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May. 3 2010 - 3:00 pm | 465 views | 1 recommendation | 7 comments

South Park and censorship ctd.

The latest episode of South Park was terrible. It wasn’t funny at all. It was really, really gross and offensive – which isn’t surprising given this is South Park. But sometimes South Park is offensive, gross, and funny. Sometimes there’s even a moral to the story. Sure, it can be a bit preachy at times, but at least having some sort of satire or social commentary adds substance to the show. And this past week’s episode really had no moral to the story whatsoever. Or at least that’s what I thought at first.

Now I’m not so sure.

The episode, Cripple Summer, was a two-part story about a summer camp for handicapped kids and a spoof of the show Intervention (which I have never seen). They made fun of handicapped kids mercilessly, going to some pretty horrible lengths actually. They mocked Native Americans, drug addicts, and had a particularly long-winded tirade from Cartman against “the Jews”. It was one of their more vile episodes actually, and more so because it had no point, no social commentary, and perhaps more importantly: no good jokes. It was one of those episodes that makes me not want to watch the show at all anymore.

The only conceivable reason this episode may have been made was to point out how utterly stupid it is to censor the Prophet Muhammad while allowing a show to air such awful, disgusting, pointless content as Cripple Summer. I wouldn’t feel too put off if Comedy Central decided that some things were simply too graphic for television. It’s the political censorship that bothers me – censorship motivated by fear of political or violent repercussions. If something is simply too gross for television then by all means – go ahead and water it down. It’s not really a free speech matter at that point – it’s a matter of taste. A cable channel or network has a responsibility to edit content for good taste to some degree without being called out as censors. If anything, this latest episode – intentionally or otherwise – shows how silly this whole affair has been. An image of the Prophet Muhammad should not be more offensive than a scene with a shark raping a handicapped kid, for goodness sakes.

At this point, I’m bored with South Park and annoyed with Comedy Central. The only reason to even care about the channel anymore is The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, which are still both pretty funny shows.


Comments

One T/S Member Comment Called Out, 7 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    I don’t think you fully appreciate the gravity of what it is you’re saying.

    What I read is this:
    You are a man of XX years of age. (Double digits, anyway, and I’d guess mid- to late-20s by the picture.)

    You watch cartoons, but these are cartoons for adults because sometimes they “have a point”.

    Cartoons for adults should be shocking and offensive, but only if the shock and offense has some sort of point that you can grasp.

    This particular episode, while perhaps meeting your personal criteria for shock and offense, does not have a point that your mind can grasp.

    A shark raping a crippled kid is, but should not be, more offensive than a cartoon depiction of Mohammed.

    It should be OK to offend, at our will and according to our Western values, what amounts to a significant percentage of the population of the world. The percentage, I might add, that has the majority share of the worlds suicide bombers and hijackers.

    Here’s a clue, Kain: While you were lounging around watching cartoons with your buddies, trying to think of another blog to write –

    Another few American GIs came home from one of our two (and counting) illegal and unConstitutional wars missing limbs, blinded, or otherwise traumatized from the experience;

    Countless (because we don’t bother to count them any more) brown people were slaughtered in far-off lands in retaliation for crimes they did not themselves commit, nor probably even endorse;

    Over three hundred people around the world died of starvation;

    The National Debt grew by $84,791,666.67;

    138 American families had their homes foreclosed;

    And the only thing you can think to write about is a cartoon?

    What hope does this country have when the populace concerns themselves with such triviality? With all that’s going on in the world, how can you not feel completely ashamed of yourself?

    Between cartoons and [THE GAME], it’s no wonder we have a congress and courts that run roughshod over our liberties and use police to brutalize us into compliance – they know the majority of people are too busy with their bread and circuses to notice.

    I weep for you, but more than that, I weep for America.

    • collapse expand

      Eh. Every time someone tries to inflict a statistical perspective on life I have to laugh.

      The solutions to most social problems often come from completely orthogonal directions. In other words, if we spent time as you suggest, and focused on only world peace and an end to starvation, we’d miss a whole bunch of orthogonal solutions.

      The point about South Park is a point about free speech. They are free to be rude, disgusting and pointless. We are free not to watch it. I think I’ve watched maybe an hour of TV per week on average. I don’t even watch the evening news because it is so full of ignorant crap.

      I choose to vote with my feet. Try it some time.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Yeah, shit.. grab another beer.

        Oh, did you see the Big Game last night? Man, that was awesome.

        I hear there’s some cartoons on later. Let’s watch them and be shocked and offended by the 3rd grade mentality of poop jokes and raping cripples. Man, that’ll be awesome, too!

        In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      It’s one thing to write a post that others think is a waste of time. It’s another thing altogether to waster your time commenting on a post that you think is a waste of time. That is all.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    I hope they do not censor it in Australia. From what I’ve seen, it’s a funny episode. This is my article on it.

    http://ausmediawatch.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/south-park-offends-muslims-jews-christians-no-sht/

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