English 1302. P10 XXXX 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 appearance.
Unfortunately, looks don’t last forever. Obesity has become a common issue in America. Parents are in charge of their child’s life; however some parents put them at risk by feeding them unhealthy food and not doing anything about it. This is another life lesson that is presented in South Park. It is quite hidden behind the gruesome images, but it still makes a valid point. In the episode, “Fat Camp,” Cartman’s mom, teachers, and friends decide it would be best for Cartman to lose some weight and maintain a healthy life style. So they send Cartman to his fat camp with other obese kids and tell them they are not allowed to leave the camp unless they have lost some weight. Cartman believes he won’t be able to last without some sort of sweets. He ends up getting a thin kid and tells him to pretend to be him while sneaking sweets into the camp to sell to other campers. During this, Kenny is encouraged, by his friends Kyle and Stan, to do unimaginable, disgusting, and disturbing things for money. In the end, the obese kids in the camp tell their parents they cheated on their healthy diet by buying candy from Cartman regularly.
They all feel guilty and want to stay in the camp because they feel that they can lose the weight if they tried and took responsibility for their bodies. Honestly, responsibility, commitment, and encouragement are the main things a person needs to lose weight. Weight loss is a social issue that’s been going on in America for a while now. Obesity rates have increased rapidly as the years passed by. People get so tempted with fast food or sweets, like Cartman, that it becomes difficult to maintain a healthy diet.
Fast food restaurants are in walking distances from people’s houses, yet they still choose to drive their car. People find it difficult to have self-control that is why encouragement is needed during a diet. In the episode, the camp leaders are very encouraging, but the kids have no self-control to lose their weight. This lesson was somewhat hidden behind all the obscene things Kenny was doing, but it still presented the idea of weight loss, a major social issue going on today. Religion is thing a person wouldn’t have suspected to be in a show like South Park.
If anything, they probably would’ve thought it was to be made fun of. However, in the episode, “Damien,” Damien is the Satan’s son and he is new to South Park Elementary. The kids pick at him because he’s different until they find out he’s evil. The main reason he comes is to ask for Jesus, in which, his father, Satan, will fight him. When the people hear of this, they automatically go and put their bets on Jesus. When Satan shows up and the people see how big he is compared to Jesus, they secretly go and put their bets on Satan. Only one person votes for Jesus.
During the fight, Jesus throws his only punch and the devil loses. The trick behind this is that the devil set this whole thing up for Jesus to win. He was the only one that bet on him. The people became angry at the fact that they’ve been tricked, but Jesus told them previously, not to bet on the devil. In the end, they ask for forgiveness and Jesus forgives them all. The significance of this is good versus evil. A person can choose the side of evil and end up feeling tricked. For example, parties and drugs may seem like a fun thing to do.
That’s the devil’s way of making a person think that evil is fine. When a person pulls through and decides to go to the party, they have easily fallen into the devil’s trap and become tricked. They become tricked because after the party, they’ll end up with a hangover, or maybe end up somewhere where they don’t know where they are. Every evil deed has its consequences. However, if a person would have chosen “good” to begin with, they wouldn’t have to suffer or become tricked. A person makes choices every day. It the matter of making the right choices that will be better for them in the end.
If the wrong choices are made and a person calls out to Jesus for forgiveness, he would immediately forgive them, just like in the episode. All the episodes that were mentioned each give off a social issue and more importantly a life lesson. Some might be harder to find than others because of all the offensive scenes, but they are still there. People don’t see them because the only thing they focus on is the foul-language and the offensive things that happen every now and then. This show is meant for everybody’s entrainment. It a comical show that gives off a variety of life lessons in an amusing way.
They may be hard to find from the vulgarity and obscene images, but what video game or television show doesn’t have that now-a-day. At least a person can learn a thing or two after an episode of the humorous show, South Park. Works Cited “Damian. ” South Park. Writ. Matt Parker and Trey Stone. Comedy Central. South Park Digital Studios. 04 Feb. 1998. Web. 30 Jan 2013. “Fat Camp. ” South Park. Writ. Matt Parker and Trey Stone. Comedy Central. South Park Digital Studios. 06 Dec. 2000. Web. 30 Jan. 2013. “The List. ” South Park. Writ. Matt Parker and Trey Stone. Comedy Central. South Park Digital Studios. 14 Nov. 2007. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.