Monday, February 4, 2013
South Park vs. Life Lessons
This generation is quite familiar with foul language, and violence due to the video games, and television shows that kids or teenagers watch. Popular video games that support such violence include: Call of Duty, Halo, Dead Space, and Grand Theft Auto Franchise. Popular television shows that supports vulgar language, and/or sex include: Family Guy, Futurama, and Robot Chicken. After a period of time, these shows become just another thing to watch for entertainment. People get so used to the familiarity of foul language and violence that it no longer becomes offensive. However, there are others who see these shows in a different manner. Some may be so focused on the crudity that the point behind the show just disappears. A popular animated show that is well-known for this is called South Park.
South Park, created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, is a show that takes place in a fictional town of Colorado. The four main characters are Cartman, Kenny, Kyle, and Stan. These boys may be fourth graders, but their language doesn’t say so. Although, almost every episode is filled with foul language and offensive scenes, this show is all satire. It incorporates current events and social issues into their episodes in an amusing way. South Park may be obscene, violent, and foul-mouthed, but overall many of the episodes give off a social issue, and a life lesson.
In “The List,” the amusing episode shows how people can be very judgmental, especially in schools. Additionally, it shows a form bullying and gives a lesson about popularity. The girls of South Park Elementary form a list that states their opinion on which boy is the cutest, down in order, to which boy is the ugliest. Once the boy’s find out, they instantly become angry at the fact that the girls are judging them on their physical appearance, yet they are also worried as in whether or not they’re the first on the list or the last. They begin to form a plan that will help them steal the list, so they can look at it themselves. The plan pulls through and Clyde is number one on the list. The last boy on the list is Kyle. After reading the list, it changed the way the boys look at themselves. Kyle becomes very depressed and gets verbally picked on by his friends and the girls. However, Clyde starts to dress different, becomes popular, and becomes confident in the way he looks. In the end, Abraham Lincoln randomly shows up to Kyle’s house and takes him to a couple of houses. He shows him through the various houses how looks don’t last forever, and popularity doesn’t last forever. He then shows him how the ugly kids have to work to make something of themselves, but in the end will more likely be successful.
This episode comically gives off a valuable lesson. Besides all the improper language used, it makes a person realize how judging another person is wrong, like Cartman says, “Who are they to judge us on how we look?” Kids in schools are known to bully other kids because of their physical appearance or their difference from others. Every person has gone through it or is going through it now. It’s not just kids who make these judgments; adults can be very judgmental as well. The episode not only covers judgment, but it also covers popularity. Adults, who’ve been teenagers in the past, know what it meant to be popular in school. Popularity and looks were, and still are, everything to a person in school. It could either make a person or break a person. It’s funny how a comical South Park episode can make an adult reminisce those experiences in a laughable manner. They are the ones who know and experienced the fact of once school ends; looks don’t mean anything more than a stone on the floor. In the episode, Abraham Lincoln teaches Kyle that it’s the ones who work hard that will become successful in the end. This is quite true in real life. Nobody can become successful by just their physical...
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