology.
MORRIS: Did Homer Simpson smoke weed?RUMSFELD: [long pause, then a sad grin] I don't know.MORRIS: You don't—RUMSFELD: I do not.
Eventually, once no Springfield citizen is left un-stoned, Bart is sent on a weedless and murderous tour of the Middle East. He finds Saddam Hussein, whom he plans to assassinate, and whose hobbies include building gazebos, acting as forum moderator for the cannabis cultivation website, grasscity.com, and promoting "hemp as an alternative building material." But ultimately, Saddam just wants a smoking buddy:
BART: You're a terrorist.SADDAM: I'm just a lonely stoner.SADDAM: All these years I've had this gazebo, and you're the first to ever smoke with me in it.
Then, Homer, on a mission to find Bart and bring him home, gets high with none other than George W. Bush. But George W., it turns out, is an amateur weed smoker, and pretty soon he's too stoned to discuss anything important. All he really wants is some classic R&B. "I want to listen to Shuggie Otis," he says, before admitting he might have "fucked up" regarding the war. In the same scene, there's a reference to Marx and Engels:
HOMER: Since the dawn of industrialization you people have treated your citizens as cogs in the machine of profit. [Lights blunt]HOMER: [holding in smoke] The wealth gap is staggering. And all you care about is [exhales] money.BUSH: But I-HOMER: Can it.BUSH: Why did I skip Marx studies?MILHOUSE: And Engels.BUSH: Engles is over my head.HOMER: I voted for this false-stoner.
On leave in Israel, Bart is abducted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tries to convince him to assassinate Yasser Arafat. The Arab Spring also makes an appearance.
Back home in Springfield, subplots unravel between everyone you know from the TV show. It's a dark, seedy Springfield. Think Grimm's Fairy Tales before Disney, but with the Simpsons, after lots of blunts.
Marijuana Simpson is strange, disturbing and delightful. It's a weird product of the Internet that will most likely stay on the Internet. And, "It is complex"—an expression repeated throughout the play trying to explain something, well, complex. One last thing to note, you won't find a d'oh or "eat my shorts." These Simpsons are too post-emblazoned for that.