The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Creative honesty.

August 2nd, 2004 · No Comments · Movies, Politics, Rants

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the wacky kids behind South Park, have a new movie coming out.

Never known for shying away from controversy, Parker and Stone’s Team America: World Police lampoons the “War On Terror,” American unilateralism, celebrity rabble rousing and mindless jingoism. According to the creators, it’s an equal-opportunity critique of “both sides” of modern America.

This claim, however, doesn’t hold much water - especially since the release date of the film has been bumped up to late-October, a mere two weeks prior to the upcoming Presidential Election - a fact that has already begun to ruffle feathers:

“I really do not think terrorism is funny, and I would suggest PARAMOUNT give respect to those fighting and sacrificing to keep America safe,” a senior Bush adviser told the DRUDGE REPORT this weekend.

But Parker and Stone save most of the mocking for left-wing pundits and Michael Moore.

“Bush is not even in the film,” Parker said.

Given the pair’s previous project, That’s My Bush , it’s especially hard to believe claims that the president isn’t a target in the film. But even taking them at their word, their claims of primarily targeting “the Left” is questionable.

Clearly, the film targets the “War On Terror” and (with good reason) audiences will quickly make a connection between a criticism of that effort and applying that criticism to Bush. On the other hand, a criticism of Michael Moore or any number of John Kerry’s vocal celebrity supporters remains conveniently disconnected from the candidate himself. After all, while the “War On Terror” is - at least in the eyes of the public - an issue for which Bush is solely accountable, the ravings of Michael Moore or Martin Sheen or any other notable Lefty can’t reasonably be “blamed” on Kerry.

For my part, I have no problem with the film, its message OR its release date. Parker and Stone know how to leverage their clout and may very well help keep the pressure on Bush leading up to the election in November in an entertaining, accessible way. Creative activism should be applauded, not muzzled. What does bother me, however, is the patent dishonesty involved in attempting to present the film as a “balanced critique” of both sides.


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