Current events |

Current events

The Simpsons enjoy a family outing far from their Springfield home in THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. Photo credit: Matt Groening
Matt Groening |

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock wailed on Fast Food Nation (not the book, the metaphoric nation) in his documentary, “Super Size Me,” and did quite a job on his innards too. One imagines he’ll go easier on the underbiting inhabitants of Springfield, U.S.A. In honor of “The Simpsons”‘ hitting 20 – making it the longest-running sitcom ever – Spurlock has created a tribute, “The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3-D on Ice.” Spurlock reportedly tried to watch all 440 or so episodes in one sitting to prepare, but fell way short. Perhaps more appropriate, he should have watched every episode while consuming only Krusty Burgers, Lard Lad donuts and Duff beer. The documentary airs at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10 on Fox, and will be preceded by episode No. 450, “Once Upon a Time in Springfield,” with a guest appearance by Anne Hathaway as Krusty the Klown’s new sidekick, Princess Penelope.

Wintersköl is typically marked by events falling just short of serious: the canine fashion show; ice sculptures of frogs and monsters; a beer garden. This year’s bash, though, opens on with a high-minded Aspen Institute dinner discussion about the Goethe Bicentennial celebration that launched modern Aspen, entitled “Why Goethe? Why 1949? Why Aspen?” OK, that’s on Wednesday, Jan. 13 – the day before the official opening of Wintersköl. The real thing kicks off Thursday, Jan. 14 with the appropriately silly “Surfing 50 States,” a hilarious documentary about two young Australians and their clueless but determined effort to surf – or a reasonable facsimile thereof – from the shores of Iowa to the swells of Tennessee. Wintersköl continues through Sunday, Jan. 17 with downhill and uphill races, outdoor concerts, a skating exhibition, and the mother of all things Sköl, Soupsköl. And, of course, fireworks, because it’s been what, almost two weeks? Eliminated this year: the parade through downtown Aspen.

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Willoughby: Examining history through generations


Oral family history provides context that textbooks lack. Tying personal experience to collective events renders them relevant. Most of us have family oral history going back only a few generations, but that spans more history than you might think.

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