Sunday, May 01, 2005

Deus ex South Park

Delightful New York Times Op-Ed piece from Frank Rich today regarding the conservative movement's embrace of South Park. Brief quote: "South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias," by Brian C. Anderson of the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute, gives a wet kiss to one of the funniest and most foul-mouthed series on television. Anderson has myopically focused on certain episodes that lampoon Hollywood lefties like Rob Reiner, Barbra Streisand, and Sally Struthers; and who could miss the undeniably conservative bias of Parker & Stone's movie Team America? Yet, as Rich points out, Anderson was a bit too quick to the press: South Park's recent episode looking at the Schiavo case skewered the Right's mammoth over-step. Rich also looks at the Right's recent move to increase censorship of movies and TV. Time to trot out the names and addresses of our national representatives and get writing. Back to South Park. Rich could have mentioned any number of episodes which fell far to the left of center. In one, the kids lie through their teeth to buy 'real Ninja weapons' at the fair. While playing with their gear, Butters gets nailed in the eye with a shuriken -- and that's not the end of the violence visited upon poor Butters. Yet when the townfolk learn about Butters' injuries, what do they care about? The fact that Cartman has exposed himself in public. Better example: In South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (good night -- I just got that joke!), Parker & Stone satirized all those V-chipping tight asses who want to protect their preciouses from four letter words, and impose their morals on the rest of us. The point -- and I think Rich overlooks this -- the point is, South Park is satire. Their writers will attack hypocrisy, arrogance, pomposity, and overzealousness wherever they find it; there is no shortage of it on both sides of the political red line. In a very real way, Parker & Stone are cutting away the bullshit to show us slivers of truth, much as The Daily Show does with their fake news. Three cheers to South Park. Here's hoping they're the next in line to win a Peabody. D,

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