Homer Simpson: Ode to an American Oaf.
From his big, fat ass to the fact that he doesn't care about having a big, fat ass, Homer is 100%, sea to shining sea you and me. When our forefathers set the tenets of our nation, it was a man like Homer that they had in mind. A family man. A working man. Someone hungry for everything this country has to offer. A hunger that can only be sated with all-you-can-eat shrimp.
We're good people. We wake up every morning, put on the monkey suit and sit in front of our computers all day reading celebrity gossip until our bosses walk by. Our compensation covers clothing, shelter and weak margaritas at happy hour. We're on the path to responsibility if we haven't reached it already. But is this what our parents meant when they told us we could be anything we wanted to be? Corporate drones? Resigned to do the same thing day in and day out?
It isn't. And Homer Simpson knows it. A nuclear power plant safety inspector by trade, Homer doesn't let titles or training or reason dictate what he does when he wakes up each morning. He's been an astronaut, a blackjack dealer, a baseball team mascot, the Grim Reaper... The man has literally done it all, and he's not going to stop until Fox tells him to.
Homer's life is led to the fullest extent possible. Recent seasons of the show suggest that there is verrrrry little possibility that Homer (or the audience) will ever wake up and say, "Wow. I wish I/he had done more." Homer lives his life the way every American should: like there's no tomorrow. Because there will be no tomorrow. Because instead of inspecting the safety of your nuclear power plant, you're hanging out with the Smashing Pumpkins, and the plant is melting down.
Is there anything more liberating that nudity? Bare-butted, gratuitous nudity. Ned Flanders might not think so. But that's only because he's gotten an accidental eyeful of Homer's liberation so many times. Homer experiences none of the puritanical shame our country was built on, but like any good American, he has evolved to embody a new normal -- loud, proud, and unapologetic about his body.
And The Pursuit of Sandwiches
If you have ever started to eat a sandwich, gotten to the midway point and thought, "I don't need to finish this," then you are not a true American. Homer Simpson is a true American. At a power plant picnic, Homer rescues a barely-touched 10-foot sub from certain death. He brings it home and exercises his civic duty by eating the thing until it fits in the fridge. The sandwich never does make it to the fridge, though, because Marge finds it behind the radiator:
Homer: Marge, I'd like to be alone with the sandwich for a moment.
Marge: Are you going to eat it?
Never leave a man behind. Take one for the team. Finish that sandwich, because that's what Ben Franklin would have done. Do you think there was refrigeration in colonial times? No. If you committed to a sandwich, you finished a sandwich. And that's exactly what Homer did, or at least tried to do, until it literally made him pass out. Which is actually how many of our leaders died before the advent of the ice box. Toxic Sandwich Syndrome.
There is a place beyond the golden waves of wheat, over the purple mountains majesty, and just past the borders of Shelbyville. That place is Springfield. It is home to the most American man in America. It is home to Homer Simpson.