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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Jan 30th, 2005, 09:49 PM        South Park Conservatives
I've been meaning to post this here, was interested in the response it would receive. I don't think the guy who wrote this article (nor the guy writing the book) really watched South Park regularly.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Conten...5/131vxnun.asp

Come On Out to South Park . . .
. . . and meet Brian Anderson and the new breed of young conservatives.

by David Skinner
01/14/2005 12:00:00 AM

I CALLED UP Brian Anderson yesterday to ask him a few questions about his forthcoming book, South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias.

Anderson is a senior editor at City Journal. He's typical of an increasingly influential type of journalist, the full-time, on-staff, journal journalist who, paid by a think tank like the Manhattan Institute or the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has the time and space to work on policy articles for months at a time before having to pull the trigger on a finished piece. The result is a densely fortified style of reporting and argumentation that puts to shame mainstream journalism's call-and-quote product. Anderson's City Journal colleague, Heather Mac Donald, is another fine example of the breed, as are, from the younger set, the writers over at the New Atlantis, a journal of technology edited by STANDARD contributor Eric Cohen.

But it's not for any disquisition on urban policy or essay of political philosophy (a subject in which he has a Ph.D.) that Anderson has lately achieved a modest but growing measure of public known-ness. It is for a very nice bit of trend reporting, his Autumn 2003 article We're Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore, which introduced a great number of online readers to the phrase South Park Conservative.

A coinage of Andrew Sullivan's, the South Park Conservative is, like the hit Comedy Central show from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, opposed to political correctness and more likely to ridicule than observe the guidelines of the new sensitivity concerning race, ethnicity, minorities, women, the handicapped, obesity, homosexuality, ugliness, religion, childhood, and much, much, much else. The show, according to Anderson's thesis, is typical of how the culture is shifting to a more critical attitude toward liberal media and its firmly held pieties. (City Journalhas just pre-published the final chapter of the book in its latest issue.)

My first, not really serious, question is whether Anderson in his book tries to write Andrew Sullivan out of the movement. (After seeing the especially tame WEEKLY STANDARD cover this week of a gay Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Sullivan had a reaction that can only be described as, well, politically correct.) "Andrew has become increasingly liberal," Anderson allows, but no, he isn't trying to kick him out. He does say that Sullivan, in his usage, "incorporates the notion of social liberalism," while Anderson himself is not only more conservative, but he believes that, at its core, South Park the show is, also, culturally conservative.

The idea for Anderson's article, he says, originated in the offices of City Journal, where editor Myron Magnet and members of the staff were trying to get a read on the meaning of the rise of Fox News, the blog-supported resignation of ultra-liberal New York Times editor Howell Raines, the incredible traffic at Drudge and other websites not particularly friendly to the left-wing hierarchy of the mainstream media. Even before Rathergate, a lot was going on that suggested a major shift away from the "monolithic liberalism of the mainstream media." (And, yes, there was a time before Rathergate: I remember well that sweet predawn era of complete faith in the words of that great, noble, manly, truth-telling newsreader.)

Is South Park conservatism exclusively a young phenomenon? Well, Anderson says, "a lot of the older conservatives just don't get it." But some do. Bill Bennett, says Anderson, called after reading the article. Bennett's kids were South Park fans and had been encouraging him to give it a try. And so he did, finding the show clearly anti-liberal. (No word yet on Bennett's opinion of Team America: World Police.) But, yes, South Park conservatism is especially big among young conservatives, says Anderson, who are more comfortable with the new "more flippant tone" and the new technologies.

Anderson talked with "several dozen" conservative students for his book. "They weren't young George Wills, they weren't young Bill Buckleys." They wore jeans and listened to iPods nonstop, but were intensely pro-life. But less conservative than their older counterparts on gay marriage, where they didn't object to the idea of civil unions for gays. As for the war on terror, they were very pro-Bush.

Is there a downside to the rise of South Park conservatism? I ask. "It can be," as its critics claim Anderson notes, "kind of nihilistic, profane, and vulgar." And, of course, "it will offend a lot of people." But, he says, "the biggest danger is that the activism and the attitude might replace an engagement with ideas."

Anderson continues: "You don't want to see it as a whole ethos of life. . . . If there weren't any respect for higher culture, it wouldn't be conservatism."


David Skinner is an assistant managing editor at The Weekly Standard and runs the blog Galley Slaves.

© Copyright 2005, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 06:36 AM       
Anything can be given a spin in a peculiar direction if someone does a lot of twisting. Due to the awareness and aknowledgement of post-modernist 'communication of communication', it's pretty much a given that whatever point you're trying to make, someone out there will use your exact words/actions/art and completely turn them around, and feel completely justified in doing it. It's part of the 'nobody understands, words are without meaning, everything acts as a vessel for everything' type of apologist PM that is desperately trying to cast critical thought as completely obsolete.

I wouldn't find it suprising if someone said that the nazis archived footage of their ethnic cleansing in death camps and the like purely for reasons of posterity, and to forever remind humanity of how inhuman it can get, and therefore, the nazis were deeply and essentially humanitarian. Nothing is too far-fetched nowdays.

My dad's a marxist, and he writes/draws political cartoons in the newspapers here in greece. I can't tell you how many times people have come up to me and in casual conversation, thoroughly explained how my dad is a racist, a fascist, a stalinist, a traitor to the communist party, or completely apolitical, a cheap reactionary or whichever combination of the above. People understand what they want to understand. Their bias overbears any attempt at actual honest inspection of a written piece, or of art or of whatever else carries a semiotic charge. People are more interested in proving themselves right than they are in understanding anything, and that naturally paints their worldview as a pretty scary place where things simply are not even intended to make sense.
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Emu Emu is offline
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 11:58 AM       
It always seemed to me that when South Park took conservative stances on things, it was in such a way to make conservatives look like douches. Like the episode where the people came from the future and in the end they all said how gay trying to help other people is.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 11:59 AM       
What Helm said.

I think Parker and Stone joyfully attack hypocrisy and dogmatism wherever they find it. I find it rather refreshing and far from conservative.

I personally think they tend towward the potty to iften, but that's just me.

Poops and hypocrisy. That's where they're at.

Doctrinaire people always feel they have to own anything they like.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 01:14 PM       
That lovely band 'Kill The Man Who Questions' said it nicely: 'Your backlash against a PC hysteria is a fucking joke'
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I don't get it. I mean, why did they fuck with the formula? Where are the car songs? There's only one song about surfing and it's a downer!
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 01:22 PM       
South Park isn't anti-liberal, it's anti-establishment. Brian Anderson is a giant douche, almost as big a douche as John Edward (of Crossing Over, not John Edwards of the US Senate). :D

Quote:
at its core, South Park the show is, also, culturally conservative
He must be referring to the episode where Stan taught the mountain lion cubs how to perform abortions so they could kill the antichrist fetus...
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 09:57 PM       
I've always thought Parker and Stone dealt it out pretty even. They hit limousine liberals and right wing christian conservatives on a regular basis.

It isn't so much any political stanse they back, just the jackasses that act as mouth pieces.

Meh, just goes to show, people see what they want to see.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 11:47 PM       
I think it's funny that the one value of the "conservative students" that the author pointed out was that they were "intensely pro-life" and "pro-Bush" regarding the war on terror. Maybe they should have specified that they rounded up young Republicans.
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 01:54 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helm
My dad's a marxist, and he writes/draws political cartoons in the newspapers here in greece. I can't tell you how many times people have come up to me and in casual conversation, thoroughly explained how my dad is a racist, a fascist, a stalinist, a traitor to the communist party, or completely apolitical, a cheap reactionary or whichever combination of the above. People understand what they want to understand. Their bias overbears any attempt at actual honest inspection of a written piece, or of art or of whatever else carries a semiotic charge. People are more interested in proving themselves right than they are in understanding anything, and that naturally paints their worldview as a pretty scary place where things simply are not even intended to make sense.
I would have just called your dad a fucking idiot, but then again I try to keep from arguing with the mentally retarded. Except when I'm on here, then its unavoidable.
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 02:08 PM       
Your 'jokes' are like your politics. Badly thought out, make no sense, and utterly devoid of any humourous content whatsoever.
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I don't get it. I mean, why did they fuck with the formula? Where are the car songs? There's only one song about surfing and it's a downer!
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 07:12 PM       
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Originally Posted by VinceZeb
I would have just called your dad a fucking idiot, but then again I try to keep from arguing with the mentally retarded. Except when I'm on here, then its unavoidable.
You talk a lot about what you would do, until you're called upon to back it up, Jessica.
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 12:15 AM       
pst vince, would you insult my mom while you're at it I don't think I'm nearly close to crying
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:05 PM       
Hmm...I never think of the anti PC, somewhat libertarian but pro-war Conservatives and the pro lifers as being in the same boat.

And Ipods? They don't exactly symbolise socialism! is it surprising that republicans would use them?

The article mentions that the South Park creators take the piss out of religion. I really don't think that doing this is remotely right wing. Especially if it's Christianity.
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Old Feb 5th, 2005, 02:47 PM       
South park seems to take a liberal stance on everything, but sometimes they make fun of how rediculous the left can be sometimes.
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Old Feb 5th, 2005, 02:56 PM       
South park seems to take a liberal stance on everything, but sometimes they make fun of how rediculous the left can be sometimes.
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2005, 07:10 PM       
Don't be rediculous.
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Old Feb 5th, 2005, 11:50 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gommi
South park seems to take a liberal stance on everything,
Do you not watch ot or not pay attention when you do? You just missed the entire point of the thread.
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Gommi Gommi is offline
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Old Feb 7th, 2005, 03:01 PM       
Ya i guess im just a moron that way.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Feb 7th, 2005, 05:37 PM       
I get the feeling you are a moron in a lot of ways
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old May 1st, 2005, 01:13 PM       
Okay, so this "South Park Conservatives" phrase seems to be popping up more and more lately. I want to read this guy Anderson's book, but I know it'll be a massive lump of shit.

Here we have now TWO men (including Frank Rich below) trying to create an ideological debate over South Park. I think Rich makes a couple of funny points, particularly about the bonus features on the pending DVD, but he uses Matt and Trey in this column as a volley ball, just as much as the moron who wrote this book.

Rich actually attempts to link the episode mocking the Terri Schiavo case as some sort of measuring stick as to where the general public has gone. As if "all of a sudden" South Park began criticizing these "big government conservatives" (another phrase I'm guessing the show's creators couldn't care less about).


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/01/op...01rich.html?hp

May 1, 2005
OP-ED COLUMNIST

Conservatives ♥ 'South Park'
By FRANK RICH

onservatives can't stop whining about Hollywood, but the embarrassing reality is that they want to be hip, too. It's not easy. In the showbiz wrangling sweepstakes of 2004, liberals had Leonardo DiCaprio, the Dixie Chicks and the Boss. The right had Bo Derek, Pat Boone and Jessica Simpson, who, upon meeting the secretary of the interior, Gale Norton, congratulated her for doing "a nice job decorating the White House." Ms. Simpson may be the last performer in America who can make Whoopi Goldberg seem like the soul of wit.

What to do? Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger's poll numbers have sunk, the right's latest effort to grab a piece of the showbiz action is a new and fast-selling book published by Regnery, home to the Swift Boat Veterans, and promoted in lock step by the right-wing media elite of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page and The New York Post. "South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias," by Brian C. Anderson of the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute, gives a wet kiss to one of the funniest and most foul-mouthed series on television. The book has even been endorsed by the grim theologian Michael Novak, who presumably forgot to TiVo the "South Park" episode that holds the record for the largest number of bleeped-out repetitions (162) of a single four-letter expletive in a single television half-hour. Then again, The Weekly Standard has informed us that William Bennett, egged on by his children, has given the show a tentative thumbs up.

Cynics might say that conservatives, flummoxed by the popularity of Jon Stewart, are eager to endorse any bigger hit on Comedy Central: The animated adventures of four obstreperous fourth graders in the mythical town of South Park, Colo., outdraws "The Daily Show" by a million or so viewers. But Mr. Anderson has another case to make. He quotes "South Park" profanity without apology and cheers the "scathing genius" with which it mocks "hate-crime laws and sexual harassment policies, liberal celebrities, abortion-rights extremists."

In one episode he praises, "Butt Out," a caricatured Rob Reiner journeys from Hollywood to South Park to mount a fascistic antismoking campaign that "perfectly captures the Olympian arrogance and illiberalism of liberal elites." Mr. Anderson also applauds last fall's "South Park" adjunct, "Team America: World Police," the feature film in which the show's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, portray Michael Moore as a suicide bomber and ridicule the antiwar activism of Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn and Janeane Garofalo by presenting them as dim-witted, terrorist-appeasing puppets (literally so, with strings) who are ultimately blown to bits at a "world peace conference" convened by Kim Jong Il. (The film is out on DVD, with an expanded marionette sex scene featuring coprophilia, on May 17.)

So far, so right. Among their other anarchic comic skills, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone have a perfect pitch for lampooning what many Americans find most irritating about liberals, especially Hollywood liberals: a self-righteous propensity for knowing better than anyone else and for meddling in everyone's business, whether by enforcing P.C. speech codes or plotting to curb S.U.V.'s and guns.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the publication of "South Park Conservatives": Emboldened by the supposed "moral values" landslide on Election Day, the faith-based right became the new left. Just as Mr. Anderson's book reached stores in early April, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone, true to their butt-out libertarianism, aimed their fire at self-righteous, big-government conservatives who have become every bit as high-handed and meddlesome as any Prius-pushing movie star. Such is this role reversal that the same TV show celebrated by Mr. Anderson and his cohort as the leading edge of a potential conservative victory in the culture wars now looks like a harbinger of an anti-conservative backlash instead.

In the March 30 episode, Kenny, a kid whose periodic death is a "South Park" ritual, lands in a hospital in a "persistent vegetative state" and is fed through a tube. The last page of his living will is missing. Demonstrators and media hordes descend. Though heavenly angels decree that "God intended Kenny to die" rather than be "kept alive artificially," they are thwarted by Satan, whose demonic aide advises him to "do what we always do - use the Republicans." Soon demagogic Republican politicians are spewing sound bites ("Removing the feeding tube is murder") scripted in Hell. But as in the Schiavo case, they don't prevail. Kenny is allowed to die in peace once his missing final wish is found: "If I should ever be in a vegetative state and kept alive on life support, please for the love of God don't ever show me in that condition on national television."

This remarkably prescient scenario, first broadcast on the eve of Terri Schiavo's death, anticipated just how far the zeitgeist would swing in the month after the right's overreach in her case. A USA Today poll a week later found that Americans by 55 to 40 percent believe that "Republicans, traditionally the party of limited government, are 'trying to use the federal government to interfere with the private lives of most Americans' on moral values." In other words, what Hillary Clinton's overreaching big-government health care plan did to the Democrats a decade ago is the whammy the Schiavo case has inflicted on the G.O.P. today. And like the Democrats back then, the Republican elites have been so besotted with their election victory and so out of touch with the mainstream they didn't see their comeuppance coming. At the height of the feeding-tube frenzy, Peggy Noonan told her Wall Street Journal troops that federal intervention in the Schiavo family brawl was a political slam dunk: "Politicians, please, think of yourselves! Move to help Terri Schiavo, and no one will be mad at you, and you'll keep a human being alive." (Italics hers.)

Oops. But what's given the Schiavo case resonance beyond the Schiavo story itself is that it crystallized the bigger picture of Olympian arrogance and illiberalism on the right. The impulse that led conservatives to intervene in a family's bitter debate over a feeding tube is the same one that makes them turn a debate over a Senate rule on filibusters into a litmus test of spiritual correctness. Surely no holier-than-thou Hollywood pontificator could be harder to take than the sanctimonious Bill Frist, who, unlike Barbra Streisand, can't even sing.

The same arrogance that sent Republicans into Terri Schiavo's hospice room has also led them to try to police the culture of sex more rabidly than the left did the culture of sexism. No wonder another recent poll, from the Pew Research Center, finds that for all the real American displeasure with coarse entertainment, a plurality of 48 percent believes that "the government's imposing undue restrictions" on pop culture is "a greater danger" to the country than the entertainment industry itself. Who could have imagined that the public would fear Focus on the Family's James Dobson more than 50 Cent?

But in this crusade, too, few on the right seem to recognize that they're overplaying their hand; they keep upping the ante. One powerful senator, Ted Stevens of Alaska, has proposed that cable and satellite be policed by the federal government along with broadcast television - a death knell for even the Sirius incarnation of Howard Stern, not to mention much of Comedy Central. A powerful House committee chairman, James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, topped that by calling for offenders to be pursued through a "criminal process." Last week President Bush signed a Family Entertainment and Copyright Act that allows "family-friendly" companies to sell filter technology that cleans up DVD's of Hollywood movies without permission or input from the films' own authors and copyright holders. That sounds innocuous enough until you learn that even "Schindler's List" isn't immune from the right's rigid P.C. code. As the owner of CleanFlicks, the American Fork, Utah, company that goes further and sells pre-sanitized DVD's, once explained to The New York Times: "Every teenager in America should see that film. But I don't think my daughters should see naked old men running around in circles." And so Big Brother can intervene to protect our kids from all that geriatric Holocaust porn.

On the first page of "South Park Conservatives," its author declares that "CBS's cancellation in late 2003 of its planned four-hour miniseries 'The Reagans' marked a watershed in America's culture wars." It did, in the sense that the right's successful effort to stifle what it regarded as an un-P.C. (i.e., somewhat critical) treatment of Ronald Reagan sped the censorious jihad that's now threatening everything from "The Sopranos" on HBO to lesbian moms on PBS. Of course "South Park" is also on this hit list: the Parents Television Council, the take-no-prisoners e-mail mill leading the anti-indecency charge, has condemned the show on its Web site as a "curdled, malodorous black hole of Comedy Central vomit." Should such theocratic conservatives prevail, "South Park" conservatives will be hipper than they ever could have imagined - terminally hip, you might say.
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Immortal Goat Immortal Goat is offline
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Old May 1st, 2005, 02:52 PM       
I predict one of two things happening within the next decade.

1. The Republican Party, fueled by their newfound power and self-righteousness, will go so far as to censor any and all media, and still complain about how it is run by the Jews, thereby turning the United States into a sickeningly sterile version of the Middle East, or...

2. The Republican Party, fueled by their newfound power and self-righteousness, will go too far and collapse in on itself, allowing the "sinfully deviant" liberals to take power, thereby turning us into a sickeningly pollitically correct nation bent on apologizing to everyone who has ever been poked in the eye by a member of a different race.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 11:42 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Don't be rediculous.
I am offended.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Old May 17th, 2005, 02:09 AM       
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are libertarians. One of them (forgot which) is a card-carrying member. The other once said, "I hate Republicans, but I really-fucking-hate liberals."

I think South-Park Conservative is a fancy way of saying, pro-war-in-Iraq libertarian. Not a single one of their episodes pokes fun at libertarianism or even objectivism.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 03:24 AM       
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The other once said, "I hate Republicans, but I really-fucking-hate liberals."
I guess Rudy is on his shitlist twice.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 02:45 PM       
The majority of their audience is too stupid to know that there are more than two political parties.
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