Collection of scholarly essays on the wildly popular Comedy Central show.
Since it came on the air in 1997, Comedy Central’s top-rated animated program, South Park, has been criticized for its crude, scatological humor and political insensitivity. However, the program also fearlessly wades into the morass of American political life as it tackles and satirizes all American sacred cows, including “political correctness,” the value of celebrities, ideas about childhood, and the role of religion in American life. In the process, South Park raises provocative and timely questions about politics, identity, and the media’s influence in shaping American thinking.
Taking South Park Seriously brings together scholars who explore the broader implications of South Park’s immense popularity by examining the program’s politics, aesthetics, and cultural impact. Topics covered include the pleasures of watching the show, South Park’s relationship to other animated programs, and the program’s representations of racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, celebrities, children, religion, and education. This book will be of interest not only to communications and cultural studies scholars, but to anyone who has ever laughed along with Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny.
|Publisher:||State University of New York Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock is Associate Professor of English at Central Michigan University and the author of several books, including The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Spectral America: Phantoms and the National Imagination.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Taking South Park Seriously
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
Part One The Pleasures of South Park
1. “Bigger Longer & Uncut”: South Park and the Carnivalesque
2. The Pleasures of South Park (An Experiment in Media Erotics)
Brian L. Ott
3. Orphic Persuasions and Siren Seductions: Vocal Music in South Park
Jason Boyd and Marc R. Plamondon
4. “Simpsons Did It”: South Park as Differential Signifier
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
Part Two Identity Politics
5. Freud Goes to South Park: Teaching against Postmodern Prejudices and Equal Opportunity Hatred
6. Cynicism and Other Postideological Half Measures in South Park
7. Shopping at J-Mart with the Williams: Race, Ethnicity, and Belonging in South Park
Part Three South Park Conservatives?
8. “I Hate Hippies”: South Park and the Politics of Generation X
9. South Park Heretics: Confronting Orthodoxy through Theater of the Absurd
10. Prophetic Profanity: South Park on Religion or Thinking Theologically with Eric Cartman
Michael W. DeLashmutt and Brannon Hancock
Part Four Specific Critiques
11. “You Know, I Learned Something Today . . .”: Cultural Pedagogy and the Limits of Formal Education in South Park
12. “Omigod, It’s Russell Crowe!”: South Park’s Assault on Celebrity
List of Episodes Cited
South Park Complete Episode Guide, Seasons 1–11
List of Contributors