An Ode to Ralph Wiggum of The Simpsons
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Ralph Wiggum, the son of Chief Wiggum and classmate of Lisa on THE SIMPSONS, is an unsung hero of the television medium. Never has there been one character so misunderstood by both his peers and viewers alike. Perpetually spouting nuggets of infinite wisdom, Ralph meanders the halls of Springfield Elementary oblivious to the youthful, inane concerns of his fellow students. He has no use for such worldly issues, Ralph focusing on unlocking the keys to the universe and becoming one with it's majesty.
Understanding complexity through simplicity could be Ralph's unofficial motto; it certainly is the best way to describe his unique form of genius. Here are some of his more profound quotes:
"My cat's breath smells like cat food."
Here Ralph is commenting on modern society's tendency to misidentify the root cause of problems. Ralph believes that we like to over-think our solutions and in doing so, muddle up in our minds what is typically the obvious solution. If you smell cat food, don't attempt to formulate some convoluted scenario that allowed it's stench to arrive at your nostrils; it's probably just cat breath.
"Oh boy! Sleep! That's when I'm a Viking"
For Ralph, an eight-year old, to appreciate the healing qualities of sleep and look forward to his own dream world is simply astonishing. At an age when most kids throw a fit to avoid their beds, Ralph understands the need for his mind to have some alone time and play on its own while he recharges his batteries.
"Slow down Bart! My legs don't know how to be as long as yours."
Ralph shows some of his Eastern-leaning ways, displaying here the belief that everything in this world has a soul, animate and inanimate objects alike. And not only do these things have souls, but feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Ralph sympathizes with the disappointment his legs surely feel and in doing so, gains some perspective on his disappointment with his legs; although Ralph wishes he were faster, he realizes that his feelings pale in comparison with those of his legs', whose knowledge of their inadequacy is the totality of their existence.
"I'm happy and angry."
Wow. Elementary students typically lack the mental capacity to identify their feelings with two different specific, opposing emotions. Ralph, in a concise manner, has revealed the crux of human existence. The Yin and the Yang. The Beautiful Struggle.
Every Sunday, while you watch THE SIMPSONS, keep an eye out for Ralph Wiggum. Don't treat his seemingly throwaway lines as trite, but delve deeper into their true meaning. Indispensable knowledge awaits you.