Wait! Isn't that Marge Simpson behind that veil?
The Associated Press is reporting that the Iranian government is banning the sale in Iran of Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie Simpson dolls. An official of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (maybe that was the third agency Rick Perry wanted to abolish) explained that the regime had put the kibosh on dolls that are "promoters of Western culture."
However, images of Superman and Spider-Man are OK because "they help oppressed people and they have a positive stance." (In the case of Superman, there may be another reason: In a story last year, he threatened to renounce his U.S. citizenship, saying " 'Truth, Justice and the American Way' -- it's not enough anymore.")
Laugh if you want, but some people believe that the insinuation of American pop culture played a role in the decline of the Soviet Union. So maybe the idea of Bart Simpson as a suvbersive isn't all that far-fetched if you're an Iranian apparatchik.
The best hope for the Simpsons may be that some Iranians will evade their government's censorship of the Internet and catch a glimpse of the lovably dysfunctional family online. Then they can make their own Simpson dolls, and disguise them.
-- Michael McGough
Photo credit: Fox Broadcasting Co.