I just finished reading all the letters from Salon readers incensed over the Trey Parker and Matt Stone interview, and they were even funnier than the interview.
My Fellow Salon Readers: Lighten up! This was an interview with TREY PARKER and MATT STONE. What did you expect, philosophy? Insightful comments about the state of the thirty-something single male and his place in American culture and politics?
Take off your silly liberal-arts-college-pop-culture-analyzing thinking caps! South Park is NOT high art. It's a just a very funny, crass, adult cartoon, not Oscar Wilde for our time. Parker and Stone are not Carl Hiassen and Christopher Buckley. Why would they interview like them?
I am politically active, and I'm doing everything I can to get folks registered to vote. If Parker and Stone don't think uninformed people should vote, I say, whatever. It's TREY PARKER and MATT STONE, the reigning kings of fart jokes. They haven't exactly formed a 527 organization to tell people NOT to vote, now have they?
-- Amy Barnes
The amount of bile being directed at Trey Parker and Matt Stone after their interview with Heather Havrilesky honestly suprises me. What are people so upset about? Are they disappointed that "Team America: World Police" is not going to be an emotional, anti-Bush piece like "Fahrenheit 9/11"? Are they concerned that two artists are expressing their own views on culture and not those that they want to hear? Or are people more upset about their plea for the uninformed to not vote?
We live in a country of uninformation. In 2000, the media took a few lies about Al Gore and spun them into accusations that seriously damaged his campaign. Pundits review presidential debates for body language, not content. And above all of this, people are more than willing to make important decisions with all the gravitas it takes to dial a 900 number to show your support for Clay Aiken. The sad fact of our culture today is that people are more interested in the particulars of Paris Hilton's sex life than they are in the policies behind the people running the country.
It is those people, people who refuse to learn, who refuse to inform themselves, who base their decisions on nothing but instinct and a high-school level of idol worship that shouldn't be voting. It's not voting for prom queen, it's voting for president, and if people can't understand what it takes to fully analyze and decipher that, they are, frankly, being willfully ignorant of their own civic duties.
Parker and Stone have made a career of being offensive to as many groups as possible, from "Cannibal: The Musical" to "Orgazmo" to "South Park." I have never been personally offended by any of their work, even when poking fun at my own demographics (I'm gay, liberal and pagan). Instead of adopting a party line, Parker and Stone prefer to see the ridiculousness in everything. Nothing is sacred to them, and that's exactly how I like it, but then again, I get the joke. The people who are so righteously upset over the interview are exactly the kind of people Parker and Stone enjoy upsetting: people so full of their own seriousness that they can't take a moment to realize the humor in it.
I personally plan on seeing this film opening weekend.
-- Paul C. Harmeyer
Whoa, people. Relax. If you read the interview and took it seriously, then I have a bridge to sell you.
Most of Matt and Trey's interviews are complete jokes and if you've actually paid attention during the years of "South Park" and the movie, you'd know they love taking the piss out of both the right and the left.
What they honestly believe in is hard to tell; you need only watch their wonderful work over the years to try and guess, but in the end, who cares what they think? They certainly don't care what you think.
-- Jason May
Everyone is horrified by Parker and Stone. I'm horrified by everyone.
Salon readers would rather see people vote at random or by who their mom votes for or by who's cuter than not vote? Hello? Parker and Stone didn't encourage ignorance; they didn't create ignorance. They basically said: Hey, if you are stupid or lazy (which, like voting, is your right), I don't want your vote mucking up my election.
It may come down to three Ohio kids who were browbeaten into voting and so they voted for Bush and Cheney, because hee, hee, bush, dick. Wouldn't that be a proud American moment?
I am liberal. I love the ACLU. However, living my life constantly judging and angry, like more and more liberals these days, is not for me. I fight the good fight all day at an activist nonprofit organization. At night I come home and blow off steam watching Parker and Stone's always shocking yet always thought-provoking "South Park."
-- Christy Applegate
While I don't necessarily agree with Mr. Parker's and Mr. Stone's phrasing of their argument, they have what I believe to be a valid point: If you can't be bothered to educate yourself about the election and what is at stake, it is probably best you not involve yourself at all.
Is it your right to vote? Yes. Should anyone deny you that right? No. Should you exercise? Only if you're willing to make an educated decision.
Saying this is an idiotic position to take up, and that Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone are wrong to even think it, is equivalent to saying that a juror in a capital murder case should tune out the arguments of the defense and the prosecution and decide how to vote based on how much he likes the guy.
That would be gravely irresponsible, and reprehensible. So why is it any less irresponsible to abstain from voting if you have not educated yourself? The fate of the world, in no small sense, depends on it. Shouldn't you, at the very least, genuinely understand your vote?
Then again, maybe I'm just a stupid 20-something who doesn't know anything.
-- Justin Hahn
Our house has been reading Salon since it launched, and subscribing since that was an option. We're Democrats who take this election very seriously. But ...
Matt and Trey are geniuses. Heather, too. I even thought Sean Penn's letter was kind of cool and funny, especially if you read it aloud as "Spicoli."
Top-notch satire is rare; why boycott it just because it doesn't perfectly reflect your own worldview?
Besides, fellow Dems, pay attention: If the boys are adopting a casually Republican position here, and encouraging those of a similar philosophical mind to not bother voting, that's good for our team!
Like Saddam says, "Relaaaax, guy!"
-- Christoph Wiese
I read the letters to the editor in response to "Puppet Masters" with amusement.
Isn't the hidden point Trey and Matt make that people who are "ignorant and uninformed" certainly wouldn't realize it and thereby couldn't follow their advice?
Yet another controversy-generating absurdity from the makers of "South Park"!
But it should sell some tickets.
-- P.E. Bird
Wow, didn't anyone send you guys any letters in support of Matt and Trey? They aren't idiots; they're smart guys. They make funny stuff.
As far as them attacking uninformed voters, I basically agree with them. If you don't know why you're voting for someone, you shouldn't vote. You should know why you're voting for someone when you go in that booth. If you're voting for a stupid reason, you shouldn't do it. Don't just vote because you can. Educate yourself, learn something about them both, and then vote. If you're going to vote for Bush because Kerry looks older, or for Kerry because Bush smirks all the time, you should stay home.
-- Mark Prokop