Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On A Side Note to the Previous Post

How is it that the entire world is paranoid about reprisals for some Swedish newspaper running an editorial cartoon spoofing the Prophet Mohammed, yet it's perfectly okay for everybody (including myself) to draw funny pictures of, or in other ways lampoon:
  • Jesus Christ
  • God
  • Buddha
  • Jehovah
  • TV's Bob Saget

I may be wrong (I often am), but doesn't this petty reaction to a cartoon by the nation of Islam actually make them less credible? I mean, if the most self-righteous, arrogant religion on Earth, Christianity, can tolerate a few amusing Jesus jokes, what gives with this whole Mohammed thing?

There's nothing wrong with faith and belief, but declaring a holy war over a funny little cartoon is beyond ignorance.

Thank you!

Of Animation Wars and Sacred Cows

This week's South Park episode wraps up a two parter where the town is in a panic over the possibility of Family Guy showing the prophet Mohammed on an episode. I keep noticing in various forums comments and blogs that imply that Trey and Matt are pissed off at Family Guy, or jealous of their ratings and success. Apparently, there are still some people out there that don't know what the word "Satire" means.
While it is true that Family Guy and South Park are inaccurately lumped in together as the same type of show, with the same sense of humor, I doubt very seriously whether there is any animosity between the makers of the two shows. In fact, one can almost imagine them forming some kind of elite animation illuminati with the makers of Aqua Teen hunger Force and Ren & Stimpy. The one thing all of these shows and their creators share is a knack for pushing the boundaries of what some would consider, "Appropriate subject matter." South Park, of course, has been the most aggressive in this field, tackling just about every "sacred cow" they can find. Parodies of Hurricane Katrina, Scientology, and this most recent issue, which is actually more about the lack of tolerance regarding characaturization of the Prophet Mohammed than anything, has been a staple of the series' modus operandi since day one. Nothing is safe from the barbs and wit of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. From turning Barbara Streisand into Mechagodzilla, to mutilation of one-time friend and collegue Issac Hayes's character, Chef, after he left the show over their parody of Scientology last year (if anyone should have known they would go there, he should have), no Celebrity, popular cause, or social issue (save for 9/11 itself) has escaped their keen attack strategy. By comparison, Family Guy is fairly safe and esoteric. Beyond questioning baby Stewie's sexuality from time to time, they have avoided any serious controversy, although I suspect that in itself is not intentional.
The critical issue here is that the public seems so willing to pigeonhole types of entertainment. Even those who seem to rail against such practices fall into the trap. Other than the fact that both Family Guy and South Park are animated comedy shows, they are no more similar than Star Trek and Lost In Space; both may have been 60's science fiction series, but that's where the similarities end.
The troubling thing in all of this is that, if I ever were to try to get an animated series made out of Boritom, it would get rejected outright because it features an alien living with a human on Earth. American Dad already has that. I must admit I was miffed about the visual similarities between Bor and American Dad's alien, Roger... I made fun of it. ;-)
Of course, it's coincidence, as I highly doubt Seth McFarlane has ever even heard of Boritom, much less would be willing to rip me off. The similarity in concept is very vague, and barely worth a thought.
The fact that they did a 2 parter in Iraq, well... thet does get a bit dicey, even for me, but what the Hell. If Boritom ever did become a series, I could see a crossover episode where Bor and Roger are old enemies from an ancient space war over the rights to a planet where all of the rivers flow with exceptionally good Hot Wing sauce. Since I kind of like the idea of Seth Green voicing the Floating Orb Of Death (him or Billy West), I'm certainly notup for a cartoon war.
Neither are the guys at South Park.
Now, I'm off to finish the strip where Mr Hankey invades Bor's celebration of Yak Shaving Day at Moe's Tavern in Quahog.

Holy Flark!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Words Just Come Out Wrong.

This past Sunday, I lost someone that should have been closer to me. A fantastic guy whose sense of humor and energy were inspiring.
I really don’t know what to say. I feel guilty somehow, because he was always one of those cool people I wanted to get to know better, yet didn’t. We didn’t hang out much to begin with, so when I started distancing myself from things that I was uncomfortable with in my life, I ended up hardly ever seeing him at all.

I always figured there would be time. I was wrong. I’m heartsick over the opportunity I have lost. I pray I will not make this mistake again.

I will miss you, Bradley.

Bradley Stanfield (Bradley Gnosis)
May 5, 1983 - April 9, 2006