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What do you people think of South Park, both aesthetically and philosophically?

Personally, I find it absolutely hilarious. The philosophy usually seems pretty good too. I've noticed that it mostly attacks the left, which is just fine with me. However, every now and then it goes too far right (against separation of church and state) or even too left (anti-war). But, overall, I still think it's a great show.

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I recall an episode of South Park where "Big gay Al" (the token gay character) was refused from being able to join the boy scouts. Then the authorities tried to force the scout leaders to accept gay people and fight their discrimination. Big gay Al then went and opposed this with an individual rights stance, saying that it is within their right to reject gay people no matter how wrong we think they are.

At least I think that's how it went. It was several years ago.

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Trey Parker is a Libertarian, so that is why South Park tends to be anti-left, anti-war, etc. Matt Stone doesn't even think he's registered to vote, but it can be assumed he has similar views to Trey.

That was actually one of their funnier, yet more distasteful episodes, iouswuoibev. Big Gay Al was a man who had come out of the closet and was open about his homosexuality. He was also the cubmaster of the boyscouts, and was expelled when the scouts realized he was gay (and in a bout of irony, a hidden pedophile replaced him.) The boys thought this was unfair, so they protested in front of a Grocery store. Soon enough, a fight broke out between two of the crippled boys (Jimmy and Timmy) who had been rivals with each other. people crowded around to watch the two boys fight (and was taken move for move from a movie whose name decieves me right now.) And eventually attracts such a huge crowd the people in the back do not know what is going on, and assume it has to do with the protesting of the boy scouts. They eventually attract the attention of a high level liberal lawyer (again, it's been a while, I can't remember her name either) who takes the plight of the boys personally and files sexist charges against the boy scout association. When she wins the case, she holds a big ceremony (and even uses the old "Today is a good day for democracy!" line) for Big Gay Al, but BGA announces that he has no intention of rejoining the scouts, because he recognizes the association's right to accept and deny whoever they wish. The liberal lawyer of course goes crazy with "Homophobe! fascist pig!" in another bit of irony. The episode ends with Timmy getting Jimmy thrown out of the scouts because he photoshopped a picture of Jimmy's head onto a picture of two gay men embracing.

Another fantastic episode was the one where Cartman was charged with a hate crime because he threw a rock at a black kid (oddly enough, named "token") and they enlisted the aid of the black kid's father to prove that "hate" crimes are pointless (at least, no worse or better than the same crime without the race involved.)

so in other words, it's in bad taste, but the bad taste is part of it's charm.

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South Park is my favorite TV show, but I have reservations about it.

First of all, I like it because it makes me laugh more than any other show I've encountered. At it's best, the show satirizes things which really deserve it, and which nobody else has the guts to take on. I don't get offended by much, and find toilet humor funny. People who can be offended by anything, will be.

For example, there is the well known "Rainforest Schmainforest" episode which parodied the use of kids for enviro-activism and ended with the following text scroll

"Each year, the Rainforest is responsible for over three thousand deaths from accidents, attacks or illnesses.

There are over seven hundred things in the Rainforest that cause cancer.

Join the fight now and help stop the Rainforest before it's too late. "

South Park has repeatedly attacked political correctness, environmentalism, animal rights groups, "new age" mysticism, and organized religion in humorous and meaningful ways.

Just browsing through episode guides will tell much about what kind of content is in South Park: http://www.tvtome.com/SouthPark/eplist.html

For example in the two episodes "Do the Handicapped Go To Hell?" and "Probably", they mock the Christian religion, the concept of Hell and Heaven, portray Satan as a relationship-dependent monster deciding between two lovers, the brutal Saddam Hussein, and Chris, a vegetarian 90's man in touch with his emotions.

"Sexual Harrasment Panda," "Butt Out" and "The Death Camp of Tolerance" are examples of episodes with a common theme of the law intruding into private behavior.

From the negative side:

South Park is only good at tearing down negatives, not creating positives. The best characters are at best "normal". There are no uplifting or inspiring episodes. The episodes are purposefully offensive. South Park once had an idiot character criticize "Atlas Shrugged", while another idiot character promoted it. I think that Ayn Rand would have disliked a show like this, as naturalistic, crude, full of gutter humor, and anti-heroic.

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which idiot promoted it? I know Officer Barbrady bashed it after he learned to read, but I have no recollection of any praise of Atlas Shrugged.

I loved the spoof of LOTR. Even though LOTR is remarkably pro-individualism and anti-collectivism.

"The tape is evil! it must be destroyed!"

"This tape must be returned to the movie store from where it came!"

"Perhaps we can use it to power our star destroyers!"

"Kevin, Goddammit..."

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The "chickenlover" bookmobile guy promoted it to Officer Barbrady after he learned to read. Perhaps the bookmobile guy was a composite of freaky Libertarian fans of Ayn Rand that Trey Parker may have come across. (Possibly another example of the damage caused by Libertarians being associated with Ayn Rand.) "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" in season 4 was probably also inspired by exposure to Libertarian freakishness (South park is against NAMBLA, btw).

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which idiot promoted it? I know Officer Barbrady bashed it after he learned to read, but I have no recollection of any praise of Atlas Shrugged.

I loved the spoof of LOTR. Even though LOTR is remarkably pro-individualism and anti-collectivism.

"The tape is evil! it must be destroyed!"

"This tape must be returned to the movie store from where it came!"

"Perhaps we can use it to power our star destroyers!"

"Kevin, Goddammit..."

Just because it was a spoof doesn't mean it was anti-LOTR...every popular movie gets made fun of, even by people who love it. Even so, LOTR is also very pro-Christian.

But, yes, that was a great episode...but I think my all time favorite quote is:

Cartman: Alright, alright, I drank the chocolate milk mix and replaced it with kitty litter.

Kenny's Dad: You WHAT?

Stan: Dude! Don't you know what this means? You drank Kenny!

Cartman (stunned): ...shut up.

Kyle: You did, dude! You drank his whole body!

Cartman: Shut up!

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I too enjoy South Park. I agree with A.West that it's big problem is it just tears down negatives. Also, wasn't there an anti-stem cell research episode? I can't really remember...

I think my favorite episode would have to be the "You Got Served!" one (I don't think that's the actual title).

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I too enjoy South Park. I agree with A.West that it's big problem is it just tears down negatives. Also, wasn't there an anti-stem cell research episode? I can't really remember...

I think my favorite episode would have to be the "You Got Served!" one (I don't think that's the actual title).

I can only think of two that involve stem cells...one of them (the one w/ Chrisotpher Reeve) doesn't really seem to take a clear stance, although Reeve does end up being defeated in his quest for stem cells.

The other one seems pro-stem cell research. It's the one where Kenny dies (for real, this time) and Cartman goes to Congress to lobby for stem cell research, where he causes the whole United States Congress to break out into an 80's love song and much hilarity ensues. That particular episode is about as close as South Park has ever gotten to actually being "serious." Most of the episode is not at all funny and there are several very serious moments that, if they had happened on a different show, would almost make you want to cry.

I agree that South Park mostly just tears down negatives, but what's wrong with that? However, I can think of several episodes that build up positives. The episode where the boys go to Afghanistan is very pro-American and pro-military, although it shows it in the show's own quirky way. While most of it may focus on tearing down negatives, I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. Comedy, especially satire, is not generally good at building things up...it's good at making ridiculous things look even more ridiculous. It would be hard to make a show like South Park funny, if it tried to build up positives, rather than tearing down negatives.

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While I appreciate the attempt to take on well deserved subjects for their plots, I really don't care for South Park due to the language. I simply don't like that it's used for a large percentage of the dialogue. There's only so much "anger replacement" I can stand before it just turns into an exercise in crudeness. I remember one episode in particular that had the goal of saying "fuck" as many times as possible. I think it was supposed to be a big deal because prior to that the tv censors would bleep it out.

Though I will admit I thought the rainforest episode was funny, as well as the one with the aliens and cows. Actually, most episodes I've seen were funny, but I still don't seek out the show regularly due to the above reason.

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While I appreciate the attempt to take on well deserved subjects for their plots, I really don't care for South Park due to the language.  I simply don't like that it's used for a large percentage of the dialogue.  There's only so much "anger replacement" I can stand before it just turns into an exercise in crudeness.  I remember one episode in particular that had the goal of saying "fuck" as many times as possible.  I think it was supposed to be a big deal because prior to that the tv censors would bleep it out.

The word was "shit" and that's the whole point of the episode. The point was that it can be used excessively and, if it is, then the words lose their impact. Every episode after that one has bleeped the word "shit," whereas all the ones before did not.

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I absolutely love South Park. Its right up there with The Simpson's as one of my favorite shows. Trey Parker and Matt Stone went to the same school district that I did and a lot of the stuff about elementary school directly satirizes the public school system I grew up with.

My favorite episode is "Casa Bonita," when Cartman kidnaps Butters so that he can go to Kyle's birthday party there. I used to have birthday parties at that crazy resturant when I was little.

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(Quick aside ..)

Soon enough, a fight broke out between two of the crippled boys (Jimmy and Timmy) who had been rivals with each other. people crowded around to watch the two boys fight (and was taken move for move from a movie whose name decieves me right now.)

The movie was They Live, starring "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

The South Park scene was animated, almost shot-for-shot, against that scene from the movie. Piper's character had come across some special xray-like sunglasses that exposed aliens disguised as regular humans. Trying to get a construction site coworker (played by David Kieth) to believe his story and wear the glasses, the two engage in one of the most ridiculously long alley fights in cinema. The fight scene lasts longer than Mike Myers milking a cheap joke ... hilarious.

It was from this movie one of the best film lines ever came - "I'm here to kick @ss and chew bubble gum ... and I'm all out of bubble gum."

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I think South Park is hilarious. The fact that it's one of the most principled programs on television only adds to it's appeal. The social commentary of the later episodes is far superior to the gimmicky toilet humour that I remember characterising the first series.

Edited by Hal

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I recall an Objectivist article, I think on Capitalism Magazine, tearing into South Park as being " far too negative " and where there never is a positive message, but only the degrading of other positions or some such non-sense. I think that is a very foolish assumption of someone who has maybe viewed one or two episodes. Most episodes end with a " moral of the story ", normally doled out by Kenny or Stan ( the more serious characters ) and can be rather positive.

I think it has a very good, pro-capitalism message most of the time. In Season three, the 4 boys are forced to go with a children activist group to Costa Rica. The head authority figure is a mindless hippie who demands that Cartman respect the culture, customs and layout of an obviously decayed and bankrupt society and country. Near the end, they find themselves lost in the rainforest and are eventually saved by the same people they came to protest, logging companies. The children and the teacher are bound up by savages, and the construction workers come in and thwart the Natives and untie the teacher and children. The end of the episode features a hilarious song which proclaims that the only reason people claim to care about the rainforest is because its popular and " it sells ". There are various other messages that are anti-hippie mentality, pro-capitalism and even pro-war. I don't get how many people who claim to be South Park fans say they are anti-war. Perhaps you have not watched Team America: World Police?

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One South Park episode which promotes a positive is the two part "Cartoon Wars" episode which is pro-free speech. The story is that Family Guy is going to show the Prophet Mohammed (not even in a negative light, I think he just hands a pizza to one of the other characters) which as we all know sends the Muslims a little bit totally fucking crazy. And so people blame Family Guy for bringing danger to America and they formulate a plan to literally bury their heads in the sand, but South Park argues that it's not the fault of the Family Guy team who have the right to free speech, it's the fault of the jerks who commit murder because their feelings are hurt. And the funny thing is that Comedy Central wouldn't allow South Park to show Mohammed in reality!

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My favorite is Toilet Paper, especially the scene where Cartman wants to kill Kyle and Stan with a baloon bat. The ones with Hannibal kid are also hilarious.

Edited by lex_aver

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South Park is my favorite show, I think. It just gets funnier and funnier.

Oh, and...

"My mom says there's a lot of black people in Africa..."

EDIT: Oh, I think one of my favorite episodes is the one where that Mormon kid moves to South Park and Stan starts hanging out with him and learning about Mormonism. The flashbacks to Joseph Smith are hilarious! "...even though nobody else ever saw them...DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM!"

Edited by Kori

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I'm not a fan of South Park, but this may be because I never saw any of the actually good episodes (the only ones I can remember watching in there entirety were the Chickenlover episode and Chef Aid). I just found it to be very nihilistic, crude and toilet-oriented. I also thought that the aggressive crudity completely destroyed anything that might have been actually amusing in Team America: World Police. Why put up with that when I can find the same level of clever humor in other things without having to tolerate the disgusting aspects?

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