I love South Park. I have watched the show since began. Some of the seasons have been lackluster, some of the episodes misguided and disordered. However, this current season has brought the show to another level.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone have always taken shots at the far left. Many of the best South Park episodes center around mocking some far left activist or commenting on a popular far left behavior or trope. Yet the pair have outdone themselves by taking on the progressive crowd full-swing this season.
Previous seasons featured one-shot episodes. Beginning last season, South Park took a more narrative approach. The entire season ties together, with numerous subplots running through each episode.
That change allowed Stone and Parker to achieve the current seasons crushing attack of the progressive crowd (also called “social justice warriors”). This season comes with the new PC Principal, Mr. Garrison going full Telfon Donald Trump, and a withering mockery of Caitlin Jenner.
The season is only five episodes in, but I already have a favorite: this week’s episode titled Safe Space. The episode centers on Cartman receiving negative comments on Twitter after posting a topless picture of himself lifting weights. The fat-shaming escalates to the point that PC Principal orders Butters to filter out the negative comments on Cartman’s Twitter feed or face detention. The subplot is about Randy going to Whole Foods and being shamed into donating to charities.
The incidents of shaming and the need of “safe spaces” away from criticism leads to an awesome musical number In My Space (and yes, that is Steven Seagal):
But the pinnacle of the show is Reality’s complete demolition of progressives in a beautiful rant/stand-up routine:
“You feel sad that people are mean? Well I’m sorry the world isn’t one big liberal arts college campus!”
“You want to put all your shit up on the Internet and have every single person say ‘Hooray for you.’ Fuck you. You’re all pricks.”
Finally someone tells progressives the truth about themselves.
What I like about this particular instance is that Parker and Stone are popular in liberal and progressive circles. They do not always have the left’s support, but for the most part the left like them and their critiques. To have someone you like and possibly respect call you on your nonsense has got to hurt. That might explain why some of the reviews from progressive sites have downplayed the episode as a hit-or-miss.
What I really loved about the episode was how in their effort to prevent “shaming” against themselves, Cartman and crew utterly ruined Butters. They could not have cared less about his well-being. They exploited him to make themselves feel better, and when Reality pointed this out they had a very specific, unpleasant response for him.
What so many of progressive miss is that the world is not a “safe space” and it will never be one. People are mean. People do horrible things to each other. People often do not care when those things happen. Sometimes they even enjoy them happening. The solution to this is not to place yourself in a bubble of protection with other like-minded people.
The solution is to learn to deal with life’s ugliness because it is not going anywhere.