Okay, I know what you’re thinking… South Park again?
I do apologize for those out there who think that being inspired by another South Park episode, I’m becoming obsessive. Just remember that South Park continues to be one of the most irreverent shows on television, and it’s not the show that I’m raging about. It’s people’s reaction to the show. (And, unless you want me to bitch about Madonna’s divorce from Guy Ritchie or Britney Spears’ hung jury, this will have to do. There’s nothing else in entertainment news that has sufficiently enraged me this week.)
This week, I’m angered by the wussy-pants television stations around the country that want to show South Park but won’t let it be shown in its full glory.
I’m not talking about stations bleeping out curse words or blurring images of Cartman performing fellatio on a slumbering Butters. That censoring is done with the shows that air on Comedy Central, and they clearly are needed to keep the cable station from violating FCC codes. (And the self-censoring often results in funnier moments, when done properly.)
What bothers me is when the syndicated feed is censored for silly reasons.
This issue came to light this week while I was making my way through my South Park list on my DVR. In addition to recording the shows on Comedy Central, my DVR records the syndicated shows on my local CW affiliate, WWHO-TV 53.
The episode in question: “Red Hot Catholic Love.” In this episode, the kids are questioned about being molested by priests, and Cartman bets Kyle that he can shove food up his ass and crap out of his mouth.
Forget the child molestation humor for a minute. When it comes time for Cartman to crap out of his mouth, at the moment of oral-deification, a title card appeared: “The scene in which Eric craps from the mouth has been edited out for your protection.”
What the feces?
I know that crapping from your mouth is gross, but this is a cartoon, for crying out loud! Similar to how Kenny’s stunt of crawling into Mrs. Crabtree’s vagina was edited out of “Fat Camp,” the syndicated affiliates have deemed that poop (which pretty much everyone sees on a daily basis) needs to be censored.
What makes things worse is that later in the show, Randy Marsh – and several people attending a meeting with him – crap out of their mouths, and each moment gets its own protective title card.
The idiocy of this concept becomes even worse when you realize that the theme of this episode is about child molestation, which isn’t altered at all. They didn’t censor the scene in which the entire College of Cardinals demanding that they be allowed to diddle little boys. They didn’t censor the scene which depicts the priests whisking boys away on a sex cruise called “The Catholic Boat.”
Heck, they didn’t even censor the scene where people actually shove food up their butts.
Honestly, how many people are going to watch South Park (which is known for controversy and vulgarity) and then get offended by a little turd humor? What’s going to happen when they syndicate last week’s episode “Breast Cancer Show Ever,” in which Cartman drops a deuce on Mr. Garrison’s desk?
Apparently, you can show anything on television these days… except cartoon characters crapping from their mouths. That’s just too dangerous.
Lighten up, syndication censors! If it’s that bad, just don’t show the episode. But let’s not literally half-ass the show.