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Who needs Adam Smith when you have South Park?

Via the Adam Smith Institute blog I came across this excellent essay over at the LewRockwell site about South Park. Definitely worth a read. Of course it is not the first time that the outrageous but wonderfully sharp series has been noted for its libertarian, anti-puritan content. Blogger Andrew Sullivan even coined the phrase – I think – South Park Republicans. I doubt that the makers of the series would want to be seen dead with many modern self-styled conservatives, and I would love Parker and Stone to have a go at our own benighted David Cameron’s Tories. There was a whole book on the subject by Brian Anderson called South Park Conservatives, which I quite liked, although it had some flaws. Reason magazine had a recent nice article about the characters.

Of course, arguably PJ O’Rourke was ahead of them all with his Republican Party Reptiles, which is essentially a libertarian credo in most respects. The nearest we have in Britain to such a celebration of brash material wealth and fun, irreverence towards do-gooders of all forms is motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson.

27 comments to Who needs Adam Smith when you have South Park?

  • Peter Crombie

    Deleted: off-topic, get lost

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Peter, you are quite possibly right. Thanks for telling us so charitably as to how we might better spend our time.

    Seriously, if you find us a bore, why not go somewhere more interesting?

    Pip pip!

  • Nick Timms

    Peter, people write about what they are interested in and other people read and make comments, because they are interested. If you are not interested then do the other thing.

  • Perhaps Peter could more usefully spend his time learning to spell?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Okay, so what do people think of South Park?!!!! Anyone got a favourite episode? My fave is the one about Scientology. Magnificent.

  • rob

    The best South Park episode is “Scott Tenorman Must Die”, and anyone who says otherwise is absolutely, categorically wrong.

  • The Mormon one was entertaining and educational as well. “Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb!”

  • Richard Easbey

    My favorite episode is the one with Jennifer Anniston, where they go on a field trip to the Amazonian rainforest.. tee hee.

  • scamembert

    Try Monkey Dust, which to my mind has some similar ideas.

  • David Amon

    My favorites are Mr. Garrison’s IT (‘The Entity’) and the Sexual Harassment Panda.

    Mr. Garrison: [FBI Agents are reposessing Mr. Garrison’s Its’] Excuse me, what the hell are you doing?
    FBI Agent 2: It’s all right, we’re with the government. We’re just shutting you down.
    Mr. Garrison: Shutting me down? Why?
    FBI Agent 2: The airlines are in desparate trouble. Your vehicle is causing them to lose money.
    Mr. Garrison: Yeah well that was the point, dingleberry. Put that down!
    FBI Agent 1: Right, so the government is bailing the airlines out again by shutting you down and making Its illegal.
    Mr. Garrison: Oh God dammit! You better be kidding!
    FBI Agent 2: Sir, many people work for the airlines. We can’t let them all be fired.
    Mr. Garrison: The airline companies are losing money because of their own incompetence and their own inefficiency!
    FBI Agent 1: That may be true, but if you build, sell or ride another It, it will be the last time. Have a nice night.
    Mr. Garrison: AAH! Airline motherfuckers! You pieces of shit! Cock sucking, son of a bitch AIRLINES!

    Gerald Brofloski: You see, Kyle, we live in a liberal-democratic society, and democrats make sexual harassment laws, these laws tell us what we can and can’t say in the work place, and what we can and can’t do in the work place.
    Kyle Broflovski: Isn’t that fascism?
    Gerald Brofloski: No, because we don’t call it fascism.

  • My current favourite is the scientology episode closely followed by the World of Warcraft episode.
    Is it my imagination or does southpark get more subtle in the later series?

  • fresh

    Deleted… not uninteresting but completely off-topic

  • Clayton

    South Park has been really good in the middle seasons but this latest season has been kinda disappointing. I’ve liked two episodes out of the entire season but most of the rest have been mediocre. Especially the World of Warcraft which was basically an appeal to “OMG teh gaem i ply is on tv!!1″

  • I think I’d like South Park, but I can’t understand a word they’re saying. Enunciate!

    Have you seen Drawn Together? The animated reality show? It’s hysterical.

  • I think I’d like South Park, but I can’t understand a word they’re saying. Enunciate!

    Have you seen Drawn Together? The animated reality show? It’s hysterical.

  • M4-10

    2 votes for Scott Tenorman Must Die. The reason I bought Season 5 on DVD.

  • My fave episode is the two-parter on conspirazoids. Terribly funny that is for sure. The Scientology one is pretty good as well.

  • Manuel II Paleologos

    Must-sees:

    1. Timmy 2000: making a genuine hero of a badly handicapped kid, skewering PC attitudes to them, lambasting “Attention Deficit Disorder”, Ritalin and lazy diagnosis, nailing Hemingway, and ridiculing Phil Collins all in one episode. And, as father of a special needs kid myself, one which I find hugely uplifting (as does my kid).

    2. Rainforest, Schmainforest: the environmentalist movement skewered forever. Bulldozers – fek yeah!

    3. Succubus: struggled to breath first time I watched this, I was laughing so much. Chef finds sweet lurve…

    4. World of Warcraft: not a “gamer” myself and had never heard of this, but just brilliant

    5. The 9/11 conspiracy episode: it turns out that 9/11 conspiracies are a government conspiracy to convince the usual 25% retarded people that the government really does control the world. Genius.

    Too many others to mention.

  • JayN

    When Cartman joins NAMBLA:

    NAMBLA LEADER
    Rights? Does anybody know their rights?
    You see, I’ve learned something today.
    Our forefathers came to this country
    because… they believed in an idea. An
    idea called “freedom.” They wanted to
    live in a place where a group couldn’t
    be prosecuted for their beliefs. Where
    a person can live the way he chooses
    to live. You see us as being perverted
    because we’re different from you. People
    are afraid of us, because they don’t
    understand. And sometimes it’s easier
    to persecute than to understand.

    KYLE
    Dude. You have sex with children.

    NAMBLA LEADER
    We are human. Most of us didn’t even
    choose to be attracted to young boys.
    We were born that way. We can’t help
    the way we are, and if you all can’t
    understand that, well, then, I guess
    you’ll just have to put us away.

    KYLE
    Dude. You have sex with children.

    STAN
    Yeah. You know, we believe in equality
    for everybody, and tolerance, and all
    that gay stuff, but dude, fuck you.

    KYLE
    Seriously.

  • jimmmy

    Top Gear showed in the states for a couple of seasons, and I enjoyed Jeremy Clarkson’s unapologetic quips at his greeny detractors. That is, until I came across several interviews with him revealing an irrational hatred of Americans as well. I stopped watching the show, and I don’t think it airs in the US anymore (not that those two things were related, mind you).

  • I once read an interview with one of Parker and Stone, and he (I can’t recall which said), “I hate conservatives, but I really hate liberals”.

  • MikeG

    If we’re are going to be South Park Conservatives the trick is to avoid being Kenny!

  • Julian Taylor

    I don’t think Clarkson really hates Americans, just that he doesn’t like anyone outside of the South of England.

    Can’t say I really blame him, to be honest.

  • Clarkson’s statements are very much tongue-in-cheek. For someone who does not like Americans he spents quite a bit of time in the US for starters.

  • Kim du Toit

    Like Liz, I can barely understand a word they’re saying. I get my kids to translate for me.

    Funny as hell, though.

  • Kim du Toit

    I will be really interested to see Mr. Cantor’s reaction when South Park takes on libertarianism…

    Billy Beck/Richard Nikoley: “It’s my property, and my inviolable property rights mean that I can do with it whatever I want.”

    Kyle: “Dude. You have rusting cars on blocks in your front lawn.”

    Stan: “And your open septic tank is fucking gross.”

  • Snorre

    Reason did an interview with Stone and Parker, which ends like this:

    Reason: Each of you at various points have called yourself libertarian. Is that an apt description?

    Parker: People started throwing that word around to describe us right around the second or third season. They would sit us down and go, “So are you libertarian?” And I would always say, “I don’t know, am I? You’ve seen my stuff.”

    I still don’t really know the answer to that question. I think I am, though.

    Stone: I think it is an apt description for me personally, and that has probably seeped into the show. But we never set out to do a libertarian show.

    Reason: When you say libertarian, what do you mean?

    Stone: I had Birkenstocks in high school. I was that guy. And I was sure that those people on the other side of the political spectrum were trying to control my life. And then I went to Boulder and got rid of my Birkenstocks immediately, because everyone else had them and I realized that these people over here want to control my life too. I guess that defines my political philosophy. If anybody’s telling me what I should do, then you’ve got to really convince me that it’s worth doing.