Libertarian History/Philosophy

South Park Confidential

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The latest ish of Rolling Stone has a profile of South Park co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who were Reason's own cover boys for our December 2006 issue.

Some snippets regarding SP and politics:

It's also the most ideologically opaque political show on television, fostering an open-ended dialogue on difficult questions like whether one has a duty to obey unfair laws or if there is a God in an evil world. Unlike The Simpsons, which is intellectual and pleasantly dumb in its portrayal of American life, using both to further a leftist agenda, South Park offers simple parables—often with an optimistic message—to take aim at all issues without ever showing its hand. "If Matt and Trey came out and said what they were about, all of a sudden people would watch the show with a map," says Penn Jillette, a close friend. "But you shouldn't have a map to look at during the ride. You must trust the art and not the artist. They'll never say what they're about."…

Most of South Park's humor either advocates radical individualism (everyone is stupid, so don't listen to anyone but yourself) and/or a conservative agenda (this is a great country, and you're a pussy if you're down in the mouth about President Bush). Neither Stone nor Parker will delineate his political views, and both contend that the libertarian label, which has been applied to them in recent years, is not entirely appropriate….Neither votes—"like, ever," says Stone. Parker waves a hand in the air. "Each election is a choice with a douche or a turd, so who cares," he says. "If Gore had beaten Bush, things wouldn't be much different."

While Stone is in fact deeply immersed in politics and a serious reader of nonfiction books about the Middle East, I practically have to wrestle him to hear a smidge of his politics: He's against the War on Drugs, pro-gay marriage, against socialized medicine and basically in favor of free markets, except in cases like dropping public funding for roads or education.

The whole thing here.

I think Penn Jillette–a good friend of Reason, btw; check out these two mindblowing interviews we've done with him here and here–is right that these guys are artists first and foremost (and it remains way beyond impressive how their edge has dulled not at all in a decade of mirthmaking). As Stone put it to Reason, "South Park has a lot of politics in it, but ultimately we want to make a funny show and a good show."

That said, there's a consistent politics to South Park that is best understood, I think, as pre-political. That is, it's not about right-wing or left-wing, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democratic, ad nauseam. Rather, it's a sentiment that is much more basic and informs other affiliations. As Matt Stone, who said that libertarian is "an apt description for me personally," told Reason:

I had Birkenstocks in high school. I was that guy. And I was sure that those people on the other side of the political spectrum were trying to control my life. And then I went to [University of Colorado at] Boulder and got rid of my Birkenstocks immediately, because everyone else had them and I realized that these people over here want to control my life too. I guess that defines my political philosophy. If anybody's telling me what I should do, then you've got to really convince me that it's worth doing.

Read Reason's interview with South Park (which, incidentally, is the single-highest traffic piece we've ever run online).

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  1. I cannot agree that “The Simpsons” promotes a leftist agenda.

  2. Does this mean that Matt & Trey are Straussians?

    It’s also the most ideologically opaque political show on television, fostering an open-ended dialogue on difficult questions like whether one has a duty to obey unfair laws or if there is a God in an evil world.

    Ok, so we got the “permanent problems” aspect of Strauss down.

    “If Matt and Trey came out and said what they were about, all of a sudden people would watch the show with a map,” says Penn Jillette, a close friend. “But you shouldn’t have a map to look at during the ride. You must trust the art and not the artist. They’ll never say what they’re about.”…

    Is this supposed to be similar to the “esoteric writing” that Strauss advocated?

  3. People who say “If Gore had beaten Bush, things wouldn’t be much different,” in 2007 aren’t being nearly as opaquely non-partisan as they think they are.

  4. is right that these guys are artists first and foremost (and it remains way beyond impressive that they’re edge has dulled not at all in a decade of mirthmaking).

    “They are” edge?

  5. Well, it is likely the case that a Gore administration wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. That would probably be the major difference.

  6. both contend that the libertarian label, which has been applied to them in recent years, is not entirely appropriate

    As Matt Stone, who said that libertarian is “an apt description for me personally,” told Reason:

    Okay, then.

  7. unless they genuinely believe that.

    it is entirely possible to not actually be partisan, or further, to side with neither. seeing as there’s only two choices, and a whole slew of people, well…

    i mean, joe, call me silly or misled, but partisan – no. pigfuckers are pigfuckers, and no one gets to run for that particular office unless they’ve fucked and gutted a number of pigs.

    i get that you feel your team is the lesser evil – and you feel you have the flowcharts to prove it – but i’m not jesuit-ish enough to really roll with that.

  8. …(and it remains way beyond impressive how their edge has dulled not at all in a decade of mirthmaking).

    I’d say about 1/2 of their shows per season are humorous, etc. The other half range from sucking to mediocre.

  9. Oh no, Grotius. Your opinion is wrong.
    South Park is 100% suck free.

  10. Anyway, a lot of the time the dialogue isn’t particularly open-ended. I mean, I loved the “Manbearpig” episode, but there was little that was opaque about it.

  11. “Well, it is likely the case that a Gore administration wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. That would probably be the major difference.”

    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? 😉

    dhex,

    He didn’t say, “wouldn’t be much better,” but “wouldn’t be much different.”

    There is only one variety of person arguing right now that Al Gore would have handled his office in a manner similar to George Bush – those who wish to believe that Bush’s mistakes are those that anyone would make.

  12. joe,

    Who knows, maybe the Gore administration would have attacked and/or invaded Saudi Arabia or North Korea.

  13. It’s hard to watch any South Park episode without quickly concluding that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are libertarian (used as an adjective, not as a noun).

  14. i don’t really believe gore wouldn’t have invaded iraq had the chance been given. he was vp in an administration which had no problem being in a continual state of soft war with iraq.

    but i do tend to think the worst of people.

    and i do think it’s also important to note that the barrier to entry for war would have been lower for a democrat, both in terms of the installed protest base and the general preponderance of hawks on the republican side.

    i also don’t think bush made “mistakes” so much as “didn’t quite have the murderous frisson his heart desired.”

    not that playing nostradamus isn’t fun, of course.

  15. They bought lock stock and barrel into the premises of the War Party from 9/11 onwards, pausing just long enough to counsel that we needed to be wise in the use of our omnipotent power to remake the world, before getting back to ridiculing people who weren’t on board.

  16. the ridiculing part kinda gets yer goat, don’t it?

  17. dhex,

    A lot of depends on how much one thinks the decision to go to war was influenced by particular actors in the Bush administration. Would one have similar actors in a Gore administration?

  18. Just curious, has SP ever make fun of Libertarians, capital letter or otherwise?

    If not, doesn’t the thing they don’t mock (being a set that numerically converges to zero) kind of tip their hand as to their views?

  19. First off, Joe, your right. though I expect Parker is referring to specifically Iraq, and Im not so sure Gore wouldnt have invaded also.

    Second, Hitchens once said in these pages that the problem with Libertarianism is that it almost exists in an ahistorical vacuum, that he couldnt place it historically, on one side or the other in the great battles of the day. And like it or not, These great battles, be they military or philosophical (wars vs states, clashes of ideology, clashes of religion), have taken place in a collective form, or more precisely, by individuals committed to a certain collective of ideas or land, anathema to the Libertarian.

    So what do Parker and Stone advocate? Well they dont say explicitly but its pretty obvious. Dopesmoking and goofing on anyone more serious than they. Im sure that will go over well in Jerusalem, Zimbabwe, the DMZ, or the Hindu Kush right about now.

  20. A continual state of soft war is rather different than invading, occupying, and trying to remake a country.

    Gore’s Feb 2003 speech makes it very clear that he would have continued the coercive inspections and tailored his policy to the needs of building the sort of coalition that would have gotten the approval of the UN.

    Both of these actions foreclose the possibility of invading Iraq in the manner Bush did. Any action we took which incorporated those strategies would have been “much different” in its execution and outcome than what we’ve seen.

  21. “the ridiculing part kinda gets yer goat, don’t it?”

    Does a combination of pity and “I told you so” count as having one’s goat gotten?

  22. “If Gore had beaten Bush, things wouldn’t be much different.”

    Given these types of statements, why would we care about their politics? These guys aren’t libertarians. More than anything, they poke fun at anybody with strong beliefs or ambition. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. That isn’t political, it’s just them being assholes (and they’re quite good at it).

  23. you missed the stan from the future episode, didn’t you? it’s fairly dope negative.

    “A lot of depends on how much one thinks the decision to go to war was influenced by particular actors in the Bush administration. Would one have similar actors in a Gore administration?”

    that’s true. i see it more as a systemic issue, though i doubt anyone would be insane enough to try north korea on for size.

  24. joe, regarding outcome, I don’t think had we done it Gore’s way, with a big coalition, that it would necessarily mean much of a different outcome. The turdstorm that is Iraq may have coated our other partners as well.

  25. “Does a combination of pity and “I told you so” count as having one’s goat gotten?”

    to some degree, perhaps; it’s just that you do mention it quite a bit.

    i can understand, of course.

    “Both of these actions foreclose the possibility of invading Iraq in the manner Bush did. Any action we took which incorporated those strategies would have been “much different” in its execution and outcome than what we’ve seen.”

    i can dig you on the execution side, at least to some degree (it would have been interesting to see how partisan splits would have effected the reactions of people to these actions) but the result – creating a honeypot in the middle of iraq – was a forgone conclusion.

  26. No joe, presidents are compelled, particularly in their first terms, to be viewed as being in control of the world. Al Gore may not have chosen to invade Iraq, but he almost certainly have done something that would be viewed as decisive in the aftermath of 9/11.

    We would be up to our necks in a different pile of shit in the spring of 2007, but I don’t think there would be any functional differnce in our daily lives.

  27. FingFangFoom,

    It isn’t just the coalition, it’s the revising of the mission’s goals and actions necessary to produce a coalition. And that goes for domestic politics as well.

    If Al Gore had been president and had decided to launch a war, does anyone believe he would have deliberately used that war as a wedge issue during the runuup to the war and its early days? How would things have been different if the term “objectively pro-Saddam” had never entered the American lexicon?

  28. When considering what an alternate-reality Gore Presidency might have looked like, I’m not sure how much weight should be given to a speech that Gore gave long AFTER the election. President Gore’s alternate-reality incentives strike me as vastly different than Citizen Gore’s actual 2003 incentives. And how would VP Bitter Ender Lieberman have influenced things?

  29. dhex,

    I mention it quite a bit because the polarization and partisan bunker mentality that the administration and its supporters strove so hard to create – on purpose, as a strategy to create a realignment and turn the GOP into a permanent majority – has done so much damage. The people running the war spent three years denying the existence of the problems that were being pointed out – three years that could have been spent fixing them – mainly for reasons of winning elections and arguments.

  30. jake,

    I have no doubt that Gore would have done something “decisive.” Like actually beating the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, for instance.

    But even if he had taken some other “decisive” action, it beyond the realm of plausibility that he would have bungled into a disaster like the one in Iraq.

  31. People who say “If Gore had beaten Bush, things wouldn’t be much different,” in 2007 aren’t being nearly as opaquely non-partisan as they think they are.

    Aside from maybe the butterfly theory or something to do with quantum physics that could cause a chain reaction of causality that would drasticly change things, there have been fewer statements as purely factual as “If Gore had beaten Bush, things wouldn’t be much different,”. Mainstream Republicans and Democrats are nearly identical.

    Well, it is likely the case that a Gore administration wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. That would probably be the major difference.

    I would say the only thing that would keep Gore from invading Iraq would be the Republicans. The Republicans were the ones who calmed down Bill Clinton when he wanted to invade Iraq. Post 9/11, I think that the Republicans would have probably backed the Clinton/Gore Democrat mania for invading Iraq. Even with Bush in office, it is hard to imagine that the Democrats could have possible supported Bush and the Iraq war more than they did.

  32. dhex,

    When it comes to war, people are often willing to do fairly insane things.

  33. Rex,

    I don’t think you’re lying when you say “The Republicans were the ones who calmed down Bill Clinton when he wanted to invade Iraq.”

    I trust that you just have bad intel.

  34. Rex Rhino,

    In a post-9/11 world what would be the Gore administration’s justification for war with Iraq?

  35. I have no doubt that Gore would have done something “decisive.” Like actually beating the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, for instance.

    The Soviet Union had its “Vietnam” in Afghanistan. No one wins in Afghanistan.

    But even if he had taken some other “decisive” action, it beyond the realm of plausibility that he would have bungled into a disaster like the one in Iraq.

    You are correct, Al probably would have found some other way of totally fucking up the middle east.

    I am not here to defend George Bush. I am merely stating that no politician capable of winning the White House is worthy of the regard that you show Al.

  36. Matt AND Trey, they are SEPERATE people, with seperate believes! And if you don’t think the Simpsons promotes a leftest agenda, you have NEVER seen the show!! The only conservative is portrayed as a retard, Homer.

  37. Minarchists.

    Or, rather, Market Anarchists who don’t kow it yet.

  38. jake,

    If “winning in Afghanistan” means holding it and making it function like we want it, you are correct, winning is very tough.

    For my part, I was thinking of keeping enough troops in country that we could have closed the back door at Tora Bora and taken care of that bad business once and for all.

  39. Gore’s Feb 2003 speech makes it very clear that he would have continued the coercive inspections and tailored his policy to the needs of building the sort of coalition that would have gotten the approval of the UN.

    And since most PotUS have an AMAZING track record of keeping the promises they make in their speeches, surely you’re assumption is correct. I mean, “read my lips” and all that…oh, wait…darn it!

    All you are doing is making assumptions based upon what was said on the campaign trail 4 years ago. The basis for your position is no different than the opinion that “things would be no different if Gore were President.” Both positions assume to know something of how the future might have been based upon assumptions.

    Since the sad truth is that politics is politics and both major parties want to run our lives – and considering the validity of past promises – I think your argument falls short. Both parties do the same things, they just have different reasons for doing so. One dresses itself in saving your soul, the other in saving the planet. At times they both don the “save the children” capes. At no times does it turn out to be anything more than “save their jobs.”

    With that being the case, I think the assumptions that things wouldn’t be much different is on much more solid ground than the idea that Gore would have been Superman and the world would be holding hands and singing…

  40. grotius: that much is true.

    “I mention it quite a bit because the polarization and partisan bunker mentality that the administration and its supporters strove so hard to create – on purpose, as a strategy to create a realignment and turn the GOP into a permanent majority – has done so much damage. The people running the war spent three years denying the existence of the problems that were being pointed out – three years that could have been spent fixing them – mainly for reasons of winning elections and arguments.”

    again, this sounds like politics to my ears; i remember the clinton years and the delicious nonsense that ensued. (remember the terrible threat of militias?)

    not that the republicans don’t need a good cockpunch (and may have delivered it to themselves, as the cult of personality isn’t nearly as sexy as it used to be) but i’ve watched all sorts of assholes stand by that crater in downtown manhattan and connect that particular clump of death with whatever their game happens to be. (peace, war, more funding, more taxes, more surveilance, etc…)

    the one great thing about partisanship is that it is reflexive, which means we may see some efforts by democrats, at least at first, to pay lip service to repairing little bits of the constitution.

  41. They might be worth the time you spend drooling on their Guccis if they were not so inevitably preachy.

  42. Opaque in the sense that they tend to slam both sides equally, maybe? Yeah, ManBearPig was a pretty big knock on Gore but over the years Parker and Stone have gone after an equal number of conservative sacred cows. I think its that tendency to make fun of everyone and keep nothing sacred that keeps the show from getting pinned down.

  43. Bleepless,

    Well, the irony is that they attack certain figures for being preachy, etc., yet they lay that shit on thick themselves (something they seem to be willing to mock themselves for from time to time).

  44. semantic drifter,

    Well, everyone has their own sacred cows.

  45. sr2,

    Al Gore was not on the campaign trail in February 2003, and everything he said in that speech was consistent with his foreign policy approach he’d been advocating for a decade.

    dhex,

    I know you aren’t seriously suggesting that welfare reformin’, triangulatin’ Bill Clinton pursued wedge politics in a manner comparable to the Karl Rove White House. Because that would be absurd.

    The man appointed a Republican Senator as his SecDef, and spent most of his presidency talking about school uniforms and other ideas coopted from the Republicans. He is the person for whom the term “Sistah Souljah Moment” was invented. Wedge politics? From Clinton? You’re kiidding, right?

  46. I doubt anyone is claiming that Iraq would have been dealt with in the say way under Gore. Focusing on specifics is missing what Stone is getting at. I suspect he meant something like: “Regardless of who is at the helm, the ship of state will follow more or less the same course. Government does what government does, and the party your favorite scoundrel belongs to makes little real difference in the scheme of things.”

  47. I didn’t see “Team America” until 2006. I don’t know how recently any of you saw it, but it has not aged well. Its adherence to right wing talking points about war opponents, and its incredible confidence about the what we can achieve through force if only we’re wise enough, haven’t held up very well. Sure we can rid the world of all danger as long as we trust in our own goodness, and ignore those silly bad people who want to protect dictators. We just to make sure we’re careful enough, because sometimes we don’t know our own strength. The smug confidence of “America, Fuck Yeah!” comes across as a sick joke.

    Well, you know, the whole movie looks like a sick joke. It’s the South Park guys.

    You know what I mean.

  48. Number 6,

    While agree up to a point, the specifics on major issues like war need to be considered.

  49. Number 6,

    They certainly didn’t seem to think that our governing philosophy made little difference in “Team America.”

  50. Someone was going to have to take action against Iraq at some point.

    The motivation for attacking the US on 9/11 is that we had troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, which many Muslims believe to be sacreligious (refer to Bin Laden).

    Yet we had troops in SA for a decade because Hussein spent that ten years actively trying to thwart the UN resolutions that we was supposed to submit to in order to end the official conflict in Iraq.

    After 9/11, the US had to choose between abandoning SA and leaving Hussein in power; staying in SA and waiting for Hussein to die of natural causes (ala Castro in Cuba); or removing Hussein then removing the troops from SA when Iraq was stable. Of course the third option requires the party removing Hussein to have some fucking clue about what they were doing.

    The war in Iraq was successful in removing the Iraqi government. However, the occupation of Iraq turned unmanageable once the UN pulled out after the bombing of the UN operations in Iraq. Things would be remarkable different if the UN had responded with force instead of running in fear.

  51. …and its incredible confidence about the what we can achieve through force if only we’re wise enough…

    They destroyed much of Paris in the movie, and it didn’t make the use of force look all that wise.

  52. Ah, hindsight.

    Let me just suggest that Gore or most other likely occupants of the White House in 2001 might’ve taken similar actions. Not due to any similarity in their worldviews or methodologies to Bush’s, to be sure, but due to the fact that they would be getting the same information and advice from the intelligence services and from the military that he did. If anything, Gore might’ve felt compelled to do more than Bush ended up doing. That certainly seemed to be the case during the Clinton years as far as law enforcement matters were concerned–“We must appear tougher than the GOP on crime to avoid the GOP’s barbs.” Would Gore have handled the war(s) better? Maybe, but there’s no evidence whatsoever (other than pointless talk) to say one way or the other. People grossly underestimate the inertia of the various bureaucracies.

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Maybe a Gore presidency would’ve triggered an alien invasion and the extermination of mankind. Or maybe we’d all have achieved total enlightenment. This type of talk is pointless. Incidentally, joe, the Gore positions on anything were hardly consistent from the Senate to the Naval Observatory to today. Not that he’s worse than usual on that score, but really, let’s not get carried away with his nobility of spirit. As with most at that level, his soul was sold quite some time ago.

  53. Pro Libertate,

    …but due to the fact that they would be getting the same information and advice from the intelligence services and from the military that he did.

    Or not.

  54. My view of South Park politics:

    People are generally motivated by selfish desires, especially the ones that claim not to be.

    Most attempts to “help you” are really an attempt to control you.

    People are basically good. Groups of people are basically insane.

    Most of our problems are invented and distract us from stuff that actually matters.

    In a nutshell – Question Authority and watch out for yourself. These are principles people at either end of the political spectrum tend to embrace (except for the extreme ends), even as they claim their opponents do not. To me this explains the show’s lasting appeal.

    Plus, it’s funny. Even if you don’t agree with the point of view, a good joke is a good joke.

    BTW – anyone who can’t see that Team America pretty equally skewered both sides was definitely watching with partisan blinders on.

    The message I got was that bad people exist and we have to do something about it but if we go off half-cocked we’ll do more harm than good. You have to have Dicks(conservatives) and Pussies(liberals) to counter balance the assholes(dictators, terrorists, liberal and conservative cranks). Pretty down the middle to me.

  55. Grotius,

    Yes, destroying most of Paris while wiping out the terrorists was their example of “unwise” use of the force.

    Pro Libertate,

    Don’t pass this off on the intel services. We know now that they were sending up all kinds of flags about their lack of certainty, and we know what the Office of Special Plans was doing. We know that even our allies concluded that “the intelligence is being fixed” to justify the invasion. We know that the CIA had sent out warning to ignore Chalabi and Curveball, and that the White House and E Ring ignored them. Hell, we’ve known all of this for amost five years, because war supporters llike National Review were not only admitting to each of these things, but bragging about them, before the war even started.

  56. Its adherence to right wing talking points about war opponents,

    Someone’s still feeling the sting of a few well-placed barbs, no?

    and its incredible confidence about the what we can achieve through force if only we’re wise enough, haven’t held up very well.

    And someone can’t tell advocacy from satire, either.

  57. In the audio commentaries for the early South Park episodes Matt & Trey say that one of the founding ideas of their show was that, as opposed to the Rousseauian worldview, they believe that people are born selfish and nasty, and it’s society that makes you a good and decent person. I’ve seen them say this in several different venues, and yet neither the show nor their overtures toward libertarianism seem to jive well with such a conservative viewpoint.

  58. “Someone’s still feeling the sting of a few well-placed barbs, no?”

    Several hundred thousand people are still feeling the sting of well placed barbs, RC. IEDs and automatic gunfire will do that.

    But hey, you amused yourself insulting some liberals. Good times, good times.

  59. Nice dissection, MattJ. It’s been a while since I watched “Team America”, so I’m not clear on the details, but I do remember thinking that the movie portrayed the typical “dumb American” way of thinking…i.e. We’re better than you; our way or the highway; just bomb the fuckers; etc…I don’t recall any political agenda in particular. Now I want to watch the movie again “with partisan blinders on”. 🙂

  60. It’s also the most ideologically opaque political show on television

    This is a fairly absurd statement given that every episode ends with an explicitly-stated moral beginning with “I’ve learned a very important lesson.”

  61. Grotius,

    I’m not saying the same justifications would’ve been used, but I tend to think that the military was hot to trot for Iraq (or, at least, the Middle East) without any added help from the Administration. Of course, it’s kind of like entrapment–you were willing to go along ’cause you had a propensity to go along. Gore is no peacenik, so some sort of hardcore action by him would have been entirely plausible. I sometimes think the whole Iraq occupation stems from a desire to dominate the Middle East militarily (because of 9/11) and not from anything specific to Iraq. That desire probably popped into a number of heads in the year or so after 9/11.

    joe,

    I’m not blaming anyone. I’m just saying that opinions were out there, independent of who occupied the White House, that could’ve pushed us into a war. Actually, one wonders why Iran didn’t get moved to the top of the list after Afghanistan. I’m sure there would’ve been a stronger justification for such an action. Maybe in an alternative reality, Cindy Sheehan is bitching about Gore killing her son in the quagmire that is Iran.

  62. Yes, destroying most of Paris while wiping out the terrorists was their example of “unwise” use of the force.

    I think the point of that part of the flick was that the Americans were moronically oblivious to the harm they had done, while the Parisiens were haughtily indignant. Stereotype humor, not commentary on the wise use of force.

  63. “Someone’s still feeling the sting of a few well-placed barbs, no?”

    My city lost its first kid to the Iraq War yesterday, RC.

    The entirety of the insults I have taken from intellectual thugs like yourself, added together and distilled into a single moment, would still pale in comparison to the “sting” I get from thinking about that 20 year old’s mother.

    You’re a dick, R C Dean, and far too careless with other people’s lives to be welcome in decent company.

  64. My city lost its first kid to the Iraq War yesterday, RC.

    Your grandstand has grown by about a foot on each successive post in this thread.

    I love it.

  65. Pro Lib,

    “I’m just saying that opinions were out there, independent of who occupied the White House, that could’ve pushed us into a war. Actually, one wonders why Iran didn’t get moved to the top of the list after Afghanistan.”

    Google “PNAC Letter.” You will find numerous signatories who ended up in, or supporting, the Busy administration, and almost none who would have had anything to do with the Gore administration.

    Al Gore and his people wouldn’t have been eager to start an Iraq War, because Al Gore and his people weren’t entranced by the belief that starting a war in Iraq would solve the world’s problems. The Bush people were.

  66. I read the first few comments and now I’m skipping all the rest so I can say that a fool insists he can predict the future and a charlatan states with the benefit of hindsight: “I told you so.” (joe)

  67. My city lost its first kid to the Iraq War yesterday

    You are behind the times.

    A good friend of mine spent 6 months in Ramadi getting shot at. When he was on leave last summer, he said is biggest concern was that the election would go the wrong way and the US would pull out before the job was done.

    It’s only one soldier’s point of view, take it for whatever you want.

  68. Well, it is likely the case that a Gore administration wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. That would probably be the major difference.

    Yeah, we would’ve invaded Darfur instead.

  69. Incidentally, all of you give far, far too much credit to Parker and Stone. The defining characteristic of early South Park was how utterly apolitical it was; the only real issue Parker and Stone expounded on from the beginning was a strident free speech line clearly influenced by the minor kerfuffle stirred up by South Park’s own debut (and its novel embrace of fart jokes).

    From that point on out, what passes as political commentary in South Park can be more or less chalked up to a combination of political apathy towards figures and causes Parker and Stone don’t care for but don’t actually know much about, and vaguely libertarianish views they’ve picked up by osmosis from the fuzzy-headed quasi-libertarians that glommed onto them in the mistaken belief that South Park represented their beliefs (e.g. Penn Jillette). These people aren’t libertarians, they’re just guys who’ve never bothered to think or care about politics one way or another.

  70. What I really fucking wish is that all the hawks and doves would eat their humble pie in silence. When it comes to this war everybody was wrong about some aspect of it.

  71. VM,
    The list of signatories on that letter:

    Elliott Abrams, Richard L. Armitage, William J. Bennett, Jeffrey Bergner, John Bolton, Paula Dobriansky, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter W. Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider, Jr., Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, Robert B. Zoellick

    Funny or sad?

  72. What I really fucking wish is that all the hawks and doves would eat their humble pie in silence. When it comes to this war everybody was wrong about some aspect of it.

    Afuckingmen, Grotius.

  73. “Just curious, has SP ever make fun of Libertarians, capital letter or otherwise?”

    They bagged on Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand in the episode where Officer Barbrady learns how to read.

  74. Well, since we have a “where are they now” feel to it. But, like the clap, their plan is the gift that keeps on giving.

    One fun thing about SP, and apologies if I missed this mention above, is how it can make anyone uncomfortable. Remember the “Free Willy” episode? Remember the end?

    Also, when Chef died, did anybody notice the “Happy Tree Friends” style of death? That got two snaps and a circle!

    Grotius – sure, but what different sides (assuming n>2) were wrong about had different consequences.

  75. Since you all probly interpret me as lacking in intelligence, I will say it out loud.

    If Mr. Bush hadn’t used his family’s illegal profits from the oil for food program to bribe the supreme court into giving him the position of president, would he have had the power available to orchestrate the 9/11 attacks so he could take out Saddam so Saddam couldnt tattle on the Bush family for their participation in the oil for food robbery?

    If you think it is far fetched, ask mr Noriega why he is a non-entity after daddy bush met with him on numerous occasions to orchestrate Iran-Contra.

    Oh hell, I forgot to take my medicines.

  76. Also, I didn’t see Team America as an affirmation of US foreign policy, or the use of force.

    In fact, the movie quite brilliantly steals the flag-waving symbolism employed by people like Michael Bay in order to not only mock the overly-serious hyperpatriotism of Bay/Bruckheimer movies, but also US foreign policy.

    That certain people in this thread can’t seem to parse that “America! FUCK YEAH!” was meant as over-the-top irony makes me wonder if all those Hollywood suites who sit around in offices and say things like “Yeah, I get it, but it seems too highbrow and inaccessible for the average person” might be right.

    Disconcerting, that.

    But then again

  77. Also, the politics of The Simpsons have careened from one side to the other and back again as the writing staff has changed over the years.

  78. VM,

    I distinctly remember many, many doves (including myself I must add) going on and on about how bitter and disasterous the initial invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were going to be. Doves seem to have forgotten that.

  79. Gro: what about the “win the war, lose the peace, what about civil war, what about creating new enemies?” argument in Iraq?

    Don’t remember who said it here, but do recall hearing that argument.

    Gro – I was worried that there were WMDs and they’d be used. I was astonished that there weren’t any! I totally got hornswaggled by that one!

  80. VM, as did I.

  81. As a current student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I can see what turned these guys into libertarians. I bite my toungue and stay in the Math department.

  82. In other words, people ought to be more circumspect in light of their past faulty predictions, but they aren’t.

  83. Joe – please tell me that you got Team America was a joke/parody? Please?

    FYI – That closing quote by Matt Stone is one of my favorites of all time.

  84. I’ve changed my mind several times about this stupid war, and I’m willing to believe that I’m wrong now, whatever the heck I think.

    I will say that even if everything works out, and Iraq becomes the 51st state and a liberal enclave in the Arab world, the occupation has definitely been very mismanaged. Obviously, most of us agree on that point. At my most extreme, I’ve never been remotely hawkish, but I have wondered whether the net effect of the war might not be good. I’m less inclined to that view these days.

    I say give the whole country to the Kurds 🙂

  85. VM,

    I suspected that there weren’t large caches of NBC weapons in Iraq. I never expected a four year occupation.

  86. VM,

    Indeed I thought that if they weren’t found after an invasion that it would make the Bush administration look like a bunch of buffoons and that he’d either lose in 2004 or perhaps even resign.

  87. I just find it funny that a South Park commentary spawns so much heated political debate in the comments section. More so than any of the other posts today, I think. I wonder how a Teletubbies post would compare 🙂

  88. Remember the “Free Willy” episode? Remember the end?,

    Probably my favorite episode of all time. A delightful skewering of people who believe that children have some kind of insight into the world. Also a great example of what the boys do best. Pitch perfect send-ups of classic Hollywood tropes.

  89. JimmyDaGeek,

    It is second.

    Anyway, at this point the conversation has veered away from SP somewhat.

  90. My wife & I disagreed about Team America.
    She thought Parker & Stone were pro-war, I did not. Meh, [insert sexist comment here] 😉
    Seriously, let’s discuss:
    They hate on Americans who hate on America. They poke fun at jingoistic Americans who would blunder through the world destroying it to save it. They really stick it hard to Kim Jong Il. In the end [SPOILER ALERT] they decide that at least it’s better to be a dick than a pussy or an asshole and Kim Jong Il is some sort of alien insect.
    Must we choose a place on the pussy/dick/asshole continuum? I assumed that Parker & Stone themselves assumed that we as viewers would ask that question.

  91. Thanks for the amen VM.

    as for the teletubbies, Pat robertson says they are homos. I think we all know how that thread would unravel

  92. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  93. Andyraz,

    Pleast tell me that you realize a comedy can be a “message movie” as easily as a drama. Please? Oh, it’s satire, so it doesn’t really have a message. Got it.

    The only mistaken predictions I can recall making about Iraq waere that I thought there would be more WMD scraps found lying about, and we’d be arguing about whether they “counted.” I never believed that there was a serious threat from Iraqi WMDs, but I thought we’d find something.

    I also thought there would at least be a cooperative strongman keeping order – an “our son of a bitch” type.

    I’ve had some predictions fall flat, too. I tended to low-ball the degree of failure.

    On the other hand, I thought the Afghan ware would both most costly and more successful.

  94. One of the best Simpsons episodes is “Last Exit to Springfield,” which although not *entirely* anti-union (Burns as a symbol of upper-management endures his share of jabs), makes tons of hilarious jokes about shiftlessness and corruption on the part of union employees.

    “So long dental plan!”

  95. I didn’t particularly like Team America, although I did like the shotgun barbs launched at people all over the political spectrum. Nice to puncture windbags. . .even those that you agree with sometimes.

    My favorite South Park was the one where the kids tried to get a watch and accidentally got a hungry kid instead. Later, they uncovered Ms. Struthers’ food warehouse in Africa. I also like the Respect-My-Author-i-ty episiode.

  96. As an example of how great humor transcends politics, Alec Baldwin said on Stern that he thought his portrayal in Team America was hilarious. He got the joke. (Unlike douchebag Sean Penn who wrote an open letter that sounded as if it was written by his Team America puppet.)Which is why, even though we have next to nothing in common politically, I love Alec Baldwin. Plus, he is pure gold on 30 Rock.

  97. “Gore” was mentioned once, and the fanbois have swarmed the thread.

    Ya don’t get it, do ya? First and foremost, they mock the ideologues.

  98. “They hate on Americans who hate on America.”

    They hate on people who dissented from the upcoming war, depicting them as hating America. That’s what I meant about “buying into the premises” of war supporters. You all remember 2002 – there was a massive campaign from the Republican establishment, quickly picked up by the press, to demonize people who objected to the war as anti-American and pro-dictator. Parker and Stone got swept up in it just as much as the Washington Post.

    “They poke fun at jingoistic Americans who would blunder through the world destroying it to save it.” Yes, they think that people who are too clumsy in waging all the wars they want are misguided. We need to be careful as we fly around the world finding bad guys to destroy.

    There simply was no equivalence in how the two sides were presented. One side was wrong and degenerate, while the other needed to be more careful as they went about doing the right thing.

    “…they decide that at least it’s better to be a dick (war supporter who wants to make the world better) than a pussy (war opponent who coddles dictators and hates America.”

    Yup. That’s the position they staked out.

  99. Bush v. Gore–

    Samuel Alito and John Roberts are (probably, no definites) a lot different than Gore appointees. They will be differences for 30 years. For a lot better or a lot worse, depending on your point of view.

  100. “Ya don’t get it, do ya? First and foremost, they mock the ideologues.”

    Except the ones they agree with. But they’re not really ideologues, because they’re right.

  101. Well, as far as their movies go, I thought that “Orgazmo” was far funnier.

  102. My favorite movie from S&P is “Cannibal, The Musical.”

  103. joe,
    On behalf of the producers of Team America*, I would like to offer you an apology. They are sorry that they were not able to squeeze every conceivable viewpoint into their film. They will try harder next time.

    *I have been given no authority to speak for anyone.

  104. Pleast tell me that you realize a comedy can be a “message movie” as easily as a drama. Please?

    Only an intellectual fraud would think Team America was a message movie. The same kind of intellectual frauds who think Borat was a message movie.

  105. What’s a “message movie” again?

  106. Watching joe get his Smug on over a puppet movie is some seriously funny shit.

  107. highnumber,

    Knock it off. You people bitch about media with viewpoints you dislike every freaking day. How many times have I read people bitching about evil Hollywood, who always picks on the businessmen? Don’t turn yourself into a hypocrite just because I’m spouting off about two of your heroes.

    “Only an intellectual fraud would think Team America was a message movie.” What are you, fucking kidding me?

  108. joe,

    The over the top portrayals of anti-war celebs was as much a comment on the Right as the Left. My interpretation was that they were mocking how much attention people on both sides of the debate paid to the opinions of coddled goofballs. Michael Moore as a suicide bomber was as much a parody of the Right’s obsession with him as it was an indictment of his beliefs.

  109. Gro: I remember you remarking to me that you’d be interested in Turkey’s and Iran’s roles. So far, your observations are still live and hot!

    And wasn’t “Orgazmo” the DVDA movie? AGF, the person who bequeathed me the Blow Up Noam Chomsky doll mentioned that in class when we had the equation dV/dA… don’t ask…

    brotherben! then you’d know that the only times you ever should be forced to choose between Bush and Gore is in hotel PPV movie options (thanks to LVW for that one!)

  110. “What’s a “message movie” again?”

    A movie with a lesson in it that can be taken and applied to your life.

    You know, like Awakenings or Conan: The Destroyer.

  111. “Michael Moore as a suicide bomber was as much a parody of the Right’s obsession with him as it was an indictment of his beliefs.”

    It was also, evidently, a genuine jab at Moore over the way he edited Stone’s comments in “Bowling for Columbine” and then followed it immediately with an animated short with an animation style that could be described as vaguely South Parkesque.

    In fact, there was some confusion on the point of who created the animated short in the press with more than one source attributing the cartoon to Stone and Parker.

  112. mediageek, you fool, Conan the Destroyer was no message movie. However, Conan the Barbarian was.

  113. Categorizing “The Simpsons” is a pointless exercise. For as long as they’ve been on the air and as many writers as they’ve had, you cannot say that they consistantly skew in any direction by very much for very long.

    However, there is at least one writer who was picked up in season 13 (or thereabouts) who believes that being pro-left is more important than being funny.

  114. Matt J,

    How is portraying Michael Moore as a suicide bomber a takedown of people who describe Michael Moore as a suicide bomber?

    And “people are paying too much attention to celebrities” was a war hawk talking point, since celebreties were often the most visible opponents of the war.

  115. VM,

    Well, you can’t mess with a country in a region without other countries likely getting involved. If the country which starts the process shows weakness or an inability to handle the situation that even further encourages the neighbors.

  116. “mediageek, you fool, Conan the Destroyer was no message movie. However, Conan the Barbarian was.”

    Conan the Barbarian taught me what is good in life.

    🙂

  117. Agreed. IIRC, however, you noted that when you explained to someone that CH wasn’t in the EU. It was around then. Or that’s how this addled Moose remembers it. I also recall you discussing the Ottoman Empire and its break up and all that.

    Message movie: Blazing Saddles.

  118. In the age of Bush, Parker and Stone have gone after hybrid car enthusiasts, global warming, hippies, anti-tobacco activists, Richard Dawkins, and the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Their show is more often a forum for airing their resentments than it is about targeting the people who deserve it the most. Have you guys forgotten the episode “The Death Camp of Tolerance”, where we were told the problem with society is TOO MUCH tolerance of homosexuality? You know, the episode where the evil tolerance-mongers are literally cast as Nazi-style thugs (which is doubly offensive when you consider how many gays died in the Holocaust)?

    I think Matt Stone said somewhere that he thought the only way to be punk these days was to say “George Bush rocks!” But no, that doesn’t make you punk at all–just annoyingly and self-consciously contrarian.

  119. you mean conan the barbarian, mediageek. still the best movie about jesus ever.

    “How is portraying Michael Moore as a suicide bomber a takedown of people who describe Michael Moore as a suicide bomber?”

    because the very idea is absurd?

    i saw the whole ending speech as a parody of realpolitik attitudes. perhaps we all saw what we wanted to.

    joe, on your earlier point, i keep coming back to the whole “can’t love your country and fear your gub’mint” thing, which was indeed a key part of the media/politico blitz about cultists and seperatists and militia types. the mean green meme, if you will.

  120. “Have you guys forgotten the episode “The Death Camp of Tolerance”, where we were told the problem with society is TOO MUCH tolerance of homosexuality?”

    i thought the issue was that basing your measure of behavior on one’s group identity rather than their actual behavior?

    circles within circles…

    fwiw, i didn’t think the manbearpig thing was funny, outside of “serial.”

  121. Ashish, meet Godwin’s Law.

  122. Hi Ashish! How’s it going!

  123. mediageek,

    Each and every day, I make it a point to stop for a moment and listen to the lamentations of my enemies’ women.

  124. How is portraying Michael Moore as a suicide bomber a takedown of people who describe Michael Moore as a suicide bomber?

    Because it is so over the top. The whole idea that celebrities have any real influence outside of entertainment is absurd to them. Moore is just a guy with a camera and a point of view. To put him on the same level as a suicide bomber is absurd. Just as it is absurd to suggest that celebrities against the war are allied with America’s enemies. By taking the stereotype to the nth degree they point out the absurdity while at the same time having fun at the celebs’ expense. The whole FAG bit was as much a shot at people who obsess over celebrity opinions as the opinions themselves.

    Of course, that’s just my interpretation.

  125. I hate Al Gore with a passion and I thought the Manbearpig episode was one of the least funny ones that has aired. Cartman trying to abscond with the fake treasure pretty much carried the whole episode.

  126. “The Death Camp of Tolerance”, where we were told the problem with society is TOO MUCH tolerance of homosexuality?

    Actually, the point was there is a difference between tolerance and acceptance, but the PC police mistake the former for the latter.

  127. “””On behalf of the producers of Team America*, I would like to offer you an apology. They are sorry that they were not able to squeeze every conceivable viewpoint into their film. They will try harder next time.”””

    That’s what sequels are for.

  128. Knock it off. You people bitch about media with viewpoints you dislike every freaking day.

    “You people”? “You people”?!
    Of all the commenters here, joe, I thought you would know better than to talk like that.

    I don’t bitch about the media for being biased. I listen to NPR. I think both the WSJ and the NYT are great, biased newspapers. It is a shame when an outlet acts as if they don’t have a bias but everyone else does, or when consumers don’t recognize a bias in the media, but that’s a different issue.

  129. I’m suspicious of the motives of anyone claiming to be unbiased or impartial.

  130. joe,

    As one who never bitches about Hollywood because I find it a boring and stupid passtime, I would refer you to Parker & Stone’s commentary in their Reason interview that they are going primarily and almost exclusively for yuks. Yes, it’s true that humor can co-exist with content, but it’s also true that humor can be nothing but. SP occasionally has points to make, but humor comes first. If they pick on serious topics, it’s usually just because it’s fertile ground for humor because it tweaks people so much. And for a good example, look at yourself and at this discussion. Funny thing is I have a very liberal friend (like just about all of my friends) who takes the exact opposite position on Team America as you, saying that it ridicules the right much more than the left. His take was that the only pro-right thing about the flick was that it made fun of Michael Moore, about which my friend commented, “So what if Michael Moore’s fat? Who cares, compared to the US stupidly bombing people and not caring?!?”

  131. Matt J,

    That double-edge to their point was best illustrated by “Control’s” statements about the results of the team lacking an actor. Namely that it was the primary cause of their demise.

  132. highnumber, the WSJ is just as liberal as the nytimes. They are both written by New Yorkers of liberal descent. The editorial page of the WSJ is admittidly conservative, but the news section quotes liberal think tanks more than anyone.

  133. James Ard,
    Hmm, I think a lot of the front page stories are boring and the ed page makes me angry. I guess deep down I must have known that. I like to read some of the back sections and the letters to the editor.

  134. I think the WSJ news section is among the least biased of all I’ve read. It isn’t like the NYT at all.

    Op ed pages are supposed to have an opinion by definition, so those don’t bother me.

    I think NPR has evolved into something pretty independent. They have to raise a crap load of private dollars now, so their incentives are fairly balanced.

  135. I like the luxery property section, although I’m probably not going to be able to afford a place as nice as John Edwards.

  136. JasonL, The WSJ earned the most liberal rating in a study two years ago, done by UCLA I think. The study rated the papers on whether they cite liberal or conservative think tanks more often. WSJ news reported news backed by comments from the most liberal think tanks. I love the paper anyway, more news than I could ever use.

  137. “I think NPR has evolved into something pretty independent. They have to raise a crap load of private dollars now, so their incentives are fairly balanced.”

    A few months ago, someone on here posted that NPR isn’t biased left or right, but that it is heavily biased toward the state and stories dealing with the government.

    That’s an assertion that I think is spot on.

  138. People are basically good. Groups of people are basically insane.

    I’ve known this since I was a child, which is why I preferred to play with one friend instead of two. Two people tend to play nice. Three or more tend to start picking on the weakest.

    they believe that people are born selfish and nasty, and it’s society that makes you a good and decent person

    I like them even more now, although, I’d replace “society” with civilization. We are nothing more than wild beasts without civilization.

    Watching joe get his Smug on over a puppet movie is some seriously funny shit.

    I find it somewhat sad.

    I’m suspicious of the motives of anyone claiming to be unbiased or impartial.

    Me too. If I ever hear anyone claim that impartiality is impossible, but that they try as hard as possible to be impartial by questioning their personal biases, I’ll consider giving that person the benefit of the doubt.

    I think the WSJ news section is among the least biased of all I’ve read. It isn’t like the NYT at all.

    Amen. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s pretty good (and informative).

  139. Michael Moore, what is best in life?

  140. “Actually, the point was there is a difference between tolerance and acceptance, but the PC police mistake the former for the latter.”

    Ostensibly that was what the episode about. Mr. Garrison decides he can sue the school if he’s fired for being gay, so he tried to be as gay as possible with the help of Mr. Slave.

    But which “PC police” did Parker and Stone have in mind? Which prominent voices actually push the acceptance of in-your-face lewdness as part of the general metric of how tolerant we are of homosexuality? At the episode’s close, they lament the mainstreaming of “demented faggots.” Again, Parker and Stone seemed to be voicing resentment rather than responding to the movements of any actual debate.

  141. mediageek,

    That was probably me, though other great minds have noted that about NPR, I’m sure. Why, just this morning, my eyes were rolling at yet more examples of NPR’s focus on all things Beltway. It’s not surprising, but it is unfortunate. I do think that they have a leftwards tilt, but that bias is less of a problem to me than their focus on the federal government and on the false dichotomy of partisan politics. Kind of like joe, who I suspect of being an undercover NPR agent (I kid, I kid).

  142. At the episode’s close, they lament the mainstreaming of “demented faggots.” Again, Parker and Stone seemed to be voicing resentment rather than responding to the movements of any actual debate.

    I don’t remember how that episode ended, but I’m sure it was funny because the point of the show is to make you laugh. It’s a comedy show. Context is key. Their characters say a lot of things for laughs that they don’t agree with. Do you really think they hate Jews because Cartman does?

  143. jake-

    We would be up to our necks in a different pile of shit in the spring of 2007, but I don’t think there would be any functional differnce in our daily lives.

    AlGore would not have cut my taxes by $40K over the last five years.

    And, I don’t care if your children are going to pay higher taxes in the future- I don’t have any children.(…and I should probably own one of the little bastards by now for what I pay in property taxes…) ;o)

  144. Yes, the Bush administration has seriously fucked up the world but the point of Team America was “yeah, but do you know who is really really scary and ridiculous – Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, that’s who!”

    Actually, I hooted at much of Team America. I thought there was a lot of hilarious material there. But it was soft-satire in that they hit hardest at the small potatoes (the exception being Kim Jong, who is an easy target as everyone outside of North Korea thinks he’s an asshole).

    If Matt and Trey and their supporters think that they are opaque they are seriously self-delusional. Anyone can discern their viewpoint by the proportionate choices of their targets (and what is even more telling is who is *not* targeted) and the weight of attention they put on them, as well as by the conclusions they come to.

  145. I’m surprised to see this thread tiptoeing around the only logical explanation for South Park having left libertarians unscathed: we are simply immune to satire.

  146. fyodor, Real Bill,

    Playing off Parker and Stone as if their work has no political message is a pathetic dodge. There have been libraries full of pieces written about “South Park Republicans,” and numerous Reason commenters have self-identified in threads as such over the years.

    How many times have people posted the phrase “They tk r jrbs” on immigration and free trade threads?

    OK, fine, the idea that they use their films and show to make political points is all in my head. Whatever.

  147. It’s interesting to compare how Parker and Stone treated the “bad guys” in the Big Gay Al episode vs. the PC Nazis episode.

    In their pro-gay episode, the people who have a problem with gay people are depicted as the normal people of South Park, who just need to learn a little to get over their mistake.

    In the anti-pro-gay episode, the the people who have a problem with homophobia are depicted as Nazis and twisted perverts.

  148. “Playing off Parker and Stone as if their work has no political message is a pathetic dodge.”

    I don’t think it’s a dodge to say that Parker and Stone are just assholes to everybody all the time. Perhaps politics gets in there a bit, but really it just seems like they have disdain for anybody who believes strongly in something. Their political message is indifference, sort of the anti-political message.

  149. Wow, nothing sucks the funny out of comedy like over analysis.

    Funny is funny. If you’re too twisted up in your ideological shorts to laugh at a good joke, even if it is from an opposing point of view, then too bad for you.

    In the end South Park is more philosophical than political. That philosophy seems to be; Let’s try to have a sense of humor about all this bullshit.

  150. Hee Haw was apolitical. So was GReen Acres. South Park targets mainly religion and liberals. I don’t think it’s in the same category.

  151. “In the anti-pro-gay episode, the the people who have a problem with homophobia are depicted as Nazis and twisted perverts.”

    we must have seen different shows.

    i dunno man.

  152. dhex,

    I was watching the show where the people opposed to homophobie were Nazi concentration camp guards, torturing people to advance the acceptance of gay people.

  153. Anyway, I find it amusing that the subject of the post is Stone and Parker’s politics, everyone on the thread is commenting on their politics, and yet it is somehow damning evidence of my own over-political outlook and lack of a sense of humor that I wrote comments about Parker and Stone’s politics.

  154. I bet you’re a blast at parties joe.

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