Mind Control at the South Park Planetarium in “Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods” Episode 211

Cartman ditches a school field trip to the Planetarium to try out for a Cheesy Poof commercial. The rest of the children end up obsessed with the Planetarium and beg Mr. Garrison to take them back.

As it happens, the planetarium keeper is brainwashing the whole town. One child who’d been enslaved by the Planetarium, goes back on the bus with Mr. Garrison’s class, and he’s talking all crazy. Mr. Mackey tries to help the child by conducting a mind meld, an ancient technique passed down from school guidance counselor to school guidance counselor. He speaks of his chi in a little nod to eastern religions.

It’s a decent episode, but that’s about all I have to say about it.

Do you like this episode? What was your favorite part?

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The 9/11 Conspiracy is Finally Revealed in “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce,” South Park episode 1009

A lot of people think that 9/11 was not a simple terrorist masterminded plot, but a far more elaborate conspiracy, the extent of which nobody really knows. Personally, I’ve watched Loose Change, a movie about one of these conspiracy theories, and though creepy, I could have used some concrete factual confirmation to support the string of “evidence.” In fact, I felt pretty similarly to the way I did when watching Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

In any case, this episode mocks those who think that 9/11 was a conspiracy that had anything to do with our government and tries to make them feel foolish, petty and unpatriotic. I can’t say that it’s my favorite episode, but it certainly is making a point. What’s great is Mr. Mackey’s many names for poop since the whole thing starts as a search for who went number 2 in the urinal.

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In “Proper Condom Use,” (507) South Park Has Mr. Garrison and Mr. Mackey Teaching Sex-Ed

In this episode Mr. Mackey teaches sex ed to the boys and Ms. Choksondick teaches it to the girls. Mr. Garrison, because it’s believed that younger and younger children should learn about proper condom use, teaches sexual education and proper condom use to the kindergartners. Basically, it’s a huge mess because none of these people should be talking about sex with children. Unfortunately the parents were too chicken to do it themselves. At the end of an episode that has seen total chaos and all out war between the sexes (terrified of pregnancy and disease), Chef says the following:

Well I hate to say it but you all got what you deserved. Look, schools are teaching condom use to younger and younger students each day, but sex isn’t something that should be taught in textbooks and diagrams. Sex is emotional and spiritual – it needs to be taught by family. I know it can be hard parents but if you leave it up to the schools to teach sex to kids you don’t know who they’re learning it from. It could be someone who doesn’t know, someone who has a bad opinion of it or even a complete pervert.”

After everyone agrees the boys ask Chef when the right time to start having sex is. He answers, 17. It’s as simple as that: 17. Good advice, I think.

Though I don’t think sex ed in schools is such a terrible thing and talking to parents about sex can be very awkward, I certainly support the importance of having an open dialogue between parents and their children about sex. It is difficult to know when the time is right to have the talk but starting to be honest at a young age – when they see sexual advertisements and images of sexual things in pop-culture around them – can be fine if you start simple. You need not describe the anatomical specifics of the Lotus position, but just share a little so that by the time the questions come and the big issues need to be discussed, there’s a foundation of openness and understanding.

Did you like this episode? Have you had to talk to your children about sex? Awkward? How did you do it?

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