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Michael Cust on the libertarianism of South Park

Here is an excellent piece of political and cultural commentary, about the excellent TV show South Park and its excellent political and cultural commentary, from Michael Cust.

A brief survey of some of the more salient libertarian episodes bears this out:

Episode 713 takes aim at Hollywood director Rob Reiner and the anti-smoking movement. The movement – and especially Reiner – is portrayed as, and called, fascist, controlling, and deceitful, while big tobacco is portrayed as honest, hardworking, and well-rooted in American history.

In Episode 616 drug war propagandists are labelled “ultra-liberals” who operate on the principle that “the end justifies the means.”

In Episode 614, political correctness is condemned. When the boys (the main characters) refuse to tolerate their intolerable homosexual teacher, their parents take them to the Museum of Tolerance, where tolerance of everyone (except tobacco smokers) is taught. When this fails, the boys are sent to a gulag called “Death Camp of Tolerance,” where they are forced at gunpoint to produce arts and crafts that don’t discriminate along the lines of race and sexual orientation.

In Episode 301, the boys travel to the Costa Rican rainforest as members of an environmentalist choir. While there, they learn how dangerous and deadly the natural world can be – as a snake kills their tour guide and aboriginals kidnap them. Upon their return to civilization, the boys put on a musical performance that admonishes smug first-world environmental activists. (In this episode, Friends star Jennifer Aniston guest stars.)

But this is just scratching the surface of a fruitful and deep social commentary that comes out libertarian on pressing current events. Just about any issue that libertarians hold up as an instance of state excess or market success is portrayed in the show …

All of which is very noble and very true. But what I like about South Park is that it is so damn funny.

What I believe this shows is that “Hollywood” is not nearly as biased against our kinds of opinions as people with our kinds of opinions, who happen to be talentless bores, often claim. It is just that Hollywood is biased against them and against all other talentless bores, for being talentless bores. What Hollywood is biased in favour of, as is often pointed out here – especially by this Samizdatista in these two much admired postings – is making money. If people with our kinds of opinions can help Hollywood to do that, Hollywood will welcome them with open arms.

Hollywood, like Cartman’s mother, is a dirty slut.

Cust also has some interesting and provokingly positive things to say about Michael Moore, and about the fact that South Park‘s Matt Stone contributed (in a good rather than anti-gun way) to Bowling for Columbine.

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8 comments to Michael Cust on the libertarianism of South Park

  • Might want to post the link to Custs article . . .


  • Actually, Matt Stone and Trey Parker are from Colorado, which is a far cry from Hollywood. Hollywood likes having its tits implanted, its lips injected, and its hair dyed. Here in Colorado, we like our skies blue, our guns blazing, and our taxes low. Just as tornado alley runs from Nebraska through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, there is a huge swath of libertarianism that runs from Montana through Wyoming and Colorado, extending right down into New Mexico.

    Trey Parker is from Evergreen, which is very close to the real place called “South Park”, and Matt Stone is from Littleton, home of the now infamous Columbine High School. It’s nice to have a little Colorado sensibility in the whorehouse that is Hollywood. (Not that there’s anything wrong with a whorehouse)

  • Harry Payne

    Iain Murray, under the heading “South park Script up”, links to an episode which quite rightly takes the piss out of the Very Bad Science behind the forthcoming “Global Warming is all our fault” film, “The day after Tomorrow”.

  • John Ellis

    A point of order: Is libertarianism simply the advocacy of a free market/making money? I somehow though it was something more….

    …nothing wrong with being a dirty slut, of course, but is that what you guys are advocating?


  • Alfred E. Neuman

    I read a quote by Matt Stone once that went something like this:

    “I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals.”

    Liberals in the American, leftist sense, of course.

  • Noah Yetter

    Matt Stone’s father, Gerry Stone, was a professor of economics at the Metropolitan State College of Denver (where I am posting from at this moment, and from which I will soon receive my own degree in economics). The influence is obvious 😉

    My favorite is the episode where Mr. Garrison, pissed off at the inefficient airlines, invents a new mode of transportation that catches on like wildfire. Then the government shuts him down for being too successful.

  • Does anybody know about this page in reagrds to the Museum of Tolerance hunger strike? If anybody can say why they are striking in front of the museum, please post. You can also see the page through my name.