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"I hate conservatives, but I really ... hate liberals."
September 1, 2006 10:01 AM   Subscribe

South Park Refugees. "The G.O.P. used to have a sizable libertarian bloc, but I couldn't see any sign of it at the conference. Stone and Parker said they were rooting for Hillary Clinton in 2008 simply because it would be weird to have her as president. The prevailing sentiment among the rest of the libertarians was that the best outcome this November would be a Democratic majority in the House, because then at least there'd be gridlock."
posted by ZenMasterThis (107 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
This pretty much sums up what clueless dicks Stone and Parker are:
The religious right used to be a better alternative, Parker said. "The Republicans didn't want the government to run your life, because Jesus should. That was really part of their thing: less government, more Jesus. Now it's like, how about more government and Jesus?"
Only a mind stuck in the amoral fecklessness of a permanent pampered adolescence, one that thinks saying "fuck authority, man" while not tipping the pizza delivery guy is the epitome of political action, could be so ignorant of the dangers of theocracy.

Their show is funny as hell, but they've always been snot-nosed punks. They think it's cool to not give a shit, and so they make fun of people who do.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2006 [3 favorites]


Snot-nosed punks are often funny. But that doesn't mean they have a clue about politics.
posted by kgasmart at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2006


Maybe I'm just tired, but not one word of that story made any sense to me. Do people really think like this?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:17 AM on September 1, 2006


Blogger coins an overreaching, ridiculous phrase. Blogger and other authors write books piggybacking on the SP franchise, utilizing said phrase. All of these people end up at some conference. Lame quotes and aspersions are cast about. Pointlessness ensues.

Democrats had "The West Wing," but Republicans had a hip show with a younger audience. Michael Moore could churn out propaganda, but Stone and Parker could counter with "Team America," their movie in which Moore appears as a suicide bomber who can't stop eating hot dogs.

…what?
posted by prostyle at 10:17 AM on September 1, 2006


They've clearly always been libertarian. And I wouldn't say that they don't give a shit - they clearly have a lot of strong beliefs that are generally pretty thought through. There are always exceptions, however. Much like with Penn & Teller and their show Bullshit, I agree with a lot of what they say, but then they come out with some pretty glaring exceptions. Like that episode in Bullshit where they're all for smoking. And that episode of South Park where they don't believe in alcoholism.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 10:19 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


mondo dentro: I read their position as being unambiguously anti-theocratic. Am I missing something here?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:22 AM on September 1, 2006


they clearly have a lot of strong beliefs that are generally pretty thought through

Name one.

Being contrarian does not count as having "strong beliefs".

And, by the way, I'm not slamming you, or principled libertarians in general. I'm strongly libertarian myself. But in my experience, most people who say they are libertarian are doing little more than the moral equivalent of rebelling against their liberal parents. You know, the whole "Republicans who smoke pot" rap rings pretty true to me.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


"South Park conservative" == prefers self-styled "conservatives" over self-styled "liberals" regardless of their actual policies or ideals.

As far as the show itself, I like SP a lot, but they too often go for the stupidest, easiest jokes about "liberals" (Michael Moore is fat!) and go too easy on slimy fake conservatives: when Bush appears, he seems pretty presidential and on top of things, even if he is portrayed as a little slow. To me, that's going easy on him.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2006


::scratches head::

I don't get it. What's the point here, other than the fact that the creators of South Park have been, and will continue to be, on the side of whatever is most comical? Hilary as president? Sure, that'll help South Park run for a couple more years! Condi Rice as VP? Absolutely, because then we can have Hillary and Condi in lesbian jello wrestliing matches!

Give me a break. The show has sucked for YEARS. The show's creators have always been political morons (as are most celebrities). What's the point again?
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:26 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Article? What article? I can't read any article with this dude looking at me.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:28 AM on September 1, 2006


I read their position as being unambiguously anti-theocratic.

As I see it, that's not true: they were irresponsibly willing to support theocrats for their own selfish reasons (e.g., as I've said above, in order to say "fuck you" to liberals), but then are surprised that the same theocrats have authoritarian tendencies. If they really gave a shit about the world around them, they would have known that right from the start.

That's why I called them clueless and feckless.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:29 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


i think south park is the funniest show on tv, but this political mumbo jumbo seems very misplaced. i'm pretty sure they have one belief: that everyone is stupid and one agenda: to make fun of everyone. anything that people feel smacks of some political position is purely incidental and is a misinterpretation.
posted by snofoam at 10:32 AM on September 1, 2006


As I see it, that's not true: they were irresponsibly willing to support theocrats for their own selfish reasons (e.g., as I've said above, in order to say "fuck you" to liberals), but then are surprised that the same theocrats have authoritarian tendencies.

It wasn't a "fuck you" to liberals. It was a desire to have less government. They also weren't voting for theocrats. They were voting for people who thought they could use less government control of their lives because religious rigors were enough for them. That is very different from a theocrat.

I think you are reading a few things into their quotes that are clearly not there.
posted by aburd at 10:34 AM on September 1, 2006


The way I figure it, Republicans are 90% batshitinsane. Democrats are 70% batshitinsane, libertarians are 17% batshitinsane and progressives are 20% batshitinsane. But I side with the progressives because their 20% ain't ever going to happen anyway.
posted by Skwirl at 10:35 AM on September 1, 2006


And that episode of South Park where they don't believe in alcoholism. Oh, they believe in alcoholism; they just believe that it's a personal choice, not a disease. I like their show a lot, too - the point of gadfliness is to puncture pomposity, right? - but it does annoy me to high heaven when they just bust out with a "feminists are skankholes" for no particular reason. Still, it's a freakin' cartoon - if you lose skin off your nose because of Matt and Trey it's probably because you're quite thin-skinned.... Like celebrity Scientologists!
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:39 AM on September 1, 2006


Also, this "South Park Republican" idea is a brilliant example of confirmation bias.
posted by Skwirl at 10:43 AM on September 1, 2006


The way I figure it, Republicans are 90% batshitinsane. Democrats are 70% batshitinsane, libertarians are 17% batshitinsane and progressives are 20% batshitinsane.

Nah. I'd say libertarians are at least as batshit insane as anyone.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:44 AM on September 1, 2006


If I recall, they took it pretty easy on Clinton too.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:44 AM on September 1, 2006


Skwirl: The republicans are incredibly sane, and that's what's frightening about them.
posted by empath at 10:45 AM on September 1, 2006


I think you are reading a few things into their quotes that are clearly not there.

True. I am not just responding to these particular quotes in themselves, but to a wider perception of them that I've developed over the years based on their work and other similar quotes I've read.

I really just have a problem with 99% of what I hear from people who claim they are "libertarians". Very few seem to get past a rather adolescent view of wanting to "get the government off their backs"--a view that they've developed in the bosom of the super-wealthy mixed economy of a democratic republic that is post WWII America.

And, again, I'm not saying anyone here thinks that. I don't really know. I'm just explaining why I got all hot and bothered.

Really, SiezeTheDay's response is probably the most appropriate...
posted by mondo dentro at 10:45 AM on September 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


if you take South Park seriously enough to give a shit about what the guys who make it think about anything, especially politics, well, the joke's on you
posted by matteo at 10:45 AM on September 1, 2006


I think that as that show has gotten more and more "topical," it's also gotten a lot more formulaic and tired:

-Crazy people appear
-Other crazy people with the opposite beliefs appear
-Conflict in which things are taken to their logical (or not) extreme
-Ironic speech by kid, full of common sense
-Clue that adults will continue to be crazy

*Yawn*

I'm also getting more and more annoyed with the implied messages in the show: "Global warming is a fiction cooked up by Al Gore to get attention"; "It's OK to be uncomfortable with gay people"; etc.
posted by lackutrol at 10:48 AM on September 1, 2006


What bugged me about South Park was the relentless straw man attacks in later seasons. Their portrayal of Al Gore wasn't funny or satirical, just stupid.

If you saw the astroturfed criticism of An Inconvenient Truth where Gore was portrayed as the Penguin, you'd be looking at the same level of dialogue. Attack Al Gore for being a boring speaker rather than his actual arguments.

Going after Tom Cruise and Paris Hilton is not exactly a mark of courage either. On top of that, they played it safe when looking at the Iraq War which was fairly lame.

It's a shame, because their South Park movie was an incredibly funny, and deeply considered attack on puritanical notions about censorship and the 2nd through 5th seasons were remarkably sharp.
posted by aubin at 10:49 AM on September 1, 2006


Also, this "South Park Republican" idea is a brilliant example of confirmation bias.

About the author who coined the phrase: (HIV-positive, gay, conservative and practicing Roman Catholic)

Someone who can't let go of labels coins horribly inept perversion? Color me surprised.

This entire article has nothing to do with SouthPark except for a few quotes from the creators taken out of context, which are then jammed into this bizarre framework of an article to make the most tortured points possible. Arguing about the merits of the show misses the point, but I'm not sure there was really one to begin with.
posted by prostyle at 10:50 AM on September 1, 2006


if you take South Park seriously enough to give a shit...well, the joke's on you.

I agree to a point, matteo.

But the issue goes beyond just these two bozos--as indicated by the fact that they were at an international conference with more or less like-minded individuals.

What frosts my cakes is that they are exemplars of a certain kind of self-satistifed American "individualist"--one with an "it's all bullshit anyway" attitude. Given the fact the the republic is in increasing danger of being driven over a cliff these days, that pisses me off. Know what I'm sayin?
posted by mondo dentro at 10:53 AM on September 1, 2006


South Park's only funny when it's classically absurdist. When it tries to preach, even when I agree with their point, they're so ham-fisted about it, it's just not funny or clever.
posted by grubi at 10:57 AM on September 1, 2006


Hence the term "baseless cynicism" that I used a couple of days ago. I completely agree with you, mondo, dentro, that more people are vocally arguing the point, "it's all bullshit anyway". That scares me as well. It's one thing to think that. It's another altogether to espouse that as some sort of truth as if nothing can be done to fix anything. It's this kind of cynical apatheism that causes great misdeeds in government, community, and in the home.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:58 AM on September 1, 2006


As far as the show itself, I like SP a lot, but they too often go for the stupidest, easiest jokes about "liberals" (Michael Moore is fat!) and go too easy on slimy fake conservatives: when Bush appears, he seems pretty presidential and on top of things, even if he is portrayed as a little slow. To me, that's going easy on him.

I believe Stone and Parker commented about such criticism around the time that Team America came out, explaining that conservatives get excoriated constantly in mainstream channels but the sacred cows of the left often get an easier ride, so they were merely redressing that.

I can understand this sentiment to an extent, as the likes of Michael Moore deserve as much criticism as they do praise (and it doesn't serve the left well to worship such figures uncritically). But to say that the right gets criticised enough is clearly an error, especially in a country where millions of people take crackpots like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter seriously.
posted by macdara at 11:01 AM on September 1, 2006


Saying Parker & Stone are "unambiguously anti-theocratic" or "clueless and feckless" is completely missing the point of their place in society as modern day jesters. Unlike the king, it was never a jester's job to make policy. It was always a jester's job to make fun of policy, in a matter that caused laughter without any beheadings.

The basic gist of Stone and Parker's 'agenda' is that anyone in a position of power or influence who think they have THE answer, is insane. There is no answer. Everything is falling to entropy, and as society is flushed down a maelstrom of chaos despite its own feeble attempts to cling to order, Parker & Stone are going to point and laugh and make obscene noises in the general direction of order for as long as it garnishes them a paycheck.

They have no real political view, aside from it being one of many opportunites to scoff for dough. There's nothing wrong with this. Parker & Stone are perhaps the MOST capitalistic of anyone on the planet, which makes them ironically very American. Moreso than any patriotic swill that they opt to poke fun at. However, don't for a heartbeat think that these guys have a legitimate political view that would bring order to chaos. They don't want order. They want laughs and they want paychecks.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:02 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Matt and Trey are so fucking stupid it hurts.
posted by delmoi at 11:02 AM on September 1, 2006


You know, I remember them doing an interview where they said they like making fun of liberals because of this exact reaction. That they get very indignant, flustered and angry when people touch their sacred cows. I don't agree with a lot of their points, but it doesn't mean I don't think it's hilarious. If people get offended by things like the Al Gore episode, or the smug episode -- well then it looks like they did their job correctly.
posted by geoff. at 11:03 AM on September 1, 2006


This reminds me of when the Crossfire guys criticized Jon Stewart for not interviewing Kerry tough enough. "You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls."
posted by brain_drain at 11:05 AM on September 1, 2006


they were at an international conference with more or less like-minded individuals.

they were an international conference because nobody gives a shit about libertarian conferences in Europe (like kryptonite for press coverage) unless you can involve strange celebrities

I understand your worries about the direction your country is taking, but South Park is a red herring. it's a once-upon-a-time funny TV show with badly drawn cartoons, we're not exactly talking about Das Kapital -- it's hardly the stuff revolutions are made of.

as I said, it's understandable that near-desperate, washed-up ex-journalists who burned their bridges behind them (like Sully) desperate for "ideas" invent the South Park Republican nonsense. but it's just that, a lame invention designed to have media people, bloggers and blog readers discuss something that isn't even there. the politics of South Park?

now I'm looking forward to learn what's Spongebob Squarepants' position on stem cell research
posted by matteo at 11:09 AM on September 1, 2006


You know, I remember them doing an interview where they said they like making fun of liberals because of this exact reaction. That they get very indignant, flustered and angry when people touch their sacred cows.

I too find it hysterical when people, like, care about stuff at all.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:10 AM on September 1, 2006


Look, there's a difference between having different Objectives and having different Ideas about what's true or not. Objectives are neither wrong or right, but matt and tray believe things that are simply not true, in particular they don't believe in global warming.

It's one thing to be a conservative or have conservative ideals, but believing things that are simply false is another. Matt and Tray often believe things are false, and make fun of people who are correct. That is the problem here.
posted by delmoi at 11:12 AM on September 1, 2006


well then it looks like they did their job correctly.

exactly. the fact that two stoner cartoonist kids are taken seriously as maîtres à penser by magazines, newspapers and politology conferences must make these guys piss their pants with laughter

they are of course laughing all the way to the bank
posted by matteo at 11:12 AM on September 1, 2006


sonofsamiam pegged it: they don't know what "liberal" means. In Europe, liberal means right wing. Infact libertarians everywhere are liberals, just not left wing liberals. Just more republican cool-aid here.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:13 AM on September 1, 2006


we're not exactly talking about Das Kapital -- it's hardly the stuff revolutions are made of

That's the wrong analogy. Stone, Parker and the rest of the South Park Republicans are not revolutionary intellectuals (to say the least).

What they are, however, is symptomatic of an effete citizenry that is ripe for the authoritarian impulse.
posted by mondo dentro at 11:15 AM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


I read a quote by one of them somewhere recently (god, I'm so lazy) saying something like, "I like to walk into a room full of entertainment types and yell something like, 'Bush rules!' just to see the reaction." While I think these punks are just clueless enough to believe that the conservative/Republican spiel has more for them than the actuality of liberal/Democrat policy and action, I agree with the ZachsMind. They're only in it for the money. (The reference to Frank Zappa is intentional.)
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:16 AM on September 1, 2006


It's all bullshit anyway.
posted by Captaintripps at 11:17 AM on September 1, 2006



posted by delmoi at 11:18 AM on September 1, 2006


Thank you Brain Drain. This is exactly what's going on. People are expecting clowns to act like kings, since our kings are clowns.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:19 AM on September 1, 2006


Zachsmind pretty much nailed it. As far as so-called "South Park Republicans" go, the problem is that conservatives do take South Park seriously, not that liberals don't.

Blogging has certainly made politics on the right wing much more about personal victories and one-liner "gotcha" points (and Sullivan excels at that specific schtick), so it makes perfect sense that many conservatives would connect themselves to a popular show that dismisses most political issues with jokes about overbraod caricatures of their opponent. What surprises me is how folks like Sullivan are constantly proud of this, as if this actually makes them look smarter.

Loads of liberals watch the Daily Show and enjoy the jokes about Republicans on them, but I've never met a liberal who called themself a "Daily Show Democrat," because they'd likely not consider that a term of endearment. Contrary to the Fox News crowd, liberals and progressives generally don't take pride in admitting someone else told them what to say.

South Park Republicans are merely "dittoheads" who found a much more pop-culture savvy set of source material; it doesn't make them any less ignorant. Saying you're a big fan of South Park probably gets you more friends than saying you're a big fan of Rush Limbaugh, but either way you're still just desperate for someone else to tell you what to believe.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:21 AM on September 1, 2006


Oh snap! No you guys didn't!

A bunch of you made fun of Matt and Trey in a public forum! Now there's totally going to be a South Park episode making fun of Metafilter.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:23 AM on September 1, 2006


If people get offended by things like the Al Gore episode, or the smug episode -- well then it looks like they did their job correctly.

My opinion that they have a rightward bias comes mainly from which targets they pick: who has really given a fuck what Gore has said in the last 5 years, even after his big movie? and the lamest cracks: "you guys, i'm totally serial!"

The fact is, they either a) don't have the sack to really take on the truly outrageous things that have gone on in this country under Bush or b) they don't care/understand.

I like the show and am basically their target audience: Reason reader, young libertarian voting guy. They are not the only comedians I think have wussed out on the political front in recent years, either.

What they are, however, is symptomatic of an effete citizenry that is ripe for the authoritarian impulse.

Bing-fucking-o.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:25 AM on September 1, 2006


"Now there's totally going to be a South Park episode making fun of Metafilter."

Dude! Lookin' forward to it. I hope I get to be the one who kills Kenny.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:36 AM on September 1, 2006


The fact is, they either a) don't have the sack to really take on the truly outrageous things that have gone on in this country under Bush or b) they don't care/understand.

Amen. Case in point, they totally missed the boat - so to speak - on the Katrina/NOLA thing ("the day after the day after tomorrow"). There was so much to choose from in order to create a brutal and classic South Park episode, but instead they focused purely on the blame aspect of it rather than anything actually important. When you contrast it with the brilliant "Kenny Goes to Heaven" episode, the former was a total cop-out and one of the lamest episodes ever.
posted by psmealey at 11:37 AM on September 1, 2006


When you contrast it with the brilliant "Kenny Goes to Heaven" episode, the former was a total cop-out and one of the lamest episodes ever.

Eh, the start of the eppisode, where cartman rams the boat into the damn, was really funny.
posted by delmoi at 11:47 AM on September 1, 2006


I like south park and think it is often funny. The idea that kind of annoys me is that the left can't take a joke but the right can. That is obviously bullshit.
posted by I Foody at 11:47 AM on September 1, 2006


I too find it hysterical when people, like, care about stuff at all.

There is a difference between caring about issues and realizing that you too have mockable attributes. My sacred cows aren't any more sacred than the other guys. Personally I love it that there is someone mocking my side since they it tends to bring about some self-criticism, along with the indignation. Without someone there to tell me, in language I will listen to, that my opinions may have flaws I'm just going to assume I am right about everything.

The fact is, they either a) don't have the sack to really take on the truly outrageous things that have gone on in this country under Bush or b) they don't care/understand.

I've always assumed they felt Bush was sufficiently mocked elsewhere. The great freedom they have in being able to do whatever they want with their show, from mocking ski movies to parodying the protestant revolution, is exactly why their show is still interesting. They don't choose topics that everyone is already harping on. Sometimes they do topical, sometimes they don't. Personally I find that ability to surprise me with content very entertaining.
posted by aburd at 11:51 AM on September 1, 2006


I've never been able to describe why exactly I didn't like Southpark until now. The writing is good, but it always had this suspicious reek of right-wingism. Now that I read that those two were, or still are , Republicans it all makes sense. They deserve no respect if they're gonna mingle with GOP lowlifes. Fuck 'em.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:53 AM on September 1, 2006


I was much more upset by this season's awful Towelie/Oprah episode. WTF was that about?
posted by brain_drain at 12:03 PM on September 1, 2006


Speaking as a fan of the show (though I believe it's declined in quality as of late), it's become hard for me to swallow what appear to be ever-more-common attacks on reason dressed up as absurd humor--a la the Al Gore/global warming/"manbearpig" episode, the concept of which irritates me so greatly I have avoided viewing it.

The mockery no longer seems balanced--it's like the show's writers are just connecting the dots on the GOP's agenda these days.

On preview, brain_drain: You're a towel!
posted by retronic at 12:05 PM on September 1, 2006


The funniest thing to me is how they villify (and blow up) celebrities who talk about politics to the media.

And then they talk about politics to the media.

I used to enjoy South Park, but I'm tired of Parker & Stone's endless mantra that no one is worth listening to except themselves.
posted by witchstone at 12:06 PM on September 1, 2006


I think, to paraphrase Jon Stewart, the thing that's so ridiculous about the whole GOP culture war thing, is that they constantly attack people without any real power (Barbara Streisand, Al Gore, liberals, etc.), while the people with all of the power (Dick Cheney, Halliburton, etc.) get a pass. South Park has become guilty of the same thing.

It still is at times outrageously funny, the Towelie million little pieces episode totally killed me, but I just don't think the guys have a very finely tuned sense of hypocrisy detection to be good at (and funny) political humor. They're better when they keep it in the gutter or keep to pop cultural issues (like Civil War re-enactments, another favorite).
posted by psmealey at 12:15 PM on September 1, 2006


aburd: There is a difference between caring about issues and realizing that you too have mockable attributes.

yeah, right-wing guys like Bush, O'Reilly and Limbaugh have shown themselves time and time again to be good-natured, self-deprecating and serious-minded self-reflective gentlemen when faced with criticism. the right, unlike the self-important left, fully appreciates the importance of acknowledging its mockable attributes.

(there's a line from a they might be giants song that comes to mind for some reason: 'you think it's always sensitive and good/you think that i want to be understood...' then there's also this absolute gem from voltaire: "those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.")
posted by saulgoodman at 12:16 PM on September 1, 2006


South Park... that show's still on?
posted by clevershark at 12:17 PM on September 1, 2006


yeah, right-wing guys like Bush, O'Reilly and Limbaugh have shown themselves time and time again to be good-natured, self-deprecating and serious-minded self-reflective gentlemen when faced with criticism. the right, unlike the self-important left, fully appreciates the importance of acknowledging its mockable attributes.

But aren't we supposed to be better than them? I don't feel good about being equally as self-righteous as Limbaugh and O'Reilly.
posted by aburd at 12:27 PM on September 1, 2006


Maybe I'm just tired, but not one word of that story made any sense to me. Do people really think like this?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:17 AM PST


Ya mean this:
"the best outcome this November would be a Democratic majority in the House, because then at least there'd be gridlock."

Yes, and such was the comments of Republicrats when the Demopublican Clinton was large and in charge, and when Regan was El Jefe, you'd find Demopublicans who said that.

Its core to the [Ll]ibertarian concept - the government that governs least (via gridlock) governs best.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:41 PM on September 1, 2006


witchstone is quite right - you can't take a 'fuck everyone who has an agenda' position and then have an agenda.

Compare Chris Morris, the UK satirist, who I cannot ever recall seeing as himself, despite writing in Brass Eye and The Day Today satire that easily surpasses Parker and Stone. If you haven't come across him, check out the paedophilia episode of Brass Eye.
posted by athenian at 12:55 PM on September 1, 2006


Their portrayal of Al Gore wasn't funny or satirical, just stupid.

it's become hard for me to swallow what appear to be ever-more-common attacks on reason dressed up as absurd humor--a la the Al Gore/global warming/"manbearpig" episode, the concept of which irritates me so greatly I have avoided viewing it.

I kind of wonder if I watch a different show than you guys. The Al Gore episode had nothing to do with global warming, and everything to do with a satire of fear-mongering and the lengths someone might go to in order to make a point.

I don't recall (correct me if I'm wrong) the South Park guys ever saying global warming wasn't real. IMO, they were just pointing out the funny of taking a message to an absurd degree.

You know. Funny. Ha-ha. These are the jokes, people.
posted by frogan at 12:59 PM on September 1, 2006


For people that think that Parker & Stone took it easy on Republicans, they also did That's My Bush.
posted by stifford at 1:02 PM on September 1, 2006


For people that think that Parker & Stone took it easy on Republicans, they also did That's My Bush.

This crowd is so high on conspiracy theories, many of them probably think Bush called up Sumner Redstone at Viacom to tell Comedy Central to cancel that show. You know, corporate control of the media and all that.
posted by frogan at 1:05 PM on September 1, 2006


But aren't we supposed to be better than them? I don't feel good about being equally as self-righteous as Limbaugh and O'Reilly.

Aburd: I agree. But letting mockery go unchallenged makes the left look weak (ironically, of course, it actually takes more strength of will to maintain composure in the face of mockery than to respond belligerently to it, but then, we're living in bizzaro world these days, where appearances trump reality, liars are more honest, draft dodgers are warriors, cheating is fairplay, etc...
posted by saulgoodman at 1:06 PM on September 1, 2006


I don't recall (correct me if I'm wrong) the South Park guys ever saying global warming wasn't real.

The South Park guys have said global warming isn't real in at least five different episodes- two of them were devoted almost entirely to mocking various levels of concern (the ManBearPig and The Day After Tomorrow one), one depicted environmentalists as lunatics who cared about nothing else but protecting the environment (The Terrance and Philip one), and two other episodes had characters flat-out saying that global warming was a myth with no factual evidence ever proving it existed (Goobacks and Future Self). It's arguably the topic they lambast the most on the show.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:09 PM on September 1, 2006


For people that think that Parker & Stone took it easy on Republicans, they also did That's My Bush.

This crowd is so high on conspiracy theories, many of them probably think Bush called up Sumner Redstone at Viacom to tell Comedy Central to cancel that show. You know, corporate control of the media and all that.


That's My Bush was scripted and partially written before Bush was even President; it originally was going to be about Al Gore because it was merely a gag of a sitcom using the President as a character- little of the show's episodes dealt with anything related to Republicans or conservatism. I have yet to see a credible liberal who claimed any theory about the show being cancelled- it was cancelled because it tanked in the ratings and was prohibitively expensive to produce.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:12 PM on September 1, 2006


little of the show's episodes dealt with anything related to Republicans or conservatism.

This is true and it was over well before 9/11, before I, at least, had any inkling of the insanity this administration would bring. They haven't exactly upped the ante since then.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:18 PM on September 1, 2006


That's My Bush was scripted and partially written before Bush was even President; it originally was going to be about Al Gore because it was merely a gag of a sitcom using the President as a character- little of the show's episodes dealt with anything related to Republicans or conservatism.

Granted there weren't many episodes (and its debatable whether the jokes worked or not), but from the episodes I saw, I don't think the same jokes about abortion, the war on drugs, and gun control would have been the same with Gore as the character. I did hear that they had started working on the show before the 2000 elections, but I thought they were going to make it about whoever won the election (voting irregularities, aside...), not specifically about Gore. But that might have been internet BS.

I will say the episode where Bush accidentally takes 5 hits of E, was pretty damn funny.
posted by stifford at 1:27 PM on September 1, 2006


They haven't exactly upped the ante since then.

I still think Team America bashed on republicans/conservatives as much as democrats/liberals, but maybe that's just me.
posted by stifford at 1:30 PM on September 1, 2006


I can't believe I am the only one who thought Team America is among the best satire ever produced in the U.S.

Yeah, it made fun of Michael Moore being fat but it also viciously made fun of American arrogance and stupidity, the kind of cowboy mentality Bush wears on his sleeve.

Seriously, you people who are offended by the ideologic bias in South Park really should save your energy.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:36 PM on September 1, 2006


It's been my experience that self-identifying "libertarians" are white guys from sheltered, suburban upper middle class backgrounds and generally don't know shit (or are too lazy to research anything) about public policy and world affairs. These two guys fit that mold perfectly well. The show's funny when it sticks to jokes about human excretions, otherwise, not so much.

Though, it is kind of funny to see a couple of entertainment industry schmucks who talk politics all the time go off on enterntainment industry schmucks for talking about politics.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 1:39 PM on September 1, 2006


I can't believe I am the only one who thought Team America is among the best satire ever produced in the U.S.

I actually thought it was very good. I particularly enjoyed learning that "America, Fuck Yeah" gets a lot of (presumably unironic) play on our many military bases. Utter genius.

Now, South Park the Movie, however, was not only good, it was brilliant, and it covered much of the same territory.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 1:42 PM on September 1, 2006



The South Park guys have said global warming isn't real in at least five different episodes...


My point exactly, XQUZYPHYR. It's high time that South Park poked the stick in the opposite direction, at the willful ignorance seemingly displayed by proponents of the "global warming is a sham" camp.

Or is that simply TOO absurd a premise for them to make funny?

(And for the record, Slarty: I too felt that Team America was hilarious; and my irritation with seeing a great show turn into a "Talking Points" memo distribution system is just that--irritation, not offense. F*ck's sake, it's just a cartoon.)
posted by retronic at 1:45 PM on September 1, 2006


There's actually a fair number of smart wise-guys on late night cable t.v. calling the Bushies out, my response to the occasional dig at the left by South Park is "meh..."

I'd rather save my outrage for the talking heads on CNN.

You know, because I'm running out of outrage...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:51 PM on September 1, 2006


"libertarians" are white guys from sheltered, suburban upper middle class backgrounds and generally don't know shit (or are too lazy to research anything) about public policy and world affairs.

In other words, the anointed demonstrate their intellectual superiority by their buying into the public policy and foreign policy juggernauts. Those who dare question the validity of these systems are obviously intellectual inferiors.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:07 PM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


The South Park guys have said global warming isn't real in at least five different episodes...

Whoa, whoa. Hold it. Are you really saying Parker and Stone have said this? Or animated, fictional characters have said this?

Because if we're talking about fictional characters ... then ... it's ... fiction ...

I mean, no one here believes Parker and Stone actually are deliberately attempting to make people believe Sally Struthers is a Jabba the Hutt-like character that hoards food, right?
posted by frogan at 2:14 PM on September 1, 2006


Hypnic jerk: It's been my experience that self-identifying "libertarians" are white guys from sheltered, suburban upper middle class backgrounds and generally don't know shit (or are too lazy to research anything) about public policy and world affairs. These two guys fit that mold perfectly well.

Are you normally a prick or do you just give yourself license to be one when discussing Libertarianism? Or perhaps the problem is that you take two middling comedy writers as accurate examples of a big tent political philosophy.
posted by spaltavian at 2:54 PM on September 1, 2006


"The Republicans have got to be punished for destroying conservatism," he said, explaining why he's rooting against the party this November. "If it requires an idiotic Democratic House to stop these people from doing what they're doing, then good."

Whatwhatwhat ! ! !

That does it!!! I'm voting conservative to counter this idiot's position!!! Who's with me? (rabblerabblerabblerabble)
posted by mk1gti at 3:06 PM on September 1, 2006


most people who say they are libertarian are doing little more than the moral equivalent of rebelling against their liberal parents.

In the long-lost comment archives of the blog of Oliver Willis: "Libertarianism is just the adult version of being a Goth."
posted by deanc at 3:08 PM on September 1, 2006


Whoa, whoa. Hold it. Are you really saying Parker and Stone have said this? Or animated, fictional characters have said this?

Because if we're talking about fictional characters ... then ... it's ... fiction ...

I mean, no one here believes Parker and Stone actually are deliberately attempting to make people believe Sally Struthers is a Jabba the Hutt-like character that hoards food, right?


You don't think South Park, of all shows, has an underlying message behind many of its episodes? They're not even subtle about it.

No, they're not saying Sally Struthers is Jabba the Hutt. That's hyperbole. The satirical point being made, obviously, is that Sally Struthers is fat.

They're not saying that Al Gore is literally obsessed with an imaginary creature named the manbearpig. But no one can miss the metaphor that global warming is a non-existent threat, and that Al Gore is foolish, pathetic, and/or crazy to make such a fuss about it.

I think South Park is often great, even when poking fun at liberals. The smug episode, for instance, was pretty on-the-mark. The underlying message of the manbearpig episode was just stupid, and the way it was presented sounded like a recitation of right-wing radio talking points.

And it is annoying how they are willing to so ruthlessly lampoon some people (Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Al Gore) on their show, but they have no interest in criticizing or satirizing the actual people in power (George Bush, etc.).
posted by designbot at 3:10 PM on September 1, 2006


This is a very American discussion, I live in Canada and I know people who work as communications assistants, etc for a left-wing party and wear South Park t-shirts on the weekend.

In Canada, and the UK we make fun of our politicians like crazy. The Royal Canadian Air Farce, etc constantly lampoon politicians of all stripes, I can even remember a few times when the Kids in the Hall dressed in drag and made fun of the Queen. In the British parlimentary tradition you get to see your Prime Minister get grilled and made to look stupid everytime he stands up in parliament, yet for some reasons the Amercians make the president "above the fray". Maybe that is the reason they take this kind of comedy far too seriously.

I've never considered South Park particularily rightist, they like to make fun of a lot of self-obsessed wankers...
posted by Deep Dish at 3:18 PM on September 1, 2006


Stop the wibbling! You're all 99% libertarian anyway.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 3:32 PM on September 1, 2006


Are you normally a prick or do you just give yourself license to be one when discussing Libertarianism? Or perhaps the problem is that you take two middling comedy writers as accurate examples of a big tent political philosophy.

No, no. It's because I'm normally a prick. As for the rest of it, you're taking yourself way too seriously. Go have a bong hit or something.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 3:36 PM on September 1, 2006


The very fact that there is something called "South Park conservatives" (with a book, no less!) should tell you all you need to know about the show's bias. I still like the show, seen every ep. etc., but their knee perceptively jerks.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:40 PM on September 1, 2006


frogan, to reiterate my point, my irritation stems from what I perceive to be a (GASP) "conservative" bias on a f*cking cartoon show.

I'm not outraged--I'm irritated--irritated that the writers of South Park (Parker, Stone, and probably a dozen others whose names I don't and shall probably never consciously know)
posted by retronic at 3:52 PM on September 1, 2006


Damn "Post" button!

I'm not outraged--I'm irritated--irritated that the writers of South Park (Parker, Stone, and probably a dozen others whose names I don't and shall probably never consciously know) seem to consistently choose one side over the other lately.
posted by retronic at 3:53 PM on September 1, 2006


mondo dentro nails it.

How different is Eric Cartman from the present POTUS? The entire point of TAWP is that we need a dick to lead us (Such as?).

Scary stuff.
posted by washburn at 4:00 PM on September 1, 2006


ditto on mondo dentro. He shoots, he scores!
posted by mk1gti at 4:16 PM on September 1, 2006


I only watch South Park intermittently, and as such their move to the idiot right has been fairly obvious to me.

Team America had some good moments, but had a lot of surprisingly dull moments. I really had no idea what they were getting at with the left-wing characters, but those sections were lacking in good jokes. And generally their slow push in one direction has been bad for the show.

I don't see why anyone would be surprised that South Park's creators are Republicans. While the show can be extremely funny, it's mean-spirited and cynical at its core -- it's almost completely lacking in the milk of human kindness.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:40 PM on September 1, 2006


mondo dentro: "Being contrarian does not count as having "strong beliefs".

Amen to that, Mondo. And not only are Stone and Parker shallow opportunists capable of little more editorial depth than tomcats randomly pissing on a wall, their tired show's been lazy and formulaic for years. I (unlike the stereotypical "liberal" that Stone and Parker love to hate) can forgive just about ANYthing if it's laugh-out-loud funny (e.g. Ali G. at his most un-P.C., BBC's The Office, Absolutely Fabulous, 1970's-era National Lampoon Magazine, Christ!--even Benny Hill re-runs!) but South Park--Obvious, smug, ham-fisted, and pee-pee/poo-poo/penis/lesbian obsessed--just isn't funny anymore and I see very little wit, grace, or cleverness beneath the show's crude production, which is in itself enamored of its own "edgy" charmlessness. Enough.
posted by applemeat at 4:55 PM on September 1, 2006


They're not saying that Al Gore is literally obsessed with an imaginary creature named the manbearpig. But no one can miss the metaphor that global warming is a non-existent threat, and that Al Gore is foolish, pathetic, and/or crazy to make such a fuss about it.

I saw a satire on holier-than-thou public figures in general. You could've replaced Gore and global warming and you'd have had essentially the same episode. Don't jump at shadows.
posted by frogan at 5:23 PM on September 1, 2006


frogan, I'd be inclined to agree with your admonition to designbot above if only there was some appearance of balance in South Park's choice of (political) targets--but to me, the show's looking more and more like a right-wing cudgel every day.

You mention a satire on holier-than-thou public figures...seems to me the GOP has no shortage of such--so why aren't we seeing them lampooned on South Park?

I'm all for contrarianism, but there's no such thing as one-sided contrarianism--that's called partisanship, and it irritates me (yes, even in a silly f*cking cartoon show).
posted by retronic at 5:52 PM on September 1, 2006


You mention a satire on holier-than-thou public figures...seems to me the GOP has no shortage of such--so why aren't we seeing them lampooned on South Park?

Cartman as a character is a huge sendup of rightwing philosophies and ideas. I'd say that considering Cartman is a quarter of the show and arguably the focal point of most episodes, they give the right a much harder time than they do the left.
posted by aburd at 6:26 PM on September 1, 2006


You mention a satire on holier-than-thou public figures...seems to me the GOP has no shortage of such--so why aren't we seeing them lampooned on South Park?

Hold on, let me call my buddies Stone and Parker ... oh wait.

Look, no one can mind-read these guys. But what's irritating to me is the mind-set where a satire is received as an attack. As if Al Gore is some untouchable party, because every attempt at satire is received as if an oil company is pulling the strings.

Some people will tell you that you shouldn't make fun of certain things. They may be right. Other people will tell you that you can't make fun of certain things. They're flat fucking wrong.
posted by frogan at 6:31 PM on September 1, 2006


The SP creators are essentially trolls (and good ones, as long as they don't take themselves too seriously). To expect any meaningful political commentary from them is senseless.
posted by splitpeasoup at 7:18 PM on September 1, 2006


aburd: Point taken...but Cartman is a fictional character. Al Gore is not.

frogan: It's called rhetoric. But you knew that. To counter: I don't see South Park's bias as an attack, but rather as an unsavory partisan aspect of an entertainment product that (on the average) I greatly enjoy. And I never said one whit about oil companies in this thread (until now).
posted by retronic at 7:20 PM on September 1, 2006


Hmm...if SP's creators are trolls, and their show has an apparent right-wing bias, and trolls say ridculous things calculated to piss off the largest number of people possible...does that mean that the majority opinion in this country is left-leaning?
posted by retronic at 7:23 PM on September 1, 2006


I read a quote by one of them somewhere recently (god, I'm so lazy) saying something like, "I like to walk into a room full of entertainment types and yell something like, 'Bush rules!' just to see the reaction."

For real fun, they could walk into a church on Sunday and say "Jesus suW coW (W->x)". Or would that be more fun than they really need?
posted by hexatron at 7:41 PM on September 1, 2006


hexatron, in case you didn't see it, they had jesus and bush pooping on the american flag in a recent episode. actually a rather good one about the uproar over the mohammed comics.

Now I know some of you think most liberals (er, libertarians) are "adult goths" but that does not fit the psychology any more than saying most Repubs are daddy's boys or that most Dems are mommas boys. They call the mag "Reason" for a reason.
posted by MarkO at 8:53 PM on September 1, 2006


Or for the love of Zod, just type it. JESUS SUCKS COCKS. not that there is anything wrong with that.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 8:55 PM on September 1, 2006


Abandoned Universal Studios employee training video, directed by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, with cameos by James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Michael J. Fox, Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone, and many others. Just saw this over at Videosift, pretty funny and amazing.
posted by fungible at 8:59 PM on September 1, 2006


I love how there's only two possible sides to every single debate. It makes thinking so much easier to not do.
posted by zerolives at 11:19 PM on September 1, 2006


They call the mag "Reason" for a reason

yeah, 'cuz "Wankery" wouldn't sell many subscriptions.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:46 AM on September 2, 2006


In my everso humble opinion:

The South Park Movie was brilliant. I laughed so hard the first time I saw it I had to see it again to laugh at the second half as my stomach hurt too much the first time. I haven't bothered to watch recent episodes. I watched the infamous Tom Cruise ep and was amazed at how they managed to miss the broadside of a barn in terms of targetted comedy.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are quite funny when scripted. When unscripted they reveal themselves as rich frat boys with the political understanding of lemmings.

Libertarianism might work if everybody was competent. A lot of people aren't - The answer to whether or not they should be left to rot is why I am not a libertarian.

Trey and Matt are competent at what they do for a crust - they make (metric fuckloads of) money from it, and assume that makes everything ok for everybody. I disagree.

Team America was funny when the puppet vomited (using the ancient rote of repeating something until it becomes funny). The rest of the time it was kinda lame. Good concept though.

Whichever one of them it is that does the music is also rather talented in that regard.

Nothing is above ridicule - the times I've seen a South Park episide whose message I disagreed with, it at least made me think about the issue. I appreciate that.

I now return to my regularly scheduled drink.
posted by Sparx at 12:53 AM on September 2, 2006


Hating liberals may go beyond latent homosexuality, deeper into an abused childhood. What better way to convince oneself that things were normal than to defend one's fantasy of normal and lash out at the popular images of reform?
posted by Brian B. at 9:00 AM on September 2, 2006


At the end of the day, while they no doubt reserve their most merciless attacks for both Hollywood and knee-jerk liberals, the bashing is for the most part, equal opportunity. As others have mentioned, Cartman is frequently used to represent the heartlessness and bigotry of the far right.

Also, maybe it was just me, but I interpreted the episode where Christopher Reeve was cracking open fetuses and sucking them dry to regain his strength as a fairly dead-on lampoon of how the religious right thinks of stem-cell research. An alternate interpretation is of course, possible, but they do this quite a bit: blow up a right wing bugbear into a full blown reality, and show the impact of it on the town. Most of the time, everyone left, right and center (save the moral center of the show - Stan and Kyle), ends up looking ridiculous.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 10:04 AM on September 2, 2006


Btw, how did an intellectual flyweight like John Tierney ever get his own column at the NY Times? Bill Safire, love him or hate him, was a very entertaining writer who always had something interesting (if not provocative) to say. Same with , Nicolas Kristop, Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman and Frank Rich. As much of a shallow dolt that Tom Friedman has become, at least he earned his way there with some pretty fierce reporting. Tierney, I just can't account for him.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 12:08 PM on September 2, 2006


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