So, a few years back episode 201 was censored by Comedy Central and drew a lot of press. Apparently, someone has managed to download an uncensored version of 201 through the South Park servers. Good job anonymous source. Too often lately, the corporations have been trying to supersede the government. It’s like they want to become the all encompassing force controlling the public. And with Citizens United, they came ever closer to this goal. I’m sure Comedy Central was more watching out for their employees than anything, it is certainly a convenient test tool for how much information that they can keep from public viewage. Here’s a link to the uncensored episode of 201:
Or you can try watching it here:
Youtube won’t even allow it to become remotely viewable though clips of Kyle’s speech have made it up. It’s a sad state of affairs in the nation today when creators are not allowed to make their views known out of fear or out of opportunity. Who can say. But if we value our freedoms as much as we claim we do, such as sending our troops off to fight for other nations’ freedoms but being unwilling to fight for those same freedoms at home, then we must challenge any move by a government or organization or corporation that takes steps to silence voice even under the ideal of ‘protecting’ people. For it is a truth known by too many these days that there are many out there who will use this as an excuse to create more violence.
We shouldn’t use violence against violence for it only creates more violence. However, we should stand loud and proud in our proclamations that these things cannot be allowed to flourish. That the first amendment guarantees creators’ rights, and citizen rights, to freedom of speech. A subject that has been capitalized upon a lot lately but not necessarily by beneficial sources but rather by those who would suppress our freedoms in the name of their bottom line.
Spread the word that we will not be the pawns of terrorists or of tyrannical forces looking out for only their own self interests. Watch the videos above and pressure Comedy Central to release this episode unaltered. Let them prove they believe that we all have the right to freedom of expression free from an oppressive hand of an ostensible benevolent protector and/or malevolent forces desiring a return to control of the few.
Almost 5 years ago, the creators of South Park lambasted the hypocrisy of our nation and the order portrayed within. At the time, and indeed still an issue we grapple with, there was fallout over the proper handling of materials related to worldwide religions. Particularly Islam wherein certain members bent on terrorist activities have warped the perception of the muslim world. Truly, though, all faiths, beliefs, and ideologies spawn an extremist element. Afterall, the middle ages gave us the Christian crusades. And our own culture has spawned militant groups that harbor such terrorists as Timothy McVeigh, the Westboro church, the Zodiac killer, the Unibomber, and the Columbine shooters: to name but a few of the long list of extremists in modern times. And of course in times past any that spoke against Christianity met a swift end at the end of the gallows, or died slowly through disemboweling.
So here we are centuries later at war with ideologues desperately trying to spread their own interpretation of their religious beliefs. Which is at odds with a nation that has historically defended the rights of the layman. The right to freedom of speech, the right to the pursuit of happiness-free from the yoke of tyranny and oppression, a government formed to protect the people, stay out of their personal affairs, and ensure a stable democratic republic.
Enter the age of the corporation. Entities that are not concerned with personal freedoms but personal profit. Who indeed circumvent the democratic process at every opportunity via lobbyists and PACS aimed at generating false information and bringing in funds for the extremely wealthy. Willing to push by the wayside the creative processes of the individual and bypass all the liberties provided by a government over two centuries.
Herein lays the hypocrisy. We value our freedoms so much we send our sons and daughters overseas to fight for a cause we refuse to defend at home. When the hand of oppression rears its head we stray from the responsibilities granted us, infused upon us, given up for us of a citizen of a nation that holds certain truths to be self evident.
Now, this is rather preachy but should not be construed as a direct attack on Comedy Central. Afterall, they were afraid for their employees. Which is why this episode was so heavily edited. However, in their zeal, they ignored the promise of a nation. To not interfere with the creative impulses of the individual. Matt Stone and Trey Parker had a comment on our state of affairs. A comment that would not offend the rational mind. A comment laced with the reality that violence begets more violence.
What would Comedy Central have done if someone threatened physical violence if they DIDN’T air the episode uncensored? Where does it stop?
Such was the statement of this episode.
Episode 201, in viewing it unaltered, in no way is offensive to Muslims. (Outside of its ordinary crudeness and brash humor, of course.) But casts a light on the dichotomy that is our culture. Either we believe in our liberties, and are willing to defend it to the death, or we do not.
In this case, there is very little wiggle room in that a concise point has been made. Rather than give in to the threat of violence, Comedy Central should have trusted the commentary of the creators. In the end, they ironically proved the observation correct and prophetic in its insight.
I call upon Comedy Central, as do many of us, to officially release episodes 200 and 201 unaltered and make it available to the viewer at their earliest possible convenience and to not use this as an excuse to circumvent the liberties of the creators and the loyal viewers of South Park and Comedy Central. In so doing, we can begin to take steps towards a more rational dialogue. For if the corporation is willing to, cannot a country?
Violence comes in all forms and is not limited to a creed, to an ethnicity, or to an ideal. A dangerous mind will act. Let us not sacrifice ourselves upon the altar of extremism.