South Park – honest, brave, honorable

Thoughts on Part II are here

I can’t believe I’m writing those words. In the beginning, I wouldn’t let my kids watch the show.

Tonight’s episode was brilliant. And brave. Basically Matt Stone and Trey Parker took all of their creative capital and threw down a gauntlet: America, will you submit to Dhimmitude (beginning with the continual placing of your head in the sand) or will you stand up for free speech and liberty.

It’s about the Mohammed Cartoons. It’s about more than that, though. Much more. Part II is next week. If you can see Part I before then, try to…it is a scathing critique of America and Americans and their willingness to weaken themselves through fear and misplaced sensitivity.

And, in a weird synchronicity, Dan Simmons is also throwing down a gauntlet via a sobering piece of fiction.

In the end, both the story and the SP episode are about misidentifying the enemy and the goal. And about not being as ruthless and savage as might be necessary when the enemy doesn’t mind dying, if he gets to kill you.

UPDATE: I’m getting a few emails from people offended that I dare praise South Park: “don’t you know that they made a horrific episode mocking the Virgin Mary?”

Well, yes, I saw that episode and was offended by it and shut it off…but they weren’t mocking the Virgin Mary so much as people who look for supernatural signs and go overboard with them. But though, I was offended, but I didn’t take it personally. South Park mocks everyone, and to be honest, they want to mock Mary, she’ll get them in the end – she’ll bring ‘em to Jesus; you don’t mess with Mary! :-) After I turned off the The Virgin Mary episode I frankly prayed for the guys (they’d hate that, I know). Too bad. I prayed for ‘em. Imagine how different the world would be if Muslims prayed for those who offended them, instead of declaring fatwas on them.

Tonight, I thought they SP boys let ‘er rip – they ragged on Family Guy, the Mohammed Cartoons, themselves and even their cable network. It was bold and gutsy, in an era where no one is bold or gutsy, or they make a movie about Edward R. Murrow and think that’s “brave.” No, what the SP guys did tonight was brave. Maybe crazy, but brave. I think their Peabody Award was well-deserved.

Ed Morrissey (who was just named – deservedly so – “Blogger of the Year“) also admires the episode.

Counseling Kevin has poems in the time of war.

RELATED: PartII

WELCOME: CQ and Althouse readers. While you’re here, please look around. Today we’re watching the trailer from United 93 and we’re also talking about Why Benedict became a Priest, and what the American Idols need to do to win, and we’re having fun with Katie Couric, and we’re wondering about media indifference, whether blogs are the gatekeepers of the gatekeepers and the fight between light and darkness being played out before our eyes. And Saddam was thinking of attacking our assets. Also we remember 9/11 via video.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • LRFD

    A few years ago, when South Park was back in its second or third season, I told my brother that I found South Park to be crude and pointless. I still think that’s the case in some of the earlier episodes, but after ‘BASEketball’ they’ve gotten serious, deadly serious.

    After the proverbial fan was hit, after the rest of the media refused to even print the cartoons (or apologised profusely after having done so), I thought that only the guys on South Park would risk life and limb, literally, over this issue. Then when they choose to go with an episode ridiculing Isaac Hayes, followed by the next episode where San Francisco is destroyed by a smug storm, I was expecting the Mohammed cartoons to be dealt with, and yet all I saw on the South Park website an episode description about Kyle and Cartman trying to get ‘Family Guy’ off the air. I had so little faith in them. I just wonder how they managed to keep this one under wraps. I hope that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have their security paid up, espically when the Islamic world begins to issue death threats over this and their former depiction of Mohammed where he shoot fire out of his finger tips and took orders from Moses.

    Speaking of this though, I now have to have a talk with a friend of mine who, for ‘a legal issue that just came up out of nowhere’ is going home next week – home being Syria. I think we need to have a talk… Wish me luck.

  • TheAnchoress

    Yeah…sounds like you need to talk, alright.

  • ForNow

    I seldom wish I had cable TV, but this time I do.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    It is amazing that they can turn these out in such short order. I remember they turned out the one about Elian Gonzalez about three days after Janet Reno kidnapped him at gunpoint.
    .
    Anyway, it should be noted that South Park has ALREADY featured and depicted Mohammed in an episode — The Super Best Friends, who include Jesus, “Buddha, with the powers of invisibility; Mohammed, the Muslim prophet with the powers of flame” (he raises his hands palm up and a blast of flame emerges from each hand) “Krishna, the Hindu deity; Jospeh Smith, the Mormom prophet; Lao Tse, the founder of Taoism” (performs some martial arts moves with his cane) “and Sea-Man, with the ability to breathe underwater and link mentally with fish.”
    .
    In this episode, the Super Best Friends are called into action to stop David Blaine and his cult movement of Blainetologists from committing a mass suicide.

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  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    In fact, you can get a pic of all “the Super Best Friends” (episode 504), including you-know-who at http://www.southparkstudios.com
    by going to the Downloads and then Images sections.

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  • Bob Diethrich

    Actually Madame it will be interesting to see if there is a Part II. ON http://www.tv.com next week’s episode is listed only as TBA, with no information. Matt and Trey have been known to pull jokes like this in the past, such as when they were supposed to reveal Eric Cartman’s father in a two parter and replaced it with an April Fool’s Day episode totally unrelated. Also, did you notice the final voice-over narration, asking half seriously if Comedy Central might (wimp) out and cave to the pressure? I agree totally. Tonight was briliant!

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  • gcotharn

    I think Southpark is raunchy brilliant, and is some of the finest television ever(and some of the finest movies, for that matter). The boys love to gross me out – to the point that I have turned off several episodes – as my sensibilities are too effete for their bathroom tastes. Still, what they do is cutting edge, and hilarious. My favorite episode is “Chicken Lover”, where Cartman has a stint as a cop: “Poor people tend to live in clusters,” and “Step out of the car, please.”

    FYIs:
    1) they put out episodes fast b/c their software is so fast and powerful.
    2) they said(if they can be believed) they learned a lesson with the fake out episode about Cartman’s father: the audience hates to be messed with.

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