South Park as Parody of Society

South Park started airing in 1997. The commercials that preceded it looked like it beinganother silly cartoon; nevertheless, once I started watching, I spotted essential points have been being coated via the repeated behaviors and actions of its characters, via the influences these actions might have on the viewers, via the reinforcement and rejections of sure stereotypes, via the long-term results that might end result from watching this system, and thru its reflection of social actuality. A few of the repeated behaviors and actions of the characters embody one of many kids (Kenny) dying throughout every episode (adopted by Stan yelling, "Oh, my God! They've killed Kenny" (South Park); the youngsters ragging the chubby child; the African-American chef obsessing about intercourse; and the geneticist performing insane experiments in his spooky laboratory. Kenny has been shot, run over by a practice, impaled on a flag pole, beheaded, crushed by Mir, and brought by Loss of life himself--to title a number of. Cartman, the chubby child, has been referred to as "fats ass," "lard ass," and "the fats child" (South Park). There are quite a few references to his weight all through every episode; he eats constantly, because of his Mom's cooking and providing cookies, chocolate-chicken pot pies, and Tacky Poofs. Every time Chef (voice of Isaac Hayes) provides to clarify essential points to the youngsters, he breaks right into a music about making "candy love" to a girl. This leaves the youngsters questioning simply what the heck he's attempting to say. There are references to his having intercourse with each obtainable (and even unavailable) feminine within the city. There's a take-off of The Island of Dr. Moreau with a geneticist--mimicking Marlon Brando--conducting weird experiments: creating monkeys with 4 asses; creating mutant, militant turkeys; and bringing flesh-eating zombies to life. There are each damaging and optimistic influences these repeated behaviors and actions might have on an viewers. One damaging impact might be the numbing of the viewer to kids's deaths: it's such a typical prevalence on the present till it's anticipated. One other impact might be the instilling of damaging emotions towards the chubby; the viewers might be studying that it's acceptable to verbally assault an individual with a weight drawback. Additionally, in a time of AIDS, promotion of sexual promiscuity is a harmful factor: by no means have the writers talked about using condoms by Chef throughout his encounters. Lastly, due to the latest advances in genetic analysis and its awakening of latest fears within the public, South Park's parody of the geneticist might additional play on folks's fears. Regardless of the doubtless damaging influences of those behaviors and actions, there might be a optimistic affect present within the type of catharsis. American society has suffered from the foundations of political correctness, the concern of AIDS, and the concern of data (the concern of going too far into God's domain--thanks to our Puritanical background). Perhaps South Park provides us launch from repression by permitting us to snigger on the issues we concern essentially the most: loss of life, ridicule of our variations by our friends, the contracting of lethal ailments, and developments in science. (I'm positive that the majority of us want launch from the built-up tensions of every day life; South Park has given us this launch. Regardless of South Park's cathartic affect, it reinforces a number of damaging stereotypes: the promiscuous African-American male, the self-serving public official, and the gun-happy redneck. As I wrote above, Chef has little management over his libido; that is a particularly damaging stereotype of the African-American male. If Chef have been Caucasian (allow us to say an Irish-English-German-Swedish-Scottish-etc-American), the stereotype might be prevented completely. The mayor's selections are based mostly solely on her wanting good within the public eye. For instance, when a volcano erupts, she makes use of pretend concern for the youngsters on the mountain to appear like a caring individual on Leisure Tonight; she requires steady re-takes though ET is broadcasting stay. Uncle JimBo and Ned are the gun-toting Bubba varieties; after they take the youngsters on a tenting journey, they get drunk and shoot at will. JimBo's philosophies are, "searching with out ingesting is like fishing," and "because of these damned Democrats, we are able to solely shoot sure animals that impose a risk; subsequently, if you see an animal, it's important to yell, 'it is comin' proper for us'; then you definitely shoot" (South Park). Not less than one episode tried to reject a damaging stereotype: homosexuality is a nasty factor. Stan's canine, Sparky, seems to be homosexual. All through the episode we hear the evils of homosexuality preached by the city's folks; Sparky runs away. Stan realizes that his love for his canine is extra essential than society's damaging views. Stan is counted on to win the massive soccer recreation. He doesn't present up as a result of he's looking for his canine (YES! What a message: soccer doesn't match extremely within the nice scheme of issues. He finds Sparky at Huge Homosexual Al's "Huge Homosexual Animal Sanctuary" and brings him dwelling. Stan shares his newfound understanding with the residents, and so they settle for his view. All of the homosexual pets return from Al's to be with their house owners. The house owners apologize for being so slender minded. This episode's message is sort of profound. The homosexual episode is one episode which can be apparent in its message and is sort of simple to understand; nevertheless, the long-term results from watching this program might go in two instructions. First, there may be the likelihood that kids (and adults) watching this present would imitate the dangerous language and generally delinquent behaviors of the characters with out realizing the essential subtexts of the episodes. For instance, Kyle is labeled a "fecal-phile" within the Christmas episode. He has a good friend he calls Mr. Hankey. Mr. Hankey comes out of the bathroom to deliver Christmas cheer to all of the little Jewish boys. Sadly, Mr. Hankey is a chunk of feces, and as he dances round, he leaves marks on the partitions, ground, and sink; he, additionally, writes "NOEL" on the lavatory mirror. After all, Kyle's dad and mom blame Kyle--they don't consider in Mr. Hankey. Kyle is institutionalized for "fecal-philia. " Right here, the issue might be youngsters considering that it's cool to be in love with your personal feces and funky to share it with others. They might miss the message discovered within the subtext: the truth that political correctness has gotten out of hand. This episode permits the inhabitants of South Park to precise their dislikes over each facet of Christmas--mainly, that every individual's rights are being infringed upon by another person's beliefs. The political correctness is what drives Kyle to his perception in Mr. Hankey, not the enjoyable of taking part in in his personal filth. Second, the viewers might grasp the subtexts in these episodes and are available to phrases with their very own morals and perception programs. There's a line spoken by Lex Luthor in Superman that makes good sense: "A person can learn Warfare and Peace and are available away believing it's a easy journey story; one other man can learn the substances on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets and techniques of the universe" (Superman). The very fact is that South Park is on the market; it's finally our duty to make of it what we are going to. It could be our duty to do with South Park what we are going to; nevertheless, this program displays what already exists: “a society stuffed with prejudices and fears that are embedded inside its communities and the way these human short-comings are handed on to kids”( Hatley). Happily, in a lot of the episodes these damaging actions and beliefs are handled in a way that seeks to alleviate them. Sadly, this fashion of lleviation is discovered within the subtext, and most of the people should not keen to look that far; it requires an excessive amount of effort. Frighteningly, the present is a parody of society itself. In movie, parody is normally the death-knell of a selected style. Years in the past, I learn that Ren and Stimpy (one other cartoon) was proof of the decline of our civilization due to its assaults on societal norms. “Might South Park be additional proof of this decline, or is it only a humorous cartoon that permits us to snigger at ourselves whereas coping with our fears? ”( Pineda)
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