Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ave, Joshua!
--a more practical Easter thought

Joshua at The Korea Liberator has a great post up titled "Meet Your New Censors," which deals with the recent Comedy Central decision-- hard on the heels of their previous cave-in to Scientology-- to remove a depiction of Muhammad that would have appeared in an episode of "South Park."

An Associated Press news article about the Comedy Central censorship is here. As Joshua and the AP article both note, one reason cited for the CC censorship was "public safety." I had to laugh: if anything, CC should run the episode and test whether American society-- especially its Muslim component-- is capable of handling the airing of such an episode without taking to the streets, or threatening Trey Parker and Matt Stone with death, or performing some related bit of God-inspired idiocy. I'm confident that America can take the punch with more maturity and sanguinity than certain other societies. If anything, Muslims in America are probably more cautious than their brethren in places like Europe.

Joshua gets to the heart of the "public safety" issue when he writes:

And let me express some appreciation to Comedy Central for being willing to tell the truth: this is about the fear of violence, not the fear of giving offense. What this means is that our society presumes that Muslims, unlike other human beings, are not responsible for their own actions. Add gasoline to fire, add offensive images to Muslims. It matters not. There is a presumption of moral incapacity, and a presumption of governmental incapacity to maintain order.

That's it in a nutshell. "Presumption of incapacity" is what a nanny state is all about. We'll make your moral decisions for you!

Parker and Stone could (should?) bugger out of Comedy Central and head to a cable network that would appreciate them. It would damage CC in the same way that Howard Stern's move to satellite radio has hurt free radio. I bet CC would rethink its stance pretty quickly if the creators of "South Park" decided to strike camp. CC is, of course, entitled to manage its own affairs however it wants, but the "South Park" creators are also free to go wherever they want. Should Parker and Stone decide to leave, well, that would be a win-win situation for everybody!

(Sort of.)

One of CC's most touching moments came just after 9/11, when comedian Jon Stewart offered an uncharacteristically emotional account of how the collapse of the World Trade Center's twin towers altered the view out his window. What could he see now that he couldn't see before? "The Statue of Liberty," Stewart said. As Comedy Central tiptoes closer to the noose being prepared for it by its "new censors," I wonder if Stewart will remember himself and remember that moment in his career, the moment he spoke out for liberty. I recall being touched by his commentary, and all in all, I find Stewart a funny and decent guy-- not the liberal stooge some conservatives make him out to be. But he's currently abetting a growing global problem.

In somewhat related news, I've added a Retarded Animal Babies (RAB) link to my sidebar (along with three blogs, though I haven't created sidebar images for them yet). Look in the "What Keeps the Ass Crack Grinning?" section of the sidebar. My favorite RAB quote comes from Episode 14, where it's fifty years later, the babies are all grown up, and most of them (except Donkey) have somehow lost their retardation and gone on to achieve great things. In that episode, Rabbit-- who has become a pompous Hollywood star now sporting an outrageous British accent-- talks about another of their number, Puppy. Puppy's desire to "fuck the world" has turned him into an evil genius who lives off-planet and plots the earth's destruction. Rabbit's line about Puppy (you need to hear it to get the full impact) is:

He rules a planet made entirely of BOOBS, constantly engorged in an extended, five-dimensionally infinite orgasm!

The line is delivered with such relish that I laugh even though I've heard it about ten times already. If we were "one nation under Shari'a," Retarded Animal Babies would be forbidden fruit... along with the kind of entertainment normally provided by the likes of Comedy Central and Jon Stewart.


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