Thursday, December 2, 2010

Like a few others have posted, I also never really watch South Park before this class. After watching episodes in class, and the latest readings by Ted, I feel that not only do I want to start watching, but that it may also be beneficial to my knowledge of current events.
Through the reading I found that the show is very allusive about its overall stance on politics, the economy, norms, pop culture, etc. After some research, I found that this allusiveness reflects on the views of the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Here are lines from an interview for their upcoming film in which they were asked about the term "South Park Republican":

Q: I don't know if you've heard about this, but there have been essays written about the concept of the "South Park Republican."
TREY: Yeah, we have seen that. What we're sick of—and it's getting even worse—is: you either like Michael Moore or you wanna fuckin' go overseas and shoot Iraqis. There can't be a middle ground. Basically, if you think Michael Moore's full of shit, then you are a super-Christian right-wing whatever. And we're both just pretty middle-ground guys. We find just as many things to rip on on the left as we do on the right. People on the far left and the far right are the same exact person to us.
In another exchange from the same interview:
Q: You seem to feel free to roast everybody equally.
TREY: Everybody needs a good roasting.
MATT: It's been pretty funny on both sides.
TREY: And it comes from an honest belief we have, which is... George Bush doesn't know what's going on. Michael Moore does not know what's going on. And Alec Baldwin definitely does not know what's going on. Basically, this shit is gigantically complicated.

I believe their middle-ground stance (along with the parodic, satiric, and ironic humor of course!) is what makes the show as interesting as it is . It's multiple allusive elements provides a critical ontology to help the viewer think outside of the box on current events, issues, and concerns that would often be displayed inarguably in news media. I say this because when I watch news stories, the convincing way in which they are presented almost always buy my sympathies as they are made to do so. South Park helps me think in new ways and to see things from different perspectives. This is due in part to the overall critique of conservative and liberal alike--as shown in the interview above, they dish it out to everyone. The disruptive ontology in South Park helps me recognize how ridiculous we American's can be sometimes.

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