Today: Apr 21, 2024

South Park: Why the world would be a better place if everyone watched it…and got it.

Alexandra LaBonte – Special To The Southern News 

For those uninformed about the greatest satire/comedy/show of all time, South Park  follows the eventful lives of four fourth graders.  The children without social pre-conceptions are more rational than their adult counterparts.  The boys watch a Canadian  show on TV called ‘Terrence and Phillip’ which is a pair of guys that constantly make  “potty jokes” and fart (a metaphor for the public interpretation and feedback the South Park creators have received about their own show and others such as Beavis and Butthead).

While the young boys of South Park are thoroughly and simply entertained by the fart jokes, their parents see an immediate threat in it that the boys can’t understand.  Specifically in episode 6 “Death” (1997) and the South Park movie (1999) Sheila, Kyle’s mom, petitions the Canadian show, protesting its malevolent influence on their children. In the 1999 movie Sheila goes as far as wanting Terrence and Phillip put to death.     In the episode “Death” the parents are so preoccupied with getting the “toilet humor” off the air in order to “save the children” that Stan’s parents fail to recognize their grandfather’s failed suicide attempts. Their neglect quickly leads to the grandfather harassing Stan to kill him instead.

Stan is seeking adult guidance in the situation while his parents blindly believe they are helping him by taking off the air what was babysitting him in the first place.  He goes to his moral-lacking teacher Mr. Garrison, the infamous Chef, and yes, even Jesus, asking their advice on whether or not it is moral to kill his pleading Grandfather.

All the characters answer with, “I’m not touching that with a 20/40/60 foot pole”.  With pressing issues at his 9-year old hands, the parents themselves are more obsessed with the farts than the children.  The farts have not influenced the children the way the parents have feared; in fact it has done just what they feared, but to themselves- they are the ones so influenced and affected. Therefore the question is raised, who needs the parenting? So much attention is   being put on the ‘Terrence and Phillip’ show yet not on their children.

The parents eventually move their protest miles away with the boys in Colorado unsupervised (unless you count Stan’s suicidal grandfather following them around begging to be put out of his misery).

The hilarious irony of it all is what makes South Park so genius. The parents fight a cable network they believe is harming their children’s minds by showing their children violence, crudeness, and downright irrationality. A somewhat subtle yet direct hit toward writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s haters-American parents. It seems as though it is not the weight of the actual things said or done (in this case the farts) but the way we deal with them that have the biggest impact in our lives.  Bottom line, chill out.

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