Stephen Speicher

South Park (1997)

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53 posts in this topic

This show was actually pretty funny back in the day. It was new and had a fair amount of good episodes. But really it should have been cancelled long ago. It is no longer fresh and new and it doesn't really have enough inherent quality to last once those factors are gone. The newer episodes mainly seem to be retreads of past episodes, but I can't say definitively as I rarely watch the show anymore.

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Though there are a few funny moments, I find this show way too crude, cynical, and negative. I do not enjoy watching it.

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The great things about this show:

1. It is anti-environmentalism

2. It is anti-welfare programs

3. It is anti-dictatorship

4. It is anti-multiculturalism

5. It is anti-Islam

6. The depiction of Jesus and Satan

7. It is anti-SOCIALIST!

I am not quite sure if I miss any.

Although I will not recommend this show to people that I respect most. Because of its extreme vulgarity.

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The great things about this show:

1. It is anti-environmentalism

2. It is anti-welfare programs

3. It is anti-dictatorship

4. It is anti-multiculturalism

5. It is anti-Islam

6. The depiction of Jesus and Satan

7. It is anti-SOCIALIST!

This is a great list. It depicts the essence of this show; it is more against things than it is for anything.

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Though there are a few funny moments, I find this show way too crude, cynical, and negative.  I do not enjoy watching it.

I used to think that, but the show's grown on me and I like it quite a bit. But just in general I don't watch much TV anymore, so I don't see the show often.

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I really like this show a lot. It appeals to the crude side of my sense of humor, and they reliably attack the sacred cows that I wished could be laughed at. On the down side, it's negative, and not remotely inspiring.

They've repeatedly bashed religion and mysticism. I'd say the pinnacle of religion bashing was Season 4's two-parter, Part 1:"Do the Handicapped go to Hell?" Part 2: "Probably"

This is probably the first and only show to attack NAMBLA.

Probably the only show to portray PETA as an anti-human organization, comically portraying inter-species marriages.

other past targets: any organized religion, holistic medicine, psychics, environmentalism, anti-smoking-fascism, Barbara Streisand, Rosie Odonnell, Rob Reiner (in their roles of political activists), runaway sexual harassment lawsuits, "hate-crimes" as a legal concept, trashy Jerry Springer people, anti-veal-eaters, "tolerance training", "metrosexualism", the AARP, The founding story of the Mormon religion, steroid use in the special olympics, breakdancing, stupid spoiled whores, Mel Gibson and his Passion, and rap artists telling people to go vote.

I think the show has changed a bit over the years, but I think it still delivers what it started out with - punishing stupid ideas and stupid people by laughing at them.

So anyway, for those who can handle full-blast negative, crude satire, like I can, it may provide a great catharsis when something or someone that's been bugging you gets mocked and belittled in front of millions on TV.

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In defense of South Park, from the few episodes I've seen I can still say that there have been good moments where the show has stood up for and defended good things.

In one episode the town is rallying against a Starbucks that is opening up because they don't want it to put their small hometown coffee-shop out of business. At the end of the episode, Stan (it may have been Kyle, not sure) gives a passionate speech to an angry mob where he defends corporations and cites examples to show how corporations are good for society: "Without corporations, we wouldn't have things like computers and cars....etc.."

In another episode Stan (or Kyle, once again, can't remember which character) falls into a crowd of Goth kids that teach him that unless he writes depressing poetry, dresses in all black and drinks coffee, he will be a conformist :lol:

Once again, at the end of the episode, the character gives a surprisingly touching speech saying that though there is pain in life, that shouldn't make him give up on the good things that are possible.

Yes, often the show can be negative; but in all fairness its good moments should not be ignored.

Honestly, though they can sometimes be gratingly crude/absurd, I still thoroughly enjoy the few episodes of South Park I do see.

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Carlos, I agree. Underneath all the cynicism, South Park's creators value independence, integrity, hard work, honesty, and (to a degree) reason. But most of the shows are counterattacks against those who lack these characteristics. They don't think all people are bad, just most of them.

By the way, I also thought the "Gnomes" and "Raisins" episodes were very good.

And the show does occasionally throw in some positive statments you'd never see somewhere else.

And what other show would have a black character named "Token" delivering the following speech about racially motivated hate crimes:

Hello, Mr. Governor, and thank you for taking the time to hear our presentation on hate-crime laws, entitled, "Hate Crime Laws: A Savage Hypocracy." Yes, over the past few years our great country has been developing new hate crime laws.

Token: [flips a page to depict a stabbing in progress] If somebody kills somebody, it's a crime. But if someone kills somebody of a different color, it's a hate crime. ...Mayor, it is time to stop splitting people into groups. All hate crimes do is support the idea that blacks are different from whites, that homosexuals need to be treated differently from non-homos, that we aren't the same.

Kyle: [shows a rainbow of people holding hands] But instead, we should all be treated the same, with the same laws and the same punishments for the same crimes...

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I remember about a year ago, TIA Daily ran a story about the "Southpark Conservatives."

Evidently there are a significant amount of college age students now that have found inspiration in this show, and espouse similar Conservative/Nihilistic ideas. The author saw it as having possibly positive potential for wrestling college discourse from its primarily liberal bias, but acknowledged some potential dangers as well.

Interesting piece...

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This is a great list.  It depicts the essence of this show; it is more against things than it is for anything.

(Emphasis mine)

I believe the definition for that is "Libertarian".

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(Emphasis mine)

I believe the definition for that is "Libertarian".

:lol: Which is why, I think, so many people are "for" it.

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Actually, one of the shows co-creators, Trey Parker, is Libertarian, I am pretty sure.

It's true the main basis of the show is ridiculing people with bad values rather than showing good values, but I doubt that would be nearly as funny. Southpark, in my opinion, is the best at what they do which is just making fun of the dumb things in society.

Also, the characters are interesting. Cartman may be the funniest character of all time, and Stan and Kyle's moral dilemnas always contrast the serious and comical sides of the plot quite nicely. Then, you just get amazing secondary character performances throughout various episodes. Such as Stan's Dad in the recent baseball episode getting into drunken brawls at little league games or the racist/incompetent cop in various episodes.

Overall, every episode is entertaining, and some, especially the ones mocking religion, are downright hysterical/brilliant.

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Recently, South Park celebrated it's 200th (and 201st) episode; in which they bring back some of their most memorable episodes, including their most controversial story-arc, involving the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

The episodes focus on celebrates trying to harness Muhammad's ability not to be criticized. In what should come to no surprise to anybody, some Muslims took offense to this. Trey Stone and Matt Parker (the creators of the show) where threatened, as well as Comedy Central. Here is a quote from RevolutionMuslim.com:

“what the South Park creators were doing was stupid and they will wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing the show.”

Along with this statement, a brutal picture of Van Gogh's murder was posted on their site.

So what did comedy central do? Refuse to give into intimidation? Proudly support freedom of expression without coercion? Nah, they went a third route, and censored the offending episode. Here is Trey and Matt's response:

“In the 14 years we’ve been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn’t stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn’t some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle’s customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn’t mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We’ll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we’ll see what happens to it.”

It's not necessary to comment further on this issue when I'm on this site. All I want to say is: 'Shame on Comedy Central.'

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Comedy Central is just looking out for their own. The real shame is on the US government. It's the brutal savages who stone women for not covering their bodies and brainwash children into becoming living bombs used against unbelievers who should live in fear of annihiliation, not rights respecting producers. We are a military superpower, and yet 9 years after 9/11 we still lack the courage even identify our enemies, let alone defeat them. It's truly a disgrace.

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Comedy Central is just looking out for their own. The real shame is on the US government. It's the brutal savages who stone women for not covering their bodies and brainwash children into becoming living bombs used against unbelievers who should live in fear of annihiliation, not rights respecting producers. We are a military superpower, and yet 9 years after 9/11 we still lack the courage even identify our enemies, let alone defeat them. It's truly a disgrace.

The US government is representative of those that elected it, to include the owners of Comedy Central. If you want to know who is lacking in courage it is all those that do not stand up for "their own" life but expect someone else to do it for them.

On a different note, I do sometimes watch this show and usually end up laughing as it does have it's moments.

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What exactly is Comedy Central supposed to do to "stand up" against our enemies, lacking protection from their government? Words are not going to keep Islamic militants from killing you; bombs will. So yes, unless you're proposing that we all create private stockpiles of military weapons, then we do have to depend on others to protect us. That's the reason the government was formed.

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Also I really think condemning a company for conceding to the demands of violent groups is blaming the victim. Comedy Central is not the threat to free speech here, the threats are jihadists and a government that refuses to admit it is at war. Pressuring the networks to take mortal risks when they lack any means of protecting themselves will achieve nothing; the pressure has to be on members of government to honor the oaths of office they took.

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Comedy Central is just looking out for their own. The real shame is on the US government. It's the brutal savages who stone women for not covering their bodies and brainwash children into becoming living bombs used against unbelievers who should live in fear of annihilation, not rights respecting producers.

I understand what you’re saying, and perhaps I was a little too hard on them. Still, I have a hard time rustling up pity for the decision makers at Comedy Central, for one simple reason:

I remember when this happened last time (the last Muhammad episode of South Park, when Comedy Central censored that episode as well.)

The show, and the network, had previously never been scared to offend (in the last episode of South Park, the have Jesus looking up internet porn and a Hindi deity snorting coke; the certainly aren’t scared to offend certain people.)

Yet when they censored Muhammad, it was because of “sensitivity” and “tolerance” and a fear of “going too far.” Comedy Central has NEVER admitted that the reason they censor images and mentions of Muhammad was because of their fear of violence done against them.

I believe this makes it worse.

(This is similar to the Danish cartoon controversy. When major booksellers refused to stock magazines that featured the cartoons; only Border’s admitted that it was because they feared violence.)

I find the fact that everybody knows what is going on, and are refusing to admit it, to be very scary.

Also I really think condemning a company for conceding to the demands of violent groups is blaming the victim. Comedy Central is not the threat to free speech here, the threats are jihadists and a government that refuses to admit it is at war.

The problem is, even if some brave souls in our government where willing to take up this fight, these types of threats are very hard to prosecute. Reread the quote above on the RevolutionMuslim.com site. It is very clear to me that there is a threat in that statement; but under a court of law, it could easily be construed as a “warning” or an “observation.”

Prosecutors have had similar problems with groups ‘threatening’ abortion clinics; or the actions of white supremacist groups.

It being a “war” does change things. Though the legal rights of groups, like the one that represents the RevolutionMuslim site, during war time is too complicated a debate to get into now.

What exactly is Comedy Central supposed to do to "stand up" against our enemies, lacking protection from their government? Words are not going to keep Islamic militants from killing you.

Your completely correct, government should be established to protect an individuals rights and to put the use of force under objective control.

But I also believe that the continued freedom of any country depends powerfully on the populace’s willingness to defend their rights (and I’m not talking about personal arsenals.)

Ray is also correct, a populace that is ambivalent toward, or unwilling to defend their own rights will likely not have their rights defended by their elected officials.

Ayn Rand said the only sure way to change a country’s politics is through cultural change. I think, in order for organizations like Comedy Central to gain the protection they deserve, they are going to have to start demanding it, or refusing to give in to intimidation (or at the very least, admitting that they ARE threatened.)

But you are correct; Comedy Central is put in a difficult situation, and I was a bit hard on them.

And I do understand the actions of stores like Border’s; because as much as one might be willing to risk one’s own life and safety, how willing are executives to risk the lives of others that work for them?

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But I also believe that the continued freedom of any country depends powerfully on the populace's willingness to defend their rights (and I'm not talking about personal arsenals.)
I agree that individuals can take action to defend their rights, but, short of revolution, that is in the context of civil law. The gov't has a monopoly on the use of force, except in the case of immediate self-defense. The Federal Gov't has currently abdicated its responsibility to protect us from force -- in this case the threat of force -- due to the administrations appeasement of Muslim organizations and governments. For Comedy Channel to "defend their rights" in this context, they would have to hire armed guards and turn their headquarters into a bunker. And then they would be arrested for endangerment. The management would probably be hauled in for everything from threatening force themselves to "creating a hostile work environment."

As bborg says, until the gov't assumes its proper role in defending businesses and individuals from the threat of retaliation from Islamists for any insult real or imagined, it is only prudent for a business to self-censor. As you say RH, it is not just the management, but everyone associated with Comedy Central who would be exposed to that retaliation. CAIR should have been outlawed years ago for its ties to Islamist causes. Instead, they are invited to the White House.

I do salute Parker and Stone for their courageous, resolute, and often hilarious tastelessness.

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What exactly is Comedy Central supposed to do to "stand up" against our enemies, lacking protection from their government? Words are not going to keep Islamic militants from killing you; bombs will. So yes, unless you're proposing that we all create private stockpiles of military weapons, then we do have to depend on others to protect us. That's the reason the government was formed.

There is a statement used quite often in the Marine Corps that I learned so long ago and still find a lot of use for today. "Lead, follow or get the hell out of my way." No one needs a stock pile of military weapons to lead, what is needed is a relentless, unfatiguing devotion to one's right to their life. I also know why the government was formed and when they are not doing their job, you and I, "the people" must take back our freedoms which cannot be done by just stating that the government is not doing their job.

"Politically, mass civil disobedience is appropriate only as a prelude to civil war—as the declaration of a total break with a country’s political institutions." [Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal]

"You who’re depraved enough to believe that you could adjust yourself to a mystic’s dictatorship and could please him by obeying his orders—there is no way to please him; when you obey, he will reverse his orders; he seeks obedience for the sake of obedience and destruction for the sake of destruction. You who are craven enough to believe that you can make terms with a mystic by giving in to his extortions—there is no way to buy him off, the bribe he wants is your life, as slowly or as fast as you are willing to give it in—and the monster he seeks to bribe is the hidden blank-out in his mind, which drives him to kill in order not to learn that the death he desires is his own." [Ayn Rand, Galt's speech, For the New Intellectual]

"Honor is self-esteem made visible in action." [Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It]

"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles." [Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal]

"Moral cowardice is fear of upholding the good because it is good, and fear of opposing the evil because it is evil." [Ayn Rand, The Objectivist]

"Tyranny is any political system (whether absolute monarchy or fascism or communism) that does not recognize individual rights (which necessarily include property rights). The overthrow of a political system by force is justified only when it is directed against tyranny: it is an act of self-defense against those who rule by force. For example, the American Revolution." [Ayn Rand, Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution]

Someone must take the first step, that is what is called leading and it demonstrates an esteem for one's life and a willingness to stand up for it. And as long as no one has the courage to take that first step we as a group will keep emboldening our enemies to take more and more blatant actions until your freedoms are totally gone and we all are filing into a death camp. Well, I say "no sir" I will not crawl in chains to my own grave.

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I would also like to add that not to long ago Danish news editors republished the cartoons of Muhammad in the face of death threats which was praised (as it should be) by most Objectivist as being quite courageous. But now when a company is faced with a similar situation and chooses not to stand up for their rights and their choice seems to be called, by others, rational and in one's best interest, I see a contradiction and must disagree.

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Someone must take the first step, that is what is called leading and it demonstrates an esteem for one's life and a willingness to stand up for it. And as long as no one has the courage to take that first step we as a group will keep emboldening our enemies to take more and more blatant actions until your freedoms are totally gone and we all are filing into a death camp. Well, I say "no sir" I will not crawl in chains to my own grave.

I say that one major class of traitors to their own lives are all those men who do not value their lives enough to take even the very first step required to maintain one´s life - to think.

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Comedy Central is just looking out for their own. The real shame is on the US government. It's the brutal savages who stone women for not covering their bodies and brainwash children into becoming living bombs used against unbelievers who should live in fear of annihiliation, not rights respecting producers. We are a military superpower, and yet 9 years after 9/11 we still lack the courage even identify our enemies, let alone defeat them. It's truly a disgrace.
I mostly agree with this (and it's very eloquent), but one action they should certainly be taking is to publicly petition the government for whatever protection they require to exercise their right to speech. They don't have to get blown up to stand up for what's right. Not doing so reminds me of the Patrick Henry quote, "Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?"
I would also like to add that not to long ago Danish news editors republished the cartoons of Muhammad in the face of death threats which was praised (as it should be) by most Objectivist as being quite courageous. But now when a company is faced with a similar situation and chooses not to stand up for their rights and their choice seems to be called, by others, rational and in one's best interest, I see a contradiction and must disagree.
Touche. But any publicly traded company's goal is to make money for its shareholders. So we must view this decision in those terms. If their HQ is destroyed or their best writers killed, clearly they will fail in that mission. But if they relinquish the right to free speech, then their company will be worthless in the long term. So it's critical that they fight for a day when they can say whatever they wish without fear of reprisal (publicly!) even if they don't estimate that to be today. And as soon as the threat becomes low enough, they should announce victory and reair the uncensored episode.

The following quote has some crude language. As a side note, in an interview earlier this year, Matt stone said the following:

"I think Comedy Central totally f##king pussed out. Now, they weren't any different than anyone else, so it's not like you can single them out. But I think it would've been an important statement for one media outlet in America to stand up. That was one of my most disappointing moments as an American--the American press's reaction to the Muhammad cartoons. It was completely wimpy. Cartoonists, people who do satire--we're not in the army, we're never going to be f##king drafted and this is our time to stand up and do the right thing. And to watch the New York Times, Comedy Central, everybody just go 'No, we're not going to do it because basically we're afraid of getting bombed' sucked. I was so disappointed."

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That IS a good point. Had Van Gogh been in Dallas, rather than Europe, he'd have shot his attackers dead. If he hadn't, people in the street would have for him.

In a way, it is much safer for Americans to speak out.

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