South Park As A Gated Community

ZZoMBiE13

Ate My Neighbors
Oct 10, 2007
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lacktheknack said:
That baby-vs-annoying-dude example at the start of the article was... kind of brilliant, actually.
Yeah, it really was.

But I have to say, I think South Park could still have some legs. But it needs a shot in the arm. The guys who created it are now killing it. They clearly aren't as into the work as they once were. Everyone grows up, and even snarky anarchic Matt and Trey have got to be at least my age by this point (early 40s).

South Park as an institution though, could still be something great. Let the guys go off and make Broadway musicals or whatever it is that happens to turn their crank this week. And let their writing team work on their own. Or some other options I haven't thought of.

I'd hate to lose South Park, but I wouldn't mind losing Matt and Trey provided they could show up once a week to do the voices.
 

TheDrunkNinja

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KissingSunlight said:
The analogy in the beginning of the blog is intentionally wrong to provide undue sympathy to one side. A South Park stand-in would slap the parent of the crying baby for not doing anything to console the baby.

I have no respect for people who are locked in on one political position. It shows intellectual laziness. No one political ideology is the correct answer to every problem that faces society. People who just advocates only one particular political position all the time are just engaging in tribalism. Instead of honestly discussing the issue.
Very well said, sir. Truth be told, most who describe themselves as liberal are often only so because they are in opposition to the kind of people who are politically-locked to the republican side on nearly every issue simply because they are republican. What often goes unsaid (save for Trey and Matt) is that many do fall into being politically-locked themselves because of the same opposition they have towards the other side. There's no referees in politics, unfortunately.
 

Gary Thompson

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Aug 29, 2011
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I never liked Family Guy, they always seemed so mean spirited.

I remember watching it and having to turn the channel because it just got down right insulting.
South Park, though, always seemed to be on the joking side rather than "we're better than you" side.
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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FFP2 said:
You might wanna edit your posts. We're not allowed to criticise content creators around these parts.
actually, we're allowed to criticise. What we're not allowed to do is attack them. That's why people are getting warnings. You can disagree and argue, and that's fine.

Otherwise, there would be a halving of the population every time there was a Zero Punctuation on a liked franchise (GTA, any Nintendo title, etc)

And I'd argue, but I actually agree with Bob's assessment. Well, mostly.

MarsAtlas said:
The exact reason I stopped watching Family Guy with any regularity. I mean, there was an episode where Quagmire goes off on Brian, and pretty much the entire audience is applauding this. Somehow, though, this is supposed to make Quagmire a dick, and the show goes on without the slightest bit of self-awareness as displayed in that single scene. Its like it was written by a critic of the show rather than any of the show's writers themselves, and then the writers fall back into old habits like nothing happened. Its almost like they don't care that they're hypocrites.
Brian, and liberals as a whole, have routinely been portrayed as self-righteous hypocrites. Quag really wasn't being portrayed as the bad guy there. And it was awesome.

But this sort of falls into the same theme of the analogy Bob made: people get upset and claim bias when you don't use thee same approach on the baby and the jerk, even if the outcome of doing so is inane.

The show was self-aware well before that scene ever happened. It portrays Brian (and others, but he's one of the main characters so he gets most of the time) as a hypocrite and dickweed. DVS already pointed out specifics, so I won't go on. The point being liberals aren't being ignored because you don't catch it or because it doesn't reach some arbitrary level of false equivalence.

Even if/when both sides are horrible on an equal level, they rarely end up being so in equal measure. Equal tactics, therefore, may not be the most effective way of dealing with two separate ideologies.
 

The Random One

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lacktheknack said:
That baby-vs-annoying-dude example at the start of the article was... kind of brilliant, actually.
Yeah - I think it concisely explains what's wrong with "that's OK because those people attack everyone" and "the only right side in this discussion is to calm down and take no sides" arguments.
 

Terrible Opinions

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Sep 11, 2011
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Every year, hundreds of South Park fans plunge to their deaths in the middle of the Grand Canyon, believing they can find the truth somewhere in the middle.
 

Imp_Emissary

Mages Rule, and Dragons Fly!
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FFP2 said:
ValSmith61 said:
Someone has to call him out for being a dick.
You might wanna edit your posts. We're not allowed to criticise content creators around these parts.
Yeah...Calling someone a dick is not criticism.

Anyway. Got to say I kind of agree with Bob. South Park has recently been a bit more cynical lately. Not that that is a bad thing, usually.

Though, it isn't always very cynical. The last episode with the "murder porn", and Minecraft was kind of great. And yes, Bob says they have still been pretty great every now and then, but it also had a nice little message about just trying to keep people away from media they "shouldn't have too often".

Then again, it was kind of a similar message as from the episode with the people pretending to be the kids from the future, to try and scare them off drugs and alcohol.

"Don't just find the easiest way out of an issue. Talk to people and be truthful about it.", and what not.
 

Gizen

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MarsAtlas said:
Steve the Pocket said:
Actually, it's not even "fuck you", it's more "fuck those assholes, amirite?" *smirks at camera*
The exact reason I stopped watching Family Guy with any regularity. I mean, there was an episode where Quagmire goes off on Brian, and pretty much the entire audience is applauding this. Somehow, though, this is supposed to make Quagmire a dick, and the show goes on without the slightest bit of self-awareness as displayed in that single scene. Its like it was written by a critic of the show rather than any of the show's writers themselves, and then the writers fall back into old habits like nothing happened. Its almost like they don't care that they're hypocrites.
If you're referring to the scene I THINK you're referring to, that scene wasn't intended to make Quagmire look like a dick, so much as it was Quagmire pointing out all of Brian's flaws to explain why Quagmire was justified in not personally liking Brian, after Brian spent the entire episode being unable to comprehend why someone might think he wasn't the perfect best friend. And then the show goes back to old habits after a conversation between Brian and Stewie that amounts to 'yeah, we're not for everyone, and that's fine, people have different tastes. If you don't enjoy, you can go do something you do enjoy, and we'll just keep doing what we're doing and somebody will be entertained, even if it's not you'.
 

HalfTangible

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Apr 13, 2011
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Callate said:
My friends religiously watched South Park for a couple of years back in college, but that was during the beginning of it's run. (Yeah... we're old.) We're the ones who gave a hoot and a cheer when we first heard the jingle at the end of the first episode, recognizing it as "The sky is blue, and all the leaves are green..." from Cannibal the Musical.

And then, well, most of us all but stopped watching television.

I've watched a couple of episodes of SP here and there, but I wasn't even aware of the sabbatical; that may say something about my level of stake on this particular issue.

I do remember hearing about the argument with Isaac Hayes that blew up during the Tom Cruise episode, and thinking at the time that while Parker and Stone had a point that the show had been making fun of people for a long time and it was peculiar for Hayes to start getting outraged about it now, they also reacted by treating someone who had been with the show from the beginning, someone who had a non-trivial part in establishing its success, like absolute shit.

"Chef was a robotic child molester all along!" ...Yeah, guys, that's hilarious. What is this, the Mafia? You walk away, you can expect a bullet to the back of the head?

So, noting the lack of stake and relatively narrow vantage point, it still sounds like MB's criticism is pretty accurate. Which is kind of a shame- it would be nice if someone with the kind of platform of Parker and Stone actually tried to use it for good, rather than patting people on the back for sneering apathy.
... The whole message of that ENTIRE episode was to be mad at "the fruity little club that scrambled his brains", not Chef.
 

sinsfire

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Nov 17, 2009
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Honestly the baby analogy from the beginning didn't sit well with me and I feel like that tainted the rest of the article. The reason the baby is not like the dude on the phone is that the baby doesn't actually know better. It is crying because it can't communicate in the same manner as the adult (or really even a child older than two can usually tell you what it wants and why its crying). It annoys the patrons on the bus, but it incapable of doing otherwise because the thing that is making it cry cannot be fixed due to a communication breakdown. It does not choose to annoy, whereas the phone dude is choosing to annoy despite his ability to recognize that people are annoyed and to resolve the situation by simply ending his phone call.

I get that South Park takes the piss out of everyone equally and they will put that on a shield to defend what they do. Its a valid point and a decent article, but the analogy which serves as the starting premiss just doesn't work.
 

ThatDarnCoyote

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Dec 3, 2011
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Assuming that your ideological assumptions are "the default", and finding fault with people because their assumptions differ from yours, is a form of privilege too.
 

Shjade

Chaos in Jeans
Feb 2, 2010
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FFP2 said:
You might wanna edit your posts. We're not allowed to criticise content creators around these parts.
You're kidding, right? Criticism of the content and its creators happens all the time here.

Insulting the content creators, on the other hand? That's not a great plan.
 

DrunkenElfMage

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Aug 17, 2011
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The NSA episode didn't really sit well for me. It spoke to me as if it was just a long big Jokey way of saying, "hey if you don't actually post anything online that isn't normal, than you have nothing to worry about!" THe problem is that these normal messages? THey are not for everyone, they are not for the government, they are only for the people we are messaging. It doesn't matter that these messages are "normal", the government shouldn't be looking at them in the first place.

Matt and Trey come from the entertainment world, where every actor, comedian, writer, director, anyone worth a damn have to self promote themselves as often as they can through twitter and facebook, and chances are its from these people that Matt and Trey heard the most complaints about the NSA and their invasion of our privacy. They themselves don't censor anything that spouts of of their mouths, so of course they are comfortable with as many people possible hearing what they, because they themselves have nothing to hide. They were totally fine for pointing out the hypocrisy of putting out all your thought on twitter for everyone to read with Cartman, but a lot of people on the internet, like me, consider their internet lives very personal and private. It bothers me that someone out there could easily skim through conversations I've had on the private messages of Facebook where I talked to my cousins on how they are taking my grandfathers death, or how my friend is dealing with her brother headed to the mental hospital. Nothing is illegal about these conversations, but some asshole still wants to read through them "just in case". Fuck the NSA.

I thing Bob is reading to much into Alec Baldwin though. Its just extremely funny to hear someone as smug as he is spout the most offensive thing imaginable in that deep voice they chose.
 

OmniscientOstrich

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Speaking as someone who's probably even further to the left than Bob (at least when I'm not following Matt and Trey's example of being jaded and apathetic about politics) I love me a bit of South Park every now and then and personally I disagree with his current assessment of the show. I think Bob was much more on the money of what South Park is about in his Out of the Park episode of The Big Picture; they're less concerned with the political spectrum as a whole so much as they are with lampooning whatever particular ideology, incident or individual they happen to take umbrage with or just find amusing during any given week. I imagine The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs was infused with more than a little of their own frustrated ire towards people reading too much into their own show. I'm happy consuming plenty of media with an obvious slant that appeals to my left of centre worldview, but I acknowledge that bias and the fact that it's rather easy to preach to the choir, but I think it takes a lot more guts to be willing to alienate both sides of an audience, to try and keep the focus on the issue and not pandering to petty tribalism. The Mohammed thing really opened an interesting can of worms and never became an issue defined by left and right so much as freedom of speech/censorship and I think they made a pretty firm stand on that issue that was most certainly not on the fence sitting middle. That said, like you alluded to in the aforementioned Big Picture anyone deriving their stances on serious issues from a satirical TV show is a fucking idiot and in regard to privilege their are certain uncomfortable moments in retrospect like the Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina which seems to impart a transphobic message in comparing people changing their gender to a dude wanting to be a fucking dolphin, which unless I'm reading it wrong is pretty indefensible. Also I can admit that I don't think the show is quite as funny as it used to be and I particularly think that they really caved in with the ending of the You're Getting Old two-parter which actually led me to stop following the show for a little while, though having chanced upon the latest NSA episode the other day I have to say I thought it was a gem. And overall I think the show has done a much better job of maintaining it's spark in comparison to The Simpsons or Family Guy, the former of which I wouldn't miss if it were cancelled back in 2003 (although I am fond of the movie, particularly the first half) and the latter I think really fell out of it's stride since the end of Season 5 although I still find the odd episode of later episodes here and there pretty funny. There, I expressed a dissenting opinion without resorting to insult's on one of Bob's columns. I think I deserve a fucking medal for that shit.

The Crotch said:
Every year, hundreds of South Park fans plunge to their deaths in the middle of the Grand Canyon, believing they can find the truth somewhere in the middle.
As a fan of the show, I found that pretty funny. :3
 

rasputin0009

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Ihateregistering1 said:
What's ironic about this article is that it actually reiterates why we need "South Park" in the first place.
Best way to sum up the article.

Bob would be one of the last people I want to talk politics with. Thumping your chest with accentual grunts to the tune of one political party's theme song isn't a great way to practice democracy.

And I just can't get over how absurd that analogy was. False equivalence levels over 9000.
 

mjharper

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Apr 28, 2013
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Wow, so much wilful misunderstanding.

How dare you, Bob, suggest that some things are more important than others. How dare you suggest that a response which is effective on one target might be ineffective on another. How dare you suggest that attacking everything equally might just not work at all.

Personally, I think that 'attacking everything equally' is really 'attacking everything indiscriminately'. It's a failure to properly engage with the things you're attacking. Rather than a valid approach to everything, it's not a valid approach to anything.
 

Brian Tams

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The more I read stuff from Moviebob, the more apparent it becomes that he believes conservatism in any form is completely evil, whereas Liberalism is the savior of the earth.

Bob, you do understand that both ideologies have flaws, right? How come, whenever a show dares to take a shot at the Democratic party, you're always there to discredit it? And yet, when Family Guy, a show that compares the GOP with Nazism (as other posters have already pointed out), you'll defend it with your dying breath?

Newsflash: Both parties are just as full of political scumbags as the other. Nobody on this planet deserves a free pass from criticism, not you, not South Park, not Family Guy, and not Democrats/Liberals (or Conservatives).

I'm sure you're a very nice guy in person, but I just can't understand this righteous position you've taken.
 

xPixelatedx

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Jan 19, 2011
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My biggest problem with South Park is still they criticize Family Guy for having a lot or random jokes, when South park themselves can only think up one each episode.

It long passes the point of beating a dead horse by the end of the episode. "Yes, I know, this pop culture thing you enlightened me to is stupid. I get it, now think of something else to entertain me or go back to actually telling stories."
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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It sounds like Bob can't accept that a show he likes may on occasion have view points different than him.

I got the same impression when he did the South Park Big Picture episode.

If there's one thing to criticize South Park on is that they've been going down a slope of being obnoxiously not funny ever since season 10. Making everything louder and swearier for the sake of it. Now South Park was never a subtle show, but it always had a good amount of wit. All of that seems to have been replaced by loud hammering.
 

MovieBob

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The Crotch said:
Every year, hundreds of South Park fans plunge to their deaths in the middle of the Grand Canyon, believing they can find the truth somewhere in the middle.
I am jealous of this joke.