South Park As A Gated Community

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I would agree that South Park is a shadow of it's former glory, (I don't event think it's that funny anymore) but I think their philosophy would be better described as "Attack everything" rather than "Attack everybody".

This, to me, seems to be the source of South Park's downfall; it's become increasingly inclined to simply attack the people supporting an argument instead of the argument itself.

The directed celebrity attacks used to function more as metaphors, now they're just attacks

Being a politically moderate cynic myself, I personally think we need more like South Park, not less. It's not that one side of extremist lunatics isn't more harmful than the other, it's that dividing into armed camps the way we have is the worst of all available evils. The part where your bus analogy falls apart isn't that the guy smacks both the baby and the guy with the phone... it's that he smacks anyone at all. As you said, Trey and Matt's message is that people should calm the fuck down, not attack one another... and if you mistake their poking fun for "attacks", I feel sorry for you. This sure is one hypersensitive culture we've developed into.

Also, thanks to that metaphor, I now have this song stuck in my head:

Ihateregistering1:

You've spent 30 years following politics, and the greatest argument you can come up with is: "Massachusetts is run better than the South" and a bunch of arguments based largely on ludicrous stereotypes and sound bites?

You need a new hobby.

They campaign and get elected on those sound bites. Their philosophy is anti-government and pro-free market. How is repeating what Conservatives say ludicrous? That governing philosophy was the reason they opposed Social Security, Medicare, child labor laws, minimum wages, environmental protections(even though a river caught on fire because it was so polluted), banking regulations, unemployment insurance, welfare, and civil rights laws. Basically, the things which made America a better place.

As I type this, Conservative Republicans have shut down our government because they are so ideologically opposed to the new health care law. That's going cost us billions, put hundreds of thousands of people out of work, and stop important government functions.

Politics isn't a hobby, it's a civic duty to be involved, especially since it has real-life consequences. I have plenty of hobbies btw, but thanks for being so condescending.

This is... clever but barely anything.

He's criticising an 18 season series but he basically has a single point. I feel like he could have been more in-depth about what he thought, the article just feels kind of insubstantial.

Today was an informative day. After discovering "American Bob" on youtube, I'm not surprised at all that Movie Bob doesn't like South Park. After all, South Park takes a lot of shots at people like movie Bob. Those folks left of center who believe that although everyone is entitles to their opinion, people with opinions that differ from his own should and I am paraphrasing "stay home and not vote because they are not fit to even operate a motor vehicle let along participate in the democratic process." Basically, the biggest target of Matt and Trey are usually always those who are so convinced in their own point of view that they cross the line into being simply condescending, and nothing describes the "American Bob" youtube videos better the "Condescending."

Still love the Big Picture though! Please keep doing those...

AkaDad:

Ihateregistering1:

You've spent 30 years following politics, and the greatest argument you can come up with is: "Massachusetts is run better than the South" and a bunch of arguments based largely on ludicrous stereotypes and sound bites?

You need a new hobby.

They campaign and get elected on those sound bites. Their philosophy is anti-government and pro-free market. How is repeating what Conservatives say ludicrous? That governing philosophy was the reason they opposed Social Security, Medicare, child labor laws, minimum wages, environmental protections(even though a river caught on fire because it was so polluted), banking regulations, unemployment insurance, welfare, and civil rights laws. Basically, the things which made America a better place.

As I type this, Conservative Republicans have shut down our government because they are so ideologically opposed to the new health care law. That's going cost us billions, put hundreds of thousands of people out of work, and stop important government functions.

Politics isn't a hobby, it's a civic duty to be involved, especially since it has real-life consequences. I have plenty of hobbies btw, but thanks for being so condescending.

I was really hoping I wouldn't see you participating any more after you compared how awesome liberal politics are to conservative ones by using a Massachusetts (where you happen to live) vs. "The South" statement. I'm not sure if you get out much... but try visiting Houston some time. I moved here from Baltimore because after living there for 22 years I got to see what "liberal politics" does to densely populated areas (read Baltimore, DC, Chicago, Detroit, etc.), it was a dangerous, violent place, you have an undue amount of money taken from you for no visible return, and in the end had my job sector shattered because the Democrat governor saw a juicy target and imposed a massive computer services sector tax and all the businesses moved.

Now, I live in the most multicultural city I've ever seen, with much more pleasant people, and we happen to be the largest city in US history with an openly gay (and female) mayor*. Oh, and we have available jobs that provide a decent standard of living, AND our state has a balanced budget. We also have the largest and one of the best medical centers in the world*.

See, my anecdote is fun too, and there were some facts in there.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/13/us/politics/13houston.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Medical_Center

Also, just my thoughts on the government shutdown. People being out of work sucks, sure, and even right in my community it's being felt, as I live right near NASA JSC, but y'know what? The "government" has been shut down for a week, and we've somehow not descended in anarchy. So maybe, just maybe, some of those people not at work right now, aren't exactly a necessity to the function of our country. The whole shutdown in general though is just a bunch of grandstanding by two sides that are both WAY out of touch.

I've honestly gotten bored of seeing the punches back and forth about it, but the last news update I saw on the real life effects of the shutdown was the NPS shutting down 1,100 square miles OF OCEAN along with Biscayne Bay from people fishing, ruining a bunch of small businesses that do fishing charter trips, AND it's costing more to enforce the "shutdown" than it did to just leave it open, because, y'know, it's the fucking ocean.

I felt that Bob was trying to say, in short, "While the comedy and message in South Park can be good, it fails to offer a more nuanced perspective given that the perspective of the comedy is wholly reliant upon one being in a privileged position who may not be affected by lack of wealth or social standing."

At least that is the vibe I got.

I must admit though, I dislike anything vaguely libertarian (even as a kid) mostly because it seems more like a sort of culture imbued psychopathy.

[quote="tangoprime" post="6.830276.20249737Also, just my thoughts on the government shutdown. People being out of work sucks, sure, and even right in my community it's being felt, as I live right near NASA JSC, but y'know what? The "government" has been shut down for a week, and we've somehow not descended in anarchy. So maybe, just maybe, some of those people not at work right now, aren't exactly a necessity to the function of our country. The whole shutdown in general though is just a bunch of grandstanding by two sides that are both WAY out of touch.

I've honestly gotten bored of seeing the punches back and forth about it, but the last news update I saw on the real life effects of the shutdown was the NPS shutting down 1,100 square miles OF OCEAN along with Biscayne Bay from people fishing, ruining a bunch of small businesses that do fishing charter trips, AND it's costing more to enforce the "shutdown" than it did to just leave it open, because, y'know, it's the fucking ocean.[/quote]

Just wait a little longer until the Treasury is forced to default on it's loans. Then the fun begins...

tangoprime:
I've honestly gotten bored of seeing the punches back and forth about it, but the last news update I saw on the real life effects of the shutdown was the NPS shutting down 1,100 square miles OF OCEAN along with Biscayne Bay from people fishing, ruining a bunch of small businesses that do fishing charter trips, AND it's costing more to enforce the "shutdown" than it did to just leave it open, because, y'know, it's the fucking ocean.

Extortion by any other name would smell as rank. :P

I like South Park but this is pretty spot on to the general attitude that gets in to some (but by no means all) of their episodes.

The show symbolises for the me the general cynicism about politics and social issues that is gradually annoying me more and more.

Everyone has an "agenda" and a "bias" rather than an "opinion" and "set of things they consider important". This is used because the opinions in the show are virtually always reactionary "i.e. this person's opinion is stupid". There's the idea since they don't have an agenda they also don't have to worry about who their attacking and why (or whether their attacks are even valid).

You don't suddenly forfeit your brain when you decide that you are going to openly support one political party over another, and many people who do still disagree on some key issues. Staying "neutral" in this situation doesn't give you extra immunity either. The question becomes whether you want to remain smug and sneer at the sidelines or do you actually want to participate and try and do some good.

All that said South Park is fucking funny and it can be genuinely very clever and insightful into some issues.

K12:
snip

You don't suddenly forfeit your brain when you decide that you are going to openly support one political party over another, and many people who do still disagree on some key issues. Staying "neutral" in this situation doesn't give you extra immunity either. The question becomes whether you want to remain smug and sneer at the sidelines or do you actually want to participate and try and do some good.

As we all know, arguments on the internet and IRL have solved a lot of real problems instead of making everyone feel worse. Right?

I never understood those arguments about "starting a discussion", "we need to keep discussing it" etc. It may feel like you're doing something but that's not true. Only thing people achieveing by that is killing some time.

Miroluck:

K12:
snip

You don't suddenly forfeit your brain when you decide that you are going to openly support one political party over another, and many people who do still disagree on some key issues. Staying "neutral" in this situation doesn't give you extra immunity either. The question becomes whether you want to remain smug and sneer at the sidelines or do you actually want to participate and try and do some good.

As we all know, arguments on the internet and IRL have solved a lot of real problems instead of making everyone feel worse. Right?

I never understood those arguments about "starting a discussion", "we need to keep discussing it" etc. It may feel like you're doing something but that's not true. Only thing people achieveing by that is killing some time.

Thinking about stuff isn't killing time, as someone training in educational psychology I could not disagree more. Also why are you assuming that this is the beginning and end of my involvement with issues that I care about? Talking about issues is the best way of exploring them to work out what matters to you and discover ways they might be realised.

Hate poverty? Is it better to withhold benefits to motivate people out of it or offer large amounts of financial support to make sure no-one goes too deep down into it? These things are worth discussing.

Beliefs inform actions and discussions can shape your beliefs. If you only use these kind of discussions as a way of killing time then I feel sorry for how empty and shallow your life must be (this sounds far more aggressive than I meant it to, the point I'm aiming at is that passion for an issue is good and it doesn't stop you from being thoughtful and rational)

Miroluck:

K12:
snip

You don't suddenly forfeit your brain when you decide that you are going to openly support one political party over another, and many people who do still disagree on some key issues. Staying "neutral" in this situation doesn't give you extra immunity either. The question becomes whether you want to remain smug and sneer at the sidelines or do you actually want to participate and try and do some good.

As we all know, arguments on the internet and IRL have solved a lot of real problems instead of making everyone feel worse. Right?

I never understood those arguments about "starting a discussion", "we need to keep discussing it" etc. It may feel like you're doing something but that's not true. Only thing people achieveing by that is killing some time.

Thinking about stuff isn't killing time, as someone training in educational psychology I could not disagree more. Also why are you assuming that this is the beginning and end of my involvement with issues that I care about? Talking about issues is the best way of exploring them to work out what matters to you and discover ways they might be realised.

Hate poverty? Is it better to withhold benefits to motivate people out of it or offer large amounts of financial support to make sure no-one goes too deep down into it? These things are worth discussing.

Beliefs inform actions and discussions can shape your beliefs. If you only use these kind of discussions as a way of killing time then I feel sorry for how empty and shallow your life must be (this sounds far more aggressive than I meant it to, the point I'm aiming at is that passion for an issue is good and it doesn't stop you from being thoughtful and rational)

I've never been a large fan of South Park. Nothing to do with the commentary, I just am not a fan of the toilet humor that fills the rest of the episode. Which is really a shame because I love its commentary, which can be summed up as: your shit doesn't stink. It always seemed less about finding middle ground than in targeting bandwagon value jumpers, people with selfish motives (known or unknown to them), or just plain hypocrites. You can be 100% in the ethical or pragmatic right and still be a douche about it.

We live in a society so entrenched in out political and social views we don't really stop to look at ourselves. We get so fixated on getting what we want we don't stop to ask if we're okay with how we're getting it, or if we'd be okay with someone else using the same tactic. Feminist gets death threats from MRA group: bad. MRA get death threats from feminists: perfectly fine. Wasteful government spending must be cut, but everything I put in is 100% vital with no waste. Your news is biased, while mine is the whole truth. BS like that.

Of course, Parker and Stone do the unthinkable and don't play favorites (much), and among those with such entrenched views, attacking your own makes you an enemy. How dare they suggest I'm only driving a prius to feel superior to others? What do you mean they're satirizing militant atheists? But..but aren't I supposed to be judgmental to those that don't share my progressive views? etc. And the anger about this only shows they've hit a nerve. We want to be told the other guy is the problem, not that we have problems of our own, and we fall back on the other side's "privilege" as our excuse to ignore that criticism, as if the side we're on justifies doing what we'd normally hate.

In our current environment, we need South Park more than ever.

First of all, this was clearly not a direct metaphor where each player represented one specific group. That's far too simplistic. So just drop the "baby=liberals" or "baby=tea party" arguments. They make no sense.

I think the point of the metaphor could be summed up thus:

You can be fair, or balanced, but rarely both.

It's not fair to the baby to smack it for crying. The baby has no concept of what it's doing wrong, and it doesn't deserve to be hit for what comes naturally for an upset baby. What the guy on the train did was what you'd call balanced, in that he treated both problems the same way, regardless of the qualities inherent in each source. The media, in general, have made this mistake, where they feel like they need to air every point of view (or more often "both" points, without considering there could be many), regardless of the quality of the point. This is why we have completely inane and illogical opinions being given equal weight with reasoned and well-thought-out ones. "We have to treat both sides equally!" This is the mantra not of a liberal or conservative media, but of a lazy and stupid media that has become part of the machinery of social power.

Truly reasoned, thoughtful, investigation and examination are rare, and difficult to find in the mainstream. It's sad that the closest we get is a couple of comedy news shows.

And though I was born in the "Gen X" time frame, (whatever the fuck that's even supposed to mean), I have grown sick and tired of all the cynicism. It's become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Our generation learned all the wrong lessons from our parents. (And Bob touches on some of the reasons why in this article.)

This really speaks to me. I've felt kind of... negative... about South Park for a while but couldn't really put my finger on why. Yeah, their pseudo-neutrality on almost every issue certainly irked me, but I've never seen it put into words quite like that. Superficially reasonable, but really just too lazy to explore the issues in depth and then choose a side. The approach lambasted by xkcd with their "the important thing is you can feel superior to both"-comic. I'm not sure, however, that this has really increased so much as Bob seems to imply. Did South Park ever take a clear stance on a controversial issue? Didn't they, even in their most abrasive, still go to that pseudo-middle at the end? I'm trying to think of the early episodes or at least the first ten seasons. Even then they had tended to go that route, didn't they?

Arnoxthe1:
South Park isn't complicated. There are only two rules.

1. Make fun of everything.
2. Nothing is too sacred to show.

I agree totally, the reason I enjoy the show is the fact that it pokes fun at everything and quite rarely falls on one side or the other. It is a very silly and anarchistic show and I feel like (as with a lot of things) people choose to project their own beliefs or ideas on it. The voting episode to me hit a pretty real nerve. politics is a big pile of shit where often it is voting for the person you disagree with the least. With hindsight the Bush election may be important but a lot of people don't find politics important at all. I see it a lot as the inverse of your belief Bob. It takes a level of privilage to get caught up in that circus, while for a poor person working hard against debt or disability. An election is just choosing the face of the person fucking them over for the next 4 years. South Park is silly, anarchistic and at once cynical and hopeful. It's hit and miss for me personally but I respect the fact that it always feels like the writers are making themselves laugh. And I can dig that.

I love "South Park", but I will freely admit that it can be very hit-and-miss. Still, I don't know if it's fair to label them as: "everyone is stupid but us" as their primary mentality, or to imply that they endorse a lifestyle of cynicism and/or detachment. South Park will occasionally tackle a subject that goes against standard "correct" assumptions [like climate change, and saving the rainforest], but I can't remember a time when they attacked a target that was essentially defenseless. At worst, they've dabbled in stereotypes for a few cheap laughs, but it's often framed in a way to show why this sort of behaviour is inappropriate.

Also, just to say since I love "Douche and Turd", I feel you gave a disservice to their argument. They illustrate as plainly as possible that if the two choices are so mediocre and uninvolving, why should you care? They do cynically state that much of politics always ends up being a choice between a douche and a turd, but I don't see it as an attack on voting. Rather, it's an attack on those who blindly say without exception you must always vote based on principle. Just to say, I do believe one should always vote. We're lucky for it to be so easy here, and [well, I'm from Canada], there's usually more options to choose from. But I also don't like holding people in contempt because they choose not to vote. They have free will, it's their decision, and I'll respect it if they can articulate their reasons well. I thought South Park did articulate it well.

While South Park can be really cynical, and will take shots at mostly everything [though, I repeat, I don't believe they unfairly pick on people who can't defend themselves], they'll also take shots at themselves. There are jokes where they poke fun at the formula of the series, how it can be preachy, or how some people just read way too much into what they put out there. Additionally, while they may not take stands per se in many areas where others do, they will make stands of their own showing they care about something. Their episodes around Mohammed [I'm sure I misspelled that] show how much they care about freedom of speech. Their "Free Hat" episode shows how much they care about preserving art. "All about the Mormons" deals with the idea that even if a faith seems absurd to most based on the premise of it is, if it ends up producing good and harms no one, then it shouldn't be a problem. With Scientology, the main distinction is that their faith harms others since it requires membership fees.

Anyhow, I don't think South Park is the problem here. I think people who blindly follow anything South Park preaches is the problem. Much in the same way that it'd be absurd to solely follow someone else's beliefs and not your own. It's okay to disagree with people. That's what makes us all individuals.

Wow.

Uh...that was possibly one of the most telling introductions I've ever seen for an article. It's a surprising ad hominem argument from someone (MovieBob) who is usually pretty even-handed...

...except on certain issues. We all know somebody like MovieBob, I'll venture. He's nice, smart, level-headed, and generally quite dependable...but then he occasionally becomes absolutely caustic and intolerable.

It happened after Mass Effect 3 when he called everyone upset by the ending a bunch of entitled crybabies, while also remarking that he neither played Mass Effect nor was interested in the genre.

It happened after The Expendables when he called everyone who watched and/or enjoyed it a stupid musclehead and that anyone who could possibly enjoy the movie is a subject of his personal hatred (note: hating muscular people for no reason other than all the inherent flaws that obviously come with being muscular is a running trend with MovieBob).

It happened after Metroid: Other M when he declared that it was great for various reasons, including 1) the 'Prime' series was an FPS, and therefore a creative dead-end to be thrown aside 2) FPSs are literally responsible for the worst parts of gaming culture.

I'm not making that up. Here's the quote:

I'M HAPPY YOU ENJOYED THE "PRIME" GAMES.
THEY WERE GOOD.
I WAS "OKAY" WITH THEM.
BUT "FPS" IS THE MOST CREATIVELY-BANKRUPT GENRE IN GAMING
AND IS LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MOST OF THE WORST ASPECTS OF GAMING CULTURE TODAY.

Please note that the all-caps are his. And that this rant was set to 'Ode to Joy.'

I think I've finally spotted the trend here: MovieBob shouldn't talk about the people around media. I'm saying that as advice, too. It's easy to be blind to one's faults, and MovieBob seems almost physically incapable of calmly talking about the people surrounding any given piece of media. Doesn't matter if it's movies, video games, or whatever. He devolves at an alarming rate into attacking the people themselves on seemingly no evidence whatsoever. He even goes out of his way to outright state that he doesn't like the media at hand, didn't research it very much, or some combination of the two.

Just...ugh...MovieBob, you're a solid movie critic. Please just stick to doing that. It's this sort of enraged, self-important ranting at things that (I can't stress this enough) you don't need to pay attention to, much less comment on, that will turn people off of your reviews. Look at Roger Ebert: one of the greatest movie critics of all time. Brilliant, witty, and by all accounts a pretty cool guy.

And yet, there are probably thousands of gamers who thought, "Feh. Good riddance," when they found out he'd died. Not because they disagreed with his reviews, his politics, or anything like that...but because he went so far out of his way to insult video games for no reason other than poor impulse-control.

But for some reason, I'm particularly disappointed by the smug way you used thirty-nine words to describe your surrogate for Parker and Stone as a hipster. I'm even more disappointed that you then used sixteen more words to pat yourself on the back for not using the word 'hipster.' And amidst all that completely unnecessary and self-congratulating wordplay, you still made a typo.

'Worn.'

Not 'warn.'

'Worn.'

Come on, MovieBob. Anger doesn't endear you to anyone.

CriticKitten:
Let's review:

1) I open the article.
2) I see Bob bashing South Park for having the "nerve" to attack a liberal over his homophobic rants on social media.
3) I note that this is the same MovieBob who defends Family Guy as quality material, even though it tugs a blatantly liberal bias throughout all of its content.

Stay hypocritical, Bob.

Something like this shouldn't really come as a surprise.

I mean look at some of his track record just recently, He thought Tim and Eric are some of the best comedians around, and flat out lied about the whole fucked straight thing in Riddick.

But hey, at least he wasn't trying to talk about video games...

Hate to bring it up again but the whole GTA5/Breaking Bad comparison in Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 made no sense to me. Breaking Bad didn't invent meth. So what themes does the show and game share except for a bald guy who cooks it? As a person who identifies himself as the elite of Movie criticism ("intelligentsia" being the word he used, an insult by exception) I would really love to see an explanation where he draws comparisons between thematic similarities of the 2. Now I don't mind if he hates GTA or Breaking Bad. What I do care about is making boneheaded comparisons not based on any facts, research and thrown away at the end of an episode like a parthian shot to stir shit. As a person who holds themselves up as voice for a specific type of media crossover I think it's a little unprofessional to throw out broad generalisations like that. I can't tolerate bullshit designed to wind people up and push buttons for the sake of it, so if he took time in his next article to back it up I would appreciate it.

That was some seriously lame analysis of South Park's ethos. Here's the real fallacy: assuming that show has an obvious and discernible message when almost every show ends with a parody of shows that have a message.

Having seen the 'Vote or Die' episode many times (I revisit it roughly every time there's an election in Australia...), there is no message saying 'It's all going to be okay'. It's nothing more than a straight-up mockery of the entire system of two-party politics, and your argument that the creators are exhibiting straight white male privilege is nauseating to read.

You don't need to be full on moderate to like South Park, just not blind partisan crazy. As long as you aren't a blind partisan, you can point out the stupidity of the nutjobs on your own side. Its only the real sheep that adopt the view of, "My side is always right, and their side is always wrong". That is what leads people like Bob to be against attacking both sides equally. Of course you don't support attacking both sides if you think one side is a bunch of backwards morons and the other (the one "you" belong to of course) is full of rational, intellectual people who are better than everone else.

themilo504:
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.

Yeah but they never do, they come across as too cowardly to ever try. They must have preferences when it comes to an issue (Stone and Parker are human after all), but they still stick to the everyone is stupid but me line to pander and tow the line with their presumably equally cynical audience.

Guys, why so serious? What is with all the over analyzing? Its just an irreverent comedy about cheaply drawn weeble people, folks.
Taking South Park's ambiguous "Politics" seriously is like unironically saying Dethklok is greatest band ever made.

I am the hero this town needs.
I am -- THE COON.

It's as if Nihilism and cynisism are useless personal policies

tangoprime:

AkaDad:

Ihateregistering1:

You've spent 30 years following politics, and the greatest argument you can come up with is: "Massachusetts is run better than the South" and a bunch of arguments based largely on ludicrous stereotypes and sound bites?

You need a new hobby.

They campaign and get elected on those sound bites. Their philosophy is anti-government and pro-free market. How is repeating what Conservatives say ludicrous? That governing philosophy was the reason they opposed Social Security, Medicare, child labor laws, minimum wages, environmental protections(even though a river caught on fire because it was so polluted), banking regulations, unemployment insurance, welfare, and civil rights laws. Basically, the things which made America a better place.

As I type this, Conservative Republicans have shut down our government because they are so ideologically opposed to the new health care law. That's going cost us billions, put hundreds of thousands of people out of work, and stop important government functions.

Politics isn't a hobby, it's a civic duty to be involved, especially since it has real-life consequences. I have plenty of hobbies btw, but thanks for being so condescending.

I was really hoping I wouldn't see you participating any more after you compared how awesome liberal politics are to conservative ones by using a Massachusetts (where you happen to live) vs. "The South" statement. I'm not sure if you get out much... but try visiting Houston some time. I moved here from Baltimore because after living there for 22 years I got to see what "liberal politics" does to densely populated areas (read Baltimore, DC, Chicago, Detroit, etc.), it was a dangerous, violent place, you have an undue amount of money taken from you for no visible return, and in the end had my job sector shattered because the Democrat governor saw a juicy target and imposed a massive computer services sector tax and all the businesses moved.

Now, I live in the most multicultural city I've ever seen, with much more pleasant people, and we happen to be the largest city in US history with an openly gay (and female) mayor*. Oh, and we have available jobs that provide a decent standard of living, AND our state has a balanced budget. We also have the largest and one of the best medical centers in the world*.

See, my anecdote is fun too, and there were some facts in there.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/13/us/politics/13houston.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Medical_Center

Also, just my thoughts on the government shutdown. People being out of work sucks, sure, and even right in my community it's being felt, as I live right near NASA JSC, but y'know what? The "government" has been shut down for a week, and we've somehow not descended in anarchy. So maybe, just maybe, some of those people not at work right now, aren't exactly a necessity to the function of our country. The whole shutdown in general though is just a bunch of grandstanding by two sides that are both WAY out of touch.

I've honestly gotten bored of seeing the punches back and forth about it, but the last news update I saw on the real life effects of the shutdown was the NPS shutting down 1,100 square miles OF OCEAN along with Biscayne Bay from people fishing, ruining a bunch of small businesses that do fishing charter trips, AND it's costing more to enforce the "shutdown" than it did to just leave it open, because, y'know, it's the fucking ocean.

1. You're comparing a state to city. Try comparing the state of Texas to the state of Massachusetts. Houston may have a gay mayor, but gay marriage is banned in Texas, whereas Massachusetts was the first state to allow gay marriage. It's also kind of ironic as well talking about Houston, since Houston is one of the most Liberal sections of Texas.

2. You completely ignored all the Liberal policies that made America a better place, which Conservatives fought against.

3, You ignored how the Conservative philosophy is based on a lie.

4. Because the Government is shut down, all our food isn't being inspected. Republicans better pray that tainted food doesn't hit the market and people get sick or die.

I'll add a couple more things. Conservatives rightfully rant about our debt, but the problem is they try to blame it on all on Liberal spending, when in fact the majority of our debt was passed by Conservative presidents. Our largest expenditure is on Defense, but try getting them to cut the Pentagon or defense budget. Conservatives also talk about intrusive Government while passing laws that intrude into our lives.

This whole argument that both sides are bad isn't really true and all it takes is some research to see it.

I think the problems with Parker and Stone is that it seems they go out of their way to try and take shots at others. The NSA episode was delightfully moderate- on one hand you don't want to ignore the NSA's actions entirely but on the other hand people willfully broadcast most of this info and hand it over to private companies to mine, and then complain that the government wants to do it too.

But I think it's just the sort of false comparisons and such. The episode is a good example, go most of the episode framing the argument in an interesting way, but then they just go completely out of their way and sort of derail the episode to take potshots at Alec Baldwin, as if someone will be mad at them if they don't insult one liberal per episode. It just sort of seemed out of place and unnecessary. It was similar with Team America: World Police. Much of the movie was focused on trying to knock celebrities down a peg, but is that really one the same level as the other message, that America shouldn't insert itself in every problem in the world? Do so many people take celebrity political views seriously that they have to all be graphically murdered and ridiculed? No, they're just taking the more "liberal" position for the real issue in the movie, so they're "obligated" to go out of their way and attack liberal actors, as if to appease conservative pundits who were obsessed with Michael Moore at the time.

There's a difference between being a "passionate moderate" and simply attacking both sides because you see it as some obligation. True conviction means saying what you believe and that's it, not having to find some actor or easy target to ridicule over irrelevant issues and events.

AkaDad:

tangoprime:

AkaDad:

They campaign and get elected on those sound bites. Their philosophy is anti-government and pro-free market. How is repeating what Conservatives say ludicrous? That governing philosophy was the reason they opposed Social Security, Medicare, child labor laws, minimum wages, environmental protections(even though a river caught on fire because it was so polluted), banking regulations, unemployment insurance, welfare, and civil rights laws. Basically, the things which made America a better place.

As I type this, Conservative Republicans have shut down our government because they are so ideologically opposed to the new health care law. That's going cost us billions, put hundreds of thousands of people out of work, and stop important government functions.

Politics isn't a hobby, it's a civic duty to be involved, especially since it has real-life consequences. I have plenty of hobbies btw, but thanks for being so condescending.

I was really hoping I wouldn't see you participating any more after you compared how awesome liberal politics are to conservative ones by using a Massachusetts (where you happen to live) vs. "The South" statement. I'm not sure if you get out much... but try visiting Houston some time. I moved here from Baltimore because after living there for 22 years I got to see what "liberal politics" does to densely populated areas (read Baltimore, DC, Chicago, Detroit, etc.), it was a dangerous, violent place, you have an undue amount of money taken from you for no visible return, and in the end had my job sector shattered because the Democrat governor saw a juicy target and imposed a massive computer services sector tax and all the businesses moved.

Now, I live in the most multicultural city I've ever seen, with much more pleasant people, and we happen to be the largest city in US history with an openly gay (and female) mayor*. Oh, and we have available jobs that provide a decent standard of living, AND our state has a balanced budget. We also have the largest and one of the best medical centers in the world*.

See, my anecdote is fun too, and there were some facts in there.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/13/us/politics/13houston.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Medical_Center

Also, just my thoughts on the government shutdown. People being out of work sucks, sure, and even right in my community it's being felt, as I live right near NASA JSC, but y'know what? The "government" has been shut down for a week, and we've somehow not descended in anarchy. So maybe, just maybe, some of those people not at work right now, aren't exactly a necessity to the function of our country. The whole shutdown in general though is just a bunch of grandstanding by two sides that are both WAY out of touch.

I've honestly gotten bored of seeing the punches back and forth about it, but the last news update I saw on the real life effects of the shutdown was the NPS shutting down 1,100 square miles OF OCEAN along with Biscayne Bay from people fishing, ruining a bunch of small businesses that do fishing charter trips, AND it's costing more to enforce the "shutdown" than it did to just leave it open, because, y'know, it's the fucking ocean.

1. You're comparing a state to city. Try comparing the state of Texas to the state of Massachusetts. Houston may have a gay mayor, but gay marriage is banned in Texas, whereas Massachusetts was the first state to allow gay marriage. It's also kind of ironic as well talking about Houston, since Houston is one of the most Liberal sections of Texas.

2. You completely ignored all the Liberal policies that made America a better place, which Conservatives fought against.

3, You ignored how the Conservative philosophy is based on a lie.

4. Because the Government is shut down, all our food isn't being inspected. Republicans better pray that tainted food doesn't hit the market and people get sick or die.

I'll add a couple more things. Conservatives rightfully rant about our debt, but the problem is they try to blame it on all on Liberal spending, when in fact the majority of our debt was passed by Conservative presidents. Our largest expenditure is on Defense, but try getting them to cut the Pentagon or defense budget. Conservatives also talk about intrusive Government while passing laws that intrude into our lives.

This whole argument that both sides are bad isn't really true and all it takes is some research to see it.

I wasn't trying to be condescending, you really need to do more research.

Social security: Approximately 110 Republicans in the house at the time: 85 voted for it, 15 voted against it (rest didn't vote or not present).

You failed to reconcile the fact that he pointed out that the STATE of Texas has a balanced budget, not just Houston.

Massachusetts has had Conservative Governors as well (remember Rick Scott?).

Iraq War: Over half the Democrats in Congress voted for the Iraq War, so I'd hardly say that they lockstep opposed it.

The EPA was signed into law by an Executive Order from Richard Nixon, a Republican.

Welfare: Even most Democrats admit that Welfare was a disaster until the welfare reforms of the late 90's, which were pushed by Republicans.

"Our largest expenditure is on Defense, but try getting them to cut the Pentagon or defense budget."
For starters, our largest expenditure isn't on defense, we spend more on both Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. 2nd, Democrats were in office during essentially all of our biggest Military expenditures, including WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. A Repub was in the house during Iraq/Afghanistan, but like I already mentioned, a majority of Democrats voted for both of those wars.

"Conservatives rightfully rant about our debt, but the problem is they try to blame it on all on Liberal spending, when in fact the majority of our debt was passed by Conservative presidents."
It's Congress that has "power of the purse", so debt falls more to them than anyone else. Since libs usually use the Reagan era onwards to point out this fact, feel free to check out this chart:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Public_Debt_Ceiling_1981-2010.png
As you can see, debt increases much faster when we have a Democratic controlled Congress.

"Conservatives also talk about intrusive Government while passing laws that intrude into our lives."
Agree 100%

"This whole argument that both sides are bad isn't really true and all it takes is some research to see it."
I agree on the research part.

The funny thing about this is that I don't even consider myself Conservative, but it drives me nuts when people are so brainwashed with the "My side good!!! Other side bad!!!!" ideology that they'll believe anything there told. It's like people who will continue to insist that vaccines cause autism, no matter how much research you put in front of them.

Oh, and the Democrats shut down the Government 7 times during the Reagan era.

briankoontz:

amaranth_dru:
I fall in the South Park category of politics, in which I feel both sides of the issues are so far batshit insane (and downright stupid) that I want no part in it and trust none of them. I love the humor of South Park, because it really hits the nose on what "equality" really means. Humor has no politics.

That's not true. Parker and Stone are middle-of-the-road libertarians, not left-wing or right-wing.

That's not true. Libertarianism in the mid-20th and 21st-century U.S. is a thoroughly rightwing movement with a few blips here and there. Outside of the U.S., libertarianism is not only a left-wing movement, but is actually associated with anarchism. (Indeed, the first use of the term libertarian was by an anarchist while discussing anarchism.) Rightwingers took the term libertarian in order to create a counter to liberalism while distancing themselves from the usual trappings of rightwing politics. It wasn't entirely successful.

So, no, Stone and Parker are rightwingers on many issues and have moral values on others. That actually lends itself to Bob's point: the ability to say X doesn't matter, where X is a life-or-death issue for millions but doesn't mean shit to you, is basically a rightwing position. That's what causes South Park's unevenness in "handedness" and tone, and why episodes can vary from hilarious to banal.

Humor does have politics -- just check the Daily Show versus the rightwing's failed attempts at creating a counter. Humor must have truth behind it; without some basis in reality, there is no irony. No irony means no humor. If you're self-deluded or selfishly lying to yourself about an issue, your jokes on that issue will fall flat because they only make sense in your little world.

Think about it this way: why did rightwingers even think they needed a "counter" to the Daily Show in the first place? Because, as Colbert said, "reality has a well-known liberal bias."

briankoontz:
South Park is like the Simpsons, Family Guy, or Futurama - it's so utterly middle-of-the-road that it hardly offends anyone

Um, no, wrong. South Park still offends people -- they just don't bother watching it once it becomes irritating. Futurama and the Simpsons have _never_ hit the level of outrage that South Park has, for good or ill, and they don't have a history of dud satire episodes, either. (Then again, they don't try for straight political satire nearly as often, either.) Family Guy's controversies are usually issues of taste.

As to the general political discussion herein: do note that the Democrats in Congress are mostly rightwingers. The U.S. is run by two hard-right parties: one considered crazy by the rest of the world and one considered sane by the rest of the world -- but definitely hard-right. Using the Democrats as an example of liberalism, without pointing out specific groups of Democrats, is simply wrong.

Oh geez, please stop the "check your privelage" stuff. Please.

O_O

Is anyone actually surprised by moviebob's response? I mean he obviously leans towards one side, go figure he might be lazy enough one day to actually take offense at a comedy show like southpark.

Alec baldwin's "free pass" wasn't the same as southparks. Southpark is a comedy show, it presents comedy. Take offense or not, this is a comedy show, about comedy.

The free pass baldwin got isn't because he was a "comedian", and it had NOTHING to do with comedy. It was just some rants he posted that were anti-gay. Not only that, Alec Baldwin CONTINUALLY gets this pass by the media, for no real reason.
----------

you could also relate the paula deen thing to this, and the huge double standard people have, but thats political and off-topic.
----------------

TL:DR MovieBob commented on something he clearly didn't research, made himself look stupid.

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