Censorship

Does the Pope Shit in the Woods?

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As Jesse Walker noted earlier today, last night's episode of South Park, which continued the plot involving Muhammad that began last week, was heavily censored, at least partly in response to a death threat/warning from a radical Muslim website that said the show's creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, were risking assassination by mocking the prophet. Every time anyone says "Muhammad," the word is bleeped, while the prophet himself is represented by a floating black rectangle stamped "CENSORED." I gather that Stone and Parker included both of those expurgations in the version of the show they delivered to Comedy Central, whether as concessions to the channel, for satiric effect, or both. But they say Comedy Central bleeped a lot more, presumably including the summing-up speeches toward the end by Kyle, Jesus, and Santa Claus, which are completely inaudible. The channel will not allow Stone and Parker to post the original version online, so we can only guess the moral of the story. Some possibilities:

1) Refusing to be mocked is an invitation to mockery.

2) The depictions that upset Muslims who think murder is a reasonable response to offensive speech do not mock Muhammad or Islam so much as they mock Muslims who think murder is a reasonable response to offensive speech.

3) These Muslims richly deserve to be mocked.

Notably, the South Park episodes pointedly do not violate the taboo against depicting Muhammad. Even the notional Muhammad in the bear suit (spoiler alert!) turns out to be someone else. So the only real offense is against people who think they have a right not to be offended, who are an irresistible target for Stone and Parker.

In this week's episode (one more spoiler), when Tom Cruise uses a machine to temporarily acquire Muhammad's imperviousness to ridicule, the Pope turns to him and says, "You lucky fuck." I imagine that line, in the context of the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandals, had folks like William Donohue foaming at the mouth. But there's little risk that Stone and Parker will meet an untimely end at the hands of enraged Catholics, which helps explain why they felt no need to put the Pope in a bear suit.

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  1. Then Stone and Parker need to from this point forward stop trashing all religions. It is bullshit to brutalize only those religions whose followers are not crazy fucks who threaten to kill you. If they don’t have the balls to take on Islam, then leave Scientology and every other religion alone. To do otherwise, just makes them look like cowardly bullies.

    1. crazy fucks who threaten to kill you

      Let’s face it, we’re tired!

      1. Let’s face it, we’re tired!

        From all the kid-fucking?

        1. That, and the Crusades, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, Mark Twain, friggin’ Robert Ingersoll and H.L. Mencken…and that bitch Mel Brooks…it’s too much. Good luck with all that, Mohammed, you bearded freak.

          1. You heardda me?

    2. WTF are you talking about, John? They specifically were saying “fuck you” to Muslims who get offended when they depict Mohammed.

      The fucked up thing is that I couldn’t tell if shit was bleeped as a joke or by Comedy Central, but when their final speeches were bleeped, I was pretty sure it was the channel and not them.

      1. I missed it last night, and southparkstudios.com doesn’t have the episode up, just a note that the network won’t let them put it up. I think maybe Christopher Hitchens has it right, religion ruins everything.

        1. Note: read the previous blog post, Warty, you cancerous anus.

    3. They did, but Comedy Central won’t show it. They’re the cowards here.

      OK, so I get why this post has the ads for the Muslim marriage site, but why does it also have an ad for clean coal? What word sets it off? Black? Bear? Catholics?

      1. Want to see the best ever automatic placement of a Muslim dating site ad? Screenshot (because the original changes ads).

  2. John,

    They were taking on radical Islam. That’s what all this is about.

  3. Great! Dueling Mohammed threads! What could happen?

    1. And now there are three! Yee-haaaaw!

  4. which helps explain why they felt no need to put the Pope in a bear suit.

    They missed an opportunity there.

  5. Wonder how the liberal chat boards are handling this… anyone want to go lurk? I just ate, and I don’t want to toss my lunch.

  6. You forgot to mention that they showed Buddha snorting coke, and Jesus watching porn.

  7. Their atheism, which is always cloaked with a snarky guise of humorous “tolerance,” has grown fucking way tired.

    1. But they DID rag on Scientology, which caused that hypocrite Issac Hayes to quit the show… so something good DID come out of it.

    2. So, you didn’t see the episodes where they mock Dawkins, huh? Yeah … they’re not atheists.

    3. Do a google search before you spout stupidity. Matt and Trey both believe that there is some sort of god. They just seem to have a problem with organized religion.

  8. This is fucking insane.

    To all of you who oppose the war on Afghanistan- do you realize how depraved our enemies are? Anyone who opposes killing them is on their side!

  9. Religion is a mental illness.
    It is improper to mock the mentally ill.

    1. that’s retarded.

  10. Maybe in the next episode they could show the Islamic terrorists who are threatening to kill them, accidentally killing Mohamad…

  11. The guy at revolutionmuslim has been found out! For those who are not informed revolution muslim is the website that posted the dox of south park creators and threatened their lives. We have his dox.

    Behold:

    His alias for the site registration is Abu Talhah al Amrikee
    13101 Bathgate Way
    Bristow, VA 20136
    (703) 600-9926
    zchesser@gmu.edu

  12. I’m pretty sure there was a caricature of William Donohue in the celebrity crowd in 201.

    Swallow, come!

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