Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 25, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 25, 2023 







Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola


Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Meghan Malooley

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Dinah Chong Watkins

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee


(Disclaimer) “I almost never…okay I mostly never let 
the lack of knowledge or accuracy keep me from commenting 
on information I think you might enjoy. I 
will never purport something to be true unless I know 
it to be factual…or really funny.”

I have not watched the Simpsons regularly for a number 
of years. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I 
watched an episode. That said, I was a Simpson addict 
for the first third of its 34 year run (Do the math at 
your own peril).

The Simpsons, performing short sketches, debuted on The Tracey Ullman 
Show, April 19, 1987 where it stayed for three seasons. Considered by most to 
be the funniest part of The Tracey Ullman Show, it didn’t take long for Fox 
Network and creator Matt Groening to start on the road to its own show.

The first episode, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, debuted December 
17, 1989. How did it do that first year? Fox Network’s first TV series to rank 
among a season’s top 30 highest-rated shows. Recently Fox Network renewed 
The Simpsons through 2025.

Celebrity Appearances

The Simpsons is quite known for having guest celebrities appear in episodes. 
They earned a Guinness Book World Record for most guest stars in a TV Series 
in 2010. As of series year 21 the total celebs was at least 555. Add another 
953 as of March 19, 2023 and we have 1604 total guest spots.

Let’s review a few celebrity names shall we? 

Jackie Mason, Kelsey Grammar and Anne Hathaway each won the Primetime 
Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for their guest 
roles on the show.

Patrick Stewart said about his appearances on “The Simpsons”, and “Sesame 
Street” “were perhaps the two most distinguishable bits of work that I’ve done 
in the US.”

Kelsey Grammar played Sideshow Bob. Sideshow Bob’s brother was played by 
David Hyde Pierce, who played Kelsey’s brother on Frasier.

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Mindy. Homer got a crush on Mindy because she, like 
he, loved donuts and beer...together.

Johnny Cash played a mysterious spirit guide coyote. Homer meets the “Spirit 
Guide” while hallucinating over Guatemalan insanity peppers…and of 
course, beer.

Glenn Close plays Homer’s mother, Mona, who reunites with a shocked Homer 
who thought her dead.

Elton John played himself. 

Meryl Streep plays Bart’s mean girlfriend, Jessica Lovejoy. 

Leonard Nimoy played himself.

On the other hand, William Shatner was the first person to reject the show. 
The producers have asked nearly all retired US Presidents to appear. None so 
far (Trump, give them a call. Really it couldn’t hurt.)

Other turn downs? Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Michael Caine, Tom 
Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Anthony Hopkins, Quentin Tarantino, Prince.

Frank Zappa and Anthony Perkins agreed to but became too ill. Jim Carrey 
had to drop out due to time constraints and Faye Dunaway (just canceled lol). 
Christopher Walken wanted too much money to play Insane Clown Poppy.

As of 2023, the Simpson’s is 34 years old. 

Speaking of brilliant creative masterpieces created 1988-1990, my son Alex, is 
also 34 years old (1988) and my daughter, Olivia is 32 years old (1990) making 
the birth of my best two masterpieces coincide with the birth of The Simpson’s 
(Special thanks to Johnson co-creator Helen, who really shouldered the 
hard work).

Finally, thanks to Wikipedia for supplying much of the historical data pertaining 
to the Simpson’s. I check more than one source of information and 
have always found Wikipedia to be highly accurate. 

Use ‘em and help support ‘em! It will add color to your conversational life!


Did you ever expect the weather to be like this? I 
like the sound of rain. Especially now, since I got my 
new hearing aids but I always expected that sound 
to be a rarity. After what has always been a brief 
rainstorm I loved sitting on the upper back deck of 
my house listening to the water rushing through 
its concrete channel far below at the bottom of the 
canyon. When I bought my little house on top of 
the hill I recall one of the first things I did was to hire some people, the 
neighbor who lived across the street and his friend, to build a deck in the 
back of my one story house.

 After the deck was built I would sit alone at night and look at the 
stars in the night sky and imagine flying off into space. I was living well 
beyond my expectations. I had almost never lived in a house before, especially 
a house owned by me, and here I was living alone pretty free to 
dream of flying into the future. Somehow after the breakup of my marriage 
and living separately from my two children in what I had always 
thought was an uncivilized area, east of La Brea, I had arrived ready to live 
a new life.

 What were my expectations? I didn’t have too much time to think 
about it because in one year my son, six at the time, was living with me. In 
a couple of years my daughter, two years younger, was also living with me. 
I was now a “single parent” a term I frequently used to describe myself. 
Actually though, it was all a kind of personal joke as I no more parented 
my kids than they “parented” me. How did we do it? I remember our 
weekends. All three of us would drive down to the Santa Anita Mall and 
go to Don Ricardo’s for breakfast. Can you believe breakfast at Don Ricardo’s, 
at least for the kids, was only 99 cents? 

 Without any plans and very little money we would often drive 
downtown and ride the elevator up and down the high building with the 
revolving glass elevator. One Saturday I remember yielding to my daughter’s 
wishes and taking her to see the musical Annie. I recall the presentation 
was a matinee which didn’t begin until the afternoon; but my 
daughter demanded that we go to the theatre in Hollywood (I think it was 
the Shubert) first thing after breakfast. I left my son with my parents and 
off my daughter and I went to the theatre and waited three or four hours 
for the show to begin. What we did for the intervening hours I really don’t 
recall. We probably played memory card games in a similar way that I 
used to play those kind of games with my grandmother.

 I did not expect in my eighties to be living in a world increasingly 
devoid of long term family relationships. I hate that the houses 
around me, which once contained couples and their children, now are occupied 
by singe persons as the relationships have dissolved. I don’t even 
talk to the neighbors as much anymore as the older neighbors have gone 
and people spend more time texting than willingly have personal contact. 
I am not an able or willing texter and this continuing rain makes meeting 
for lunch difficult. What did I expect? I loved the addition of air conditioning 
in my new reconstructed house which made living through heat 
waves pleasurable rather than insufferable. Well, so much for expectations; 
we always have them and they are always unexpected. I hope that 
the rain stops so that I can see my children and grandchild tomorrow. I 
plan to ask my daughter if she remembers what we did forty years ago 
while waiting for Annie to begin. I certainly expect her to remember; she 
remembers everything; but if she doesn’t---well that that’s the thing about 
expectations. You never know what to expect. 

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The sun is shining today and Spring is upon us.

Such days remind me still of the excitement I knew when 
I turned 16 in April and was finally able to get my driver’s 
license — a wondrous rite of passage fewer and fewer teens 
choose to experience today.

According to a 2019 article in The Wall Street Journal, in the 1980s half of all 
16-year-olds were driving. But by 2020 it was just 25 percent.


Driving tests began getting stricter and more challenging in many states in 
the mid-1990s — though passing my test in a 1976 “Starship-Enterprise sized” 
station wagon was no easy feat.

The cost of cars has risen and today’s teens are able to get around easily 
enough using ride-sharing services.

But the biggest reason is simply that many teens have zero desire to drive on 
their own — because the hunger to get out of the house and socialize is no 
longer a big incentive.

A study by Common Sense Media finds that teens are spending an average of 
8 hours a day on social media apps.

They may think their online habits are enabling them to socialize with 
“friends,” but several studies, including a 2021 Journal of Adolescence study, 
see a clear correlation between the explosion in social media in 2012 and increasing 
isolation, depression and anxiety in teens.

A 2020 Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” explains in detail how 
the nature of social media encourages teen isolation and depression.

When you’re online, powerful artificial intelligence tools — algorithms — 
monitor everything you do. Plus, the tools know your full name, marital status, 
gender, age, birthday, political views and several of your interests.

Every time you “like” an item, click on a news story or interact with other 
users, you help these AI tools determine precise personal details, such as who 
you are dating and whether you are lonely or sad.

The more these tools know about your private life, the more money advertisers 
will pay to custom-tailor precise ads that will appeal to you or shape your 
opinion on everything from what kind of socks are cool to the political candidate 
they want you to vote for.

The more they know about you, the more often items will appear in your 
newsfeed that are designed to give you dopamine spikes and keep you online 
as long as possible — so their advertisers have never-ending access to sell to 

As you spend time online with social media apps, you are constantly being 
psychologically manipulated — constantly comparing your looks to famous 
people, constantly seeking praise and “likes” from strangers or suffering 
deeply if someone online in any way mocks or criticizes one of your posts.

It’s pretty clear that young people, whose brains are still developing, are being 
profoundly impacted by social media in many important and trivial ways we 
don’t fully understand yet.

Which brings us back to driving. Instead of becoming excited at age 16 that 
they can learn to drive a car and come and go freely, too many kids are content 
to sit alone in their rooms endlessly texting each other or consuming TikTok.

It’s too bad. Kids today don’t know how much fun, freedom and real social 
interaction they’re missing without cars.

Cruising the park in a 1972 VW Beetle with my friends is one of the best 
memories I have of my teen years.

I know the social media challenge is complex, but here’s a good start:

Hey, kids, the weather is breaking. Get your license, turn off our phones and 
go for a cruise in the park!

Mountain Views News

Mountain Views News

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Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: