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Essay on The Redeeming Qualities of South Park

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The television show South Park is a very controversial show which has been attacked by the media, politicians, parents, the school system, and just about every other social group imaginable. Why is the show so controversial? The reason it is attacked so thoroughly is because of its crude humor and vulgar displays by its characters, as well as the fact that it attacks the thoughts and beliefs of every religion in the world. This vulgarity and intolerance is most notable in the character Cartman, who is extremely offensive in his thoughts, ideas, and actions. The show does, however, provide a balance to Cartman’s antics through his co-stars Stan and Kyle. Stan, and Kyle almost always stand up to Cartman and ridicule his intolerance, thereby creating a view of intolerance for intolerance. This intolerance for intolerance is the part of the show which redeems it, and should silence the critics. Unfortunately, those critics are the groups that the show often criticizes, and because of this they find the show repulsive. South Park’s depiction of society is very worthwhile, as it shows it’s viewers who can look past the crude humor, that intolerance within our society is not acceptable and poking fun at those ideas is one way of promoting tolerance.
The first thing people notice, and criticize about South Park is the fact that the show is based around four children who promote crude humor and vulgarity. This display, they say is inappropriate because of the fact that the show is in cartoon format, and thus is attractive to children. After watching the show a little more, they see many other disturbing ideas promoted by the show, including but not limited to: religious ridicule, the promotion of extreme ideals, and childish po...


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...e open society where its citizens can openly discuss anything without ridicule. The one thing that should not be tolerated is intolerance, because it reduces freedom taking away people’s ability to openly discuss an issue. South Park is very open to any issue, and this willingness to discuss important aspects of society is what makes the show much more than just a group of boys promoting crude humor.





Works Cited
Curtis, David Valleau, and Gerald J. Erion. “South Park and the Open Society” Signs of
Life in the U.S.A.: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. 6th ed. Eds. Sonia Maasik
and Jack Solomon. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. 296-302. Print.
“Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes.” South Park: The Complete Eighth Season. Writ.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Dir. Trey Parker. Comedy Central, 3 Nov. 2004. DVD.
Parmount Pictures, 2006. DVD


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