Yeah. so not what South Park is though.
i do sort of buy that idea that they satirise both left & right, more than i would any other programme on telly. but that doesn’t stop it being a really ugly part of culture a lot of the time. the entire concept of the show is to be as cynical as possible and attack an argument from every angle. a lot of the time i reckon they don’t really have a particularly strong opinion on a given issue, just enjoy the exercise of deconstructing popular narratives, especially if they come across as moralising.
that detachment is one thing taken in isolation but millions of people watch and absorb their stuff and treat those postmodern arguments as statements of belief -
remember when they spent an episode hammering home the idea that people who undergo surgery as part of transitioning gender are comparable with people undergoing cosmetic surgery to become a dolphin? the emotional payoff to the episode was mr garrison realising he’s “just a guy with a mutilated penis”…
that’s incredibly fucking harmful to the acceptance of trans people. it’s genuinely dangerous to peoples’ lives to have that as a narrative in a popular tv show. i think the later episodes around trans issues show they have a deeper & more humane knowledge of the subject but they released that episode because they saw an open line of attack & that’s more important than moral concerns.
the sarcastic “i learned something today” endings from the early series show they never actually gave a fuck about reconstructing a moral story. it’s all about tearing down, poking the wasps’ nest and running off. that’s absolutely 4chan and the edgelord internet (before they started getting more sincere with the white power.)
i grew up on south park, proper loved it & still think they’ve done brilliant stuff, but there’s some really unpleasant shit in there also.
Don’t remember that episode in detail, so can’t comment, but I think a lot of what the show does is remarkably refreshing and inclusive. Just look at the way the boys treat Timmy & Jimmy.
Really like baseketball though.
it feels like a lot of it is mushy middle bullshit. Despite “sticking it to both sides” is clearly siding with one side over the other and usually just ends up making an argument for the status quo.
Frankly, the more it stays away from political satire, the better it is.
yeah, i don’t have a problem with jimmy & timmy as characters that i can think of. i think they did a good job of having real disabled characters.
i do have a problem with how they use cartman as an escape valve for bigoted jokes under the cloak of him being the character you’re supposed to hate. like the example of someone upthread sincerely laughing about him shouting “cripple fight” shows how people read things like that and the reason why edgelord humour is a bad thing in the first place.
hah. that’s good. i always thought the endings were a completely insincere fuck you to the audience rather than a way to genuinely moralise though.
korn’s groovy pirate ghost mystery
I recall watching the first two series when they came out over here? Basically I watched the film laughed a lot and decided that was the end and didn’t bother any more. I was hugely dubious of it, though. Lots of friends out of Uni were already training to be teachers and saying how any kids called Kenny were being ruthlessly bullied regardless of the show ostensibly being on late and therefore for adults only.
That said, I’ve always been very torn about satirical stuff that can be seen as enforcing negative views if you happen to not realise it’s meant to be satirising them. I don’t think there’s any ‘good’ answer to that conundrum, it just made me feel dubious about the show.
Gladwell’s podcast on this stuff recently that showed that satire like that is taken as reinforcing by the political viewpoint its satirising in America.
My nan thought that South Park was a children’s show so when she babysat my brother and I around 1999/2000, she’d sit us in front of South Park, totally oblivious to the content… I think this might be why my brother and I are such edgelord dickheads.
I get the impression that they started that way, but after a while it turned, for lack of a better word, serious. Kind of a “In case you really didn’t get what our message was…” bit.
It’s an issue using of said satire not being consistent, which often comes off as using satire as a ruse for espousing awful ideas. In general, I’ve always found South Park’s satire pretty thin.
My mum recorded an episode for me when I was about 8 (she thought it was a show for kids).
It was the episode where Kenny does disgusting things for little money, and stays inside a woman’s uterus for $10 on live television (and then dies).
I had never seen anything like it before, and I told my mum about it.
Her response was, ‘oh… actually this is a bit rude. I better not record this again’ (in a weird sort of laid back ‘eh wtf’ way, rather than shocked and appalled), so that was that (then again I used to watch Bob and Margaret with her, which is a fairly rude British cartoon for adults).
I was always fascinated with it though. I found the fact it looked like a children’s cartoon, but was actually a very rude 15/18-rated show, very appealing and intriguing. Years later I saw most of the episodes online as a teenager, around when Season 10 came out. I thought it was great.
I don’t really watch it anymore (I thought it went downhill after around Season 10, but apparently it’s now better than ever, or something?). It’s definitely not for everyone. However, it is infinitely better than Family Guy (obviously).
I remember Seasons 4 and 6 being particularly brilliant. Those two seasons are stuffed with classics from start to finish.
There’s a lot to be said in parenting for not giving big reactions to stuff that is bad. Your mum may be a parental ninja as if she’d gone full I guess there’s every chance you’d have been trying to see South Park any moment you got after that?
Yeah, I guess. I guess my mum always had a slight laissez-faire attitude towards things I watched, no idea if that’s shaped the person I am now.
I was always wanted to watch South Park, but I had to watch Rugrats instead.
The episode was about gays in scouts and actually makes a brilliant case for it (somewhere in the episode the boys rally a protest with the chant “what do we want? Gays in scouts!”) - and on the general hypocrisy of such systems.
(You mention Jimmy and Timmy - I mean to reply to the topic of Cripple Fight)
Lads chill out it’s just some stupid shit that happens for 20 mins
Get him! ~beats up with placards~
Never really liked South Park, just found it too puerile for me, do like the awsomo episode though. Sceptical of blaming it for the rise of the alt right, like is there any actual evidence for that, it was huge most people of a certain age were into it most are not alt right, seems an almost daily mail view to think a show has that power.
Seems like some of the humor has a purpose to it, some was just nasty and way out of line. Think it’s always worth discussing the simpsons in discussions like this, it seems to get a free pass even though it mines slot of humour from racist stereotypes (Apu), poverty (Cletus, Nelson), learning disabilities (Ralph), mental illness (cat lady), sexuality (Smithers) all without much satirical justification. Don’t get me wrong, I love the simpsons inspite of this, don’t think enjoy something means fully endorsing everything it says and would never expect any pop cultural thing to be fully unproblematic, and so because of that I wouldn’t write if South Park or people who enjoy it but fully recognise there are aspects of it that should be criticised
How long does something have to last before it counts as bigoted? Like an hour or so?