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South Park Is Inappropriate For Young Children – Unless They Watch It

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South Park is a very curious and unique artistic achievement, but totally inappropriate for a lot of people who would be naturally attracted to it — children specifically. It's a cartoon about a bunch of fourth graders with exceedingly foul mouths which are among the least objectionable elements of the show, what with the drug and sexual and violent themes.

Of course, it's labeled MA for "Mature Audiences." It's not really designed for children, who really don't need to be seeing the tale of Lemiwinks and his mystical journey through Mr Slave's colon. No parent with any sense of responsibility would be letting their pre-teen children watch South Park.

But you know that a lot of young kids nonetheless do watch South Park – but that's probably good. Parents who would be letting their children watch South Park are probably letting them watch a lot of other crap that they really shouldn't be seeing. Plus, such kids are probably seeing a lot of stupid crap in their own home that they definitely should not.

Eric Cartman as HitlerBut to the extent that kids are taking South Park to heart, it's likely to be something of an antidote to some of the other bad things they're seeing. Note how the chillen of South Park tend to have to show better judgment very often than their foolish parents.

Yes, Eric Cartman says and does a lot of mean, evil stuff – but mostly ends up hurting and humiliating himself consistently worse than anyone else as a result of his wickedness – and his assumption that other people are as bad as him. Consider his slide show at the end of the "Cartman Sucks" episode, for example. The idea of the photo that Cartman engineered to humiliate Butters by supposedly proving him gay only ended up utterly humiliating himself. It's raw and funny — but even a pre-pubescent child would probably get the point that Cartman was a jerk, and that you wouldn't want to be like him. The joke pretty clearly ends up being totally at his expense.

I've had the idea of South Park as being unfortunately appropriate to some young kids coping with dysfunctional homes for some time, but I recently heard fourth or fifth hand of what I'm sure is an all too common example that would illustrate the point. This involves the ignorant ass cracker ex-husband of a friend of a friend.

Said cracker has 10- and 12-year-old daughters around the house, but apparently gives not a second thought to routinely leaving porn videos laying around or even in the DVD player. This is obviously not good — and not uncommon.

But if this 12-year-old girl is inevitably going to be watching nasty pornos, I suspect that she's watching South Park as well. I hope those girls are in fact watching South Park.

In particular, I hope they've seen the "Stupid Spoiled Whore" episode with Paris Hilton's titular boutique shops. Among other things, her Stupid Spoiled Whore boutique shop sells toy video cameras so little girls can make their own pretend homemade porn videos, like Paris Hilton.

But the show doesn't make Paris Hilton out to be cool. It is by far the most withering condemnation of Paris Hilton and everything she stands for ever made. By the end of the episode, as the just desserts for her sins, she ends up in Mr Slave's colon, just like the gerbil Lemiwinks. Even a 10-year-old would likely get that they're intending to say that the likes of Paris Hilton are disgusting and bad, fit and deserving of ridicule and ostracism rather than emulation.

That's really raw and crude. That's pretty strong medicine for a 10-year-old girl to see the final images of Paris Hilton crawling through Mr Slave's colon, most likely to a particularly yucky death. You shouldn't let your little kids watch South Park. And if you've got enough judgment and control to limit your kids from watching things as rough as South Park, they probably don't need it. But for kids wading unsupervised in the cesspools of modern culture, strong medicine like South Park might be needful.

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  • Eric Cartman

    This guy Al Burger sucks ass

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Eric- You are certainly welcome to make profane schoolyard taunts, which are generally an appropriate response to any article about South Park. However, this one was just unworthy. The real Eric Cartman would have something much more creative, some baroquely grotesque metaphor.

    Again, do feel free to blast me with your best South Park schoolyard type taunt, but I would urge you to put a little more thought into it to make it worthwhile or maybe even memorable.

  • Carter

    while I don’t agree with all of your article, I do agree with the fact that they are using these hardcore images to paint a picture. And that there is a sense of morality to South Park and I think people like that. The perfect example is Butters. He is probably the second most popular character next to Cartman. Butters is my personal favorite. He is very moral and always tries to do the right thing.

    And truth be told I would like to see him give a couple more speeches about the way he see’s life like at the end of the episode “Raisins”.
    If you need to see a clip just go to South Park Studios.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Oh yes, the “Raisins” episode was classic.

    Butters quick but pointed philosophical statement: “I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that somethin’ could make me feel that sad. It’s like, it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. And the only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt somethin’ really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good, so I guess what I’m feelin’ is like a, beautiful sadness.”

    And of course the perfect little (rare from Butters and politely stated) insult to finish off: “Well, thanks for offerin’ to let me in your clique, guys, uh but, to be honest, I’d rather be a cryin’ little pussy than a faggy Goth kid.”

  • PanchoV

    I’d let little kids watch South Park before I’d let them go to Church.

    At least no one is trying to say South Park is real. There is no mistaking it for fiction and it teaches good lessons without being misleading.

  • http://www.kontechnology.com kitkat

    kids should watch south park..it is most of all funny..besides..on comedy central..all the things are being revived and censored for viewing pleasure..besides..who would try out the south park stunts??(like the stunts ok Kenny)

  • MaZi

    There is no point in regarding one program as a problem, in my opinion little children should watch little or no television at all. And the content of the shows they are watching is second problem. Television is fine as long as your keep children part of a social environment, but now a days parents use it as a cheap baby-sitter. Whether they watch south park, porn, or the teletubbies, dealing with the content can be equally as hard when they’re on their own. When they loose touch with their surroundings and get sucked up by the screen, then you have a problem. But if the parents can let their children watch responsively there is not a problem with any show at all

  • o.o

    My dad let me watch South Park when I was 11, and I thought it was hilarious. It really isnt that bad, its funny!! I mean if I cursed like they do on the show, I’d be in soo much trouble. I know not to say that stuff in front of people, but its just FUNNY!!!!! best show ever

  • http://www.morethings.com Al Barger

    o.o- Thanks for your comment. There’s a reasonable point of wanting to protect our younguns – but we also need to give them some credit for being able to understand how to take things. And South Park in particular is generally pretty good at being clear about saying exactly what they mean so plain that even a child can understand it.

  • April

    i think people children under age should not be able to watch south park cause as of an example my little sister watched it then repeated what they said on there to my auntie……..!

  • Kayla

    I think some should that explained to others that they really are mature enough to watch south park…..!

  • Robyn

    If parents think kids are old enough.

  • nbcw

    it is how we talk when adults are not around in private to other peers so it paints a realistic picture

  • Foulger97

    Of course it is. It’s on at 9pm to 9:30pm (in England) and its on comedy centralX. Everyone knows south park is inappropriate, it’s a waste of time to comment on the show. If its inappropriate then dont allow your children to watch it.

  • Gaybasher

    Dick weed

  • http://www.morethings.com/wordpress Al Barger

    Dear Gaybasher, I assure you that I have no weeds growing from my penis.

  • Ominous

    South Park is what many can call “genius”. Like many, I support the show entirely, and yes, the show is inappropriate, but then again, aren’t a lot of things inappropriate in this world? There are many people who can interpret things in a right way or a wrong way, it’s all ’bout one’s perspective and how they use it. Now, as for mine, I say South Park is more to a tool than a weapon to my future children. If used correctly, I believe I can glue in with my kids more slowly about the real world while introducing it in a less realistic and more comical way. It keeps the kids more knowledgeable of the world and points out what they should and shouldn’t do, but at the same time, still retain that kid in them. That’s the “genius” in South Park.

    Btw, I like how you calmly mock people in a way that isn’t stooped down to their level, Al Barger.:P

  • http://www.morethings.com/wordpress Al Barger

    Thank you for your kind comments, Ominous. The key phrase there may be “used correctly.” In any case, Parker and Stone are geniuses. Also, “Hasa Diga Eebowai” was the feel-good hit of 2011!

  • Sara

    My parent let me watch it and I’m 10 and i love south park

  • secret

    Technically, I’m not allowed to watch South Park, but I’m sixteen already! I just started watching it secretly, and I only regret that I didn’t watch it sooner, because I have a lot of catching up on episodes!

    My parents aren’t overprotective (mom let me watch Family Guy when I was SIX) but she’s always been giving me crap about how South Park will “give me nightmares.” Uh, I’ve had the creepiest, scariest nightmares since I was little, and watching South Park didn’t change that at all. It’s really annoying how my 14-year-old friend can watch South Park and I have to do it in secret and delete my history.

    Here’s how I do it: I either go to the South Park website and delete my history OR I download the episodes, put them on my flashdrive, and send them to my OLD computer that Mom never checks (and then delete my history.)

    Parents: If you let your kids watch South Park at around ages 7-12 (depending on how mature they are) than you’ll be doing them a big favor. They won’t have to watch it in secret or come up with complicated plans like me.

    • Tyler Symes

      Why would they let you watch family guy but think south park will give you nightmares?

      Would they rather you watch Jesory Shore or Kim and her sisters?

  • secret

    Oh yeah and they also won’t have to catch up on all the episodes because their friends all make references to stuff they don’t know from old episodes.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    If your Mum let you watch Family Guy at the age of 6 but won’t let you watch South Park at the age of 16, she is very messed up – Family Guy is both funnier and more disturbed!

  • Young4eva121

    My parents let me watch South Park. The catch is that they believe that it teaches some sort of lesson. So after each episode, they’re always asking me what I learned. If I can’t give a good enough answer, ( which I always do ) then I can’t watch it anymore. Plus they watch it with me and enjoy most of it as well.

    • Random dude

      Your parents are smart

  • Lulu

    I’ve watched South Park since I was six years old. Vulgar, offensive, racist it may be, but here’s the thing. Ban your kids from doing stuff, there’ll just learn to do it without you knowing. My mum told me that its not pointless profanity, its educational. Had I not watched South Park, would I know what the Klu Klux Klan was? No, I wouldn’t. I’m a smart person, just made smarter from the years of South Park. I have a friend who’s parents won’t let her watch ANYTHING. No How I Met Your Brother, no The Big Bang Theory, not even The Mindy Project or New Girl! No, she’s made to sit in her room watching crap like Glee for hours upon hours, and then while she’s at school, me and my mates say catchphrases from TV shows, and she is immediately counted out of the conversation. Once she watched The Inbetweeners on demand, and then her mum confiscated her laptop… Ridiculous!

  • crunchie

    As someone below me has mentioned, South Park, while exaggerating this greatly, is fairly accurate to how kids talk and behave to eachother, and that the parents are sometimes no better. I’m 12 , and absolutely adore South Park, the Inbetweeners, Family Guy, etc. It really depends on the personality and mental age of the child.