Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity


Views from the Center


After drowning in Iowa analysis and New Hampshire speculation on Sunday, I was delighted that The Simpsons jumped on the election bandwagon with last night's episode "E Pluribus Wiggum," (watch the episode online), in which 8-year-old, paste-eating Ralph Wiggum is written in as Springfield's presidential nominee. As the Simpson family watches "Decision '08" (with accompanying Fox News-esque bald-eagle-flying-into-voter-booth graphic) Lisa delights in how Springfield is the center of the political universe and likens herself to being a "pundit in a think tank." In a surprising move (starting at around 7:45), the usually donut-centric Homer picks up on his daughter's reference in wondering "Think tank, eh?" as a thought bubble reveals the logo for "The Center for Global Progress," Center for Global Development?complete with a globe-shaped logo that looks remarkably like CGD's. The shot pulls back to reveal a small conference table with wonks discussing… wait for it…the World Bank's lending policy to Micronesia!
Hmmm…Could it be? Did The Simpsons just spoof CGD? You be the judge! That was certainly the chatter this morning around our coffee maker. Without wanting to appear presumptuous, we would love to think that our reputation reaches well beyond the beltway. But hey, even if CGD was not the model (although the thought bubble conference room looks an awful lot like our conference room here at the Center!) it's surely a good sign for global development policy that public awareness has reached the point where The Simpsons is spoofing our community's work. And--cue to thought bubble--just imagine a world where exposure leads to awareness, which in turn leads to action. As Homer might say: "Think tank, eh?"

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.