Montageman: A dude who writes

October 13, 2006

The problem with 9/11 Truth

Filed under: 9/11, southpark — montageman @ 2:20 am

South Park is two for two thus far this season. In tonight’s episode Cartman claims that the government was involved in 9/11. He professes this after Mr. Mackey interrogates the boys about a turd found in the urinal. The turd is a distraction being used to shield the truth, Eric says. Of course, anything can be viewed as a diversion from truth. The idea of truth, or what is true, is not completely clear either.

Alex Jones examines the false flag theory in Terrorstorm, which is a well structured documentary. Jones is a clever filmmaker in that he understands the power of affect especially when it is coupled with film. During the first half of the film, Jones is careful to remain only as the voice of truth. Once he begins to parade himself on screen, Jones becomes little more than another Michael Moore. Kyle and Stan find out from the Hardly Boys’ father that the 9/11 conspiracy folks are equally as important as the government in perpetuating the idea that the our leaders are all knowing and powerful. In what might have been an allusion, the phrase “what really happened” was used often tonight as well. An allusion because there is a website by the same name headed by Michael Riverio, another 9/11 truth journalist. If nothing else, the kids’ search and ultimate uncovering of the “truth” behind 9/11 is the ultimate red herring. Where does the truth lead? To Kyle’s confession of pooping in the urinal, which amounts to a big “fuck you”.

Parker and Stone quite often use this methodology in their films and in other episodes of South Park.  This strategy should not be misconstrued as simplistic analysis of current events and culture, rather Parker and Stone are very keen in their analysis.  Whether or not the explanations behind 9/11 are true is of no consequence here – what is important is that the another viewpoint is being exposed.  Cartman, for all of his anti-Semitic rhetoric, is always the first of the boys to latch on to whatever seems cool or can work towards antagonizing Stan or Kyle.  Cartman’s mention of 9/11 truth theories does not, as Dykes claims, immediately equate the theories as bunk.  Quite the contrary, the mere mention of 911truth.org on the show (whether by Cartman or whoever) lends credence to the truth movement.

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October 5, 2006

South Park & World of Warcraft

Filed under: Academic, southpark, videogames — montageman @ 4:23 am

On tonight’s season premiere of South Park, the show was focused on World of Warcraft, which I have not played. However, I do not have to be familiar with the game because what the show was concerned with tonight was not the game itself, but rather the contextual placement of the game within peoples’ lives (or lack thereof). At one point, one of the executives asks, “How do you kill that which has no life?” A loaded statement to say the least – especially when considered with the W.O.W.’s CEO’s later response to the questions of if he had the game, “No, I have a life,” he responds. The problem here is that all players do have a life and in the world of the game – they have infinite lives. “Life” is being defined as physical activity outside of the bedroom or office where the computer or console is located. It is as though these games drain life force from its players. Once players become immersed in these games, life outside of Warcraft becomes meaningless. As with many episodes of South Park, an injustice causes the boys to take up arms against WOW.

Gamers do not like deceit. Cheating as a means of winning a game robs the action of its play-character and spoils it altogether, because for the essence of play is that rules must be kept-that it be fair play (Huizinga 52). This includes never putting the game down. Play must be an escape from daily routine, as such, the gamer with “no life” is no longer a player, rather he has become a worker. As the kids continue to play, they devolve into gelatinous, zit-infested blobs. No longer concerned with anything but Warcraft, it has become their job to eliminate the murderer in order to restore justice to the world (of warcraft). At this point, the game is no longer fun and has lost its playful character.

At the end of the show, Kyle asks Cartman, “We killed him – now what?” to which Cartman responds, “Now, we get to play the game.”

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