Poptculture


See, This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things… by tweegnlb

This is a sad, sad time to be a Canadian.

I really thought we were above crap like this.

Last week a new fad struck the nation, one where seemingly intelligent individuals took it upon themselves to fall in line with the stupidity of the group and celebrate national “Kick a Ginger Day”.

(please see this URL for a Calgary news clip)

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/index.php?rn=222561&cl=10789507&ch=222562

I have two problems with this development.  First, obviously, is the blatant stupidity of those who participated, and the pain or embarrassment that they caused their red headed peers.  Second is the fact that in their defense, these idiots are trying to pin their crimes on an episode of the cartoon South Park, which aired last year.

red-cartman

The idea was popularized via a Face Book page of the same name, started by a youth in Vancouver.  Those involved in altercations over the ‘holiday’ are currently being investigated and some may even result in criminal charges being laid for committing a ‘hate crime’.

Now common people, are we really this stupid?

At one point, the writters of South Park made an episode in which Erik Cartman tried to trick the townspeople into reviving the Nazi movement to remove all the Jewish people from South Park.  So does this mean we are now allowed to blame Neo-Nazism on the behavior of a few cartoon characters?  I mean really!  This material is from a show that prides itself on social satire and showing the ridiculous side of human behavior.  Stupid, just stupid…

Now this prompts me to ask you all a question one of my teachers posed the other day:  ‘In situations like this, should we blame the influence of a movie or television show or should individuals be responsable for how they respond?’  To me the answer seems pretty obvious, but im open to discussion so please feel free to comment.



The Bad (Golden) Eggs by tweegnlb

What is it about cartoons that start with “S” ?

Two modest little shows: Simpson’s and South Park, who knew?

They both began as the bad guys of adult cartoon entertainment. They were the scapegoats for what was ‘wrong with television’ (if not our social moral fabric) in the 1990’s.  The Simpson’s glorified the bad behavior of a spiky headed 4th grader, and the hands off parenting style of his drunken buffoon of a father.  South Park was just 4 children with potty mouths, swearing for attention.

It was shameful and offensive, and we loved it!

sims

Both shows have earned respect in their own ways: The Simpson’s for its longevity and multilayer ed comedic genius, and the way they changed the face of television, breaking through the crap so other shows, like South Park, could even have a chance.

In the beginning, viewers saw South Park as a show that relied on shock value for laughs.  But eventually people caught on to what they really were: the no bullshit kings of popular culture and social commentary.

South Park must be respected for its unbiased position on truth.  Whether they’re commenting on homelessness, politics or religion, South Parks creators pull no punches – its a no holds barred mentality that has worked greatly to the shows advantage.

South Park has shown that they even hold themselves and their staff to this all or nothing mentality, in their choice to kill off longtime character Chef (aka Isaac Hayes) in a very unflattering manner, after Hayes publicly voiced his disappointment at the show for making fun of his beloved Scientology.  Matt Stone and Trey Parker responded by saying their is no line that cannot be crossed and that they could not continue the show if they gave in when people were upset by being singled out.

Recently, South Park was honored with the distinguished Peabody Award for their commitment to unbiased social commentary and the unbelievably current production of story lines and episodes (often produced 3 or 4 days after a topic hits news venues).  A very prestigious award not usually given to cartoon types.

No one can argue that these shows have a huge and ongoing effect on our popular culture and entertainment values.  i for one cannot go a single day without quoting a line that fits perfectly into a situation, or smiling when someone shows just how silly we can be.

The Simpsons was recently picked up for 3 more seasons on Fox, and the creators of South Park have said that as long as there are things to make fun of, they’ll keep making new episodes.

Enjoy them both while they last!