Friday, February 24, 2006

South Park episode censored

SBS has pulled the final episode of South Park – which evidently takes the piss out of the Pope. They seem to have made the decision after Catholics made angry noises that the cartoon belittled the Pope. So here’s my gratituous Mr Bean as the Pope pic. It had been doing the rounds for so long, it seems almost lame to post it here – but this controversy deserves it.

In a rather lame excuse for the censorship, an SBS spokesperson said:
"Given the current worldwide controversy over cartoons of religious figures, we've decided to defer this program".
I’m bamboozled. Is this the same SBS that showed that Pedro Almodovar’s movie where the nuns run their convent like brothel? (I think it was Dark Habits.) Is this the same Special Broadcaster that has made its name for running programmes and movies that no one else dares? Like Queer as Folk, and Almodovar and kinky Japanese movies… to name just a few…

Fine, the Catholic Church and its Popes have made their names with torturing heretics and burning witches, albeit during the Inquisition a few centuries ago, but surely we don’t expect them to torch and loot SBS offices over a cartoon?
According to The Age report on this:
[The episode] was shown in New Zealand on Wednesday night, prompting a vigil by hundreds of Catholics outside broadcaster TV Works. Despite the protest, 200,000 New Zealanders watched the program, six times the usual audience. February 24, 2006
It doesn't sound that scary, and over so little. In the past, South Park has shown Jesus hosting a TV show and, if I remember correctly, having a fight with Santa Claus (!?). Isn't it odd that these Catholics get up in arms over satires of the Pope, i.e. merely god's representative on earth, rather than over those poking fun at the son of god himself?

No. Don’t be surprised at anything conservative Catholics will pick fights over – from having Piss Christ removed from the National Gallery of Victorian over five years ago, to efforts to have Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ banned, or boycotted failing that.
And to think that the Church’s key teaching is built around the story of the Pharisee and Roman authorities taking extreme steps to stop a nuisance teacher from preaching what they thought were dangerous beliefs about love and forgiveness.

Oh my God! They killed South Park! You b@$#@&*s!

Oh... On whether Catholics torch and burn those they hate these days, note this from Wiki's entry on the Scorsese film mentioned above:
On October 22, 1988, a French catholic fundamentalist group launched molotov cocktails inside the Parisian Saint Michel movie theater to protest against the film projection. This terrorist attack injured thirteen people; four of them were severely burned.


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