Friday, April 23, 2010

south park solidarity

Any self respecting government refuses to bow to terrorist threats. If they allow terrorists to determine policy through the threat (or even the implementation) of cowardly violence against innocents, then that government is no longer autonomous—if others control your behavior through violence, you are a slave.

However, if the citizens and private organizations of a community themselves succumb to terrorist threats, the situation is no better than if the government itself had. For what is the government but the collective will of the individuals that comprise the state?

Comedy Central recently succumbed to terrorist threats and edited the 201st episode (season 14, ep. 6) of the TV show South Park. This episode depicted a number of religious figures and celebrities in humorous situations. One such religious figure was Muhammad, who was envied by all other celebrities precisely because he had the power of not being ridiculed. (Muhammad himself is depicted as an associate of the other religious figures who don't give a damn about such nonsense, as is fitting of a religious figure.) It ended, as all South Park episodes do, with a moral message. Comedy Central blacked out all appearances of Muhammad, bleeped out his name whenever it was uttered, and bleeped out the ending moral message, which "was about intimidation and fear," and "didn't mention Muhammad at all."

It is embarrassing that we live in a country were private businesses don't feel free to allow expression without fear of terrorist reprisal.

It is cowardly of Comedy Central to submit to terrorist threats (and vague, insubstantial ones at that) rather than stand by their content providers.

But it is scandalous and offensive that a moral message emphasizing the dangers of intimidation and the importance of resisting terrorist-imposed fear was also censored in response to nebulous terrorist threats.

Shame, shame Comedy Central you spineless Quisling, you patsy of the enemies of freedom, you embarrassment to free-thinking, liberal-minded citizens of the world. You enemy of morality. You servant of evil, oppression, and fascism!


Anonymous said...

well said

Anonymous said...

Someone made the argument that Viacom/Comedy Central censored the episode for the safety of its many employees. By airing the uncensored episode, Viacom would have endangered its employees, not just Matt Stone & Trey Parker (who could afford to protect themselves).

horus kemwer said...

This consideration doesn't justify censoring the closing moral message.

Anonymous said...

Why is it OK to lampoon Jewish characters ("They love money and are all lawyers or accountants"), Catholics ("Love little boys!"), Hindu ("Mr. Simpson, please do not taunt Ganeesha")...but not Islam?

I'd hate to think that it's because of the implicit threat of violence.

Thalib said...

We've worked ourselves up a nice little reputation haven't we? People who get ticked off by the slightest thing, who take life way too damn seriously.

I, for one, would never have a depiction of Muhammad in my house. Because I'm Muslim. And I'd never support the idea that this caricature -- dirty-bearded, angry-faced, bad-teeth, bomb-turbaned Muhammad -- EVER becomes accepted in America as what Muhammad really looked like. I mean, i'm sure Christians don't feel offended by the shining, smiling, beautiful caricature of Jesus! Go figure!

And I think that's what most of us fear by these cartoons -- that something negative get associated with our Prophet, who if you read any of the Qur'an or Hadith you'd know wasn't half so bad. Which is why I saw lots of facebook groups and chain mail around that time saying "Everybody follow Muhammad" or "Everybody NOT draw Muhammad Day" and have verses like "Say 'peace' and turn away" and "leave the unbelievers in their play" and such.

But to be incapable of weathering Southpark ridicule without exploding (or threatening to, haha) really looks bad. None of my Muslim friends really cared about this, they were just like "that's dumb, Southpark's just being retarded" because none of them watch it! Which leaves me wondering, who are these people, that purport to be such good Muslims yet are watching the immorality and profanity of SOUTHPARK EPISODES? I mean, really.