Anti-South-Park Conservatives

I think that Eugene Volokh has nailed the problem with Michelle Malkin’s criticism of Laura Bush’s speech: She doesn’t make the right distinctions.

But, if you read all of Malkin’s article, you’ll also find criticism of South Park. Malkin admits to not being a fan of the show, so it’s difficult to say if she’s watched enough of it to get a good sense of what it’s about.

She complains:

I find that the characters’ foul language overwhelms any entertainment I might otherwise derive from the show’s occasional , right-leaning iconoclastic themes.

I think that if this is true (and I have my doubts), Malkin has a serious psychological handicap that she should try to overcome. She puts form over substance, and is compelled to apply prejudice where she should exercise judgment.

The simple-minded application of rigid rules does not indicate sophistication or admirable good taste. It blocks thought. This is not a good thing.

I think that South Park makes excellent use of foul language. I think that the vulgarity serves the purpose of helping the open-minded viewers get past stale conventions and focus on the situations and ideas of the show. People who can’t enjoy the journey with the kids because of language hang-ups are missing a lot, and they will find it difficult to appreciate many things in life outside of South Park, as well.

Many conservatives have too narrow a conception of what is appropriate behavior. Etiquette can be useful, but not all of life has to be treated as a formal tea-party. It’s good to be able to tolerate (and command) a wide range of expression.


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