Stan Takes over “Whale Wars” and Battles the Japanese in South Park Episode 1311

The Japanese Are Killing Whales!

Where the idea to deal with the issue of whaling came from I’m not sure at all. But hey, it’s South Park. I guess it was the opportunity to paint Captain Paul Watson as a total worthless piece of shit. By the looks of things, he is, but hey, 19 times out of 20 I believe South Park so maybe I’m not the best judge (though I’ve got a feeling…).

So the episode begins with the Japanese massacring whales and dolphins at aquariums all over America, including, I have to mention, the incredible aquarium in my home town, the Georgia Aquarium. And the Japanese killed the Baluga Whales. NOOO! The Japanese hate dolphins so much that they even kill the Miami Dolphins!

Somebody tweeted, “no wildcat offense – damn you Japanese!” That was pretty funny.

What Stan Wants to Do About It

Incensed at the violence against whales, Stan tries to encourage his friends to do something. They’re all playing Rock Band (or Guitar Hero – I can’t tell the difference), and Cartman is singing Poker Face by Lady Gaga. Cartman’s response to Stan’s request is, “I’m not too busy. I just don’t give a shit – AT ALL.”

In order to save the whales from the Japanese, Stan joins the show Whale Wars, a show led by Captain Paul Watson, who South Park makes clear is an enormous and worthless, lying piece of shit. I love it when Matt and Trey go off on somebody through the show and just rip them a new asshole. This episode did an amazing job of that, even showing a real picture of Captain Paul Watson in the process (and a second one with “turd” spraypainted across his face).

Totally annoyed that Paul Watson is a liar with horrible ideas about how to prevent whaling, Stan takes matters into his own hands and blows up the Japanese whaling ship. After the very bloody death of Paul Watson (this episode has an unusually high amount of gratuitous violence, even for South Park), Stan takes over as Captain of Whale Wars, and as his efforts prove increasingly successful and his fame grows, magazines announce many hilarious things, including telling us that Stan “turns vegan pussies into actual pirates.”

On Larry King, Stan realizes that everybody is conflating his success with Whale Wars as being about the show’s rating and not saving the whales. As people say that it’s wrong to skirt the usual process of making a show (i.e. you can’t be a renegade and do things your own way but have to go through producers and scripting and directing, etc.), Stan just goes away to save the whales. I think that was South Park‘s dig at the protective nature of the television industry.

What the Whaling is Really About

After Cartman and Kenny join Stan’s Whale Wars in order to be on his now successful television show, the Japanese start Kamikaze bombing the whales and Stan’s boat. With the Japanese victorious, the boys end up in Japanese prison. Cartman starts playing a harmonica in the fashion of black slave songs and singing about his Japanese-imprisoned balls.

The Japanese president visits the three boys and takes them to Hiroshima and to the museum there. He explains that the Japanese have never recovered from the bombing of Hiroshima. The president then goes on to explain that it was a dolphin and a whale who bombed the Japanese in World War II, something they know because the Americans graciously gave them a picture of the plane that dropped the bomb – it was flown by a whale and a dolphin.

In order to deflect responsibility from the whale and dolphin, Stan provides the Japanese with a new picture that shows a cow and a chicken bombing Japan. As a result, the Japanese then begin viciously murdering cows and chickens.
Stan’s dad says, Good. Now they’re just like us.

Awesome.

Why This is Awesome

The Japanese don’t go whaling to be evil and murder dolphins and whales. They do it because they like to eat them – and they always have. We prefer cows and chickens and treat these animals horribly in order to eat what we like to eat. Though we’re not murdering them in the wild, we’re providing them with excruciating living conditions and a miserable existence.

Why? Because we like to eat them.

The Japanese kills whales in order to eat them, yet we consider whales a special and more sentient creature and get offended at the very idea. It’s our misplaced sense of cultural superiority that tells us that killing the animals we’ve decided to kill and eat is more acceptable than those that another culture prefers.

Some people are so caught up with the idea that we should “save the whales” and that whaling is evil (encapsulated by the show Whale Wars and its captain, Paul Watson), that we rarely stop to be introspective about our own animal-related decisions (and for the record I’m not a vegetarian nor a member of PETA or some other related fanatic). I just think that our sense of priorities can be misplaced. This doesn’t mean I think we should go whaling. I think that we should seek to treat all animals that we choose to eat in an ethical way and make sure that whatever we do to them is sustainable.

Best Episode of the Season

So far, I think this was the best episode of the season (by that I mean this half of the 13th season). It was outrageous, nailed a number of issues, some of which I’d never thoroughly considered (i.e. it made me think), and it brought things to my attention (like Whale Wars) that are totally stupid. At that, it was really funny and quite consistently so, unlike some other episodes whose jokes are farther between due to the need to move the plot and deal with a serious issue.

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

Advertisements

Around the World Pic: Thuy, Peter and I at the Berlin Wall

thuy-peter-and-jay-at-berlin-wall_2

This Around the World pic is dedicated to the girl you see on the lefthand side of this photo. Her name is Thuy, and she rocks. She’s an old college friend of mine who happened to be traveling in Greece while Peter and I were traveling in Europe and she decided to meet us in Berlin, Germany for a day, before the three of us moved on together to Amsterdam.

Why is this picture dedicated to her? Because she’s visiting me in San Francisco right now! As a med-student in San Diego, she finally resides somewhere near me and so we’ve been able to connect four times already since I’ve moved out here. She’s come here to celebrate New Years with me. Awesome!

This picture is the three of us standing in front of the Berlin Wall, perhaps one of the most divisive – and now uniting – symbols in the entire world. Berlin was a really cool city and it’s a shame that we were only able to spend a day there. We did have lunch at an insanely expensive TGI Fridays.

Have you been to Berlin? To the Berlin Wall? What did you think?

And, oh yeah – HAPPY NEW YEAR. May your 2009 be filled with health, happiness and success.

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

Read about and see more Around the World Pic posts.

Topical Tuesday: If I Could Have Been the Author of Any Book it Would Have Been…

Slaughterhouse 5!

First, I jumped at the Bible. Oh to have written the Bible. But hey, I’m one guy in one place and that was written by dozens and dozens over the course of 1000 years so for the sake of keeping it a fascinating text, I let my dream of writing the Bible go.

My next reaction upon pondering this question was to look at my bookshelves and pick out something that I saw there. I love my book shelves. However, upon moving to San Francisco, I left them behind. I packed up hundreds and hundreds of books and stored them in my mother’s basement. With me came about two dozen.

I don’t really wish that I’d written any of the books I have here (other than maybe The Divine Comedy), and so I had to start thinking again from scratch. Of course, there are so many classics that I could have picked but what would my reasoning have been?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn could have made a fine selection. Mark Twain was brilliant. The book was sensational, influential, historically relevant, etc. But somehow I decided that I wanted something else. At first I was toying with sci-fi: The Hobbit, Dune. I really like the idea of creating a whole different world and think that it’s very difficult. I would love to move people’s imaginations that way. Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower could have been excellent but Chandler and I did say 1 book.

Thus, I settled on Slaughterhouse 5. There are a couple of reasons. Personally, I’ve read the book about a dozen times. It reads so quickly and never ceases to amaze me. You can take so much away from this book. There are great one liners that stay with you – i.e., So it goes. There are hilarious quips about life’s odd situations. Billy, for instance, has a huge penis, and says, you never know who’s going to have one.

What’s more, the book has amazing historical relevance (related to the Crusades and WWII), an incredible message about war that it doesn’t just tell you but makes you feel, and makes you think 6000 times about the structure of the universe and time and other such things. I use the image of the Rocky Mountains from the beginning of time until the end of time all the time to convey various points about the nature of time. That and the attitude of the Trafalmadorians about life just make it an absolutely incredible book, with no extra words to spare.

So, thanks a lot Kurt Vonnegut for doing it first. Though I may not get your much deserved acclaim for this incredible masterpiece, I can certainly say that your book has inspired me on a personal level and for my writing. If I could publish – nay, write – anything comparable to the things you achieve inside that book I’ll be a very happy man.

What’s your favorite book? What book do you wish you’d written? If they’re different why? Did you like Slaughterhouse 5?

Enjoy your own copies of Slaughterhouse-Five, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Divine Comedy and many other great books.

Enjoy more book and movie reviews.

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