the voodoo witch doctor steve saved me So, i'm almost healthy, and, for the first time in quite a while, i'm reading a shit load. in the last 3 days i've already covered nearly 200 pages of readings regarding the politics and philosophy of South Park. its been quite illuminating. Not just from the standpoint of South Park, but politics and philosophy in general.
I've never been overly interested in politics. As Matt an Trey so artfully put "It's always a choice between a douche and a turd." damn straight. So when i stepped into a "American Music and Politics of the 20th (and 21st) Century" i knew i was going to be a bit over my head as far as what i needed to know in the broad sense of political philosophy. I've taken my knowledge during the semester, which coincided, of course, with the current choice of douche vs. turd (which, in this case, i'm more likely to say its the choice between a brand-new shiny douche and a super stinky baby that just ate Indian food diarrhea turd.) and tried to become literate concerning a lot more areas than the current 4 or 5 current popular philosophies. I've kinda decided that the popular ones are the "South Park Conservatives" (stupid ass term), who are Republicans with Libertarian leanings and slightly liberal social views; hardcore Righties, those so incredibly conservative in everything their heads are up their asses (the current libertarian party, and those far right wing conservative christian political groups); moderate pussies, the people who sit in the middle and say "let's be friends" but don't really do a damn thing about it; the annoying yuppies with a social conscious, those liberal spouting celebrities that say all sorts of left wing political gobbledygook and believe in government control of the poor unfortunate middle class! (assholes); and the far lefties, the american green party that can't seem to get its head far enough out of its ass to possibly do a damn thing in american politics. yes the rain-forests are important, but, goddamnit, so are a few other things in life...like, um, having enough money to eat today?!?
So, the original paper idea for was the liberal leanings. I saw Stone and Parker as being slightly left of center. Closer to the center, realist type. However, as i read page after page of interesting analysis, from Toni Johnson-Woods "Blame Canada" which takes a large view of the politics and simply says they're true libertarian, to Brian C. Anderson, who says in his book "South Park Conservatives: The Revolt against Liberal Media Bias" that stone and parker are conservatives; just look at the large amount of liberal bashing they do! all the while, excluding all bases on the republican extremism. Then there was Richard Hanley's book "South Park and Philosophy; Bigger, Longer, and More Penetrating" that shows stone and parker's affinity to be anti-extremism with libertarian leanings against government intervention.
So, obviously, my hypothesis moved 5 degrees to the right. The majority agree that South Park is libertarian in the truest sense of the word; anti-large government, anti-government interference, anti-extremism. hm, this is all well and good. and looking back through my memory of all the episodes i've watched, it seems true. But wait, i'm looking at a specific section of the literature. "South Park; Bigger, Longer, and Uncut" hasn't been touched as often as a handful of other episodes (it seems there are only a few that people have seen? no, they're just easy examples). And if i read the final soliloquy (which i spelled write on the first try. booyah) from "Team America" one more time i'm going to vomit. Yes, i get it, there are dicks, pussy's and assholes. pussy's need dicks, dicks need pussy's and assholes need to get fucked and only dicks with balls can do that. right right, i get it. but what about "Blame Canada"? what is that song saying? and what is it saying BEYOND the lyrics. the allusions to Les Miserables and Oklahoma! aren't as obvious in "Blame Canada". i haven't had nearly the time to sit down and watch those two musicals and South Park all in a row. man, only had 2 weeks to do this paper! c'mon!
Well, there's definitely anti-extremism, takes a stab at both the liberal media AND conservative morality, which, for some effed up reason, go together in the my head. think about it, the idea of being PC is a liberal idea. But then again, it espoused by many conservatives, especially in the religious right, as long as its in the context of "being PC towards me and my beliefs." Anyway, i digress. the lyrics and their satire are easy to discern. And i think i have the backing of enough other academics to do that without trouble...
But what about the music? its kitschy, tin-pan alley drivel that's for sure. simple, basic. Is it a second tier music on the communist music manifesto ideas from the 30's-60's with the likes of Seeger and Crawford-Seeger (yes the parents of Pete, if you didn't know that), Copland, et al. The use of a popular form (kitschy tin-pan alley musical forms) to espouse somewhat (in this particular case) libertarian AND leftist views (a don't interfere with me attitude along with an extremist run straight to the gun to shoot it out). Also, since the whole musical is in some form a satire against musicals (especially those Tim Rice/Elton John/Phil Collins/Andrew Lloyd Webber monstrosities) where does this song fit into the satire against the elevations of the musical to a second tier musical form, between "popular" and "art" music on the table i first read in an a chapter of a book by Guthrie P. Ramsey (which i felt his argument was ill-formed though correct.)
So, yeah...how is this only going to be 7-10 pages? hm...damn good question. Now that i've got the fodder, time to throw some on the bonfire and see how big i can get it before the fire department shows up. And, man, i'm hungry!
and its interesting, my blog meant normally for personal vents became an interesting musical/political discourse, so, i threw it here too. enjoy