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South Park is willing to make light of anything, and in the process can seem very nihilistic, but often makes a serious point in the end. In my experience, a complete inability to make light of things (as a procedural step of sorts) tends to accompany great psychological difficulties. No one would argue that seriousness doesn't have it place, that isn't the point. The point is that "making fun of" has its place too, and is essential. In terms of Objectivism, I am aware that it demands that humor be found only in the bad, not the good, and I agree (though I think that's inherent in how humor works anyway). South Park works because above all else, it understands the basic principles of humor and applies them well, and those principles are well worth considering.

Edited by Seeker

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The show isn't as funny as it used to be. It's gotten too preachy. It was great back when there was a hilarious show capped off with an "I've learned something today" speech by Kyle or Stan. Now, every show is just moral message, after moral message, after moral message, with an occasional mildly funny joke thrown in there.

EDIT: My cat just threw up on my bowl of ice cream. :)

Edited by Moose

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I'm not a fan of the bathroom humor aspect of the show, but some of their humor hits the target spot on, such the one on scientology or ManBearPig.

EDIT: My cat just threw up on my bowl of ice cream. :(

You had it coming.

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I used to like South Park for speaking out correctly on some issues, but after many crappy episodes, especially one on Wal-mart, I've had enough. The creators are too sarcastic and nihilistic.

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I like most South Park episodes, the evil it denounces are real and they get denounced in a really hilarious way.

I don't agree with what has been said about South Park merely tearing down negatives without offering alternatives---as someone else pointed out above, most often the episodes conclude with a speech by Stan or Kyle about the way people should go about things (though most often the people listen and then do exactly the opposite thing). Besides, Stan and Kyle are TRUE heroes. Innocent as they are, they can never fully understand the irrationality and stupidity of the society around them, but they always end up acting reasonably.

Some episodes, however, are far too disgusting, specially some of the latest. Nevertheless, on the whole, I would say it's a very good show.

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Besides, Stan and Kyle are TRUE heroes. Innocent as they are, they can never fully understand the irrationality and stupidity of the society around them, but they always end up acting reasonably.
I challenge you to explain how their actions were reasonable in Wal-mart episode.

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I really enjoy South Park, but stand by my statement that it's essentially a negative show. The best South Park episodes are reactions against bad ideas, behavior, or institutions. That's what satire is about. Stan and Kyle aren't heroes. Stone & Parker have said as much - they are essentially normal kids with some common sense and the ability to see through hypocrisy. Their occasional displays of honesty and integrety primarily serve as a foil to the targets of Stone & Parker's satirical attacks. To me, that's funny, and so is toilet humor to a degree, so I like the show. But I don't kid myself and pretend that it's an uplifting experience. South Park is about making fun of people, which means that the focus always on those who deserve scorn, not those who inspire by example.

I actually like South Park's "preachy" episodes the best. These are the episodes where Stone & Parker really care about the subject matter, and someone they really want to fight against. Like organized religion, or liberal platitudes. When they don't have a target, their underlying outlook on life shows up more clearly. Take one of their worst episodes - Episode 1014 - Stanley's Cup. In it, they satirize the concept of "happy endings" in films by allowing the climax to be Stan's hockey team losing a contest which in turn drives a teammate to die of cancer.

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I challenge you to explain how their actions were reasonable in Wal-mart episode.

I haven't watched that one, so I cannot speak for it. But they tend to be very reasonable, like in the episode in which Stan fights to prove that mentalists are not just phoney but malicious.

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South Park usually attacks the right targets, and attacks them well. Those are their best episodes. But sometimes they attack the wrong targets too, or attack from the wrong angle.

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Canada on Strike!

America should take her hat off after that episode

I think this episode was to make fun of the Writer's Guild of America strike. It was brilliantly done. Canada goes on strike for "some of that Internet money" :) .

Stan: Boy, I'm sure glad that's over with.

Butters:Me too!

Kyle:Yeah, but you know, I learned something today. We thought we could make money on the internet. But, while the internet is new and exciting for creative people, it hasn't matured as a distribution mechanism to the extent that one should trade real and immediate opportunities for income for the promise of future online revenue. It will be a few years before digital distribution of media on the internet can be monetized to an extent that necessitates content producers to forego their fair value in more traditional media.

Stan: Yeah

Edited by Rearden_Steel

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South Park is actually loosely themed after the works of Ayn Rand. The setting is the former "Galts Gulch"

Consider the following:

-In the episode "Cartmans mom is still a dirty slut", Kenny is tasked with activating the self sustaining backup generator. This is of course John Galts miracle invention, clearly forgotten about is the present day.

-Butters Stotch is the child of the children of Hank Rearden (mother) and John Galt (father). I would venture a guess that Dagny Taggart is implied to be the grandmother in both cases. He is the hard working, scapegoat, individualist hero of the show, and he frequently is shown as being a little strange, and a reject from the rest of the children. He is the modern day incarnation of Ayn Rands heros; I believe the point that is being made is that our society does not value the ethics espoused by Ayn Rand in her works.

-In the episode "Chickenlover", The bookmobile guy is none other than a reincarnation (or decendant) of Howard Roark. The symbolic chicken is Dominique Francon, and the manner in which he teaches Barbrady to read is modeled after the manner in which he taught the people in the Fountainhead to think for themselves. Note stans comment that the chickens dont seem to mind...

Now, I love Ayn Rands books, and I am completely sold on objectivist philosophy. Ron Paul is the only politician I have voted for in my life (I am still young, hopefully there will be another), and the Libertarian ideal is the closest thing to my idea of a government system. I do not find these references offensive, for a number of reasons:

-Trey Parker and Matt Stone obviously believe in Ayn Rands code of values, as many of their episodes would indicate. They are opposed to the masses dominating with mob energy, and they worship the individual spirit.

-South Park has in modern culture immortalized Ayn Rand's name, which can only increase the circulation of her works.

-South Park is a satirical examination of current day events (see disclaimer), and frequently the morals espoused by the characters in the show are shown in order to expose stupidity and illogical practice in society. Barbrady is an Idiot.

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Now, I love Ayn Rands books, and I am completely sold on objectivist philosophy. Ron Paul is the only politician I have voted for in my life (I am still young, hopefully there will be another), and the Libertarian ideal is the closest thing to my idea of a government system.

Blank-Picard_Facepalm.jpg

This post makes me rage.

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-Butters Stotch is the child of the children of Hank Rearden (mother) and John Galt (father). I would venture a guess that Dagny Taggart is implied to be the grandmother in both cases.

Most of your claims are pretty fantastic (as in "outrageous"), but this one sounds not like a comparison of any kind, but outright conjecture.

How are you concluding that Butters' grandfathers are Rearden and Galt (and that his parents are half-siblings)?

Edited by Chops

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-Butters Stotch is the child of the children of Hank Rearden (mother) and John Galt (father). I would venture a guess that Dagny Taggart is implied to be the grandmother in both cases. He is the hard working, scapegoat, individualist hero of the show.

Butters? The comic relief who in one episode was told by Cartman to go into the bathroom and pull on his pennis until seamen came out is suppose to be a representative of a Randian hero? I think not.

-In the episode "Chickenlover", The bookmobile guy is none other than a reincarnation (or decendant) of Howard Roark. The symbolic chicken is Dominique Francon, and the manner in which he teaches Barbrady to read is modeled after the manner in which he taught the people in the Fountainhead to think for themselves. Note stans comment that the chickens dont seem to mind...

That has to be the most far fetched assumption I've ever herd with relating Rands works to popular culture. How anybody can relate the beautiful relationship of Dominique Francon and Howard Roark to a rapist and a chicken is unfathomable. I'm honestly speechless as to how anybody could write such a thing with a strait face.

Now, I love Ayn Rands books, and I am completely sold on objectivist philosophy. Ron Paul is the only politician I have voted for in my life.

If you were completely sold on her philosophy, then you should understand how disastrous Ron Pauls disgustingly pacifistic foreign policy actually is. It's a shame that we finally get a presidential candidate influenced by the Austrian School and he turns out to have one of the most destructive foreign policies of all others.

-Trey Parker and Matt Stone obviously believe in Ayn Rands code of values, as many of their episodes would indicate. They are opposed to the masses dominating with mob energy, and they worship the individual spirit.

They also did an episode criticizing intellectual property rights, and stating that atheism isn't the answer because "no single solution towards metaphysical problems is the right solution." Which is not very Objectivist at all.

-South Park has in modern culture immortalized Ayn Rand's name, which can only increase the circulation of her works.

If it does, it will only be promoting Objectivism with the wrong message, which can be more destructive then not promoting the philosophy at all.

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Butters? The comic relief who in one episode was told by Cartman to go into the bathroom and pull on his pennis until seamen came out is suppose to be a representative of a Randian hero? I think not.

That has to be the most far fetched assumption I've ever herd with relating Rands works to popular culture. How anybody can relate the beautiful relationship of Dominique Francon and Howard Roark to a rapist and a chicken is unfathomable. I'm honestly speechless as to how anybody could write such a thing with a strait face.

If you were completely sold on her philosophy, then you should understand how disastrous Ron Pauls disgustingly pacifistic foreign policy actually is. It's a shame that we finally get a presidential candidate influenced by the Austrian School and he turns out to have one of the most destructive foreign policies of all others.

They also did an episode criticizing intellectual property rights, and stating that atheism isn't the answer because "no single solution towards metaphysical problems is the right solution." Which is not very Objectivist at all.

If it does, it will only be promoting Objectivism with the wrong message, which can be more destructive then not promoting the philosophy at all.

Theyre 8 year old children. If anything, cartman is comparable to gail wynand, the man with no integrity, seeking to destroy those who remind of the fact.

Watch all of the episodes where butters makes appearances like I have, and then comment on my assertion please. He is the man who stands up to all opposition, the man who says no. He is young and gets taken advantage of by people like cartman, as did henry rearden. He frequently is given the role of the moral compass by which all the other characters are judged.

How can you support the war in iraq? Its not even a war, so much as a hostile takeover. Ron Paul isnt a pacifist, he just doesnt believe in starting wars in order to make profit for the arms industry. Anyone who reads Ayn Rands books should be able to detect the kind of political corruption that is currently destroying the country.

They are realists, and if you think file sharing can be controlled without reverting to a police state, you have clearly never ventured outside the realm of pure philosophy.

And as to Howard Roark and Dominique, I mentioned already that it was satire. The creators are nearly universally irreverant, the fact that they bothered to conceal these references to Rand's work in their show is a compliment, morphed by their twisted black sense of humor.

I hate to have to educate somebody on internet forums, but the words are "penis" and "seimen". I'd have hoped that most objectivists would be able to express themselves clearly in the language that Ayn Rand chose to shape her literature.

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