Dear South Park: Stop Being A*sholes


Last week's South Park was a stupid episode about how the boys wanted to call Harley riders "faggots," and how much they (read: Matt and Trey) love that word and how "let's face it, people will never stop using the word fag because it's just too fun to say!" By the end of the episode, the word has been spoken and written hundreds of times, the boys never apologize, the gay community is cool with it, and the town of South Park officially reclaims the word "faggot" for the people and deem it OK for use. The only problem with that is that the word "faggot" is the gay equivalent of the n-word, and it's not OK to use, ever, even when there's no gay people around to hear it. It's the word that almost invariably accompanies fatal gay bashings and other hate-fueled criminal acts, and condoning it condones homophobia, no matter how cleverly you've done your etymological research and learned it once meant a bundle of sticks. South Park are a*sholes for basically telling their audience it's cool to go around using it. So f*ck you for that, South Park.

But fine, whatever, so they made a mistake. It's not like I'm going to stop watching a show that has given me so much pleasure over the years just because they don't realize that people who say faggot and think it's cool are raging as*holes. But then what was was the deal with yesterday's opening? This excruciatingly long sequence relayed via P.A. system where a third-grade boy is taken hostage by a gunman, who shoots an adult then places the barrel of a gun into the kid's mouth and blows his head off? I realize you guys love being on the bleeding edge of the news, but are you f*cking kidding me? It's not fu*king funny! Quit it, already! Quit being a*sholes!

· South Park: Dances With Smurfs


  • stolidog says:

    I think they must be part of Mr. Hankey's fan club.

  • missmonkey says:

    I agree with Seth. Using "fag" is just as objectionable as using the "N" word. The commenters who disagree seem to be flustered that all of their insults are being taken away from them. Is this what you small-minded folk mean by having your rights taken away from you? Guess what, guys, homophobic speech is not protected and they're not just words.

  • Gallant Patsy says:

    the last time i had that word thrown at me was a few months ago.
    standing outside a house i was bidding on (here in the real estate twilight zone), trying to buy the first house, in the neighbourhood i've lived in for 8 years, some guy walks by and starts screaming at us that this is a portuguese neighbourhood, and too many gays have already moved here, you guys are trying to take over, it's got to stop, don't buy this house faggot, get the fuck out of our area.
    the only time i can think of it being used in comedy and it being funny was scott thompson and kids in the hall.
    g*d forbid we should end up having a hate-on for this word.

  • caslab says:

    And here I though the Average American was literate.

  • Seren says:

    I was just thinking exactly that -- how did they get here? Did they just pop over here from their usual trolling places to hate? Gross. They need to leave. Go, Seth!

  • spankhaus says:

    Are you fucking retarded? if you read the whole article you'd see the SECOND HALF is about South Park mocking mass shootings, and the photo you're SO PASSIONATE ABOUT is from the Fort Hood shooting, DUH-HOY.

  • Emperor Joshua Norton says:

    I TOLE you that no one worthwhile watches SP or FG anymore.
    Thanks Seth, and thanks to anyone who can be funny without having to rely on making minorities and beleaguered people feel any more unwelcome than they already do.
    Words hurt people, and so does the homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and fear that creates those words.

  • Kord says:

    Dude, you're a faggot! Get a sense of humor. The world is sick of little, white, middle-class, vegan, pussies like you that cry whenever they hear the words nigger, faggot, kike, or bitch.
    "Cracker, chink, and WOP are okay to use, but don't start taking shots at blacks, gays, Jews, and women! Only then it's wrong!"
    Your sensitivity feeds ignorance you cunt. Having a sense of humor about ourselves brings people closer together.

  • Spare says:

    I would just like to point out that the episode also directly suggested that folks go out and call bikers fags to their faces. Which would very clearly result in the swift and violent beatings of those using the word in the recommended encounter, if those bikers have the identities that they claim. Are you really feeling so reactionary that you can not see the complications they are, admittedly mostly unsuccessfully, trying to introduce into their satirical argument?
    One of the better satirical observations made in the episode is the absurdity of calling an individual or group hateful names for the pre-supposed content of their private interests that have no practical effect on another person (like their private erotic lives) versus a group that actually is LITERALLY PUBLICLY OBNOXIOUS TO ALL OTHER INDIVIDUAL'S PURSUITS while pursuing their private interests, who are, instead of being called hateful names, commonly admired as a breed of impressive renegades.
    And then a sub-comment on how what, if any, real counter-culturally heroic attributes "The Biker" may have had are now obsolete because only yuppies trying to inhabit the cultural status of the once authentic identity are found posing as bikers to begin with. Butters as a Biker. The laughably repressed and conscientious Butters having the private curiosity towards an identity that just-doesn't-give-a-fuck. It's a fantasy pursuit now. No danger. De-caf. A costume.
    A secondary theme being that what generally puts a person in the situation of being called "whatever" is simply inauthenticity, an overt concern with how they are being seen and what approval they are being granted or denied. And while people who have no concern for how other people's self-esteem is affected by their expressions are assholes, people who must control entirely how other's express themselves and who can not tolerate the free expressions of other's because of how it reveals other's disapproval of them personally- are (if we are using this kind of blunt lexicon) faggots.
    Here's where I most likely lose anyone who might have read this post sympathetically:
    That's the real reason why you get called a faggot as a kid. Not because you have erotic interest in members of the same sex (boys are using this word to shame one another far before any desire-based erection has poked its way in to further complicate the issue,) but because you show a tendency to be emotionally weak and you try to control other people's approval of you because you can't stand to not be approved of- "you're not allowed to call me that" is the ultimate threat from individuals with no self-esteem.
    And the tears and exaggerations of anguish are the emotional tools that they have used to manipulate the primary figure in their early childhoods with success. Once they are taught by experience that they can't gain approval by simply showing how much it hurts them to be disapproved of (in other words, wanting to control how others express themselves instead of submitting to the social expectations and striving to behave in a way that will gain approval) they have a choice to make:
    Adjust to expectation or stop caring what others think and define yourself by your deliberate actions-- stop letting your desire for the approval of the other dominate your emotional response. Finally, you "man up," meaning that you are able to swallow and hide the panic and fear you feel when threatened with disapproval, and seemingly paradoxically the disapproval stops coming your way. Nature abhors a vacuum. You grow an authentic, unapologetic self, and the identities of others stop trying to flow violently into you.
    You "man up" and the boys stop calling you a faggot. You can sleep with whoever you want. But some individuals, instead, spend a lifetime trying to get the source of disapproval to be controlled-- to, in effect, design what the world outside his head will be able to openly express until anything that could endanger his non-self-esteem with confrontation is blunted and it is safe for his untempered child ego to wander around without fear of being tested. Of course this is impossible, since the true source of the feeling of disapproval is an internal lack and all the words crossed out in the world just decoys. If he did accomplish his unevolved child-ego dream, it would unfortunately mean the loss of all opportunity to grow an authentic human self- an identity that stands with time and in spite of potential rejection; instead he would have to remain mired in the doomed obsession with trying to control how others perceive him or how they react to what they perceive. And sadly, the only battle a whole community of this type may win is just the battle over just exactly what others can say "openly" in "polite society" - a set of unspoken rules that reflect nothing of the authentic struggle and inner lives of human beings, and never have.
    But, yeah, there are real victims who in no way create the situation that tortures them, and no one should be dragged behind a truck. And of course, the realization that sex has nothing to do with the typical use of the f-word, both f-words come to think of it, but that an obvious disquiet in human nature is deeply wormed into our erotic core causing the association… So, it's too complicated for me or anyone to have tried to write about here in a really nuanced way, obviously.
    And that is the problem with the South Park episodes. Just as a comment line on a blog will not a container for human truth make, so does not a vicious half-hour satirical cartoon. But I can't blame them for trying to confront as much as they can in the time allotted. And certainly the very last thing this episode would have accomplished is to have actually increased the use of the word faggot as an attack word against homosexuals in real life situations (remember, most uses of this word are in symbolic depictions, which should be beyond policing.)
    And as for your end point about the hostage-taking-and-murder depicted in the opening scenes of this week's episode-- I believe the idea is to point out that the characters in the episode are completely oblivious to and unengaged by the very real and very horrific violence they are hearing over the hum-drum intercom (an excellent small metaphor for what happens when all real experiences are mediated to an audience) while petty topics such as imaginary political squabbles engineered by self-aggrandizing, irresponsible psychopaths and passed off for entertainment in the form of pseudo-news captures the hearts and minds of the characters very effectively, causing them to take sides and fervently support the false icons created-for-the-purpose-of and then depicted in the pseudo-news program. No better metaphor did I see on television this week for the total unengagement of the narcissistic, life-style-accessory-obsessed american citizen with the real atrocity and human tragedy done to lay the foundation in the blood for the capitalistic mechanisms that allow them to sit back and elevate petty symbolic arguments. We don't care about suffering in life, only the entertainingly dramatized depictions of suffering in mediated forms.
    This is further expressed by the Avatar-tie-in-- that some kind of fan-boy overwhelming anticipation and scrutiny of an upcoming film-product on the part of much of the show's (South Park's) audience is a skewering testament to just how petty and insular our priorities are in this society.
    So, yeah. South Park is calling you an asshole with the most recent episode (all of us, including themselves, really.) And you are calling them an asshole for doing so. And beyond you having degraded your position by an act of counter-bullying (it isn't like this idealogical bandwagon you are on isn't a cushy ride) you have done something truly despicable:
    Your photo-creation equating the transgressions of real-life tragedy and a middling satirical cartoon. This type of equation is exactly why you are criticizing South Park. Only they did it in the form of a satire attempting to function as a condemnation of just such an equation.
    Just why did you do it?
    I am so disappointed in you, Seth. I have been reading you since Defamer, and I just can't believe someone capable of such insight and wit has written this reactionary drivel.
    Oh, well, I guess media icons are what they are. Tragic exaggerations of the rest of us-- all sound and fury… and you know the rest.
    Come back to your strength and penetrating insight soon.

  • bend says:

    wow, the crazies really came out for this thread, didn't they?
    Good post, Seth

  • 2+2=4 says:

    Cursing and calling them "cunt" also brings people closer together.

  • Girl86 says:

    Brava Spare. Unlike a lot of these commentators (I've never seen such a crap-flinging-fest here on on Defamer back in the day), you've actually given an analysis of the issue that doesn't make me roll my eyes and actually seems to get the "moral" message behind that episode. You deserve a gold star in my opinion.

  • Girl86 says:

    Another note: It's actually far less insensitive in light of Fort Hood as in light of a former student taking a principal hostage the day before.

  • WhenTheLightsGoOut says:

    Great post.
    I keep trying to feel like there is a meta-commentary on society within South Park, to validate it, but when it comes down to it...very few people get that, anyway. It's no "All In the Family", in other words.
    The most useless, shock value "points" of each episode end up basically becoming ammo for otherwise powerless male twerps (10+ years of age, up to 40-something really), and the girls that love them, who want to feel smart and snarky. About everything.
    It's stupid and unproductive and it is getting to be time for the show and its followers to grow the fuck up and join the living in making something of our society again, instead of sitting on a couch/computer and pissing on what's left of it.

  • jer says:

    i thought it was good fun that episode , and wouldnt be surprised if trey and matt were a couple of homos, lol

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  • poo man says:

    sounds like someone got butt hurt. The part when the kid got his head blown off was fucking hilarious. And it's true, the offence of a word is defined by those offended by it, not those who speak it. If the intention is inert yet you get offended it's your problem for being a whiney little bitch with a blown up sense of self importance

  • Venetta says:

    Thanks for finally writing about >Dear South Park: Stop Being A*sholes - Movieline <Loved it!

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