Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Peeve Farm on SouthPark Republicans

Brian Tiemann of Peeve Farm (Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets) has an interesting take on the non-socially conservative Republicans: they are social conservatives!

What do you call a show that isn't afraid to stand up in favor of the word "morality" and restore the fading negativity of the word "whore", as though trying to reverse the lunge into licentiousness led by the madam of Springfield's beloved Burlesque House? That takes a stand against stem-cell research by showing Christopher Reeve sucking out fetuses' spinal fluid in order to regain his feet (as Frank J puts it, "The embryonic stem cell lobby group Others Must Die So We May Walk")? That argues in favor of tightened immigration restrictions to keep us from having to squeal, "They took our jeaarrbs!"? That spends a whole half-hour episode making fun of the Mormon religion, and then—in the last thirty seconds—spins on its heels and makes the viewer feel like an absolute ass for having laughed along with it with a single accusatory barb?

I call it conservative. All the profanity and lewdness and sex and so on notwithstanding. And I think that's because they're simply framing those views in a way that makes them acceptable to modern jaded ears. They know nobody on Comedy Central will take such opinions seriously if they hear them from Billy Graham; but they know they'll watch South Park. And as such, certain things have become acceptable even to social conservatives.
I am not quite sure I agree either with his conclusion or with his endorsement of this brand of conservatism. But it strikes me that the highlighted sentence above is similar to Flannery O'Connor's defense of the grotesque nature of her work.

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