Day 313: this week’s South Park and benign violation

This week’s South Park featured a cool moment where Kyle finally realizes that Terrence and Phillip farting on people’s head isn’t funny for the person being farted on.

And this was all braided together nicely with the PC Principal concept and the new Vice Principal, Strong Woman. There was also the humor that romance for PC Principal leads to him hearing “Hold my Hand” by Hootie and the Blowfish generated inside his own ears.

But this episode manages to once again show how Parker and Stone can mix brilliance with hilarity. The whole idea of how humor works is walking that line between when something is offensive and when it isn’t, and because of how Cartman and Heidi treat Kyle, he trips over that line to the other side, in the process realizing that what he used to think was funny simply isn’t anymore.

There’s also an amazing scene where Kyle becomes a grown up– trims his hair, puts on a nice, respectable shirt. Then he puts on his hat and his jacket, and he looks the same as always.

The ultimate message of the episode, however, has to be the ending. In a moment of chaos, the two characters representing PC behavior have a Hootie soundtracked hand-hold when they both reach for a door (a door that PC Principal had to ask if he should open because that’s polite or not open because women can open the door for themselves). At the same time, Kyle’s protest of Terrence and Phillip led to the President launching missiles into Canada, leading to a brief montage of Canadians flying through the air.

It’s funny, but it’s funny in that it’s not really funny. The episode itself walks the very tightrope it offers commentary on, reflecting a world where people worry about being PC instead of being good to each other, where some will use anything as an excuse for violence, and a world where, ultimately, realizing that being cruel and sarcastic isn’t the right answer only leads one on a path to disappointment.



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