South Park, how do you do it?

By Sam Rathe


Starting up again this week, the television show “South Park” will once again bewilder me with its ability to “get away with it.”

The new episode touches on the subject of the Washington Redskins and the whole issue of whether they should change their name or not. Of course by “touch on” I mean, “make fun of.” But hey, it is all in good fun.

What I am trying to say is that “South Park” has the amazing ability to take any kind of issue in either America or the world and turn it into a giant farce. Thank you, “South Park,” for doing what you do so eloquently.

Making fun of something is not a difficult thing to do, but making fun of something on national television, while also having people love and praise, it is a different story.

The creators of “South Park,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are silver-tongued social commentary comedy masterminds who have shocked and awed us to the point where most people just sort of let it slide. They have solidified themselves as respected writers, and are more concerned with getting their message out than simply creating an outlandish storyline; although many times these aspects seem to coincide.

I never was a big fan of “South Park” during middle school or high school. I saw a few episodes here and there with friends, but never really paid too much attention. After I had seen a few of the newer seasons in college, I was so surprised at how smart the show was.

The show has been highly praised by critics and society alike, and the writers even took home a Tony after writing their first musical, “The Book of Mormon.” Talk about a taboo subject.

Having a no-holds-barred mentality and seeing no subject as off limits are themes in and of themselves. If they make fun of one thing, they should be able to make fun of anything. They go there; they get away with it. It is fascinating.
It is because of this that I think “South Park” is actually the most inclusive, fair and equal show on television. Perhaps the answer to inequality lies in a small, Colorado mountain town called South Park.

There is an episode of the show that talks about how it is either all or nothing in terms of deciding what is sensitive material or not.

“South Park” includes messages and social commentary that could help the American public learn about equality and current issues in a way that is also entertaining. Satire has a way of sticking with you.