Reason in Amsterdam featuring Trey Parker & Matt Stone, Aug. 23-26


Call it a sad commentary, call it the triumph of satire—either way, the most cutting take on our current Mexican immigration debate happened in South Park's season 8 episode "Goobacks." A portal to the future has opened up near a Colorado highway, and impoverished, non-English speaking future humans start flooding through the portal to take jobs in South Park.

When low wage work goes to the "Goobacks"—nicknamed for the ectoplasmic goo they carry through the portal—irate blue-collar workers demand that they get kicked out of town. The only way the town and media interpret the debate is between the angry white workers, led by a guy named Darryl and his friends, and namby-pamby ex-hippies, who say it's America's fault that the future sucks so bad and that people born then want to travel to the 21st century for work. Bill O'Reilly books the two sides for a debate that should sound familiar to Reason readers. (The degenerating argument of the hawks should sound familiar, that is; the liberal hippie douche is the guy the networks book when they don't want to hear the libertarian perspective.)

BILL O'REILLY: Now, pissed-off redneck, you say we shouldn't allow anyone else through the time portal, alright?

DARRYL WEATHERS: You're Goddamned right! These people from the future are takin' all the work away from us decent present-day Americans! They took our jobs!

SKYNARD MAN: They took our jobs!

DARRYL WEATHERS: Those jobs belong to people from the present!

BILL O'REILLY: Alright. What say you, aging hippie liberal douche?

DOUCHE: Heh, it's typical for conservative rednecks like these to view the immigrants as the problem, heh, but really, the problem is America. It is our greedy multinational corporations that keep everyone else in poverty. Your ancestors came to America as immigrants. What right do you have to turn these people away?

BILL O'REILLY: Alright, redneck, your rebuttal?

DARRYL WEATHERS: They took our jobs!

SKYNARD MAN: They took our jobs!

STOUT MAN: Too-kourderb!

If you join Reason in Amsterdam at the end of August, you can meet Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creator of this and the rest of South Park's 100+ episodes. Also in attendence: Andrew Sullivan, Reason Senior Editor and Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use author Jacob Sullum, Andrei Illarionov (former economic advisor to Vladimir Putin), Mart Laar (former prime minister of Estonia), and Reason Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie.

More details are right here.

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  1. Love to.
    But poor.
    And now depressed.

  2. I believe that’s “Dey turk ma jurb!”

  3. Of course, those who prefer actual policy to cartoons might want to check out my link about the attempt to erasethe borders between Canada,theUS,andMexico. A libertarian’s dream, but a patriotic American’s nightmare.

  4. Thank you, but no, ReadAbout.

  5. I hear ya’ Starvin…I wish I could go, too, but I’m way too broke.

  6. One of the suckiet episodes ever.

    Has anyone else noticed that blue collar concerns about job competition, which good libertarians like Stone, Parker, and the Reason staff frame as the driving force behind anti-immigrant sentiment, has been almost completely absent from the immigration debate?

    Virtually all the unions are solidly pro-immigrant, and the only people you’ll find making the argument that is supposed to be at the heart of the anti-immigrant movement are cultural-conservative opportunists who couldn’t be bothered to walk around a picket line until this debate came up.

  7. That would be sweet to commute from Mexico to work in the US.

  8. Day turk er jerbs!!!

  9. joe,

    I think you’re confusing union leaders with the rank-and-file. Union members I’ve talked to about this (along with plenty of non-union people, both left and right) are quick to jump on the “took-er-jarbs” argument. Right now Lou Dobbs is on the teevee, and he’s a “took-er-jerbs” guy. Lou speaks for a lot of morons.

  10. It also depends on the union.

    The older, traditional industrial and craft unions (the ones that are losing membership, and are now little more than fundraising fronts for the Democratic Party*) are squarely in the protectionist** camp.

    The up-and-coming service unions, whose memberships are heavily immigrant, tend to be pro-immigration. They are also more into membership service rather than political activism.

    *A party that is at odds with most of their members on practically every issue. Except, of course, the key one; protection of unions’ protected legal position.

    Anti-liberalization on both trade and immigration.

  11. Correction:

    **Anti-liberalization on both trade and immigration.

  12. Isaac,

    The AFL-CIO, which is basically an umbrella of old industrial unions, is solidy pro-immigrant.

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