I live in the country, so I know about motorcycles shattering the peace.
Before I start this, I
feel I should mention that every time I try and provide commentary on a Comedy
Central program, you guys tell me I have no sense of humor. You’re probably
about to do it again. Keyboards ready? Good.
Last night South Park
attempted to take on, in their own way, changing connotations for words like "faggot" and "gay." I agree their intent was noble. Execution, well, at least we can
agree that Harley riders are annoying.
The general premise is a group of Harley riders goes around
the town ruining everyone’s moments with their loud bikes. It comes out that
the riders are really more into being the center of attention than anything
else, to the point they start making the throbbing sounds, much like “motorboating”
when they’re not riding in order to maintain the focus on them.
Excessively loud exhaust, either on bikes or cars, is a personal pet peeve.
The boys make it their personal mission to stop the bikers by
repeatedly calling them fags in public to demean them. They mocking them as
attention whores. And the word they choose to use for "attention whore" is “faggots.”
Cartman crapping on their seats was typical. Adding the flags was inspired.
The come up to the bikers wherever they are and call them
fags. They paint “FAGS GET OUT” across buildings downtown. The gay population,
led by Big Gay Al and Slave, are mortified. But the boys own
up to the graffiti, and make a case that “fags” isn’t demeaning to homosexuals, bu demeaning to the people it’s directed at. In fact, it now has a meaning all its own according to them and they’re actually horrified that anybody thinks that they could be homophobic.
A world where this isn’t homophobic is an interesting concept.
Eventually, the whole town signs on to the new use of the
word, even the gays, but national gay
groups say that since the dictionary doesn’t agree with the new use, it’s still
offensive. So the boys get the keepers of the dictionary, led by Emmanuel
Lewis in a monocle, to come to town so they can present a case for changing the
formal meaning. After some violence, things are suitably resolved.
Why the dictionary editor is Emmanuel Lewis in a monocle, I have no idea. But it’s inspired.
It’s really, truly impressive how many times they manage to
fit “fag” and "faggot” into the script. Indeed, it harkens back to the uncensored “sh*t”
episode they did in Season Five with the onscreen counter reaching 162 times. And this is in the same vein. Once I was over the
shock factor, I realized there was nothing offensive at all about the episode and that they were making a point.
The point actually was punctuated everywhere in the episode.
Words evolve. Their usage evolves. I don’t actually agree
that we’re at that point with gay slurs like “fag” or “that’s so gay,” but I can
recognize that it’s coming. If you talk to the average 15-year-old using those
terms to denote something “lame”, they’re most likely very gay supportive. They’d
actually be offended that you think they were homophobic. The word just doesn’t
mean the same to them as it does to many adults.
We have to realize that “faggot”
only loosely connects in my generation to the times when it was about burning
us alive, like bundles of wood, or “faggots.”
I’m not onboard with where
we are on the evolution of the language. I’ve had “F**king Faggot!” screamed at
me while I walked down the street holding hands with a boyfriend and felt
physically threatened by it. Those words are still used to wound, but by the time the
eternally 8-years-old boys of South Park have grown up, that may not be the case.
They played "Identify the faggot" with children on the street who got it, even when adults didn’t.
The whole episode is viewable online here, which is much better than me trying recap satire. What did you guys