Apr 172006
Authors: Tyler Whittman

Your parents fed you a lot of crap growing up. For example, Santa Claus isn’t real and the tooth fairy doesn’t exist either; both of those characters are downright voyeuristic and creepy if you ask me.

Another example, if your parents told you that the first sign of the Apocalypse was going to be an invasion of space whales, you might be misinformed. In fact, I’d wager your parents were on LSD. Another sad bit of misinformation: temper-tantrums don’t work.

You were all there at one point; your parents refused to appease your childish desires and you completely flipped out. The only thing this was ever effective at doing, though, was introducing your butt to your father’s belt. It hurt him more than it hurt you, sure, but the point you were supposed to take away was that temper-tantrums were not an effective means of getting your way.

Well guess what? They were completely wrong.

I came to this realization after watching “South Park” the other day. In an episode properly titled “Cartoon Wars Part 2,” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were going to supposedly have Muhammad in a cameo role, on “Family Guy”.

In the episode, “Family Guy” (at which “South Park” was poking fun) was causing an international stir because Muhammad was going to appear on their show. At the moment of truth, “Family Guy” airs the segment but the screen goes black, explaining to “South Park” viewers that Comedy Central has refused to air the scene of Muhammad (in which he purportedly hands someone a football helmet).

However, in the show, Al-Qaeda retaliates against “Family Guy” with a cartoon in which Jesus Christ defecates on President Bush, a pregnant woman, and the American flag.

Comedy Central responded with a statement saying the decision was made because the channel feared a violent reaction in which lives would be lost. Isn’t that the desired effect of terrorism? You know the routine: Blow something up, kill people, set some fires here and there, and get appeasement.

I hate to continue driving this point home continually in this column, but there’s an apparent need to. This is the United States of America, not an Islamic state. Please, stop pandering to Islamofascists! They need to learn, much like a little child does, that temper-tantrums aren’t the way to get things done.

The Al-Qaeda cartoon at the end of the show is one of the best ways that Trey Parker and Matt Stone could have shown the blatant hypocrisy and idiocy inherent in censoring the Muhammad scene. It’s ok to show Jesus Christ furiously emptying his bowels all over Americans and our flag, but not a scene where Muhammad was going to hand someone a football helmet.

Funny enough, Air Arabia has a “South Park” character on its Web site. Apparently, the show is fairly popular over in the Middle East. This doesn’t surprise me because the show isn’t lacking in jokes about Christians and Jews. I wonder if this enthusiasm will continue if Comedy Central ever lets “South Park” practice free speech as they see fit.

In the end, “South Park” has the last laugh. Muhammad appeared on the show in July 2001, a few months before the World Trade Center attacks. Funny thing is, no protests erupted, no American flags were burned (on account of “South Park”), and life went on. Increasingly, this post-9/11 America is not showing signs of resiliency. It’s showing cowardice and fear in the face of terror.

Wake up America, this is our country, and we’re slowly giving it away.

Tyler Wittman is a senior speech communication major. His column runs every Tuesday in the Collegian.

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