“Imaginationland,” South Park’s Epic Trilogy about Real v. Imaginary Things, Begins Here

I, for one, absolutely love the Imaginationland trilogy. It’s brilliant. At first I wasn’t too keen, because towards the end of the first episode I didn’t see it wrapping up to a point, but upon realizing that it was more than a single episode – and then three episodes! – I became enthralled by the depth to which the entire trilogy was taken and the sensational points that arose out of it.

Imaginationland is about the existence of the make-believe – how real imaginary things are. This hour and a half of philosophical speculation interwoven seamlessly with a plot about Kyle finally having to lick Cartman’s particularly vinegary nuts – “How do you like your sundays Kyle? With extra nuts?” – is nothing short of genius.

From the perspective of The Zen of South Park, Imaginationland adds particular vibrancy because the understanding that imaginary things – like many of the religious figures we revere, and even, say, maybe, God – are real and can have far more importance and influence than tangible things has a dual effect. At once it provides us with historical fodder while simultaneously affirming the fact that historicity can be far less important than perception.

For instance, haven’t people like Superman or Jesus, with their values of justice and the importance of fighting for truth been more influential and important than almost every other person? What about Luke Skywalker – imaginary – vs. Mark Hammell, tangible. Skywalker is more important (by far) and has had far more of an impact on the world. Can we really say that just because he’s imaginary he isn’t really real?

What do you think of the Imaginationland episodes? Did you like them? How do you feel about the idea that imaginary things are real?

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3 Responses

  1. […] Part II of the Imaginationland Trilogy Asks, Will We Nuke Our Imaginations? Posted on September 24, 2008 by Jay Solomon To be honest, I don’t have a whole lot new for you that hasn’t already been said in last week’s post on Imaginationland part 1. Thus, here’s a link to that episode: CLICK HERE. […]

  2. […] Imaginationland Trilogy Ends with Episode 1112 Posted on October 1, 2008 by Jay Solomon To read about the Imaginationland trilogy, click HERE. […]

  3. […] and the degree to which the American preoccupation with terrorism is a mental issue, click HERE and […]

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