Best Week Ever, in a post lovingly titled Matt Groening Did Not Reveal the Location of Springfield, You Stupid Internet, feels that all of us on the interwebs were a bit too hasty to read into Mr. Groening’s interview with Smithsonian Magazine, saying:
Matt Groening revealed the location of the Springfield which inspired him to name the Simpsons’ town “Springfield.” He’s not saying that the Simpsons characters officially live in Oregon, and even if he did, that wouldn’t retroactively transform the world of the show to have taken place in Oregon this whole time. Groening also based the Simpsons’ names on those of his family, but this doesn’t mean that the Simpsons in any way are the Groenings; just because the Springfield thing is an intentionally vague joke-mystery doesn’t mean that the real-life inspiration for it just ‘becomes’ the in-show truth.
I see their point, but I still think the idea that Springfield was inspired by a real Springfield takes something away from the mystery.
I can’t imagine anyone really thinks that Springfield, OR looks like the one we see every Sunday or that they actually live IN Oregon. But the thought that it is not a creation of pure imagination and whimsy is where we feel a bit deflated.
And more to the point, the 20+ years of Springfield’s location, shrouded in secrecy, means that any statement by Groening that sheds any light on the subject is going to be parsed to death. Whether it is because we want to hold on to the early days of the show and its location-teasing or because we are genuinely interested, yes, this whole subject is “link bait”, but not as far fetched as BWE would suggest.
I still stand my supposition that any statement that opens up the subject is a harbinger of the end, and that is something I’m pretty OK with. Sad, but dear god it’s time.