South Park As A Gated Community

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KissingSunlight:
The analogy in the beginning of the blog is intentionally wrong to provide undue sympathy to one side. A South Park stand-in would slap the parent of the crying baby for not doing anything to console the baby.

I have no respect for people who are locked in on one political position. It shows intellectual laziness. No one political ideology is the correct answer to every problem that faces society. People who just advocates only one particular political position all the time are just engaging in tribalism. Instead of honestly discussing the issue.

true on both counts. I try to find the most pragmatic solution, it's just that it usually leads me to a more "liberal" stance. Like that a background check should be required to purchase firearms or that gay marriage should be legal, or that global warming and evolution are real. I am also in favor of harsher sentencing for drunk driving and speeding. The problem is that not everybody's opinion is 'informed' or that the points they have to make are actually 'true'. And ideologies based irrational assumptions like "government is the enemy" or "always lower taxes" are fundamentally irresponsible and dangerous.

it always came across to me that south park was saying to calm down not telling people to not care, Also just because south park says that both sides have issues doesn't mean it still can't pick a side.

Kind of reminds me when South Park was forced to edit out a picture of Mohammad. Clearly this is just as offensive.

Bob, I am disappoint

UltraHammer:
Eh, I guess you're right. Yeah I hate to admit it, but yeah you're kind of right. Personally, I think Trey and Matt let the praise they've always gotten go to their heads. They aren't, and never were actually very insightful about politics. Any B-list pundit could out do them. The difference, however, was that no one expected B-grade political commentary to be coming from a cartoon! Oh wait, well, no one expected B-grade political commentary reflecting things that happened last week to be coming from a cartoon! So that was the hook.

What SP was truly good at was trolling with people. Yeah that's what Trey and Matt always really were; ornery little pranksters. THAT is what was always actually appealing about the commentary. And personally, I think that the last run of 7 episodes was the best run in the series history, and it's looking like this season will be pretty good as well. It seems like they're finally giving the commentary less of a focus.

The thing is though, South Park was never, and has never been very political (in the sense of taking a side). Trey and Matt rarely ever take a side, and when they do they often mock the side they have taken anyway. A majority of what they do is to make a humorous show that reflects society, and yeah it can and does come off as trolling. But you know what? That's what most of society looks like, at least it is in my opinion. Because humans aren't robots we all have differing opinions, and the comedy comes from those whom have nearly identical opinions yet fights blood tooth and nail to show that they're not similar in anyway.

I'm not saying their comedy is always spectacular, it's sometimes very hit and miss, but that's the beauty of it. Nothing is sacred, everything is a target, unlike Family Guy and Simpsons where in which there are things that both would refuse to attack. Add to the fact that each episode is made a week before it airs means that they're flexible enough to keep up with the situations occurring in the world.

Eh, to be frank I prefer it when South Park mocks social issues rather then political ones (like the recent episode on violence in video games). They tend to be alot cleverer for whatever reason, and also are worked better in the plot then the political ones which either center around Randy or have the kids suddenly care about politics for whatever reason.

But if they are going to center around political issues, I'd rather they be witty about it then take the "everybody sucks and we shouldn't care" libertarian point of view.

What's ironic about this article is that it actually reiterates why we need "South Park" in the first place.

The entire problem of political polarization in America exists so heavily because many people are so entrenched in their "side" that they can't even comprehend why anyone would think differently than them. A show that takes both sides and points out the stupidity in not only their beliefs and the zeal with which they defend them, but in their "this is my team and my team is always right!" mentality is a breath of fresh air in a time when Left and Right would fight over what color the sky is if it came down to it.

Pointing out that stupidity and close-mindedness exists on both sides of the political spectrum is hardly "not caring", and is, in my opinion, far braver and tougher to do than cracking yet another "LOLZ Faux Newz is so dumb!!1!" joke, because you risk alienating so much of your audience by not having an easily identifiable party you "belong" to (Libertarianism, which is a tiny minority notwithstanding). I like "The Daily Show", but Jon Stewart, a renowned liberal comedian, sitting in front of a liberal audience and cracking jokes about conservatives is about as brave as disciplining an angry 3 year old.

Ponyholder:

ValSmith61:

amaranth_dru:
snip

Exactly. But Bob doesn't see things that way. He only thinks people should be mocked if they don't agree with him politically, even if the people he sides with are wrong. Bob is just a cynical, narcissistic, hypocrite.

I love how you created an account just so you can insult Bob, yet don't want your actual account to get warnings. Be a man and take the warnings instead of hiding behind a false account.

Actually, James's actual account got permabanned long ago... he even got IP banned, but he's so determined to harass Bob that he just keeps getting new IP addresses and starts again.

Some rather interesting points you've brought to the table there, Bob.

I suppose I just prefer that when my viewing entertainment decides to get topical, they are at least aware on some level that the perspective they boast just might be in the wrong. That they at least express some semblance of humility by admitting that they are human and therefore are not always right in their opinion.

This is why I'll always prefer South Park over Family guy, even if the latter gets a laugh out of me now and then.

Incidentally, it's also why I often prefer other internet shows to yours...

... I'm pretty sure Matt and Trey just like making fun of stuff. They make fun of pretty much everyone and everyone needs to be made fun of. This article seems poorly thought out and badly written. Bob is, by no means, a bad writer and this has been a very disappointing read... There's spelling and grammar mistakes, too. Was this just rushed out with no thought put into any aspect of it? It really seems that way.

EDIT: Lot of Family Guy vs South Park here for some reason... Personally, I always thought South Park is far more respectful to the people they mock.

Sylocat:

Ponyholder:

ValSmith61:

Exactly. But Bob doesn't see things that way. He only thinks people should be mocked if they don't agree with him politically, even if the people he sides with are wrong. Bob is just a cynical, narcissistic, hypocrite.

I love how you created an account just so you can insult Bob, yet don't want your actual account to get warnings. Be a man and take the warnings instead of hiding behind a false account.

Actually, James's actual account got permabanned long ago... he even got IP banned, but he's so determined to harass Bob that he just keeps getting new IP addresses and starts again.

That's... really sad. I can understand being mad at a guy or just not liking a person, but to continuously harass? Does the kid have no life? Good lord.

lacktheknack:
That baby-vs-annoying-dude example at the start of the article was... kind of brilliant, actually.

Yeah, it really was.

But I have to say, I think South Park could still have some legs. But it needs a shot in the arm. The guys who created it are now killing it. They clearly aren't as into the work as they once were. Everyone grows up, and even snarky anarchic Matt and Trey have got to be at least my age by this point (early 40s).

South Park as an institution though, could still be something great. Let the guys go off and make Broadway musicals or whatever it is that happens to turn their crank this week. And let their writing team work on their own. Or some other options I haven't thought of.

I'd hate to lose South Park, but I wouldn't mind losing Matt and Trey provided they could show up once a week to do the voices.

KissingSunlight:
The analogy in the beginning of the blog is intentionally wrong to provide undue sympathy to one side. A South Park stand-in would slap the parent of the crying baby for not doing anything to console the baby.

I have no respect for people who are locked in on one political position. It shows intellectual laziness. No one political ideology is the correct answer to every problem that faces society. People who just advocates only one particular political position all the time are just engaging in tribalism. Instead of honestly discussing the issue.

Very well said, sir. Truth be told, most who describe themselves as liberal are often only so because they are in opposition to the kind of people who are politically-locked to the republican side on nearly every issue simply because they are republican. What often goes unsaid (save for Trey and Matt) is that many do fall into being politically-locked themselves because of the same opposition they have towards the other side. There's no referees in politics, unfortunately.

I never liked Family Guy, they always seemed so mean spirited.

I remember watching it and having to turn the channel because it just got down right insulting.
South Park, though, always seemed to be on the joking side rather than "we're better than you" side.

FFP2:

You might wanna edit your posts. We're not allowed to criticise content creators around these parts.

actually, we're allowed to criticise. What we're not allowed to do is attack them. That's why people are getting warnings. You can disagree and argue, and that's fine.

Otherwise, there would be a halving of the population every time there was a Zero Punctuation on a liked franchise (GTA, any Nintendo title, etc)

And I'd argue, but I actually agree with Bob's assessment. Well, mostly.

MarsAtlas:

The exact reason I stopped watching Family Guy with any regularity. I mean, there was an episode where Quagmire goes off on Brian, and pretty much the entire audience is applauding this. Somehow, though, this is supposed to make Quagmire a dick, and the show goes on without the slightest bit of self-awareness as displayed in that single scene. Its like it was written by a critic of the show rather than any of the show's writers themselves, and then the writers fall back into old habits like nothing happened. Its almost like they don't care that they're hypocrites.

Brian, and liberals as a whole, have routinely been portrayed as self-righteous hypocrites. Quag really wasn't being portrayed as the bad guy there. And it was awesome.

But this sort of falls into the same theme of the analogy Bob made: people get upset and claim bias when you don't use thee same approach on the baby and the jerk, even if the outcome of doing so is inane.

The show was self-aware well before that scene ever happened. It portrays Brian (and others, but he's one of the main characters so he gets most of the time) as a hypocrite and dickweed. DVS already pointed out specifics, so I won't go on. The point being liberals aren't being ignored because you don't catch it or because it doesn't reach some arbitrary level of false equivalence.

Even if/when both sides are horrible on an equal level, they rarely end up being so in equal measure. Equal tactics, therefore, may not be the most effective way of dealing with two separate ideologies.

lacktheknack:
That baby-vs-annoying-dude example at the start of the article was... kind of brilliant, actually.

Yeah - I think it concisely explains what's wrong with "that's OK because those people attack everyone" and "the only right side in this discussion is to calm down and take no sides" arguments.

Every year, hundreds of South Park fans plunge to their deaths in the middle of the Grand Canyon, believing they can find the truth somewhere in the middle.

FFP2:

ValSmith61:

Someone has to call him out for being a dick.

You might wanna edit your posts. We're not allowed to criticise content creators around these parts.

Yeah...Calling someone a dick is not criticism.

Anyway. Got to say I kind of agree with Bob. South Park has recently been a bit more cynical lately. Not that that is a bad thing, usually.

Though, it isn't always very cynical. The last episode with the "murder porn", and Minecraft was kind of great. And yes, Bob says they have still been pretty great every now and then, but it also had a nice little message about just trying to keep people away from media they "shouldn't have too often".

Then again, it was kind of a similar message as from the episode with the people pretending to be the kids from the future, to try and scare them off drugs and alcohol.

"Don't just find the easiest way out of an issue. Talk to people and be truthful about it.", and what not.

MarsAtlas:

Steve the Pocket:
Actually, it's not even "fuck you", it's more "fuck those assholes, amirite?" *smirks at camera*

The exact reason I stopped watching Family Guy with any regularity. I mean, there was an episode where Quagmire goes off on Brian, and pretty much the entire audience is applauding this. Somehow, though, this is supposed to make Quagmire a dick, and the show goes on without the slightest bit of self-awareness as displayed in that single scene. Its like it was written by a critic of the show rather than any of the show's writers themselves, and then the writers fall back into old habits like nothing happened. Its almost like they don't care that they're hypocrites.

If you're referring to the scene I THINK you're referring to, that scene wasn't intended to make Quagmire look like a dick, so much as it was Quagmire pointing out all of Brian's flaws to explain why Quagmire was justified in not personally liking Brian, after Brian spent the entire episode being unable to comprehend why someone might think he wasn't the perfect best friend. And then the show goes back to old habits after a conversation between Brian and Stewie that amounts to 'yeah, we're not for everyone, and that's fine, people have different tastes. If you don't enjoy, you can go do something you do enjoy, and we'll just keep doing what we're doing and somebody will be entertained, even if it's not you'.

Callate:
My friends religiously watched South Park for a couple of years back in college, but that was during the beginning of it's run. (Yeah... we're old.) We're the ones who gave a hoot and a cheer when we first heard the jingle at the end of the first episode, recognizing it as "The sky is blue, and all the leaves are green..." from Cannibal the Musical.

And then, well, most of us all but stopped watching television.

I've watched a couple of episodes of SP here and there, but I wasn't even aware of the sabbatical; that may say something about my level of stake on this particular issue.

I do remember hearing about the argument with Isaac Hayes that blew up during the Tom Cruise episode, and thinking at the time that while Parker and Stone had a point that the show had been making fun of people for a long time and it was peculiar for Hayes to start getting outraged about it now, they also reacted by treating someone who had been with the show from the beginning, someone who had a non-trivial part in establishing its success, like absolute shit.

"Chef was a robotic child molester all along!" ...Yeah, guys, that's hilarious. What is this, the Mafia? You walk away, you can expect a bullet to the back of the head?

So, noting the lack of stake and relatively narrow vantage point, it still sounds like MB's criticism is pretty accurate. Which is kind of a shame- it would be nice if someone with the kind of platform of Parker and Stone actually tried to use it for good, rather than patting people on the back for sneering apathy.

... The whole message of that ENTIRE episode was to be mad at "the fruity little club that scrambled his brains", not Chef.

Honestly the baby analogy from the beginning didn't sit well with me and I feel like that tainted the rest of the article. The reason the baby is not like the dude on the phone is that the baby doesn't actually know better. It is crying because it can't communicate in the same manner as the adult (or really even a child older than two can usually tell you what it wants and why its crying). It annoys the patrons on the bus, but it incapable of doing otherwise because the thing that is making it cry cannot be fixed due to a communication breakdown. It does not choose to annoy, whereas the phone dude is choosing to annoy despite his ability to recognize that people are annoyed and to resolve the situation by simply ending his phone call.

I get that South Park takes the piss out of everyone equally and they will put that on a shield to defend what they do. Its a valid point and a decent article, but the analogy which serves as the starting premiss just doesn't work.

Assuming that your ideological assumptions are "the default", and finding fault with people because their assumptions differ from yours, is a form of privilege too.

FFP2:
You might wanna edit your posts. We're not allowed to criticise content creators around these parts.

You're kidding, right? Criticism of the content and its creators happens all the time here.

Insulting the content creators, on the other hand? That's not a great plan.

The NSA episode didn't really sit well for me. It spoke to me as if it was just a long big Jokey way of saying, "hey if you don't actually post anything online that isn't normal, than you have nothing to worry about!" THe problem is that these normal messages? THey are not for everyone, they are not for the government, they are only for the people we are messaging. It doesn't matter that these messages are "normal", the government shouldn't be looking at them in the first place.

Matt and Trey come from the entertainment world, where every actor, comedian, writer, director, anyone worth a damn have to self promote themselves as often as they can through twitter and facebook, and chances are its from these people that Matt and Trey heard the most complaints about the NSA and their invasion of our privacy. They themselves don't censor anything that spouts of of their mouths, so of course they are comfortable with as many people possible hearing what they, because they themselves have nothing to hide. They were totally fine for pointing out the hypocrisy of putting out all your thought on twitter for everyone to read with Cartman, but a lot of people on the internet, like me, consider their internet lives very personal and private. It bothers me that someone out there could easily skim through conversations I've had on the private messages of Facebook where I talked to my cousins on how they are taking my grandfathers death, or how my friend is dealing with her brother headed to the mental hospital. Nothing is illegal about these conversations, but some asshole still wants to read through them "just in case". Fuck the NSA.

I thing Bob is reading to much into Alec Baldwin though. Its just extremely funny to hear someone as smug as he is spout the most offensive thing imaginable in that deep voice they chose.

Speaking as someone who's probably even further to the left than Bob (at least when I'm not following Matt and Trey's example of being jaded and apathetic about politics) I love me a bit of South Park every now and then and personally I disagree with his current assessment of the show. I think Bob was much more on the money of what South Park is about in his Out of the Park episode of The Big Picture; they're less concerned with the political spectrum as a whole so much as they are with lampooning whatever particular ideology, incident or individual they happen to take umbrage with or just find amusing during any given week. I imagine The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs was infused with more than a little of their own frustrated ire towards people reading too much into their own show. I'm happy consuming plenty of media with an obvious slant that appeals to my left of centre worldview, but I acknowledge that bias and the fact that it's rather easy to preach to the choir, but I think it takes a lot more guts to be willing to alienate both sides of an audience, to try and keep the focus on the issue and not pandering to petty tribalism. The Mohammed thing really opened an interesting can of worms and never became an issue defined by left and right so much as freedom of speech/censorship and I think they made a pretty firm stand on that issue that was most certainly not on the fence sitting middle. That said, like you alluded to in the aforementioned Big Picture anyone deriving their stances on serious issues from a satirical TV show is a fucking idiot and in regard to privilege their are certain uncomfortable moments in retrospect like the Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina which seems to impart a transphobic message in comparing people changing their gender to a dude wanting to be a fucking dolphin, which unless I'm reading it wrong is pretty indefensible. Also I can admit that I don't think the show is quite as funny as it used to be and I particularly think that they really caved in with the ending of the You're Getting Old two-parter which actually led me to stop following the show for a little while, though having chanced upon the latest NSA episode the other day I have to say I thought it was a gem. And overall I think the show has done a much better job of maintaining it's spark in comparison to The Simpsons or Family Guy, the former of which I wouldn't miss if it were cancelled back in 2003 (although I am fond of the movie, particularly the first half) and the latter I think really fell out of it's stride since the end of Season 5 although I still find the odd episode of later episodes here and there pretty funny. There, I expressed a dissenting opinion without resorting to insult's on one of Bob's columns. I think I deserve a fucking medal for that shit.

The Crotch:
Every year, hundreds of South Park fans plunge to their deaths in the middle of the Grand Canyon, believing they can find the truth somewhere in the middle.

As a fan of the show, I found that pretty funny. :3

Ihateregistering1:
What's ironic about this article is that it actually reiterates why we need "South Park" in the first place.

Best way to sum up the article.

Bob would be one of the last people I want to talk politics with. Thumping your chest with accentual grunts to the tune of one political party's theme song isn't a great way to practice democracy.

And I just can't get over how absurd that analogy was. False equivalence levels over 9000.

Wow, so much wilful misunderstanding.

How dare you, Bob, suggest that some things are more important than others. How dare you suggest that a response which is effective on one target might be ineffective on another. How dare you suggest that attacking everything equally might just not work at all.

Personally, I think that 'attacking everything equally' is really 'attacking everything indiscriminately'. It's a failure to properly engage with the things you're attacking. Rather than a valid approach to everything, it's not a valid approach to anything.

The more I read stuff from Moviebob, the more apparent it becomes that he believes conservatism in any form is completely evil, whereas Liberalism is the savior of the earth.

Bob, you do understand that both ideologies have flaws, right? How come, whenever a show dares to take a shot at the Democratic party, you're always there to discredit it? And yet, when Family Guy, a show that compares the GOP with Nazism (as other posters have already pointed out), you'll defend it with your dying breath?

Newsflash: Both parties are just as full of political scumbags as the other. Nobody on this planet deserves a free pass from criticism, not you, not South Park, not Family Guy, and not Democrats/Liberals (or Conservatives).

I'm sure you're a very nice guy in person, but I just can't understand this righteous position you've taken.

My biggest problem with South Park is still they criticize Family Guy for having a lot or random jokes, when South park themselves can only think up one each episode.

It long passes the point of beating a dead horse by the end of the episode. "Yes, I know, this pop culture thing you enlightened me to is stupid. I get it, now think of something else to entertain me or go back to actually telling stories."

It sounds like Bob can't accept that a show he likes may on occasion have view points different than him.

I got the same impression when he did the South Park Big Picture episode.

If there's one thing to criticize South Park on is that they've been going down a slope of being obnoxiously not funny ever since season 10. Making everything louder and swearier for the sake of it. Now South Park was never a subtle show, but it always had a good amount of wit. All of that seems to have been replaced by loud hammering.

The Crotch:
Every year, hundreds of South Park fans plunge to their deaths in the middle of the Grand Canyon, believing they can find the truth somewhere in the middle.

I am jealous of this joke.

xPixelatedx:
My biggest problem with South Park is still they criticize Family Guy for having a lot or random jokes, when South park themselves can only think up one each episode.

It long passes the point of beating a dead horse by the end of the episode. "Yes, I know, this pop culture thing you enlightened me to is stupid. I get it, now think of something else to entertain me or go back to actually telling stories."

I think's because South Park atleast tries to make it work and have a point, whereas Family Guy just seems to be throwing in random jokes to eat up time. Especially when it's jokes that are stretched out for like 5 minutes.

My favourite Family Guy episode (if there could ever be one) is probably the one where Brian and Stewie get locked up in the bank vault. And the reason is because it actually tries to tell a story and doesn't have a cutaway gag every two minutes.

The problem with Bob of late is that he presents narrative without logic.

Hence its embrace of the above-metaphor'd "attack everyone equally" fallacy; which is a fallacy precisely because it presumes that everyone is both deserving of attack and deserving of the same attack. It's the same introverted, reductive reasoning employed by the guy who really, really wants to know why black people can say The N-Word and he cannot. "Park's" present-day issue, though, is with the P-Word: Privilege. The pleas for civility and middle-ground sound, as the series trudges on, less like "a pox on both your houses!" directed at squabbling special interests and closer to "will you damn kids keep that racket down?" directed at anyone who thinks anything is worth fighting over.

This for instance is requires explanation as to why it is a fallacy as without it is begging the question (assuming that Bob's thesis is right in the first place).

But of course I'm probably using "reductive reasoning" which is invalid this week for some reason.

This is an interesting read. partly because it talks about me. and I have always wanted to read about myself on the internet.(points if you get the reference)

Ill be honest yeah im that guy. the one who is both white and straight and wonders why people get uppity over one word or the other. I also tend to agree with south park. I like that they can call out both sides of an issue. this is because in americae extremes are valued which means that parker and stone can do this ad infinite. But heres the thing about ideals(like yours bob or matt and treys or mine) It doesnt really matter how many people believe something. even if you are a minority of one. the truth is the truth.Ghandi said that. If Matt and stone have something to say about something pertaining to minorities then we should hear them instead of falling back on the old "there white so they dont get it cop out." argue them on the merit of what there saying bob not on there skin or sexual preference.

I also have a problem with the idea that straight white men have little to offer in discourse in regard to things dealing with non white non straight people. One should always value an outsiders viewpoint and this ideal can go BOTH ways(see what I did there.lol) If the only time you listen to straight white people in regards to civil rights issues is when they agree with whatever it is "insert civil rights group here" says then perhaps your the closed minded one and not them.On the other side of that fence a man who is gay can have hidden insight for the life of his straight friend.

Often times when arguments about whats appropriate and whats not comes up people tend to make alot of assumptions that are not true when held to the test of real life. for example.

white people shouldnt make gay,straight,women jokes etc: this ones tired. Not every black person flies off the handle when you do this. some do, some laugh because they get that its a joke simple as that. pick your time and place and always be respectful sure. But lets quit pretending that said thing is offensive all the time to all the people of said demographic.

Rape jokes are always offensive and innapropriate and if you find them funny you must not have been through the experience:
Not as tired but an opposite stance is deserving here. Some women who have been raped find rape jokes both entertaining and a good way to deal with what they have dealt with. If you want to debate whether such a thing is healthy thats fair.go ahead but dont be afraid to go in the other direction too.

Said word is offensive all the time to said group: Im sorry not every gay person finds the f word offensive or the n word being offensive to every black person. Some people hold to the ideal that if you consistantly use a word over time it loses its value. Now I understand alot of people love to try and debunk this but often times without any scientific basis. Often times they use the idea that such a thing is tired and without merit as proof enough that such a thing is fallacious.

So what of the people black, white,gay and straight, male and female who dont readily subscribe to these views? will they have a voice too or not? will they be recognized as people with ideas of there own or brushed off and ignored in favor of your own view/views?

Edit: its 8 am so let me end this with this. Sometimes bob does stand for lesser known views. ive seen him do it with his videos on metroid other m and sucker punch as well as bayonetta. all ideas that were very residual with me. So I dont want to imply that all of these ideas that im debating are in fact his(unless they are I guess) honestly its late for me( third shift) so I may end up deleting this myself if I wake and find that while I hold these ideas valid the debate may not be appropriate here.

Also theres some grain of truth to his example of the guy on the bus.some.

Just awful. You're acting as if South Park considers themselves high and mighty protectors of satire. They are crude, they mock prominent world issues, point them out as absurd and put in fart jokes. Its not refined, its not pretentious, its crude silliness. They mock themselves and their hypocritical nature as much as anything. This is just another case of making mountains out of mohills and IT comes off as pretentious.

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