In South Park Episode 1312 the Boys Launch a Campaign to Change the Word “Fag” to Mean a Loud, Douchebag, Harley Rider

By way of having a real meaning I thought this episode was the king of the season so far.

Harley Davidson bikers are driving around South Park trying to be cool and badass. They’re actually just disrupting everyone’s lovely days by making tons of noise and generally being obnoxious. They boys start calling them fags, and when the bikers don’t stop ruining everything the boys shit on their bike seats and spray paint, “Get Out Fags,” all over town.

This, of course, causes grave concern, first amongst the gay people in town (Mr. Slave and Big Gay Al) and then amongst the school administration and the local government. Everyone is shocked that Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman so freely admit that they’re guilty of being abusive towards gays, and this causes the boys to explain their behavior. They say that the loud and obnoxious bikers are fags. Not gay. Gay people are fine. It’s fags (i.e. bikers) that they hate.

It takes everyone a while to understand the differentiation between the words “fag” and “gay” but eventually a dictionary is actually broken open on the show and the evolving definition of the word is explained. Fag has referred to a variety of different hated groups throughout history, only recently gay people, but it’s meaning continues to change as those addressed by the word become irrelevant or no longer hated. That is, as a group, gay people are no longer fags.

In fact, in order to make this entire situation clear and officially make the new meaning of Fag “annoying Harley Davidson bikers,” the boys ask the keepers of the dictionary to make it a permanent definition.

So incensed are Harley Davidson bikers at the idea of being the new fags that they nearly destroy the entire town fighting about it. That, of course, only makes them faggier. By the end of the episode it is clear that those loud bike-riding douches are the world’s biggest FAGS.

I loved that this episode separated the word fag from the word gay. All too often people use gay as a negative adjective, and that’s terrible. Fag, however, is another story. That word is meant to have a negative connotation, and though it’s still a shame to draw that connotation because of its modern relationship to the word fag, it’s great that someone is making an effort to change the word to something new. Leave it to South Park to instigate social change.

Funniest line from the episode: when the boys are asked what someone who is considering getting a Harley and driving it around loudly is called, Cartman replies, “bike-curious.” Say it fast and you’ll get it. Just a nice pun on the use of fag and gay in this episode.

What’d you think of this most recent episode? What was your favorite part.

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park. Check out reviews of other episodes this season.

South Park Tonight – episode 601, Freak Strike

Tonight’s episode of South Park (9:30 on Comedy Central) does not center about religion. In fact, this is the episode where Butters glues fake balls on his chin to pretend to be a freak and get on Maurie Povich in order to win some kind of prize for being the lowliest freak. In any case, the issue I’d recommend paying attention to during this episode is Butters continual entreaties of Jesus to see him through this difficult scenario. The issue at hand is our constant invocation of those holy people (or God, if that’s what we consider him) who we think are up there listening to us. It’s like saying, “Jesus, I’d love to do that chick,” and thinking that Jesus himself will be like, “Yeah, she’s hot – let me see if I can work my magic.”

We have become so complacent about the words God and Jesus these days that they appear in every other sentence that come from most people’s mouths. Jesus this and Christ-chex that. God almighty and oh my God. Where does it end? Do these words mean anything anymore? Neither South Park nor I is attempting to remind you that Jesus is something holy and important that should be revered and whose name should not be used in general contexts – we are both calling your attention to language, and pointing out that our constant overuse of such phrases causes them to lose their meaning and importance.

It’s the same with cursewords. If “fuck” comes out of your mouth (gross?) every sixth word, it loses its power and emphasis. When you use it once a week, you better believe the people listening to you will have heard that sentence (or know that you smashed your finger with a hammer).

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.