Down and Nerdy: Banksy on The Simpsons, Rubicon and Scrabb.ly

IN WHICH subversive art is celebrated, quiet deals are struck and triple words are scored.

Briana’s pick: Banksy’s opening “couch gag” on “The Simpsons”

Banksy is the most famous elusive graffiti artist out there, here, and nowhere. He/she/the collective has/have been creating satirical street art since the 1990’s. He’s gotten pretty popular in recent years. And as such, you might be thinking, much like your favorite indie band, it was genius in the beginning when nobody knew he existed. But then all your friends starting reading about him in magazines and online and he lost a little bit of his sheen. But you still picked up a copy of his book (available at Urban Outfitters!) and recently went to see his movie, “Exit the Gift Shop.” It’s a film by him, not about him, but starring him–supposedly.

Most recently he created his own version of the opening-credit sequence of The Simpsons. Huh….hey remember when The Simpsons were on The Tracey Ullman Show? And they were soooo funny. Then they got their own show on Fox and you got turned off and traded them in for Adult Swim? Well I’ve got news for you. The Simpsons are still awesome. And so is Banksy.

James’ picks: “Rubicon” and Scrabb.ly

Two quick picks this week: First, the mesmerizing TV spy thriller “Rubicon,” which has its finale this weekend. It moves at a glacial pace, which is probably the reason that very few people are watching it (few enough that I’m worried about its chances for renewal). But this is a spy thriller of the highest order – picture a top-drawer John Le Carre novel, filmed at a leisurely pace over 13 hours of network television, with some amazing acting and razor-sharp dialogue. Some of the best TV in recent years; when the inevitable DVD set comes out, please carve out a weekend to lose yourself in it.

Carve out a few hours of today to lose yourself in Scrabb.ly, the ridiculously ambitious “massively multiplayer online crossword” that is effectively a few million Scrabble boards placed side-by-side in a square, with the entire world playing on them simultaneously. Hello thesaurus, goodbye productivity.

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