Monorail!

Production-wise, the show hadn’t worked out how to achieve these bigger, more spectacular episodes. The writers loved them and the producers loved them. We all loved them. But there were people at the animation studio who were like, “We have to tell them to cut back. These are too complex.” Part of me is thinking, ‘We’re asking for a lot.’ But the artist, or even the kid, in me is thinking, ‘No, these are fucking awesome and we just have to figure out how to do them.’ I always leaned more that way, because I liked the ambitiousness of the episodes and where it took the show. From just a family comedy to these big, overwhelming animated pieces. They were like little movies.

– from An Oral History of ‘Marge Vs. The Monorail’, a great read. Season 4 is now regarded as peak Simpsons, but at the time there were already complaints that the show had lost its way.

My own town has toyed with the idea of a monorail as a solution to the mass transit problems that will only get worse.

The Virgin Hyperloop seems to have everone’s attention now.

But as I learned in a fantastic article here, we are basically re-inventing technology that already exists and not doing it well. Lemme transposplain to ya:

In a vacuum (a figurative one: an alternate universe in which the rest of the post-industrial world were not absolutely goddamn bursting with operating networks of authentic high-speed rail; where high-speed rail were not already such a well-developed form of transit that the TGV system, which routinely moves huge numbers of day-to-day commuters across large distances of France at speeds well more than twice that achieved by this sad two-person billion-dollar pod going from nowhere to nowhere across a tiny patch of worthless desert, were not both infinitely better and more sophisticated than any presently available commercial rail in the United States and fairly outmoded in comparison to newer [yet still not all that new!] systems in China and Japan and elsewhere) the Virgin Hyperloop could almost look like an impressive accomplishment.

2 Replies to “Monorail!”

  1. I guess hyperloops look impressive when you have nothing. Sort of like back in high school when everybody thought Coors was great because it wasn’t available in Tennessee.

    Also, I’m sure some ideas gain traction because they are better-funded or their advocates better-connected, not becuase they’re the best ideas. And then there are the ideas that are good only as ideas.

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