by John Hawkins | May 2, 2005 1:23 am
From Damian Penny of Daimnation!:
“There’s a new book out called South Park Conservatives, by City Journal editor Brian Anderson, which uses the long-running animated series to illustrate his argument that an increasingly media-savvy right is fighting back pop-culture’s anti-conservative hostility.
It’s an interesting thesis, and I’ve requested a review copy from the publisher – but is South Park really a conservative TV series?”
As someone who has put together two sets of South Park quotes (here & here) & who has seen every episode of South Park, the answer to that question, is…let me explain where I’m coming from first.
South Park isn’t totally friendly to conservatives. It’s vulgar, obscene, a bit deviant, and the show certainly doesn’t bend over backwards to give Republicans a pat on the back. Moreover, South Park is generally (but not totally) hostile & dismissive of religion. So given that, what’s the show’s charm to conservatives? It can be summed up with one quote by Matt Stone, one of the co-creators of the show:
“I hate conservatives, but I really f*cking hate liberals.”
And he does.
The show ruthlessly skewers liberals on a regular basis — whether you’re talking about environmental wackos, PETA, know-it-all celebrities, illegal immigration, hate crime laws, sexual harassment, the rain forest, feminists, vegetarians, you name it…
Which brings me back to something that self-described political moderate Ann Althouse once said:
“What I’ve noticed, over and over, is that the bloggers on the right link to you when they agree and ignore the disagreements, and the bloggers on the left link only for the things they disagree with, to denounce you with short posts saying you’re evil/stupid/crazy, and don’t even seem to notice all the times you’ve written posts that take their side.
Conservatives who like the show, myself included, tend to just shrug off the few things we disagree with and enjoy the humor and the vicious liberal bashing. Personally? I spent my high school and early college years listening to gangster rap by bands like 2 Live Crew, NWA, & the Ghetto Boys and I still listen to the Insane Clown Posse. So, I’m not offended by the lewd topics or bad language in the show. Furthermore, while I wish the show were friendlier to religion, I’m not a purist about it and I’m not going to write off South Park even if I don’t agree with their take on the subject.
Which brings us to Damian’s primary question: “(I)s South Park really a conservative TV series?”
I’d have to say that in a relative sense, yes, it is. Most television shows are made by liberals, have a generally liberal view of the world, and if and when they get political, they come at it from a liberal point of view. So when you have a show like South Park, that’s generally hostile to liberalism, it stands out so much that’s it’s practically a conservative show by default…
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