On Political Authoritah…

I am a fan of South Park. My opinions on this are well documented. One of the things I like about the show is how it plays with politics and lampoons serious issues without ever descending into partisan nastiness. While I think it’s pretty safe to say that most people watch the show for fart jokes and the storylines that border on the obscene and blasphemous (and I mean that in a good way), there is an underlying political ethos, but you have to wade through the malicious and hilarious skewering of all players on the political scene to get there. There’s definitely a general trend toward conservatism, which may seem odd for such a socially liberal show. I mean between Big Gay Al, Cartman’s crusade for stem cell research so that he could clone a pizzeria, and the episode where euthanasia was the only way to let Kenny save all of creation, the South Park guys probably aren’t on the RNC’s speed dial. But I’m not talking about the typically Christian, moral majority brand of conservatism. Among others, Nick Gillespie over at Hit & Run seems to read Trey Parker and Matt Stone as Libertarians (even if they wouldn’t say so themselves) and I tend to agree.

I also like that he acknowledges the show’s ambiguity. It refuses to pin itself down to any one ideological framework and rakes muck at everybody. They are also unwilling to sacrifice fetus jokes and swear words to become some sort of crudely animated Doonesbury, so I’ll keep tuning in.

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