Mickey and Disney are Selling Sex to Wholesome Christian Girls Through the Jonas Brothers’ Chastity Rings in the First New Episode of South Park Season 13, “The Ring” (1301)

What a sensational opening to season 13!!! God, I love South Park.

Kenny has a new girlfriend, who is allegedly a slut – a slut totally turned on by the Jonas Brothers. To get a BJ, Kenny take her to the Jonas Brothers (JB is the opposite of BJ) concert, and after the show, just as she’s about to take Kenny into the parking lot and give him what he wants, the Jonas Brothers call her and some other girls from the audience backstage.

The Jonas Brothers then tell them that they want to share their love of Jesus and pitch the idea of purity rings to the girls, convincing them to wear these rings; the rings signify a vow that they won’t engage in sexual activities, listen to swear words or watch naughty television (a dig at South Park). Kenny’s new girlfriend agrees to wear the ring and convinces Kenny to do the same. Unfortunately, chastity rings do nothing but make people boring – and watch Gray’s Anatomy.

Stan, Cartman and Kyle become concerned with how boring Kenny has become and realize that it’s the Jonas Brothers and their chastity ring nonsense that have made their friend so bland. At a public morning talk show where the Jonas Brothers are announcing their huge live, 3D Disney concert spectacular, the boys start yelling about what a sham the rings are. And who stops them? Mickey Mouse(!) who as we’ve already learned, promotes the chastity rings because by talking about how the Jonas Brothers don’t have sex, attention is naturally being drawn to the Jonas Brothers and sex. Thus, millions of good, wholesome, screaming and loving Christian girls are thinking about the Jonas Brothers’ penises simply by virtue of being told that they shouldn’t be thinking about the Jonas Brothers’ penises! This is Disney’s! huge scam to sell sex to little girls – little wholesome, Christian girls.

At the concert spectacular, where Mickey is threatening the boys, believing that they work for Dreamworks and are trying to sabotage him, Mickey begins ranting about how awful the Jonas Brothers are and how he only uses them to sell sex to stupid Christian girls.

The Jonas Brothers say, “a nice Christian symbol can’t be used for profit gains,” and “We’ve angered God.”

Mickey, continuing his rant: “Christians are stupid.”

Unbenownst to him, the microphones has been turned on and the curtain lifted. Everyone hears him and realizes how evil Disney is and how awful it’s machinations are. They boo Mickey, who grows into an angry and large fire-breathing monster – and Disney’s plans are ruined.

This excellent episode, though ostensibly about the Jonas Brothers, is about so much more. It’s about the culture of selling sex to our youth – and Disney isn’t the only guilty party, though this episode excellently exposes its seedy attempts. Cosmo girl is meant to lead young girls right into Cosmo, which holds women to ridiculous beauty standards and offers consistently stupid sexual advice, making women think that the goal of life is to hold onto their men. Selling sex starts younger and younger, and brilliantly, some people have figured out that pretending to sell the opposite makes people think you have honest intentions. However,  emphasizing how you don’t ever do something still makes people think about doing something.

Oh! And Kenny dies! Will he be coming back next episode? I think so. Just because the classic lines are gone doesn’t mean that Kenny can’t die when the story “needs” him to and be resurrected the following episode.

What did you think of this episode? Is this a good start to season 13?

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Santa Goes to Iraq and Jesus Dies in an Amazing South Park Christmas Episode, “Red Sleigh Down,” (618)

Boy, is Comedy Central getting us in the Holiday Spirit by airing some great South Park Christmas episodes, beginning tonight with “Red Sleigh Down,” perhaps one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed 23 minutes of satire ever to have been created in the history of satire. Do you think that’s saying a lot? I certainly do. Take it as a sign that you’re not going to want to miss this episode.

Santa goes to Iraq in order to spread the Christmas spirit to a part of the world sorely in need of some holiday cheer, but Iraqis, uninterested in his western capitalism and false promises, shoot his sleigh out of the air, take him into their lair, and torture him in an excruciating fashion.

The boys and Mr. Hankey (everyone’s favorite Holiday Season icon), in an attempt to rescue Santa, locate Jesus. Jesus takes them all to Iraq where they burst into the militants’ compound and save old Saint Nick. However, on the way out of the compound, Jesus is shot and killed. That’s right. Jesus is killed on his birthday. Jesus died to save Santa, making Christmas a day on which we should remember how Jesus died in order to save us. The theological implications and real world scenario derived from Christian theology make this a sensational episode – among other hilarious and disturbing moments.

Rather than flee Iraq, Santa steers his sleigh back towards Baghdad and shoots missiles at the capital city; these missiles don’t actually destroy anything, but rather, they explode as holiday decorations, presents and cheer.

What an amazing episode, and boy do I hope you watch it. What did you think of the episode? What was your favorite part?

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South Park Mocks High School Musical with Briden Queermo and His Singing, Dancing and Slapping Dad in Episode 1213, “Elementary School Musical”

Now personally, I haven’t seen High School Musical, but based on this episode, I’m not interested. I am, however, interested in watching this episode again. And again. Because it was awesome.

About the Episode

At every turn the students of South Park Elementary break into song and dance, much in the fashion of, I’d imagine, High School Musical. Totally confused as to what the hell is going on, Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman go home and watch the movie. That doesn’t help. They’re still totally befuddled as to how High School Musical is cool. Cartman is so convinced he’s lost touch with reality that he wants to kill himself.

With school time singing and dancing at the top of the cool charts, Wendy has gotten pretty chummy with Briden Queermo, a popular third grader who is the best singer and dancer in school. They’re even cast in the elementary school musical together, which doesn’t make Stan feel any better about how close they’re getting. To pull them apart, he tries to get Briden to follow his real interest, which is basketball, and to cut out the excessive singing and dancing.

Unfortunately for Briden Queermo, his father hates sports and jocks and wants his son to sing and dance incessantly. He’s also very strict and bossy, slapping Briden, his mother and everyone else in town who stands in the way of how he wants to raise his kid. Fortunately, Briden decides to stand up to his father and punches him right in the face. He then joins the basketball team.

In the meantime, Stan has given into the pressure of High School Musical and convinces his friends to join him by telling them that Butters is considered cooler than they are now. At the end of the episode they all break out in song, singing about how Briden has chosen to do what he wants to do, by playing basketball, and singing, “Do what you want to do, so long as what you’re doing is what everyone wants you to.”

Things About This Episode That Were Awesome

1. All the singing and dancing

2. The irony of the boys singing and dancing about Doing What They Want to Do is that they’ve literally given into peer pressure in the meantime – this probably wasn’t lost on you

3. Cartman’s hybrid joke and his lines during the song

4. The slapping father and what an asshole he is

5. Making fun of Scott Malkenson

6. Stan breaking out in song alone the first time and singing “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dina”

Summary

What did you think of this episode? What was your favorite part? What would you add to the list of awesome thing?

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The Second Part of the Amazing South Park episodes, “Cartoon Wars,” (1004) Teaches About the Power of Terrorism

As you may have read in yesterday’s article about episode 1003 (click HERE), I love these amazing episodes that challenge our ability to understand what the real power of terrorism is.

What this episode teaches us is that terrorism is a mental as much as a physical threat. When threatened with terrorism for broadcasting an episode of Family Guy that depicted an image of Mohammed, FOX networks must decide whether or not to air the image. Deciding not to is a matter of changing our lives and values (free speech, etc.) because we’re scared.

Terrorism hasn’t happened in the sense that no bombs have gone off and no one has died. Terrorism has happened – effectively, I might add – because of the fear that makes us live a different way. When we stop living as we choose because we’re scared that is when terrorism has worked.

This episode, setting aside this interesting point, is amazing for other reasons, including the layers of meaning attached to the inclusion of Family Guy and other animated social commentaries for adults and the fact that Comedy Central actually pusses out and refuses to show the image of Mohammed that in the episode the FOX network president opted to show. Wow.

What did you think of this episode? What do you think of this portrayal of terrorism?

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“The Losing Edge” Touches on the Stereotype of Jews and Sports

Though this isn’t one of my favorite episodes, it does have a few good moments – like when Randy tackles the even drunker and more belligerent father at the kids’ baseball game. And why do parents care so much about little league sports?

As it relates to religion, the episode does depict Kyle (that is, Kyle’s cousin, Kyle) as a ringer for the team – since they are trying to lose – because the boys think that there is no worse kid athlete around. He can’t hit or catch and he can barely see through his foggy glasses. He’s Jewish and he sucks at sports.

Interestingly, despite touching on this stereotype – that is, that Jews are unathletic and incapable of physical activities – other episodes suggest that this isn’t the case. For instance, Kyle himself always appears to be quite capable at sports. He is depicted playing hockey and football and makes the all-state team because he is the best basketball player at South Park Elementary. Unfortunately, he is not tall and black enough for basketball though and has to sit it out.

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“Probably,” episode 411, Concludes Cartman’s Church Starting and Satan’s Love-Battle with Saddam Hussein

I don’t know who caught episode 410 last night on Comedy Central at 9:30, but if you did, lucky you. It was incredible, right? I absolutely love that episode and it’s conclusion, 411.

In this episode we’ll see the fallout between Satan, Chris and Saddam when Satan goes to talk to the big man upstairs for help resolving his issues.

On earth, we’ll also see what happens when Cartman gains way too much control over the children of South Park by waving the Bible around and convincing them all that they’ll be going to Hell for not listening to him. Unfortunately for those trying to avoid Hell, though, we’ll learn in the deep below that everyone but the Mormons actually goes there. Yes, Mormons was the right answer. Sucks, doesn’t it.

So, in any case, don’t miss the incredible conclusion of last night’s episode.

Let me know what you thought. What do you think about Mormons being the right answer?

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Cartman Takes to the Pulpit in “Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?”

I’m not sure if Comedy Central is just trying to delight me and my senses these days or if it’s just a coincidence that great religious episode after great religious episode seems to be on. Actually, it reminds me of how many episodes in which South Park focuses on religion. And tonight’s episode is 410, “Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?”

The show begins with Father Maxi preaching fiery brimstone and damnation to his congregation after catching the boys behaving poorly in church. By scaring them into going to Sunday School where they can prepare for their first communion by taking their first confession, Father Maxi ends up filling the boys with all sorts of theological diatribe that they can’t seem to shake.

Concerned by what they’ve heard, Cartman, Stan, Kenny and the other boys try to save their friends who might otherwise be destined for Hell – Timmy, for instance, who can’t say more than his own name, much less confess. Oh, and obviously Kyle. Father Maxi’s ill intentions are best demonstrated when he quotes the Bible to tell Kyle he’s going to Hell but actually quotes from a passage that doesn’t mention anything about the Jews. It is also clear that all he cares about is greater church attendance.

Realizing that it is the Bible from which both the priest and the church’s sister, Sister Anne, draw their authority when making their bold assertions about going to Hell, the boys begin to fear the power of this book. That is, until Father Maxi is caught having sex in the confessional booths and ousted by the children, only to have Cartman take up the pulpit in his place, determined to save the souls of all of South Park’s children. You can’t miss the conclusion of this two-part episode, “Probably,” tomorrow night.

The reason I love this episode is multi-fold, but two issues in particular are its treatment of theology and the Bible. The Bible is used as a source of authority – almost the source of authority – and it’s only by getting a hold of it that Cartman’s power can actually take shape. We see him mimic the terrible lessons he’s learned from his Church: how to wield undeserved and unjust authority through threats and coercion.

Second is the use of theology. When the boys are taught theology as children, they are simply confused. Communion is illogical to them because the notion that crackers and wine really become Jesus’ body suggests that Jesus was made of crackers and wine. They approach these issues like children: skeptical and curious. Why? Why? Why? they ask. In typical dogmatic fashion, they are told, because the Bible says so, because that’s the way it is, and stop bothering me or you’re going to Hell.

And then there’s so much more.

To read up on tonight’s other episode, “Fantastic Easter Special,”  click HERE. Click HERE to read about other South Park episodes.

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Imaginationland, Director’s Cut Edition, Sunday Night at 10: The Debate Between Imaginary and Real

Like you, I’ve seen the commercials for the Imaginationland spectacular that’s coming up this Sunday night. What’s the difference between the three episodes aired week after week and one long sit-down? I have no idea, other than the time between commercials. Will there actually be never before seen footage? It’s entirely possible, but I wouldn’t know.

Do you know anything about it?

Last week the Imaginationland trilogy was nominated for an Emmy – South Park‘s eighth, god bless them – and perhaps this has something to do with that, though I’m unaware of the specifics in scheduling decisions. Since Matt and Trey aren’t big on pandering to the Emmy-Hollywood-Celebrity crowd, I’m pretty skeptical that the two are related, though I am sure that Comedy Central is interested in grabbing a third Emmy for its most popular, highest rated and most watched show (are all those the same thing?).

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?

If you haven’t seen it or if you have, I highly recommend that you plunk down in front of your tv this Sunday night at ten and take a look at Imaginationland – and potentially an extended version, at that.

Have you seen it? What’s your favorite part? What do you think about this debate between imaginary and real?

For more going on in the world of South Park, check out my quick question about the South Park video game, HERE. Don’t forget, a review of Step-Brothers is coming later this afternoon (and hopefully X-Files sometime soon!).

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One of My Favorite South Park Episodes: Chef Goes Nanners (408)

Tonight on Comedy Central you can watch one of my absolute favorite South Park episodes (season 4 really has a lot of winners).

When Uncle Jimbo and Chef get into a heated argument about the South Park flag and whether or not it’s racist (4 white men are depicted hanging a black man), the mayor decides to base her decision on the outcome of the children’s school debate on the issue. Though the whole episode is funny and poignantly dramatic – Chef’s wrestling with the fact that no one he knows supports his fight to have this flag changed – it is the conversation between Chef and Kyle at the actual debate that’s so moving.

Spoiler Alert

It is absolutely one of my favorite moments in South Park history when Chef realizes that the children are so not-racist, despite his previous assumptions, that they never even saw the issue surrounding the flag as one of race because they never saw the color of the people on the flag. They just saw people killing people and thought that the whole issue was about murder. Chef is amazed at this wonderful turn of events and it brings him back down to earth, exercising reason and resolving to handle the problem more thoughtfully.

In typical South Park fashion, the happy conclusion of the entire episode is derived by creating a compromise and finding the Middle Ground, a message much emphasized in The Zen of South Park.

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South Park and Global Warming: tonight’s episode, “Terrance and Phillip Behind the Blow” (505)

Tonight’s episode (9:30 on Comedy Central before a Chris Rock special) is one of my favorite non-religious episodes (aside from the exclamation of “Jesus tap-dancing Christ!”). This episode, though it focuses heavily on Terrance and Phillip and their tragic and complicated relationship, is also about a phenomenon quite close to my own heart: global warming….and what a bunch of nonsense it is.

That’s right. I said it. There is no global warming. Sure, excessive carbon is not good for our environment, ozone layer or collective health – I certainly won’t deny that – but the notion that the world’s temperature is increasing in an unnatural way is absurd. In fact, not only have global temperatures been decreasing for a few years now, not only should the earth have warmed up substantially after the mini-ice-age of the 14th-20th centuries, and not only am I always a little cold and appreciative of an extra degree or so, but some NASA scientists have attributed the global rises that were being detected to the sun’s own increase in temperatures (did humans cause that?). Basically, there is no concrete evidence that it is actually humans and their activities that are contributing to the temperature of the earth.

All that said, I am not anti-environment. I recycle. I don’t litter. I drive 55 mph because it’s the optimum speed to conserve gas. I just think that before we go believing every little word that scare-mongers scream at us we should probably ask to see some actual scientific evidence and not just believe it because they say it’s scientific. Let’s question these things a little more thoroughly.

And that brings us to South Park. South Park questions the nonsense spewed at us left and right about global warming and saving the environment. God bless it.

In “Terrance and Phillip Behind the Blow” it’s Earth Day and the crazy Earth Day leaders are psychopaths, blaming everything on the Republicans and murdering people for the sake of their cause. As Stan says, “Environmental activists don’t use logic or reason.” This episode, along with “Manbearpig” in which Al Gore is a raving lunatic trying to prove the existence and danger of a make-believe creature that’s half man, half bear, and half pig (and which we see in Imaginationland), as well as others that refuse to tolerate the nonsense of bullshit environmentalist’ claims, is awesome for its willingness to stand up to the monolith that is the environmental movement. Few people will publicly stand up to the ridicule that is associated with not believing in what everyone tells them is true (like standing up to bunk religious claims when everyone around you is a believer), but Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Michael Crichton are among them.

So when you watch South Park tonight, remember that it’s about more than Terrance and Phillip’s problems with blow.

Do you believe in global warming? What’s your reason why? Do you think I’m a raving lunatic? What do you think about this episode of South Park? Where else does South Park knock global warming?

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