South Park “Scandal” Open Thread

On last night’s episode of the Simpsons, Bart wrote “South Park–We’d Stand Behind You If We Weren’t So Scared.” This is in reference to last week’s Cartoon Scandals Picayune front page headline about yet another episode of South Park in which Trey Parker and Matt Stone attempted to animate Mohammed and found themselves “censored” by the network after threats of violence were received. Personally, I find it hard to believe this is a “thing.” I mean, on the one hand, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are definitely poking the hive, and since they’ve already been down this path once before, one begins to get the sense that they’re poking it for poking’s sake. I mean, while I respect their desire to make fun of whomever they want to make fun of whenever they feel like making fun of them, since this is America and organized religion is antiquated and backward, I also am pretty sure there are other jokes in the world. Like, they’ve been on the air for more than 150 years, and I am pretty sure that they’re capable of finding something else to talk about. On the other side of the issue, I understand why people might be complaining about Comedy Central’s refusal to air the full episode, claiming censorship and blah blah blah, but it’s important to remember that Comedy Central is a private capitalistic enterprise, not an activist member of the press. Moreover, we do live in a complicated world. I was reading an article in the New York Times this weekend, about an actual event happening in the real world, and this was the second paragraph in the article:

For more than two years, Ali Hussain Sibat of Lebanon has been held in a prison in Saudi Arabia, convicted of sorcery and sentenced to death. His head is to be chopped off by an executioner wielding a long, curved sword.

Uh, whut?

My point is that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are hardly the world’s foremost champions of free speech. They are Fart Joke Industry professionals with a particularly vocal moral stance, but at the end of the day they are still Fart Joke Industry professionals. And Comedy Central is a basic cable network that still airs reruns of Grandma’s Boy on a regular basis. It is not surprising that South Park attempted to do something that offends a large number of people, and it’s not surprising that a cable network (and a COMEDY-BASED cable network at that) declined to involve themselves in a cultural divide that currently has America fighting two fucking actual real life wars for real that are actual wars abroad. So, you know, so what? Although well-played on the part of The Simpsons, I guess, for getting a ton of publicity by piggybacking on this. Kind of.

Please feel free to discuss the South Park non-issue, or just post pictures of animals playing sports. Neither option will have any effect on the world we live in.