South Park and Politics

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. Imported

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    gigantikok: Not to relate politics to EVERYTHING, but here is an article on South Park that I found interesting.  I never sat back and realized how intelligent and political the show really is.  I just really like the fact that the show is honest, true, and "tells it like it is".  No bullshit.  Might be one reason why I love it so much, and a reason why it has lasted as long as it has:

    The news isn't the only place on cable where conservatives will feel at home. Lots of cable comedy, while not traditionally conservative, is fiercely anti-liberal, which as a practical matter often amounts nearly to the same thing. Take South Park, Comedy Central's hit cartoon series, whose heroes are four crudely animated and impossibly foul-mouthed fourth-graders named Cartman, Kenny (until his demise), Kyle, and Stan. Now in its seventh season, South Park, with nearly 3 million viewers per episode, is Comedy Central's highest-rated program.

    Many conservatives have attacked South Park for its exuberant vulgarity, calling it "twisted," "vile trash," a "threat to our youth." Such denunciations are misguided. Conservative critics should pay closer attention to what South Park so irreverently jeers at and mocks. As the show's co-creator, 32-year-old Matt Stone, sums it up: "I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals."

    Not for nothing has blogger and former New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan praised the show for being "the best antidote to PC culture we have." South Park sharpens the iconoclastic, anti-PC edge of earlier cartoon shows like The Simpsons and King of the Hill, and spares no sensitivity. The show's single black kid is called Token. One episode, "Cripple Fight," concludes with a slugfest between the boys' wheelchair-bound, cerebral-palsy-stricken friend Timmy and the obnoxious Jimmy, who wants to be South Park's Number One "handi-capable" citizen (in his cringe-making PC locution). In another, "Rainforest Schmainforest," the boys' school sends them on a field trip to Costa Rica, led by an activist choir group, "Getting Gay with Kids," which wants to raise youth awareness about "our vanishing rain forests." Shown San José, Costa Rica's capital, the boys are unimpressed:

    Cartman [holding his nose]: Oh my God, it smells like ass out here!
    Choir teacher: All right, that does it! Eric Cartman, you respect other cultures this instant.
    Cartman: I wasn't saying anything about their culture, I was just saying their city smells like ass.

    But if the city is unpleasant, the rain forest itself is a nightmare: the boys get lost, wilt from the infernal heat, face deadly assaults from monstrous insects and a giant snake, run afoul of revolutionary banditos, and—worst of all—must endure the choir teacher's New-Agey gushing: "Shhh! Children! Let's try to listen to what the rain forest tells us, and if we use our ears, she can tell us so many things." By the horrifying trip's end, the boys are desperate for civilization, and the choir teacher herself has come to despise the rain forest she once worshiped: "You go right ahead and plow down this whole fuckin' thing," she tells a construction worker.
    The episode concludes with the choir's new song:
    Doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo wa.
    There's a place called the rain forest that truly sucks ass.

    Let's knock it all down and get rid of it fast.
    You say "save the rain forest" but what do you know?
    You've never been there before.
    Getting Gay with Kids is here
    To tell you things you might not like to hear.
    You only fight these causes 'cause caring sells.
    All you activists can go fuck yourselves.

    As the disclaimer before each episode states, the show is so offensive "it should not be viewed by anyone."
    One of the contemporary Left's most extreme (and, to conservatives, objectionable) strategies is its effort to draw the mantle of civil liberties over behavior once deemed criminal, pathological, or immoral, as a brilliant South Park episode featuring a visit to town by the North American Man-Boy Love Association—the ultra-radical activist group advocating gay sex with minors—satirizes:

    NAMBLA leader [speaking at a group meeting, attended by the South Park kids]: Rights? Does anybody know their rights? You see, I've learned something today. Our forefathers came to this country because they believed in an idea. An idea called "freedom." They wanted to live in a place where a group couldn't be prosecuted for their beliefs. Where a person can live the way he chooses to live. You see us as being perverted because we're different from you. People are afraid of us, because they don't understand. And sometimes it's easier to persecute than to understand.

    Kyle: Dude. You have sex with children.
    NAMBLA leader: We are human. Most of us didn't even choose to be attracted to young boys. We were born that way. We can't help the way we are, and if you all can't understand that, well, then, I guess you'll just have to put us away.
    Kyle [slowly, for emphasis]: Dude. You havesex. With children.
    Stan: Yeah. You know, we believe in equality for everybody, and tolerance, and all that gay stuff, but dude, fuck you.

    Another episode—"Cherokee Hair Tampons"—ridicules multiculti sentimentality about holistic medicine and the "wisdom" of native cultures. Kyle suffers a potentially fatal kidney disorder, and his clueless parents try to cure it with "natural" Native American methods, leaving their son vomiting violently and approaching death's door:

    Kyle's mom: Everything is going to be fine, Stan; we're bringing in Kyle tomorrow to see the Native Americans personally.
    Stan: Isn't it possible that these Indians don't know what they're talking about?
    Stan's mom: You watch your mouth, Stanley. The Native Americans were raped of their land and resources by white people like us.
    Stan: And that has something to do with their medicines because . . . ?
    Stan's mom: Enough, Stanley!

    South Park regularly mocks left-wing celebrities who feel entitled to pontificate on how the nation should be run. In one of the most brutal parodies, made in just several days during the 2000 Florida recount fiasco, loudmouth Rosie O'Donnell sweeps into town to weigh in on a kindergarten election dispute involving her nephew. The boys' teacher dresses her down: "People like you preach tolerance and open-mindedness all the time, but when it comes to middle America, you think we're all evil and stupid country yokels who need your political enlightenment. Just because you're on TV doesn't mean you know crap about the government."

    South Park has satirized the sixties counterculture (Cartman has feverish nightmares about hippies, who "want to save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad"); anti-big-business zealots (a "Harbucks" coffee chain opens in South Park, to initial resistance but eventual acclaim as everyone—including the local coffee house's owners—admits its bean beats anything previously on offer in the town); sex ed in school (featuring "the Sexual Harassment Panda," an outrageous classroom mascot); pro-choice extremists (Cartman's mother decides she wants to abort him, despite the fact that he's eight years old, relying on the "it's my body" argument); hate-crime legislation, anti-discrimination lawsuits, gay scout leaders, and much more. Conservatives do not escape the show's satirical sword—gun-toting rednecks and phony patriots have been among those slashed. But there should be no mistaking the deepest thrust of South Park's politics.
     
  2. Imported

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    gigantikok: Sorry, something went wacky with the apostrophes. Wherever you see a "&#8212" somewhere, know it is either supposed to be an apostrophe or qoutes.
     
  3. Imported

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    H8Monga: You forget Chef's also black. I haven't watched this show since the first season weith the exceptions of maybe 5 since then... (we got rid of cable by the second season :()... but.. I have cable now! I'll try to catch up...
     
  4. Imported

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    gigantikok: It is really intelligent now. The first three season, they used shock value in regards to gross out material and bad language in their favor. That got old, and if the creators weren't smart, the show could have totally died out. However, a lot of their episodes began to make social and political commentaries. They really are quite thoughtful and quite funny. The show also lashes back at the bullshit political correctness of the 90's. It's innovative and cutting edge. No other show on television has the balls to do that.
     
  5. Imported

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    H8Monga: Family Guy?
     
  6. Imported

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    gigantikok: Family Guy went TOO far. That is why it is cancelled.
     
  7. Imported

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    H8Monga: But it did it... I'm going to catch up on SP ... when does it come on these days?
     
  8. Imported

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    gigantikok: Oh, and you forget, South Park DID come first. And I also think South Park is wittier, IMHO.

    South Park comes on every Wednesday at 10pm. It gets replayed some time on Saturdays too.
     
  9. Imported

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    aj2181: He he he ..I havn't had the time to watch South Park in a long time. So they switched to political comentary?? I bet I'd like it more so now ;D
     
  10. jonb

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    Oy! Smart quotes!

    Seriously, about "Cherokee hair tampons", most Indians loved this eppie, those who had cable. We feel that the New Age industry relies on the old "Indians as animals" mythology: The fundamentals of Indian medicine are mostly things like isolation and, oh yeah, bathing every day. (In fact, despite Miss Information's claims to the contrary, we had no problem with cutting away tumors or gangrene.) Homeopathy actually goes back to 18th-century Germany; basically, it has two principles: 1) the cause is also the cure, and 2) medicine's more effective when dilluted to the point that there isn't a molecule of the original substance left (but the water "remembers" it LOL).

    Stone and Parker's philosophy seems to be, as Swift put it "Satire, being leveled at all, is never resented for an offence by any."

    @Hapi:
    Chef isn't a kid.
     
  11. Imported

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    gigantikok: [quote author=aj2181 link=board=99;num=1067326885;start=0#8 date=10/28/03 at 15:02:31]He he he ..I havn't had the time to watch South Park in a long time. So they switched to political comentary?? I bet I'd like it more so now  ;D[/quote]
    Sure, if you, "the voice that if for all Liberal" (as you call yourself), can handle all the anti-Liberalism in each episode. Like the article says, the show may not be conservative in nature, but it is DEFINATELY NOT Liberal. They hate Liberals.
     
  12. Imported

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    Ineligible: I think the idea of conservative versus liberal is far too one-dimensional. The writers of South Park certainly satirise some modern liberal beliefs, but that doesn't mean they are conservative. Rather, they are suggesting that nothing should be taken for granted, which I think is a very good philosophy. Every age and every group has its unchalleged assumptions that everyone agrees are self-evident; and often these are wrong.

    That is when the writers are being serious at all. I think sometimes they are just having fun doing things you are not supposed to do.
     
  13. Imported

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    gigantikok: Well, that's kinda what I meant. If you are one who can laugh at yourself, then by all means, tune in. Nothing is safe, they knock it all.
     
  14. Imported

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    longtimelurker: Well I find the newer SP episodes hilarious - definately moreso than their earlier stuff, which tried to be funny through its shock factor (which can only work so long). I count myself as a liberal (which over here does not mean left-wing, as that's Labour) and I don't find my personal ideals insulted when I watch (although I can feel a bit uncomfortable with episodes focusing on 'Timmy' - I guess that's just my boundary) - indeed a lot of things that are thrown up by the political or mainstream media are quite nuts.

    Comedy is one of the best ways to make a political point, as if you can succeed in making a policy look ridiculous, then it usually is.
     
  15. jonb

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    Here in the States, things are simplified for the neurotic: Politics becomes a black and white issue. Or should I say a black and dark gray issue. (Or white and off-white.)

    They're doing a parody of piracy tonight. LOL Naturally, like the general public, I'm sure Matt and Trey are pro-KaZaa. (I've never used KaZaa myself, but they've had this problem since the advent of the cassette [or was it the 8-track?]. We'll copy warez, they'll always find new ways to stop us, we'll find a new way to copy warez. The only antidote is to produce something better than five castrati singing about anonymous second-person girlfriends.)
     
  16. Imported

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    balls: [quote author=longtimelurker link=board=99;num=1067326885;start=0#13 date=10/29/03 at 16:18:40]
    Comedy is one of the best ways to make a political point, as if you can succeed in making a policy look ridiculous, then it usually is. [/quote]
    Al Franken is a good example of that, from the Liberal side. That guy cracks me up.
     
  17. Imported

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    ish789: im sorry but i loved that episode. Just cause of the ending. oh and the insult on the science groups NAMBLA
     
  18. Imported

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    aj2181: [quote author=gigantikok link=board=99;num=1067326885;start=0#10 date=10/28/03 at 17:02:29]
    Sure, if you, "the voice that if for all Liberal" (as you call yourself), can handle all the anti-Liberalism in each episode.  Like the article says, the show may not be conservative in nature, but it is DEFINATELY NOT Liberal.  They hate Liberals.[/quote]

    Just because I'm a Liberal doesn't mean I can't find a show like South Park funny.

    I'm Liberal ........not politically correct.......all the time.
     
  19. Imported

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    7x6andchg: See - and I've always found PJ O'Rourke to be hysterically funny - and he's as right as they come, that I've read.

    7x6&C
     
  20. jonb

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    [quote author=ish789 link=board=99;num=1067326885;start=0#16 date=10/30/03 at 13:42:04]im sorry but i loved that episode. Just cause of the ending. oh and the insult on the science groups NAMBLA[/quote]
    Actually, it was Marlon Brando lookalikes. Mephesto is a geneticist, though.
     
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