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South Park says sorry

Yes, South Park grovels:

Some background here:

After the “Band in China” episode mocked Hollywood for shaping its content to please the Chinese government, Beijing has responded by deleting all clips, episodes and discussions of the Comedy Central show.

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone probably saw this coming, and to their credit, simply didn’t care.

From the point of view of the Chinese government there are far too many people now paying quite close attention to them, whom they do not control. The people presiding over Communist despotisms are always touted as strategic geniuses, but I sense a change in the world. Or then again, it could just be that I attended an excellent talk about Hong Kong last night, and will be attending another talk about Hong Kong on Wednesday, at the ASI. That link may not last, so I note here that a lady called Denise Ho will be speaking.

That second link is to a report in the Guardian, which it makes a nice change for us here to be agreeing with, assuming most of us do. The Chinese government is now making enemies all across the political spectrum. They will surely “win” this battle in Hong Kong, one way or another. But are they now stuck in a Cold War that they might end up losing? Could well be. As the above non-apology from these South Park guys illustrates, to say nothing of events in Hong Kong, things are not now going entirely to their script.

Also, now that masks are no longer allowed in Hong Kong, how about a new hair-do?

23 comments to South Park says sorry

  • Paul Marks

    Tray Parker and Matt Stone have done a good thing.

    Will Big Business now be shamed into having some basic regard for human liberty? Will the endless “Woke” “Social Justice” attack on freedom stop?

    Most likely NOT – but it was a good thing for Mr Parker and Mr Stone to do anyway.

    The education system and the media (as well as most of the Corporations) see tyranny as they way forward – China is their goal (especially now, since the fall of Maoism, the dictatorship in China will allow them to keep their wealth – as long as they help stamp a boot on the fact of liberty), but at least (for the moment) Mr Parker and Mr Stone can still mock this sickening behaviour.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Absolutely superior, Brian!

    ETA: South Park, the masks … the news that at least there’s bail for the first two anti-anti-mask protesters..

  • bobby b

    I watched the SP episode and thought it was really very mild towards the Chinese.

    Mostly it seemed to target the hypocritical US corporations who pretend to wokeness until their China profits are impinged.

  • Flubber

    “Mostly it seemed to target the hypocritical US corporations who pretend to wokeness until their China profits are impinged.”

    Its the root cause of the media’s derangement about Trump; his trade strategy is designed to get US companies out of China. Trillions are at stake.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    I’m afraid I couldn’t watch South Park as I found it too … overbroad.
    I feel that I need to give it another chance now.
    I am very impressed.

  • I love the new hair-do. Reading Diana Wynne Jones “The Homeward Bounders”, I was always puzzled at how Helen, the hero’s “friendly neighbourhood enemy” could wear her hair over her face. Now I understand.

    BTW, Paul Marks (October 7, 2019 at 9:51 pm) +1. This was indeed a good thing (made sad by anglosphere woke corporate culture making it both needed and remarkable). Flubber (October 8, 2019 at 1:08 am), yes indeed a lot of money is at stake. The “we love money more than freedom” crack is spot on. And it is indeed mingled with hating Trump – which was convenient for them but may not always be so.

  • South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone probably saw this coming, and to their credit, simply didn’t care.

    “Didn’t care”? When you’re not marketing to the woke, getting censored someplace else is the best publicity.

    Makes me wish I had a stronger stomach so I could watch South Park without recoiling from the frequent gross-out humor.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Cayley,

    “…getting censored someplace else is the best publicity.”

    Do you remember or are you aware of the novel Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious? A hot (in two senses) best-seller, came out in 1956. (Amazon entries have some seriously screwed-up dates!)

    Supposedly seriously sexy (ha! Weak tea indeed! There was one “graphic” sex scene, which IIRC contained nothing but three words of dialogue, by the not-really-a-rapist Mike Rossi — just like Roark). The book also dealt seriously with the issue of abortion in the case of rape. If that rape was described graphically, I’ve forgotten it.

    (The Great Foot tells me I was not really wrong in my memory of Mike Rossi’s name: So it was, in the paperback. In the very first edition, it was “Tomas Makris.” If you care, the article’s title is “Constance_MacKenzie.”)

    For these reasons it really was Banned in several cities (though not in Boston, I think), which helped to send sales through the roof.

    .

    Interesting article from the AP:

    https://archive.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2006/03/11/fifty_years_later_memories_remain_of_peyton_place/

    Also, from Australia, on their censorship board’s discussion of whether to ban the book:

    http://blog.naa.gov.au/banned/2013/08/05/peyton-place/

    .

    Ten years before that, Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor (1946), was banned in 14 states onaccounta salacious content. Naturally I read it (yet I am still an innocent, tender, fragile flower* 🙂 ) but I can’t say I remember much of it. It’s a historical novel, looks interesting from the description at

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forever_Amber

    And does anybody remember Lady Chatterley’s Lover*? Heh. :>))

    But I’m getting way past O/T …

    .

    *I’ve always said, anybody wot comes round me all bloody and dangling “a brace of coneys” in my face will get the cast-iron frying pan upside the chops. It’ll be unbridled passion alright, but not of the sort that wot’s’is-name-Mellors is lookin’ for!

  • Dr. Caligari

    SP was allways different.

    They are strange, they are ugly and make horific jokes about Human misery – but they pay the price. They makes some jokes about the bad, the brutal, the madness of our day, too.

  • Rob

    Mostly it seemed to target the hypocritical US corporations who pretend to wokeness until their China profits are impinged.

    The use of Mickey Mouse as the hard headed US business leader was a stroke of genius. “YOU’RE FAT DIABETIC BEAR!”

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    I agree with Brian that the ruling Chinese Communist Party cares more about its image in the West than it is perhaps fashionable for the usual world-weary types to admit. China needs inflows of capital – its financial system is not quite the all-powerful thing it is cracked up to be. Growth in China has slowed, and the economy is maturing. There is now quite a big middle class in China, and as we know, such folk tend to start wanting more than just getting the basic necessities of life.

    China might hope that HK is crushed, but that would still be a massive blow to its standing in the world; and the sight of banks/others relocating to Japan and Singapore, say, who are watching all this v. closely, would be a big blow to China’s prestige.

    I have written before on this and about how unimpressed I am generally about the response of Western leaders to all this, starting with Trump. I was not happy to see Trump, and Obama, sending gushing congratulations to Beijing for 70 years of communist rule. For fuck’s sake.

  • The old (and not always reliable) wisdom about bullies was they they were cowards. Some woke corporate bullies, eager to get you sacked for an un-PC word but swift to cringe when China frowns, do seem to fit the profile.

    does anybody remember Lady Chatterley’s Lover*? Heh. :>) (Julie near Chicago, October 8, 2019 at 11:11 pm)

    I remember Robert Conquest’s summation of its mingled class-war-plus-sexual-liberation theme:

    For lower-class balls, reverence.
    For upper-class balls, severance.

  • Julie near Chicago

    😆

  • Julie near Chicago

    Johnathan:

    I just read Trump’s twittering

    “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!”

    as quoted by commenter Montage at

    https://www.thenewneo.com/2019/10/09/on-china-and-the-us-speak-no-evil/#comment-2458467 .

    You are right. That is totally disgusting and disgraceful. I don’t so much mind Trump’s boorish N’Yawkian twitterings anymore, and I can see some possible sense in his occasional pretend-friends with the Norks ‘n’ Porcs (forgive my own boorishness), but that’s just unconscionable.

    For more on this whole issue of Chinese “soft power” and the craven subsequience it gets from Big Corporations (here, Marriott), see David Foster’s posting at Chicago Boyz:

    https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/60791.html

    Grrrrrr!!! Never mind. Way past bedtime.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – I believe that both you and Tucker Carlson are mistaken on this. Although I greatly respect both of you.

    The crawling to the Chinese dictatorship does not show that the “Wokeness” of the Corporations is a fraud – on the contrary Sir, support for the Chinese dictatorship is part of Wokeness.

    Wokeness is the support for the extermination of liberty – Freedom of Speech and so on, and the establishment of tyranny (the rule of the “educated” – the “experts” from “all institutions of society” that form the Chinese dictatorship).

    When people support the dictatorship in China they do not show that their Wokeness is a fraud – they show just how deep their Wokeness is. They show just how much they HATE the basic principles of the United States of America.

    The terrible danger is that so many of the rich and so many leading Corporations are now saturated with death-to-America doctrines – doctrines that will destroy themselves and their own families.

    This is what their expensive “education” has led to – and it has taken a very long time. After all more than a century ago the Progressive Woodrow Wilson identified the purpose of the sort of “education” he believed in as to make young men as UNLIKE their fathers as possible. To reject everything their fathers believed in – everything that had built the United States of America.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Also, from the Chicago Boyz posting linked above (which deals with a lot more than just Marriott or just China):

    One point about globalization of trade that is rarely noted is that it gives foreign governments–especially those in countries where business and government are closely coupled–greatly increased leverage over American political discussion, indeed, over America’s entire public dialogue with itself.

    Never mind America, this is why I wonder whether Israel has a death wish.

    It’s not that I’m against international trade; quite the reverse!

    But businesses as well as countries appear to have a death wish. And to quote Paul,

    ‘Wokeness is the support for the extermination of liberty – Freedom of Speech and so on, and the establishment of tyranny (the rule of the “educated” – the “experts” from “all institutions of society” that form the Chinese dictatorship).’

  • Julie near Chicago

    China on the propaganda front in education: the Confucius Institutes, Foreign Policy, from 2017. It ain’t just the Saudis and Wahhabi, boys & girls. Quite concerning. But some schools in America, including my Alma Mater, and also McMaster in Canada, have closed the C.I.’s on their campuses.

    “American Universities Are Welcoming China’s Trojan Horse” by Rachelle Peterson of the National Assn. of Scholars:

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/05/09/american-universities-are-welcoming-chinas-trojan-horse-confucius-institutes/

  • bobby b

    Thanks, Paul. It’s certainly mutual.

    Hannah Arendt wrote about the banality of evil – how some can admire and even covet the order and precision of the accounting books kept of the inventory of people as they are shoveled into the death ovens. The evil in those people lies in their ability to avert their eyes from first principles – such as life matters – and find some sort of honor in the orderliness of the people in evil’s service.

    Point is, I can’t disagree with you. The evil of wokeness lies in its banality. Wokeness is indeed simply a new variation of Arendt’s point. Perhaps my ascribing to US corporations this “wokeness” instead of calling it out for the underlying evil it supports is my own brand of banality. It’s too easy to do.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Speaking of “The banality of evil,” two interesting short articles with differing conclusions about what Ms. Arendt meant by the phrase, and criticisms of her use of it, covered respectively at

    https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil

    and

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eichmann_in_Jerusalem ,

    which contains a section on “the banality of evil.”

    I imagine everybody else here already knows all this. But I’ve wondered since forever about the controversy over the meaning of the “banality” phrase, whence more rummaging in the cyberstacks. So, FWIW.

  • Paul Marks (October 10, 2019 at 9:03 pm) and bobby b, in accord with a recent joke told by Julie near Chicago, I assert you are both right. 🙂

    – If one took literally the words of the woke, then denouncing as tyrant Donald Trump, who can safely be so insulted because he isn’t, while cringing to Xi, who cannot safely be insulted because he is, would indeed show fraud.

    – Hannah Arendt distinguished totalitarian elite formations (e.g. the SS and NKVD) from totalitarian party members and fellow travellers by the former’s ability to turn every statement of ‘fact’ by their leaders into a declaration of purpose. To the initiated, ‘Trump is a tyrant’ means ‘Trump must be overthrown’, while not criticising Xi means he should be allowed to get on with crushing freedom in Hong Kong. (In the same way, the hypocrisy about slavery shown in my parable and other posts is hypocrisy in propagandised students but a declaration of intent – to destroy western civ. – in some of their professors.)

    So Paul is right about some (especially leaders) and bobby b is right about more (especially followers). The fact that bobby b is right as regards Dem-leaning voters who could be dissuaded is very relevant to the thrust of our propaganda. The fact that Paul is also right is relevant to debate prep for anyone arguing with a woke thought-leader in front of an audience (e.g. do not expect your opponent to be disconcerted by blatant contradictions within their literal words).

    [I should qualify the above – in which it might seem the leaders of wokeness are machiavellian in cunning if monstrous in evil (a belief Hannah Arendt was sometimes understandably accused of implying as she occasionally overthought things) – by noting the incident in Orwell’s 1984 where the man working on newspeak is purged for understanding too clearly its mind-narrowing purpose (Orwell is telling us that those un-purged by the end of the newspeak project will themselves have narrowed minds). The woke stupify themselves, not just us (as I may have said before 🙂 ). So bobby b will sometimes get lucky and be right even about those of whom Paul is mainly right.]

  • Julie near Chicago

    Good point, Rabbi Kilmartin. :>)

  • Mike Owens

    The Chinese Communist Party, which re-organized from Mao’s inward-looking totalitarian dictatorship into an expansively imperial, kleptocratic, parasitic overseer of capitalist entrepreneurialism, has a problem. That problem is the people in the country who make things to sell, and who grow things to feed the populace, and who do work to keep society functioning above an agrarian rice farming subsistence. Those people now run China, while the Communist Party feeds off their efforts like a tick on a dog.

    When a dog gets tired of supporting a tick, it isn’t the dog who gets scraped into the dustbin of history.

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