The Deep End of South Park

Critical Essays on Television’s Shocking Cartoon Series

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About the Book

No American television show of the past decade has been vilified as has Comedy Central’s South Park. This is the show that has featured, in turn, a nine-year-old boy enmeshed in an affair with Ben Affleck, a maniacal Mel Gibson smearing feces everywhere, and the misadventures of Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, a talking, bouncing, singing piece of poop. While it’s not always an exercise in good taste, South Park is a socially significant satire that has also devoted entire episodes to interpretations of Great Expectations, Ken Burns’ Civil War, and Hamlet. This volume explores the popularity and cultural relevance of South Park and its place as an artistically and politically worthy satire.

About the Author(s)

Leslie Stratyner, a professor of English at Mississippi University for Women, lives in Columbus, Mississippi.
James R. Keller is a professor and chair of the English and Theatre department at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. The author or editor of numerous works about popular culture, he lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Leslie Stratyner and James R. Keller
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4307-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5333-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: An Unofficial Explanation and Brief History of South Park

LESLIE STRATYNER and JAMES R. KELLER      1

1. Kierkegaard, Contradiction, and South Park: The Jester’s View of Religion

LORI LIPOMA      15

2. Truthiness and Consequences: Chewbacca and the Defense of Political Perfection

RICHARD JOHNSTON and DAVID MCAVOY      28

3. “Yon Fart Doth Smell of Elderberries Sweet”: South Park and Shakespeare

ANNE GOSSAGE      42

4. Bloody Mayhem 7, Life Lessons 0: The Depiction of Youth Sports

KATHARINE KITTREDGE      63

5. Miss Information: Consumer Excess, Health Care and Historical Guilt in “Cherokee Hair Tampons”

JOLENE ARMSTRONG      78

6. Facts, Fatsos, and Fascism: South Park’s Interrogation of Anti-Tobacco Legislation

BRENNAN M. THOMAS      91

7. Bridging the Cultural Divide: Moderation and Tolerance of GLBT Communities

BRADLEY EVANS      98

8. A Carnival in the Rainforest: Familiarizing Environmental Rhetoric

DEIDRE PIKE      124

9. Canada and Saddam in South Park: Aboot Allah

DANIEL KEYES      139

10. “Yes I Am, Cartman!”: Kyle Broflovski’s Cool Judaism

KENNETH R. MOREFIELD      157

11. “Among School Children”: Lacan and the South Park Felt Board Lesson Set

JAMES R. KELLER      167

About the Contributors      193

Index      197