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 article about team america aids
I'm not saying don't see this film. I just won't join you.


When deciding on whether or not to see Team America, the new puppet
film by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, I was reminded of the indignant
conservative America when Farenheit 911 came out. Many people,
including one friend who I believed to be an open-minded soul, railed
heavily against Michael Moores documentary, calling it un-American and
deceitful left-wing propaganda hell-bent on besmirching the pious and
'holy' Bush Administration. These were thoughts that certainly evoked
the want for discussion on my part but my need for discourse about
politics and cinema were suddenly taken away when I learned that no one
who was so vocally offended by the film had actually seen it.


Oh, my friend and his wife saw five minutes of it and then walked out,
they said. So naturally, they concluded, the whole package was a pack
of lies. The only question that we found ourselves arguing about was
whether one has a right to decide about a film if they refuse to see it
in its entirety. Both my friend and his wife simply countered my
reasoning with right wing rhetoric usually babbled by hate-radio hosts
like Hannity and Limbaugh who, themselves, would not watch the Moore
film but knew aaaaaalllllllll about the lies.

So, here I am
watching an interview and a trailer for a new film created by those
South Park geeks Matt Stone and Trey Parker called Team America. A
movie with puppets that, according to the trailers, talk like tough
American Frat Boys blowing away terrorists and ridiculing the anti war
message. (Now that's how theyre selling it. If it aint so, then the
commercials are bait-and-switching.) So I consider: Do I want to see
this movie?

Ah ha! Whats good for the goose . . . my inner
debating opponent tells me. So, will I see it? Nah! I forfeit the
debate. I dont wanna see this movie.

Why?

I guess it
comes from the fact that Im not overly impressed with the comedy
styling of the South Park team. Over privileged, very lucky frat boys
themselves, Stone and Parker made a funny out of the ordinary cartoon a
few years back where small kids said the 'f 'word a lot and talked like
smug barmitzvah kids to Christ and Santa; a young ex frat-boy producer
saw the short film, heard it was the rage at Spike and Mike's Sickl and
Twisted Animal Festivals and gave them a deal to produce a whole season
featuring the same characters. Lucky, lucky bastards! Now their show is
a huge mega-hit because, as pundits say (and as the creators themselves
believe): The South Park brand of humor says what the rest of us are
thinking.

Ive always been pretty outspoken and have never
been afraid to say exactly what I think. Ive never followed the crowd,
either. So might I counter the brood who feel that Parker and Stones
brand of humor is so damn funny with a thought that Im thinking? Stone
and Parker are criminally over rated.

The films device is
clever enough; a Bruckheimer action film done with puppets. It would be
more enticing, though, if it were a ten- or twelve-minute short. Ugh --
an hour and a half? I also have to confess I never liked those dramatic
Thunderbirds shows done with marionettes and they were only a half
hour.

I have been given the impression by watching the
previews for Team America that its a giddy romp in the satirical world
of Stone and Parker who said they were inspired by the World War Two
'anti-Tojo-anti-Hitler' cartoons from Warner Brothers. There was
something empowering about those cartoons, said Parker in a recent NPR
interview. It gives a people a chance to feel superior over our enemies.

Is America this needy for self-esteem that they need an empowerment boost from sophomoric students of fart and retard humor?


I am not one of the many Americans with a psychological need to feel
superior in this time of war. I am however pissed beyond words at a
puppet president and his supporters who believe a cowboy-diplomacy is
the way to solve the worlds problems.

Yeah, TA is just a movie
that, at this writing, is about to premiere tomorrow (Friday). By
Monday, which is your history, it will be number one at the box office
which will thereby place yet another victory for the fight against
political correctness. I am not telling others not to see it. Im not a
censor. I also know that there will be no escaping seeing parts of this
film in the future when I go to a video store and the slack-jawed
pimple face behind the counter will be running it on the monitors,
laughing at all the fart humor and anti-Muslim crap. So there is a
definite victory in Trey and Matts war against political correctness.
Slack-jaws united!

People who hate political correctness are
suspect to me. First of all, to them anything that smacks of regard and
considerable thought is worthy of contempt. Secondly, I always think
they use their arguments against sensitivity because in their heart
they really want to feel superior to people different than themselves.
How sad it is that political correctness has been spun into this
multi-syllabic euphemism for disregarding respect--demanding that
respect is now deemed by people like Stone and Parker as a political
crime.

Yeah, the old Warner Brothers cartoons where Bugs Bunny
foiled Hitler, Goering and Tojo were created at a time when all of
America was also laughing at Little Black Sambo and Snow Black and
Seven Dwarves. In those days the humor came from a threatened feeling
of being destroyed by those people this country deemed dangerous.
However, the backlash of this fear also justified a reluctance to
understand and accept all other people who posed no threat and were
merely different than us. This reluctance hit its peak through the
civil rights era and still permeates today whenever people like Stone
and Parker make films to exploit Americas need to feel superior to our
enemies.

Whoops! Im talking history. History makes no never-mind to people like Stone and Parker.


Whether it is the minority who gets no respect in South Park or the
mean ole terrorists on Team America, both are equally as 'evil' in the
world of Stone and Parker. This film is just an excuse to broaden their
neurotic fears against validated foreign enemies of America.

So am I not seeing this movie for political reasons in suit with the 'narrow-minded' critics of Farenheit 911?


No. (laughs) Its Stone and Parkers comedy. They have no heightened
sense of one. The point-and-laugh kind of humor is the style of babies
and idiots and those who care not to think and read.

Maybe I
see more into their comedy than Stone and Parker admit to, their
supporters confess to, and the studios wish to ignore.

They just aint funny, man!


Okay, maybe they can be funny--if youre stoned, lived in the suburbs
all your life, or even if youve never had any societal difficulties
thrown at you. Yeah, theyre hilarious because those certasin people
share Stone and Parkers negative image of the people different than
themselves.

I never laughed at crippled kids--Stone and Parker
have. I dont feel threatened by minorities and foreigners--Stone and
Parker are. They display their fears with antagonism in every episode
of South Park. In Team America, they pander to a willing audience of
the fearful narrow-minded myopic who want their own bigotry validated.


When it comes to the limited animated vehicles as presented by Stone
and Parker, Ive always been attuned to hearing comedy more than seeing
it. With crudely animated characters like the South Park gang, the best
of what you get is a radio show with slide-show animation. (Hey, it
worked for Jay Wards Rocky and Bullwinkle which was also a very
topical, politically satirical show for its time and enjoyed by college
students.) The South Park humor, however, doesnt work for me here. Its
aimless, its vicious, its snobbish; in all, it echoes the snotty jokes
the really cool kids aimed at everyone whom they thought were beneath
them. The 'Politically Right' always fears the intellectual left for
its ability to focus on different angles to a problem. As an American
that used to like television, I fear more the arrogantly flippant
attitude that sees one side to a problem by ridiculing and dismissing
it without making a valid point. It shows a lack of understanding, and
a lack of understanding shows a lack of intellectual spirit, especially
when the aimless message perpetuates ignorant myths and stereotypes
that are already imbedded in the unread, uncaring, and unaware.


To these South Park geeks, handicapped people and a talking feces
appearing at Christmas are funny. They believe that politically active
actors are annoying and prejudice is to be tolerated.

Okay, wise guys, why are these things funny?


In the interview for their new film, a matter was brought up about
their use of celebrities like Sean Penn ranting about the war. (Parker
and Stone have called them sissy peace-niks My God, guys younger than
me are sounding like my grandfather. Scary for America!)

Yes,
their new film seems to hate people like Sean Penn for having a
conscience and speaking out against the war. In their new film,
anti-war celebrities are ridiculed because, as the creators said when
interviewed on 60 Minutes, the actors always seem to take themselves
too seriously. It is as if celebrities who speak out about going to war
without reason should just act and shut-up.

A bit ironic if
you agree with that nonsense when it comes from two millionaire
show-biz guys who themselves are politically speaking out against the
left in this film.

It reminds me of those hate-radio guys
like Hannity, OReilly, and Limbaugh who rant and rave about people like
Martin Sheen, Michael Moore, etc., claiming those people have no right
to speak out because theyre actors. Well, what the hell are Hannity,
OReilly, and Limbaugh but blustering windbag radio celebrities without
serious journalistic or political credentials who sit on their asses in
front of a microphone for three hours pontificating views fed to them
by right-wing media services? Why are their political views more valid
than those of politically active actors?

Who are these South
Park guys but two overgrown teenagers who exploit bad animation and
fart jokes? How are their opinions in their new film superior to Sean
Penns and Michael Moores political activism? There are ways Parker and
Stone could have told us if they were smarter and more clever -- but
like bratty children, they throw rocks and run away to hit the next
house.

To the Associated Press, Parker and Stone defended
their humor by copping a plea of being 'innocently dumb.' They mean to
hit everyone with their humor, they said. The article quotes Stone:
``That's much more interesting than, 'Here's what we think! We don't
know anything about foreign policy or anything. We don't know anything
about anything,'' to which Parker adds with mock feebleness: ``We make
cartoons.

Stone and Parker have a right to portray themselves
as the new 'aw-shucks-country bumpkins' of comedy showing what they
think is the truth in us all. True to their nature, though, theyre full
of crap. They know that cartoons like this are used to perpetuate
thoughts. They also know that the more you repeat a lie or a myth or a
stereotype, the more it becomes a 'fact' in the American mindset. Come
on, guys!

Team America has a right to be shown and make money
and be seen. Its okay to caricature celebrities if you think theyre
pompous but fill us in on why youre angry. Be smarter men, not
more-clever boys.

So why wont I see the new movie created by
the South Park duo? Its not because I hate their politics (I think
theyre too shallow to believe in anything.). Its because their humor
skates on the easy laugh and the national myths and prejudices without
adding comment as to why theyre devoting their time to these issues.
Maybe I expect it to be South Park with puppets. Ugh! Pass!


Will Rogers and Mark Twain, outdated today because their humor had an
understanding of human nature, should always be the watermark of
wittiness. Even Lenny Bruce , Richard Pryor and George Carlin, at their
most profane and trivial, had a (and people hate hearing this word)
Message to their rants. It came from a motivation to better understand
certain life situations familiar to us all. Even their anger was funny
because, through them, we saw our own frustrations and could recognize
it at its most base value.

The South Park guys see an object of
ridicule and fan the flames. Five-year-olds can do that. Ten-year-olds
do it with wider variations. When 'adults' like you do this, they
pander to the lack of self-esteem in their audience. The pity is that
they come out smelling of money. The ignorant will always measure
quality by the money it creates.

Stupidity pandered to the
like-minded can never make a man poor, especially if one is sure that
the audiences self-esteem is lower than his or her own. Thus is the
philosophy of the South Park kind of humor.

That's why Im staying away





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