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Now running into its tenth season, South Park has still not "jumped the shark". Satirically edgier than The Simpsons, South Park responds immediately to cultural controversies: four days after Saddam Hussein's capture, an episode lampooned it, and the show has no fear in tackling subjects as divisive and outlandish as Terry Schiavo, The Passion of the Christ, Tom Cruise's alleged homosexuality, and Michael Jackson. Its mixture of iconoclasm, cultural referents, and intertextuality makes it the perfect lens through which to examine contemporary popular culture in America - and television's role in the creation of that culture.
Blame Canada! is a smart, readable book that will appeal to the show's many fans, placing the show in a tradition of fearless and often foul-mouthed satire dating back as far as Rabelais.
Author's Note — Chewbacca Defence
Introduction - Yesterday's future is today
Section I - Oh My God
1. Who cares about a guy that makes beer?: History
2. Towelie Ban: In the Media
3. Trapper Keeper: Internet &Fandom
4. Phase 1 Collect Underpants: Marketing
Section 2 You Killed Kenny!
I — South Park — A jihad on Family Guy
5. Warping Fragile Little Minds: The Show
6. Ending Fart Sequence: Humour
7. Barnaby Jones as Cultural Text: Intertextuality
8. Token, Give me a Sweet Bass Line: Music
II The South Park World — Only Stupid People
9. Pissant American Town : The Community
10. Kick the Baby: The Characters
11. Teaching Children to Despise Paris Hilton: The Celebrities
III Issues — Respect My Authoritay
12. Democrats Piss Me Off: Politics
13. When it comes to a spelling bee, always bet on a Jew — or Black People in China: Stereotyping
14. Blessed Art Thou: Religion
15. South Park is Totally Gay: Gender
16. No, Kitty, That's My Pot Pie: Food and Drink
Conclusion — You Know, I've Learned Something Today
Posted December 12, 2007
`Blame Canada: South Park and Contemporary Culture¿ Toni Johnson-Woods Reviewed by Rachael Ryan ¿South Park is not a town, it¿s a state of mind¿¿ One of the most recognisable television series of all time, South Park¿s effect on contemporary culture is phenomenal. In Blame Canada, Toni Johnson-Woods explores the impact this irreverent and iconoclastic animated series has on all facets of culture from language, toys and music, to consumer products such as food. The author¿s exploration of these topics and South Park¿s religious and political disillusionment is thorough and highly engaging. For the general reader, the section on web and merchandise statistics can be slow-going, but it is well worth persevering for the unknown facts and interviews with the creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. For the scholar, Blame Canada is easy to navigate with detailed reference points for further investigation. If you¿re curious as to the origins and development of South Park, Johnson-Woods provides an accessible account of the series, from its beginnings to the present. Hardcore fans who enjoy musing on the more humorous moments of the series will take pleasure from the quotes that accompany the topics. Overall, Blame Canada is a conversational trip into a phenomenon that should engage anyone who is interested with popular trends in today¿s media.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.