Crude. Insulting. Offensive. Profane.
These are all words that could describe the unrefined masterpiece that is Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park. Other words you could use?
Timely. Poignant. Clever. Satire.
Well, that all sounds a bit too refined. It’s more like “over-the-top lampooning” with a solid insight at the core.
South Park has always had a knack for pointing out society’s absurdities by going completely over the top. It’s their thing. And while that’s great for entertainment value alone, sometimes a deeper look reveals a few brilliant criticisms of American culture.
So what did we learn from Wednesday’s South Park premiere? Quite a bit, naturally.
CAITLYN JENNER IS A HERO. OR ISN’T.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through gender reassignment while in the national spotlight. It’s incredibly courageous. Do you know what probably takes more courage? The people who do it unrecognized every day, without the support of their family or Hollywood or the press.
Regardless of how much you want to argue levels of bravery, here’s the thing: You don’t have to call Caitlyn Jenner a hero. Or anyone for that matter. Hell, you don’t even have to call the troops heroes – you’re an asshole and I hate you, but I can’t make you consider them heroes.
You can’t force someone to acknowledge what you think is brave, or how you define a hero, and yet people seem to think Caitlyn Jenner has to be considered a hero. That you must consider her that.
Throughout the episode, everyone keeps referring to Caitlyn as ‘stunning and brave’ because to disagree with that statement (or even not acknowledge it as true) would make you transphobic—and lead to a beatdown from the P.C. Bros.
To put it in the words of Kyle, “I didn’t say she wasn’t a hero. I said she wasn’t a hero TO ME. I didn’t like Bruce Jenner as a person when he was on the Kardashians, and I don’t have to like him now. I mean her.”
This was the most astute line in the whole episode. We don’t HAVE to agree on everything, especially when it comes to opinions. That’s freedom of speech.
Even President Obama acknowledged the need for differentiating opinions last week, which makes this all the more ironic—or just exceptionally timely.
HAZING, ASSAULT, AND BULLYING—NOT WORSE THAN NOT BEING POLITICALLY INCORRECT
“CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE, BRO.” — A phrase not often overheard at tailgates and frat parties.
Is it any coincidence that Parker and Stone chose fraternities to represent the douchiness of politically correct vigilantes? Probably not. In pop culture, fraternities are almost always portrayed as the quintessential bullies, villains, and pompous assholes that hate those who won’t conform and physically beat them for being different.
But in 2015, the biggest advocates of conformity come from a different community: the politically correct. The greatest irony here is that most who fight for tolerance are completely intolerant of anyone who disagrees. In the case of Wednesday’s South Park episode, be politically correct or we’ll beat the living shit out of you.
I mean, their letters were Rho, sideways Omega, and Delta – which for those who aren’t familiar looks like “PCD” and stands for politically correct douches if I’m not mistaken (I’m not).
In a brilliant turn of events, Randy Marsh (pledging the P.C. frat) gets drunk, ties Kyle (a Jew) to a tree, and draws penises all over his face because of his refusal to acknowledge Caitlyn Jenner as a hero.
Stan: “Dad, did you draw dicks all over my friends face?”
Randy: “Did I check his privilege? Yes. I had some refreshments and I checked your friend’s privilege. Dicks on your face is a very first world problem.”
Fuck yeah, bro. P.C. Bro.
DEFLATEGATE WAS ACCURATELY PORTRAYED
Even though it was just a dream sequence solely featuring Eric Cartman, Parker and Stone accurately portrayed the overblown Deflategate debacle involving Bill Belichick, Roger Goodell, and Tom Brady in as little as 20 words and with literally only one character.
New rules, old rules, enforced rules, unwritten rules, overlooked rules, making up rules – nobody knows what the rule is. But the three stooges of Deflategate get skewered.
Tom Brady is never down and out.
CARTMAN WAS (kind of) A HERO
If you can consider unleashing pregnant Mexican mothers (baited in by taco cannons), Syrian refugees, and Jared Fogle to overthrow a fraternity run by politically correct douchebags — who only want to drink, lift, and help eliminate stereotypes about marginalized minority groups — a hero, then yes. Cartman was a hero.
Probably the one we deserve.
THE CREATORS SEEM SICK OF EVERYONE BEING BUTTHURT ABOUT COMEDY
As I said before, the show generally sticks to a “we make fun of everyone equally” set of rules, meaning absolutely no one is safe from parody. But it also means that no one can single themselves out as being personally attacked or offended — because literally everyone is offended.
In the final scene, where everyone is enjoying their new relatively P.C. town, the creators all but SCREAM at the audience that just because something is made fun of doesn’t mean it’s meant to be harmful.
To quote one of the P.C. Bros, “I never thought to use offensive imagery and outrageous stereotypes to open someone’s eyes.”
Moments later Carman says to Kyle, “At least we showed that joking about un-P.C. things can actually be important, because it starts a dialogue.”
“What’s wrong Kyle? You have your cake. Eat it too.”
Could they be more obvious about their goals here?
RANDY MARSH DOES THE NAE-NAE
Watch Randy whip, now watch him nae-nae.