Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.: South Park

*If satire and going to the extreme to prove a point offends you...don't go on! This post might be offensive to some, read on at your own risk*

When you say the name South Park, you usually get some kind of reaction. It's either positive or negative, it's rare to find someone who doesn't really have an opinion about the show. It's been on since 1997. The show centers around 4 boys who live in the small town of South Park, Colorado. I will be the first to admit, I couldn't stand the show when it came out. It seemed immature and stupid, to put it mildly. I think it was sometime during the fourth season that I saw the show. Trevor, from UPS, told me about it and I told him it was stupid and he convinced to watch an episode. So I tuned in and watched one that week.

When I first watched the episode, I thought it was about a small gerbil named Lemmiwinks, who is put up a gay man's anus, and his journey to escape to live again. It was a pretty funny episode. But after it was all over, I saw a bigger picture. The subplot involved the 4th grade teacher, who was fired for being gay. He got his job back and found out that if he is fired again he could sue on grounds of discrimination. So he decides to go "over the top" with his being gay so he will be fired. This includes him putting the gerbil in his T.A.'s anus (who is called Mr. Slave). The boys tell their parents about it, but are told they aren't being tolerant of his life style. The boys are sent to a tolerance camp (which looked like a concentration camp). In the end, the teacher goes off on an audience for not knowing the difference between tolerance and acceptance. A couple clips from that episode are below.
Museum of Tolerance (watch til the end for the irony)

Tolerance vs. Acceptance

I then realized that this show had some hidden conservative values built into it. They go about it in strange the extreme to get their point across. It turns out that there are a group of younger age conservatives that call themselves South Park Republicans.

They mock everyone, if you are sensitive or offended don't watch the show. I can list tons of examples, but I will focus on a few of my favorites.

Here is their take on Christmas. In South Park, Jesus is a real person who walks the Earth still. Cartman decides to try and give Christmas to Iraqis. So Santa goes in and gets shot down (like Black Hawk Down). The boys get Jesus to help save Santa. In the process the Iraqis kill Jesus. Leading to this clip...
Santa proclaiming Christmas is a time to remember Jesus

They even hit global warming a couple of times. This is my favorite clip showing just how over the top global warming enthusiasts are.
Global Warming Theory

When the economy was spinning out of control in 2008 & 2009, South Park took it on. Ever wondered how the government decided who was bailed out and who wasn't? This is their take on it.

They took on Paris Hilton and how the media made her into a role model. In the end, Mr. Slave tells parents that they need to be the one to be role models for their children.
Mr. Slave's parenting advice

Possibly my favorite episode, politically, is Goobacks. It's about people who come from the future to look for jobs because in the future their are none. They can work for low wages because they can put it in a bank account and let it grow because of interest it will be worth a lot in the future. This is a total take off of illegal immigration, even down to the language being spoke. Classic moment here...
The O'Reilly Factor

There are a ton more and you can read about it HERE. They also have EVERY episode online to watch for free, HERE. This is a smart show, but it can offend easily. No one is safe from their "humor". And being that they can make an episode in 2 days, it is usually very "on-topic".

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