Here's a speech from "Team America: World Police," a new puppet movie from the creators of South Park. The lead character, Gary, must convince the world's leaders and statesmen to let Team America handle Kim Jong Il:
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I have a sense of humor. I was amused. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are hilarious, and South Park is the funniest television show to ever hit the airwaves. They animate with exaggeration, creating effective charicatures to show the often absurd ways in which we view things. Their social commentary via witty dialogue within the episodes of South Park is deep and many times makes me step back and realize that they're right.
They did an episode recently about tolerance wherein because the main characters are repulsed by their gay teacher bringing a sex slave to class, clad in a leather S&M outfit, their parents send them to "tolerance camp" which, in the show, was the equivalent of a Nazi concentration camp. The teacher is invited to the Tolerance Museum and given some sort of award for being courageous in the workplace. But by the end of the episode, the point is made that you can tolerate someone's views and lifestyles without accepting them. This idea is lost among many of the bullshit PC activists and such, who think somehow that people have a right to do whatever they want within reason, but that no one has the right to disagree with anything someone does! Although South Park is often vulgar, it is no more repulsive than the absurdities in this country that the show exposes.
The movie in question is basically set up the same way as South Park, with the exception of the animation being executed with puppets rather than cartoon.
Jake: If this stuff is supposed to have a deeper, sarcastic, sardonic, or satirical message why does it have to be couched in an uninterrupted stream of obscenities? If you substitute all the "fucks", "shits", "dicks", "assholes", "balls" (why is the "c" word missing?) with "fornications", "defecations", "penises", "anuses", "testicles" I doubt if even the biggest cheerleaders would find this funny or to be able to tease a deeper meaning from it.
These are just little boys daring to be "naughty". They might get a better thrill just by driving down the street with their window open, screaming obscenities at pedestrians.
I've just watched '60 Minutes' and a profile of Ray Charles where he sings 'America the Beautiful'. Forgetting all about the religious aspects of this magnificent piece, I can't help comparing these sentiments to the sentiments of those would grovel in a pile of shit and obscenities and think that it is of any value whatsoever — even to justify the American foreign policy. A pox on you!
O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet Whose stern impassion'd stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness.
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov'd In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life.
America! America! May God thy gold refine Till all success be nobleness, And ev'ry gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears.
America! America! God shed his grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.
It hardly takes anything to offend me. And so I'm not offended. However, having suffered the humor of Parker and Stone for years, I can say that South Park is crude and rude in a generally hilarious sense, but not nearly approaching the inspiration and social commentary of "The Simpsons." The lower regions of our anatomy as international political analogy? Hardly inspiration. But sickly funny anyway.
If you, as a seemingly sophisticated human being, can't get past a few words, which by nature are arbitrary but by convention and convention only have taken on negative meanings, then I suggest that you, not I, have growing up to do. Whether we say "sexual intercourse" or "fucking" is there, at the heart of the matter, a difference? No. These are two sides of the same coin, though by some accounts one is perfectly acceptable and the other is damnable. This sort of hypocrisy has no place in my life and I find it ridiculous that anyone in this day and age would let a four-letter word have power over him. Just as the "N" word is slowly becoming less and less poweful with the realization by the black community and celebrities such as Smokey Robinson that the word is just a word, I think we are not far from the desensitization of English-speaking peoples to "obscene" words. Such a desensitization will lead us back to concern over real evils and real threats.
On a related note, there was a "holier than thou" Christian girl in some of my classes in high school who would speak down to me if I were to drop a pencil, for instance, and follow it up with a "shit", while she herself would drop a pencil and follow it with a "shoot." These mere words are only the instruments with which we express our sentiments, so there is as much sin in "shoot" as in any "obscene" word. A truly good, temperate Christian would refrain from expressing any such sentiments at all; word choice is hardly a savior!
If Hitler never uttered an "obscenity" in his life, would he be any less evil? Ha! The absurdity of "obscenity"!!!
I haven't read the "joke," and I don't intend to. The title was enough for me. But I was curious to see what comments people made about it.
Sam, I didn't hear Ray Charles this evening; I wish I had. Did you hear him sing "America the Beautiful" at Reagan's second nomination? I've never heard it done more beautifully. Reagan had tears in his eyes, and I was sobbing. Thanks for posting the lyrics; they are a needed antidote.
I did watch the piece on 60 Minutes about Ray Charles, and was equally moved. However, no one here has attempted in any way to equate Ray Charles' rendition of America the Beautiful to anything Parker and Stone have offered. Appealing to something not related to the matter at hand in order to support your position is a logical fallacy.
Jake: You're quite right that it was a logical fallacy, but not an invalid emotional connection.
If you and others think that this Dicks, Pussies, and Assholes has anything to do with Objectivism I think you had better read some more of Rand. Do you think that in your wildest dreams that Rand or any of her heroes would think that this is funny, or would she by now be 'desensitized'? It would be more likely that Parker and Stone, together with Michael Moore would be portrayed as villains in her next novel.
Haha how non-objectivist! You're leaving the matter of whether or not this is funny up to Rand, as if that's not a completely relativist move. If Rand said the best color was blue, would that make it wrong for me to say the best color is orange? You're arguing under the poor assumption that I would value Rand's opinion on this matter. Your logical fallacies keep adding up!
I forgot to point out that once again you're associating an irrelevant person with this argument, this time to aid in villifying Matt Stone and Trey Parker. If these types of defenses for your position are the only ones you can offer, then this is a pointless argument.
Jake, Sam was not citing the authority of Rand or anyone else. He was saying that the joke cited has nothing to do with Objectivism -- and, as further evidence of its distance from Objectivism, if that were needed, he pointed out that Rand would not consider it humor.
Now you'll probably ask why the joke needs to have anything to do with Objectivism. Because that's what this website is all about.
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