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©2005 gtslade

South Park Conservatives by Brian C Anderson



I'm so glad I borrowed this book from the library. South Park Conservatives is breezy and party cloudy, hardly meriting its brief time reading time.

"South Park" cartoon enthusiasts may be lured by the title, derived from the term "South Park Republicans" originated by Andrew ("Blogger") Sullivan. The book switches conservatives for Republicans, highlighting its major flaw – undefined terms. It is questionable what Anderson means, using Democrat and liberal interchangeably, like Republican and conservative. These terms mean little enough without being tossed about so liberally. I infer that to the author, conservative means anti-abortion, pro-war, pro-religion, anti-quota, Andersonism. Liberal seems to be, well, the opposite. For instance, Matt Drudge is a registered Republican, "a pro-life conservative who doesn't want the government to tax me." Republicans against taxing you? Where? And how can you be "pro-life" and pro-execution? That's like being a melancholy gay.

Unanimatedly surveying various media, Anderson cites "South Park" episodes which make it appear anti-liberal, after observing that some conservatives find it vulgar and crude. I consider "South Park" vulgar, anarchic and non-partisan. Everyone is ridiculed, especially pompous twits. If it were Republican, it would just be stupid. Brian Anderson seems like a guy who loves police, but is there a dumber character on "South Park" than Office Barbrady?

 Officer Barbrady
 "And then I read this: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I read every last word of this garbage, and because of this piece of shit I'm never reading again!"
– Officer Barbrady

Regarding elections, one of their best episodes offered the lesson that, in every election, you must choose between a douche and a turd. That's hardly a party endorsement, particular after adding that your vote doesn't count. The author appears clueless when mentioning Washington University economics major Matt Arnold: "The funniest part is that most liberals watch the show, but are so stupid that they're unaware that they're being made fun of." Right, and conservatives are revered? So who's stupid, again?

The book is informative if, say, you've been living in a remote shack in the woods without electricity or cable. Otherwise, it rehashes familiar opinions.

My homeboy, Colin O'Quinn's "Tough Crowd" is mentioned respectfully. Again, the author misses that it was hilarious by ridiculing everyday occurrences and everyday people. Certainly Colin has "conservative" beliefs, but he wasn't preaching. He confronted liberal comedians because he was aiming for funny, not educational. He'd be angry when the audience applauded, instead of laughing.

It was refreshing seeing a show that wasn't politically correct, but most comedians wouldn't be, if they were unintimidated by the fear of offending someone. Quinn and the gang railed against what Anderson terms "illiberal liberalism," where a joke makes you racist, homophobic or even Adolph Hitler. Because when you get right down to it, Hitler wouldn't have been that bad if only he'd have cut out those insensitive jokes. Right?

The book covers the Blogosphere and talk radio, neither of which I knew or learned much about. My Blog keeps me too busy to read other, dumber bloggers. Nor can I accept Rush Limbaugh being "persecuted" after revealing his drug abuse crimes. As an "expert" on the subject, he should be held to at least the same standard as a layman, particularly when his expertise is so limited.

I concede that the Internet encourages diversity and information better than previous technologies. It sure works for porn. God bless the Web for that.

Television news has always been unreliable, valuing speed over accuracy, pictures above knowledge. I sometimes watch Fox and cannot see why "liberals" hate it and "conservatives" love it. Bill O'Reilly is entertaining, even when he's wrong. He frequently says he's a commentator, not a reporter, though he tries to present two sides of issues. When he announced his George "W" Bush interview, he offered the same opportunity to John "F" Kerry. Surely a decorative war hero like Kerry wasn't afraid of O'Reilly. You decide.

As a real conservative, I wonder what happened to journalism's quest for the truth. Reporting facts by investigating, not repeating a pair of media shills' claims. Certainly not "the Democrats say this, the Republicans say this." Who cares? News is the facts, not how they are explained away. In my experience, those two parties are inevitably misleading. The establishment media's underlying assumptions distort their coverage, not a particular slant. Their promotion of the two-party system to the detriment of democracy is shameful. Major news outlets cannot mention an independent candidate without reiterating the self-fulfilling prophesy that he or she cannot win, after doing everything possible to ignore small-party candidates. What would be the harm in covering them? They can't win.

Anderson couldn't write page one of the introduction without using the code word "elite," as in "elite liberal media." Not surprisingly, South Park Conservatives is loaded with similar simplistic explanations for complicated phenomena, not the least of which is the cyclical nature of public perception. Much has been written about the "red" and "blue" states, very little about the way the public mood vacillates, often tied to what was once termed "the generation gap" or "questioning authority."

Luckily, this reviewer understands the phenomenon well enough to explain it in terms even Cartman or Anderson can follow. For years, possibly decades, the Democrats are in control. Eventually, the population realise the Democrats are making things worse, so they vote in Republicans. For years, possibly decades, the Republicans are in control. Eventually, the population realise the Republicans are making things worse, so they vote in Democrats. Not surprisingly nothing changes. Nothing will until Americans realise the two parties operate on the same self-serving principles.

Naturally, liberal anti-christ Michael Moore is mentioned often. In passing, movie messiah Michael Medved is, too. He is one of few individuals whose writings piss me off – and I like Ann Coulter. Medved writes like a Commie who has downed one too many vodkas. I read conservative reviewers. Joe Morgenstern can have political disagreements with the filmmaker without losing his perspective. If Medved doesn't lose his perspective that's because he has none.

I have read conservative books over the years. In the 1960s, living in "elite liberal" headquarters, I bought Freedom is My Flight Plan by Barry Goldwater, the last Republican I supported for president. The only one. There have been plenty of conservative books published, provided they were literate and not just anti-liberal tirades. Today's publishers don't care about literary merit so much as sales volume. I guess that explains South Park Conservatives.

College is not a medium but, considering what goes on in the higher seats of learning these days, its inclusion seems appropriate. Anderson not only discusses campus politics, but what liberals call "sexual politics." He claims there's an attitude that if a coed has a beer with a guy, he expects her to have sex with him. Well, here's a news flash: throughout history, college guys have expected girls to have sex with them. If they hadn't, we'd all be virgins. The objects of these expectations have many ways of avoiding sex, everything from saying "no" to laughing.

Besides, unwed sex is conservative. Adam and Eve weren't married, were they? The same folks Anderson seems to consider conservatives often say that if there is praying in the classroom, a student can excuse herself. Why doesn't the same apply to campus orgies? If it's distracting, go study in the library, bitch!

I know that conservation isn't a conservative value because I read it here, but South Park Conservatives seems a vast right-wing waste of paper. 

gtslade@yahoo! com
   tell me now
25 August 2005

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