Kyle Swims Through a Water Park of “Pee” in the South Park Season 13 Finale

This was the last episode of the 13th season of South Park. That makes me sad. Wednesday nights will be forever emptier because of this. Well, not forever more. They’ll be better again in a few months when South Park is back.

In this episode, the boys go to the local water park, Pi Pi’s, where Kyle opts to stay out of the water indefinitely due to its incredibly high concentration of urine. Cartman, however, is disappointed for other reasons: the water park is filled with minorities.

Black people.

Mexicans.

Chinese.

He thinks he even saw some Native Americans.

This, of course, is less stated than it is sung in a beautiful song. Trey Parker is quite the composer – always has been. Indeed, Cartman predicts that the Mayans got the year of the Apocalypse wrong and that rather then 2012, it’s actually happening in 2009, since the water park has been taken over by minorities and Cartman is the “last of his kind.”

When warned that the pee content of his water park is so high that the park is on the verge of disaster, Pi Pi does nothing – to the detriment of human kind . . . well, human kind currently in attendance at his water park. With the urination of one final little girl, the water becomes 100% pee and disaster ensues. Everything goes to hell – in Cartman’s eyes, the Mayan Apocalypse.

In order to drain the pee from the park, Kyle has to hold his breath and swim through it down to an underwater release valve, but in order to do that he must first drink pee in order to avoid the bends. Since pee grosses him out so much, this is obviously a monumental task. It’s pretty hilarious listening to the other boys be honest about all the things they do related to pee that Kyle considers unacceptable:

– pee in the shower

– pee in the pool

– not wash their hands after peeing

Gross!! I’d never not wash my hands after peeing. Yeah . . . never . . .

Obviously the moment Kyle drank the pee they were all rescued, since is was discovered that the antidote to anger caused by the overexposure to pee is bananas. And yes, the part where the monkeys got angry while getting urinated on was hilarious and disgusting.

Funny enough, I loved that Kyle hated bananas so much and had to eat one after drinking the pee. Why? My wife loves most foods but HATES bananas. She finds them revolting, particularly the smell. Sometimes to be cruel when we’re at the grocery store I’ll hold a bunch of bananas behind her head and then say her name so that she turns around and finds them there. She hates that. I’m very mature.

This wasn’t a killer episode like a few of the other poignant ones this season, but it was amusing, particularly the unbearably racist sentiments that got called out and exposed for being illogical: minorities are beginning to make up the majority. Get used to it. It’s okay and that’s where things were going. We’re all immigrants – thanks White Stripes.

An interesting aside: there was a commercial for Avatar during South Park, which is interesting because last week’s episode made fun of Avatar and showed South Park being really angry that the movie was ripping off something else (I asked what that something else was but nobody knew to tell me).

What’d you think of this episode? Did you like it? What did you think about the 13th season? Which episode was your favorite.

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Funny Motivational Posters about Fuzzy Things – like Rabbits and Monsters

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South Park Episode 1208, “The Chinese Problem,” Grapples with the Rape of Indiana Jones and Chinese Power

Oh, how Wednesdays are better when new episodes of South Park are on at 10 p.m. After a 6 month hiatus, South Park finally returned to us tonight with a brand new episode.

Berare da Chineez

Cartman, it seems, is terrified that with the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics (read my post about the Opening Ceremonies HERE), the Chinese were declaring their intent to conquer the world and take over America. Thus, he forms the American Liberation Front, which is “dedicated to freeing America from Chinese tyranny.”

After infiltrating a P.F. Changs to find out what the Chinese plan for taking over America is, a standoff with the police ensues and when it’s over Cartman realizes that as much as he wants America to retain its power in the world, that can’t be at the cost of American dignity – a lesson he learned by watching Butters unethically shoot people in their dicks.

The Rape of Indiana Jones

The perhaps even more nonsensical but equally as terrifying half of the plot concerned the rape of Indiana Jones by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, who, the episode contends, destroyed Indiana Jones and effectively raped him senseless by making a fourth and totally worthless movie.

Stan, Kyle, the county attorney (who weirdly had four fingers on one hand and five on the other) and police officers all continue to relive the horror of that movie, seeing Lucas and Spielberg gang up on and rape Indiana Jones. One amusing reference was to the classic movie, Deliverance and a particularly disturbing scene therein.

The boys decide to take the two director-producers to trial and prosecute them for the rape they committed; when the cops bust into Spielberg’s house, they find him and Lucas raping a storm-trooper, a reference to the two butchering the classic Star Wars films with digital enhancements and three crappy additional movies. This issue was already tackled in episode 609, “Free Hat,” (click HERE to read about that episode).

In the end, everyone is incredibly relieved that the two evil men are brought to justice for their crimes.

My Thoughts

First of all, you can’t find a South Park episode I don’t like. Even if it’s not the most hilarious or most interesting plotline, I still think that they’re all good and worth seeing. This episode had some good laughs and some good points.

I always appreciate how far the show will take anything, whether to make you uncomfortable or think about what’s important to you, and they definitely took things crazily far with the raping of Indiana Jones – both the use of the word rape and the visual depictions of what happened to him. I don’t think it was necessary, appropriate or tasteful but when could South Park ever be described by any of those adjectives.

Particularly on the Deliverance side of things it was funny and made you cringe, and perhaps by using such a strong analogy, Parker and Stone were really trying to convey how terrible they considered the actions of Lucas and Spielberg to be when it came to their greed and personal interests rather than what was best for the character of Indiana Jones and the previous films’ artistic integrity.

Also, though the conclusion with the Cartman and China issue was a good one, I thought that it was arrived at a bit abruptly and after a shoddy attempt at interweaving that plot with the other plot. I wish that they’d spent more time making a real ending out of that part of the episode which actually is serious and important rather than being silly with Indiana Jones – though, of course, perhaps the Indiana issue was more important to Parker and Stone than the rise of the Chinese?

Summary

What did you think about this new episode? Which issue did you like more: Indiana Jones or China? Are you excited for the rest of the season?

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Religion in the News: The Olympics Opening Ceremonies and the World’s Arrival in China

As most of you probably know and as many of you likely watched, last night the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games took place in the Beijing stadium known as the Bird’s Nest. I don’t know if you watched it, but I must say that from the bottom of my heart it was truly a spectacular event.

I cut it off shortly after the U.S. team marched (I was tired), and so I didn’t see the official opening words of the Chinese president, Hu Jintao or the words of the head of the IOC. Honestly, I would have liked to, but oh well. What I cared most about was the presentation by Zhang Yimou, an unbelievable display of Chinese history. It was one of the most sensational performances I have ever seen.

Symbolism and Performance

As many of my loyal readers will know, I love history and religion, and this performance was a masterpiece encapsulating both of those elements. Plus, the symbolism was fantastic. Many may not know the importance of the number 8 to the Chinese but the word 8 is ba, and an incredibly similar word means prosper and wealth. The Chinese pay more money to live on the 8th floor of buildings and in apartments with 8 in the number. Two 8s together (88) means double joy and happiness. The telephone number 888-8888 was sold for $270,723 in China, if that gives you any idea. What’s my point? That 8-8-08 being the opening ceremonies of the Olympics is no laughing matter or accident. Moreover, 2008 performers were in each different piece of the ceremony.

Chinese Religion and History

Westerners often fetishize eastern religions, particularly Buddhism but also Taoism. Though I’m guilty as well, I’m also slightly troubled by the fact, and thought that these ceremonies were an excellent way of the Chinese demonstrating that their religions, history and traditions have more depth than we tend to understand. Of course, it doesn’t help these ideas to try to sum up Chinese history in a few hours of performance pieces, but it was nonetheless truly a sight to behold.

Chinese characters of harmony were displayed in the most fabulous ways, calligraphy and painting were done by dancing men on an enormous moving canvas, and Tai Chi, the ancient art of body movement to enhance the flow of the chi was performed for the entire world in amazing ways. 2008 dancers in green outfits that lit up created an enormous flying dove with their bodies.

My description, as I look back, is a smack in the face of this amazing performance. Truly, you should go watch it online. The incorporation of Taoist and Buddhist thought and symbolism into multiple performance pieces designed to display China’s proud history was remarkable and makes me excited for what’s to come.

Idealistic Hopes for the Future

Those who know me may think I’m an idealist, and so might you after this next paragraph. I hope that these Olympic Games are a new beginning for China. Much of the symbolism of the performance was about opening China up to the world and welcoming it with harmony. The Great Wall was created and then replaced with flowers that symbolize this transformation.

It is my hope that this is the beginning of China relaxing its strict policies about protest, becoming more democratic, and doing the right things internationally (Taiwan, Tibet, etc.). I’m not suggesting that the day the Olympics is over all will change and be well, but I do hope that when we look back in 20 or 30 years, we look at this event – this opening of China to the world for the Olympics – just as we look at ping pong diplomacy and Nixon’s visit today. Well, even better than that.

Yes, it’s idealistic, but China is a growing powerhouse and one to be reckoned with, and I only hope that this event marks a visible turning point in its history when it realizes the value of being a part of the world order and some of the democratic values that go along with that.

What do you think? Did you see the ceremonies? What was your favorite part? What do you think about China and the future in light of these Olympic games?

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for Zen Talk. To check out last week’s Zen Talk, click HERE. To check out last week’s Religion in the News article, click HERE.