“Cartman’s Silly Hate Crime 2000” Lands Him in Juvy and the Boys in a Losing Sled Race (South Park Episode 401)

When Cartman hits token with a rock, the FBI misconstrues the whole event as a hate crime, what with Token being black and all. Cartman is sent to juvenile hall as a punishment for his crime, where he must navigate the difficult inner world of prison life to stay alive.

Stan, Kyle and Kenny desperately need Cartman out of juvy because they have a big sled race against the girls, and without Cartman’s weight sending them hurdling down the slope, they don’t have a great chance of winning (read: we need fat people in a variety of circumstances). Hilariously, some random girl on the girls’ team keeps taunting the boys about losing, calling them a variety of names related to being gay (fudge-packer, anal-spelunker, etc.).

Token’s father, one of the wealthiest and most educated men in town, is incensed that Cartman’s violence against his son has been misconstrued as a hate-crime when he knows that it’s nothing more than childish bickering. He tries to get the other children, who will do anything to get Cartman out of jail and back on their sledding team, to give a presentation to the mayor and others, in an attempt to convince them of the fact that Cartman’s act was not racially inspired. All in all, it’s a very eloquent explanation for the foolishness of dubbing most of what we do as hate crimes.

What do you think about the attribution of the label hate crime to crimes that may not be racially motivated? What did you think about this episode? What was your favorite part?

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Cartman Wants to Feel Jesus’ Salvation All Over His Face in South Park Episode 709, “Christian Rock Hard”

As an episode about South Park exploiting the Christian music industry in order to win a bet with Kyle, you can only imagine how much I love “Christian Rock Hard.”

So, now you know the premise, and what’s left to enjoy are Cartman’s experiences creating his awesome band. By taking the lyrics from old songs and replacing key words with Jesus, we’re left with a series of sensual, sexual and disturbing song about Cartman and Jesus. The songs also have great names that recall issues like salvation, crucifixion, sin and forgiveness. The names of the other Christian rock bands, like “Trinity,” also speak to South Park‘s amusing understanding of Christianity.

At Christfest, where Cartman hopes his band will perform, there is a stand selling bibles and another selling items with your favorite psalm printed on them. A particularly hilarious scene is when Cartman and the band are in the record company’s president’s office about to have their band signed. Cartman challenges God to strike him with lightening if he is being insincere about his love of Jesus. Butters scoots away.

In the meantime, in addition to mocking Christian rock and Cartman’s exploitation of evangelical Christians everywhere, the show comments on a social issue prevalent at the time: downloading big bands’ music from Napster and the internet. This lambasting of Metallica and others for their self-obsession, greediness, conceit and lack of interest in the music when compared to the money is both blatant and, I’d say, deserved. Sure, musicians have a right to protect their music – it is theirs after all – but to try to stand in the way of what, we can see 6 years later, is an unstoppable progression in the way music is acquired and listened to, is foolish and short-sighted.

What did you think about this episode? What was your favorite part?

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Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, Reforms Cartman’s Behavior in “Tsst,” South Park Episode 1007

Cartman, as we all know, treats his mom, well, like a dog, and it’s time for that trend to be reversed. Cesar Millan, the acclaimed Dog Whisperer, comes to South Park to discipline Cartman for Lianne Cartman and make him submit to her parental will.

Cesar ignores Cartman and touches him on the neck, saying, “Tsst” to hush him and remind him that he is just a child. Cartman can’t take this horrible treatment and all that goes along with it, like healthy food, a lack of new toys and the loss of his mother to Cesar Millan. Thus, he plans to kill his mother. When he attempts to enlist the help of his friends (and fails) he reads them his plan but leaves off the last detail which is, Frame Token.

Eventually, however, Cartman does submit to his mother’s will, through the help of Cesar Millan, and becomes a behaved and reformed child. Unfortunately for Lianne, Cesar leaves when his work is done and with no one to hang out with (for she had become dependent on Cesar’s friendship), Lianna reverts to giving Cartman what he wants so that he’ll hang out with her as a friend and not as a child.

And thus, Cartman is back.

What did you think about this episode?

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Token’s Invitation to Richers Upsets the South Park Status Quo in Episode 512, “Here Comes the Neighborhood”

Token can’t handle it when the other boys make fun of him for being rich. In order to feel more included he puts an ad out trying to attract other rich people to South Park – and it works! First Will Smith moves his family out, then Snoop comes to South Park and then all sorts of other rich black people make their way to South Park as well. Unable to cope with the fluctuating property prices and new upper class, Mr. Garrison and the other men of South Park make a concerted effort to get rid of the Richers, first by burning a lower-case “t” in their yards for “time to leave” and then by dressing up in white sheets like ghosts – because Richers hate ghosts. Picking up on anything?

It’s a pretty funny episode and a nice look at certain ‘reversal of fortune’-class issues that South Park likes to tackle. As an additional example think of the episode “Mr. Jefferson” about framing Michael Jackson and other rich black people. Incidentally, “Mr Jefferson” is the next episode of the evening, and this one is actually preceded by “Chef Goes Nanners.” Some wise person has combined these three episodes to create a Wednesday evening theme.

What did you think of this episode?

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Randy Says the N-Word on National Television in South Park Episode 1101, “With Apologies to Jesse Jackson”

Puzzle: N-_-G-G-E-R-S

Clue: People who annoy you.

Honestly, what did you think when you first saw this episode? I thought “Noggers” – you know, people who constantly knock you on the noggin? I’m sure you did too.

In any case, this episode begins with this hilarious Wheel of Fortune bit and proceeds to a problem arising between Stan and Token, the latter insisting that the incident was, in fact, a big deal and that his friend Stan cannot understand why.

A midget comes to South Park Elementary to talk to the children about how he overcome the odds and became a motivational speaker. Cartman can’t stop laughing at him for his diminutive stature and the little suit they put on him. It’s hilarious watching Cartman laugh at this guy and even more hilarious when Cartman gets to him and in the end they actually wrestle.

Plus, Stan learns a valuable lesson.

What did you think?

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