Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Big-R Republicanism of South Park

For a while now, South Park keeps inserting conservative/libertarian themes into its shows. This Opinionjournal piece noted it a few weeks ago, but the episode I saw tonight really brought it home for me.

It was a rerun called "Trapper Keeper" that spoofs the 2000 election recount, which was still going on. But it does alot more than that. A snippet from the Kindergarten presidential election:

Mr. Garrison: NO, children! I've recounted 106 times now and I keep coming up with seven to six! Except in the one instance where it came out seven to five, and one where it came out twelve to fourteen. IT'S OVER! IKE IS CLASS PRESIDENT!
Kid #2: Wait, there's still that absent kid.
Fillmore: Yeah. If Carlos is absent, we have to wait for his vote.
Mr. Garrison: Oh, will you grow up?!
Filmore's Supporters: [clamoring] Absent kids count! Absent kids count!
Mr. Garrison: Jesus! Alright, we'll wait for tomorrow so the absent kid can cast his vote! Now go home! [the kids leave]

I think it's fair to say that Trey and Matt (South Park creators) thought Bush had won, and that all the recounting was stupid and redundant at some point.

Here's a later point in the election:

Sally: Wait one minute!
Mr. Garrison: Oh, Jesus Tapdancing Christ!
Sally: I think the ballot were misleading. Some kids didn't understand whom they were voting for.
Mr. Garrison: There's a box next to Filmore's name and a box next to Ike's! What's not to understand?!
Filmore: [pointing at Sally] You're just saying that, 'cause you know you're gonna lose now!
Sally: No, I'm saying that because you are a boogerface!
Filmore: Well, just you wait, 'cause myuh famous aunt is on huh way wight now.
Mr. Garrison: Who's your famous aunt?
Filmore: My aunt Wosie, Wosie O'Donnell
Mr. Garrison: Your aunt Rosie O'Donnell is coming here?
Filmore: Yeah, she's vewy active in politics. So she's gonna set all this straight.
Mr. Garrison: [resigned] Oh no!

Now we've got a spoof on the ballot issues, and a comment on how idiotic celebrities are when they try to wield their powers to fix political problems they don't understand.

Rosie starts to take over:

Rosie O'Donnell: [sits on a chair with Filmore on her lap] Okay, so then what we're going to do is count everybody's vote by hand, and after that, we're gonna go over the votes again manually, and then-
Mr. Garrison: [throws a fit] Oh, STOP IT, STOP STOP IHIHIHIHIT! [the kids and Rosie look at him] Look kids, we're all in this kindergarten class together. We have to respect one another or else we're in for a terrible school year.
Rosie O'Donnell: We're just making sure that the kids that voted for my nephew don't get cheated.
Mr. Garrison: Half the kids in the class didn't vote for your nephew, so what about them? You don't give a crap about them because they're not on your side! People like you preach tolerance and open-mindedness all the time, but when it comes to Middle America, you think we're all evil and stupid country yokels who need your political enlightenment!! WELL, JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE ON TV DOESN'T MEAN YOU KNOW CRAP ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT!!! NOW GET YOUR ASS BACK ON FIRST CLASS AND RESPECT THIS CLASS'S RIGHT TO MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS!!! [Rosie and the kids gasp] …Oh, sorry I got a little off the subject, kids.
Rosie O'Donnell: How dare you?! I will not be preached at by a country bumpkin! [heads for the door and stands at the entrance] I'm leaving this podunk town, but in my place I'm gonna send more lawyers, statesmen and press than you have ever SEEN! [exits and slams the door shut]
Mr. Garrison: Oh no, children, I think I've just made this a whole lot worse.

The comments on liberal celebrity elitism are straight out of the National Review playbook.

Ok, last one:

Jesse Jackson: Is this the Kindergarten classroom?
Mr. Garrison: Jesse Jackson?
Jesse Jackson: That's right! I believe the African-American in your class were misrepresented!
Mr. Garrison: [covering his face] We don't have any African-Americans in our class!
Jesse Jackson: Oh. Bye. [turns and walks out.]

Enough said.

Now, it's always an iffy proposition to assume the political views of a spoofer. I think anything's game for South Park, including Republicans (Trey and Matt did "That's My Bush," and the funny cartoon in Bowling for Columbine, after all). But there's a definite strain of disgust about the behavior of liberals that you don't see much on TV.

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