So I finally downloaded the South Park episode from this past Wednesday last night, and was disappointed to see that a LOT was bleeped out. I'm talking about the usual 1-minute monologue ("I've learned something this week") at the end, and any mention of Mohammad's name or his image.
Note, the image was not offensive like the Danish cartoons - no bombs, no depictions of him being a terrorist - but apparently some illiterate nutjobs in Queens (who are disavowed by every other mainstream Muslim organization) made a bunch of threats of violence against the show's creators. The show's creators wanted the show to be uncensored, and when it wasn't shown on SouthParkStudios.com, they posted a note expressing disappointment in Comedy Central/Viacom.
What do you all think? I support the show and believe this is a disappointing caving into the demands of bullies, and now we're going to see more and more groups demanding that something they deem offensive not be shown, or else they'll threaten with violence.
A depressingly bad precedent.
"this is a disappointing caving into the demands of bullies,"
At the same time, though, it's not me or my family that was going to be bombed. I'd like to imagine that if I had such a decision to make, that I would not cave in to the demands of bullies (which is exactly what terrorists are, only on a more deadly scale), but I have a lovely wife and two beautiful young sons. I'd need to feel pretty confident that they'd be 1) not blown up and 2) taken care of after I got blown up (if I was).
I'm sad that the bullies got rewarded for their anti-social behavior, but I can't really look down on the folks at Viacom.
If we're too afraid to stand up against violence, then we'd better get used to the idea of living in an Islamic Republic. The whole reason fundamentalist Islamics use violence is because they know if we fear them enough, we'll sit down and be silent. If we stop talking and debating, we lose.
"Debate" to an Islamic fundamentalist is spelled m-u-r-d-e-r.
I think you'd lose that debate in a hurry unless your guns and ammo were ready, aimed and cocked.
I'm not sure many of us are willing to be martyrs for the cause. I think that's what Jeff is saying, and I would agree. I don't intend to be sacrificial lamb, nor allow any of my family the same. That's all.
What can I say, I'm ornery. I'd do to the fundamentalists what South Park deliberately did to the censors at the MPAA. When their movie was sent back, they made it twice as offensive.
Daniel, Islam is much like other religions that claim to know Truth. They tend to be a bit more fanatical about it because they claim God spoke to the Prophet and his words were God's words. All that belief is, is an attempt to discredit Christianity. It was well known at the time the sorts of schisms Christianity was going through, the heresies, etc. and the founders of Islam wanted to avoid that. They didn't, but that's another discussion.
Actually I'd say people are people. It's the fundamentalists who are the problem, not believers in general. Of course Islam has to go through something like Judaism did with their Rabbi's or Christianity did with the Enlightenment, but that's up to the believers as to how and when that is going to happen.
Debates like your god can beat up their god?
Well, I disagree with you somewhat.
The creators of the show wanted the episode to air uncensored, so clearly they were willing to take on that risk. AFAIK they were the only specifically-mentioned targets; the rest was the usual "and everyone else even remotely associated with this show."
Viacom might want to consider getting out of the comedy entertainment business. Offending people is part and parcel of a type of comedy, one that South Park and Comedy Central have been trading in since their inception. There is PLENTY I've seen on Comedy Central that I can easily imagine offending people.
Now anyone who might be offended by something and is too dumb to just switch the channel can make some violent threats on Twitter, no matter how small and illegitimate a group they are, and expect to have the offending show scuppered.
Oh, yes, absolutely. I hope, if I were in that position, I'd be brave enough to risk getting blown up and air the stuff anyway.
But I've never been in that position. How would I react if I were threatened with having my home bombed over something I wrote here? Take it down? Leave it up and risk my life and my family's? I dunno. I hope I'd be brave enough to leave it up. But until I'm tested, I'll never know.
I have been watching the show since I was a teenager. My personal favorite episode is when they make god and alien taco. lol -still cracks me up to think about.
I think the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous but here is what gets me, why aren't the people that made the threat aren't being detained?
Can't Matt and Trey press charges? What would happen if they did?
They'll probably release an uncensored version to the Internet. I'm curious to see if the uncensored version will wind up on southparkstudios.com. I'm not sure if they run that or their distributor. I think they might, if that's the case we'll see it on there.
Sorry but my favorite episode is "Make Love, not Warcraft".
The post was made anonymously to a blogsite. Who would they sue?
Possibly. I have a gut feeling they'll get back at them via the show. They're pretty clever when it comes to outwitting censors. They are both huge fans of Monty Python; masters of the art.
A funny element about the censorship of certain elements of the show indicate a reverse effect in play. By demanding censorship of certain parts is control being displayed to prevent people from putting Islam in a bad light. Funny how the process backfires when people judge them to be worse because of it.
Yes. It was more ironic with the Danish cartoonist a few years back. I mean, a guy writes a cartoon that portrays Islam as a violent religion.
This was so upsetting to many Muslims that they trashed embassies and started riots that ended up in death and destruction in several places around the world.
I guess they proved that cartoonist wrong!
Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims wouldn't dare to make threats of violence lest they be shown to be hypocrites.
Disgusting. Just goes to prove Mao's so charming dictum "Kill one to terrify ten thousand".
This is another occasion to wish for a "Like" button.
May 20th? I'm there. I'm going to spread this through facebook - hope you don't mind me stealing the image.
Ca-ca - don't know how it's spelt but that is how it is pronounced, is Spanish for sh*t.
When I was in hospital, before I learnt how to speak Spanish, the nurses used to ask every day "Ca-ca hoy?"
I didn't know what they meant - knew 'hoy' meant today, but because everyone else the ward answered 'si', I did too.
Man I was there two weeks and ended up constipated as Hell!!
This is why we have secret service and special forces. They need to track those guys who made those actual threats and arrest them (or accidentally kill them).
I think it's sad that we are going to let terrorists silence our artists. The military of a nation is supposed to defend its artists. Both must be strong. Art is the voice of freedom. The fist must fight for the voice or we might as well just all convert to Islam now.
If we allow anyone to take away our freedom of speech, they will try to completely control us. Anyone who gets insulted over a cartoon and thinks it is an agenda has a real problem within himself.
Free speech? Southpark is just a show that parodies life events. The funny part is that people would get so upset over a cartoon that airs on paid cable TV.
There are people in this world that simply have no sense of humor.
Jesus and Buddha both made an appearance in this episode and I was not offended.
you forgot the best part:
Randy's quote : "Stan, Jesus doesn't matter when Mohammad is involved."
and the scenes of Buddha snorting coke.
And in earlier episodes Jesus took a deuce on George Bush.
The recent "200" and "201" episodes were fantastic - they showed the ultimate paradox of giving in to terrorists. One terrorist group (the muslims of the real world) was demanding that Mohammad be hidden, and the others (the celebrities and the gingers) were demanding that he be shown.
I liked the one where the kids were following a cult. One of them (Stan I think) went to get Jesus to help them. When Jesus saw the power the leader had, he says "JESUS Christ!!!!".
What about the one where Satan and Sadaam are bed buddies in hell. And Satan is totally submissive.
That was the movie. Where South Park was going to bomb Canada.
I think Satan and Saddam have appeared in the series as well.
For an interesting look at a similar conversation, check out:
Trashing a person's identity whether it is a sexual identity, an ethnic identity or a religious identity is just plain wrong.
Exploring the faults and hypocrisies in an ideology or religion in an intelligent and illuminating way is a different matter.
Which approach would South Park have used?
They would have explored the faults and hypocrisy in the same irreverent, satirical way they have explored lots of other hypocrisy.
The reaction from this terrorist group only strengthens distrust of the religion and, depending on the message of the cartoon, probably proves the points they were going to make in much the same fashion the violence that followed the Danish cartoon brought.
We're probably seeing the increasing manifestations of a real culture war as those who believe in freedom of speech become more incensed at violent and deadly reactions to cartoons. Which, ironically, is what the terrorist want, so they are actually "winning" even though they are "losing" in this sort of double irony thing.
If their goal is to bring down civility and mutual respect so that chaos reigns, prosperity is lost and the power of religion can be restored to the clergy who lose influence and power every day that people think for themselves, then they are making strides towards that goal.
Their allies, willing and unwilling, will be trapped into defending the "respect my religion and don't draw cartoons" argument, which is on the surface a reasonable request, but ultimately means "adhere to the laws of my religion" which is akin to a type of conversion that people outside of it, and especially those who believe in freedom, just aren't going to buy. Period.
I agree with you completely.
I'm not sure this "Revolution Muslim" group is a terrorist group thinking strategically, and exploiting discord between non-Muslims and Muslims. I think they're just a group that believe attention, negative or not, makes them feel empowered, and by having their absurd demands given into, they should be. Unfortunately.
BTW, images of Mohammad by Muslims are not new.
Leave the criticism of Islam to Muslims they actually understand the subject.
Evan H Roberts- I would have more respect for you if you stood outside your local church with an image of Jesus enjoying the pleasures of a whore house. It would take more courage (but no less insensitivity).
Matt stone and trey Parker are full of win, most likely their next season will be even better and mock them all the more. I;m not happy with the censorship but not even a little supprised.
You know what I just realized? This thread is fairly political and as far as internet politics and religion threads go this is probably the most reasonable discussion of the topic in question I have heard. This gives me hope. we may be fractious but when somebody fucks with our foul mouthed fourth grader cartoons we'll really close close ranks.
PS anonymous threateners: every comedian secretly loves a heckler, your hatred and general douche-baggery only makes us stronger.
Idiots run this world and that's why it's going down the drain, get rid of one good show like South Park, then they all go, by fools who think they are the absolute voice!
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