South Park has “apologized” for mocking super serial Al Gore in its ManBearPig episodes. Naturally, the liberal media is going wild with righteous jubilation.
According to one sanctimonious commentary in the Guardian, it’s a sign that South Park has finally seen the error of its ways – part of a growing recognition by TV that politically correct snark has no place in this more enlightened, caring, woke modern world of ours.
Many TV shows which felt groundbreaking even a decade ago now appear problematic. Friends, Seinfeld and Ally McBeal: all have been criticised for demeaning attitudes to women and a lack of minority characters. But they are still celebrated as products of their time.
Shows which began in the 1990s and are still going to face a different, more complicated reckoning. The most high-profile example has been The Simpsons, in which the character of Apu has been severely criticised for stereotyping south-Asian Americans. The makers of the show have responded bitterly and a dispute continues.
South Park has demonstrated more humility, while managing to stay funny. It acknowledged a major misstep without any pressure to do so and found a way to apologise while remaining on brand. And for good measure, it had an episode this season which mocked the Simpsons’ saga.
Then again, it could just be another example of a phenomenon that has featured quite a lot in South Park over the years and which left-wing journalists often have trouble appreciating: a joke.
The ‘apology’ appeared in the most recent episode of South Park. ManBearPig returns for another rampage and the kids realize that the threat is real and only Al Gore can save them. But Al Gore – wearing his Nobel prize medal and a cape – is embittered and unforgiving and would rather be playing Red Dead Redemption. He only relents after Cartman, Stan and Kyle grovelingly apologize for having ever doubted him.
If South Park’s “conservatarian” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone really have abandoned their skeptical position on climate change they have picked an odd way of showing it and at a very odd time.
Since 2006, when ManBearPig made his first appearance, the man-made global warming theory which Al Gore championed has been shown to be increasingly threadbare. Global warming had already begun its long pause by the time that episode was made – and world average temperatures have remained more or less flat ever since.
As for Al Gore, he is really not the influential and at least partly respected figure he once was.
Climate alarmists, who used to consider him one of their big hitters, now view him as something of an embarrassment. So it would seem quite odd if Parker and Stone, with their fingers on the satirical zeitgeist, were really on a mission to rehabilitate so sorry and discredited a figure.
Also, as one of the commenters here points out, we really don’t know where South Park is headed with this ‘apology’.
We don’t know where they are going with this “apology.”
The next episode may make fun of Gore’s “solutions” (flying in private jets all over the world, selling his TV station to a dude who made billions off of oil, sexually assaulting multiple massage therapists-#believeallwomen.)
No doubt if that’s the direction it does head, we’ll be hearing rather less of it from the liberal media.