South Park on Freedom – Wisecrack Quick Take (Season 23)

South Park on Freedom – Wisecrack Quick Take (Season 23)

What’s up Wisecrack? Jared here. Today I come to you as a red-blooded ‘Merican
to talk to you about America’s 2nd biggest export behind diabetes: freedom “America f**k
yeah” The current season of South Park has so-far
covered immigrant detention camps, big weed, Chinese censorship, and now anti-vaxxers. “We can’t even risk a .1% chance of vaccinations
making our children artistic” It seems Matt Stone and Trey Parker are reflecting on the
complexities of life, liberty, and the pursuit of ‘tegridy. So welcome to this Wisecrack quicktake on
Freedom n’ Tegridy in South Park Season 23. And spoilers ahead for the first three episodes Alright guys, let’s do a
recap of the season thus far. Last season, Randy, incensed by a picture
of a dog’s butthole, fled South Park with his family to escape all the commotion and
stress of city life and become a simple weed farmer full of ‘tegridy. In the first episode of this season, Tegridy
Farmsis losing customers after people start growing their own weed. So Randy does what any reasonable person would
do and tries to bully the government into banning the practice. That doesn’t work, so he decides to become
a terrorist and off the competition while Kyle and Cartman rot in a detention camp. In the 2nd episode, Randy tries to expand
his business to China along with Disney and the NBA. Selling weed gets him in trouble, until he
manages to woo the Chinese government by assassinating Winnie the Pooh. Having given up even more of his ‘tegridy,
he makes a killing selling to the new Chinese market. Finally, in the latest episode, Randy gloats
about his China-fueled riches, while his family bemoans the farm life and Randy’s increasingly
broken moral compass. Meanwhile, Cartman refuses to get vaccinated
by running around like a singular feral hog. The two big questions that South Park is struggling
with seem to be: 1) How do we navigate one person’s freedom interfering with another’s? And 2) What does it mean to be free in an
increasingly globalized, commodified world? Let’s start with the first one. Randy’s continued residence at tegridy farms
speaks to the question of freedom: embedded into most peoples fantasy of moving away from
civilization to do some honest work is the idea that in our current lives we are not
free. We are burdened by PTA meetings, home owners
associations, and soul-crushing work. The show has centered itself on ‘tegridy
farms so thoroughly that it’s even replaced the traditional South Park intro. But as it turns out, moving to a farm isn’t
quite a magic bullet for living freely. Behind many of the issues of the latest season
is a basic political problem. As political theorists, economists, and anyone
who has been around someone eating Durian can attest to: sometimes, someone else’s
freedom infringes on your freedom. If, for instance, one has a right to do with
their private property as they choose, then my desire to build a 100-foot statue of Keanue
Reeves that blocks your garden from the sun might inhibit your right to enjoy home-grown
peppers or whatever. Governments everywhere grapple with this basic
dilemma as they pass zoning laws, regulate businesses and make sure their citizens don’t
kill each other. This question gets especially interesting
with a free market, something this season is keenly interested in. The idea of a free market, as the name suggests,
is its free. Everyone is trying to get rich while everyone
else competes with them. What could go wrong? Well, this: “This is inumane, Diego is my
gardener.” In the first episode, Randy takes up some
good ol’ fashioned monopolistic behavior and tries to ban people from growing their
own weed. This is a common tactic in the world: established
companies and industries try to reduce new competition by making the barrier to entry
higher. Less competition means you have a little more
leeway in charging what you want. So, for instance, if you’re a dentist, you
don’t just want any asshole scraping people’s teeth, because they could undercut your prices. So you make a dental association and lobby
the government to make teeth-scraping a hard business to get into, with educational requirements
and expensive licenses. Now, these barriers can be a double-edged
sword. Technically it limits competition, but then
again, do you really want some unlicensed rando named Dr. Krentist drilling holes in
your mouth? The point is: markets uniquely encourage people
to do things that limit other people’s freedoms because, money. This is all reflected in Stan’s bizarre
speech against home-grown weed, as he tries to win support through public safety concerns,
“Unscrupulous growers could use cheap irrigation and drown babies, oh come on.” Of course, this petty debate about weed- growing
freedom is juxtaposed with the much bigger problem of freedom for kids in detention centers. This idea of conflicting freedoms comes back
in the 2nd episode, “Band in China – where free acts by private corporations intersect
with a not-so free government. The episode criticizes the likes of Disney
and the NBA for willing to bend backwards to appease the Chinese government. As Randy thinks he’s the first to realize
China is an untapped market, he boards a flight full of Disney characters and NBA players. For context, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey
tweeted in support of the Hong Kong protests, which is a problem for the NBA because they’ve
been investing millions of dollars into growing their Chinese fanbase. Rockets games were swiftly removed from Chinese
media and feeling the money slowly drain from the bank account, the NBA officially apologized
to China. And Disney, along with other filmmakers, are
under constant pressure to make their films palatable to a massive chinese audience and
not run afoul of the Chinese government. Sometimes this means a rewrite or even editing
a whole new version. Notably, in the Chinese version of Iron Man
3, Tony Stark seeks medical care in China in a scene that doesn’t exist in the US
version. Also in the episode, Stan struggles to maintain
his integrity as a producer, and even a Chinese general, pressure him into making a biopic
that will appeal to Chinese audiences. It’s likely a reference to the chinese version
of Bohemian Rhapsody which cut out any reference to homosexuality, which is kind of important.. So sure, you have a government clearly infringing
the rights and freedoms of its citizens. But what about the US? This question is interesting because, technically,
nobody is forcing Disney or the NBA to do anything. They, as a free actor on the global market,
choose to work with China. But in this basic act, is Chinese censorship
trickling down to American citizens? What if a private citizen tweets support for
the Hong Kong protests and is then reprimanded by his corporate overlords? Blizzard, a US company, banned a non-American
player from a tournament for voicing his support of the Hong Kong protests. We could say these US companies areacting
in their own free self interests, but they are also heavily incentivized to quash any
kind of behavior not in line with the Chinese government. So what do we make of freedom then? It’s a problem South Park might also uniquely
understand considering its own history. While not governments, plenty of American
interest groups, usually representing family values or something, have boycotted the show. The logic is the same: if you’d like to
make money off of our community, you have to appease our community. Not that South Park ever tried to go straight
Blizzard and get an Evangelical audience. In fact, their solution seems to be what they’ve
always done, to take responsibility – but we’ll get to that later. Last Wednesday’s episode also tackles a
central issue surrounding conflicting freedoms: the right of anti-vaxxers to be dumb, and
the right of anyone else to not get polio. Cartman, afraid of shots, conjures up a series
of dumb talking points to not get vaccinated. “I told this school, I said look you guys,
I happen to have religious, moral or philisophical convictions.” Meanwhile, everyone else in the town is worried
about the danger he and other unvaccinated kids pose to the community. Making choices about our health is a cornerstone
of American rhetoric about freedom. If I want to eat cheeseburgers everyday and
get the ‘beetus when I’m 35, well god dammit, that’s my right as anAmerican. It’s similar rhetorically to the feminist
slogan “my body, my choice,” which not-so-subtly adorns Cartman’ shirt. Of course, the argument goes, my future case
of the beetus isn’t hurting anyone but myself, and maybe my friends and family. But vaccines are different, because vaccines
stop the spread of communicable diseases. You might say, “well just get the vaccine
and don’t worry about me,” but vaccines aren’t 100% effective, they work through
herd immunity “everyone has to follow protocolo r it puts everyone at risk.” and then there’s
people who are too young, sick, or allergic to be vaccinated who are put at risk when
too many people opt out of vaccinations. So if, for me, freedom is walking around free
from fear of dying from a preventable disease, those opposed to getting vaccinated are going
to really fuck up my day. So what are we supposed to do when we want
to live free with integrity, but have to deal with conflicting pressures? Whether about making money or yielding to
government control? Based on the resolution of the most recent
episode, it seems Matt and Trey want us to do something that South Park constantly preaches:
take personal responsibility. Cartman’s mom first tries to defer to others
to get her son vaccinated, eventually leading to a all-community vaccine roundup where Cartman
will be lasso-ed, hogtied, and vaccinated. She opts, instead, to take the needle for
her son and get him vaccinated on her own terms, to take responsibility as a mother. Similarly, Randy’s schmoozing with China
allegedly ends after he makes amends with Towlie and emphatically says “fuck the chinese
goverment.” This is in line with traditional South Park
thinking. In the movie, Bigger Longer and Uncut, the
parents initially blame everyone from the media to the Canadian government for the bad
behavior their children exhibit after watching the Terrence and Philip movie. But it’s ultimately the responsibility of
the parents to make sure their kids don’t suck, not TV. It could be implied then that South Park doesn’t
want government intervention for China or vaccines, but would prefer companies and people
to simply do “the right thing” of their own accord. This is the show telling people like Blizzard,
or the NBA, etc to step up and take responsibility. A point made exceedingly clear in their psuedo-apology
to china where they sarcastically opened their hearts to Chinese censors because “we too
love money more than freedom and democracy.” There’s still so much of the season left,
and so much potential for these ideas to develop. There’s even a whole meta-textual thing
going on with Randy constantly conflating ‘tegridy farms with the show itself that doesn’t
quite make sense yet. But you can be sure we’ll be watching the
rest of the reason with a close eye. Thanks everyone for watching and listening
to our South Park podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to
visit Thanks for watching guys, peace. [a]

100 thoughts on “South Park on Freedom – Wisecrack Quick Take (Season 23)

  1. @Wisecrack The feminist inside Jared comes out : "My body my choice" ok for women not for others.
    Maybe instead analyze it better ?
    maybe talk about a current system where if a man and a woman sleep together and she decides to use her Freedom the man has no Freedom ? ho right , but its different than vaccinations … lol

  2. Don't be fooled. Upstart still makes their decision using your FICO information. If you have ever missed a payment, expect them to not only be a hard credit inquiry at all of the major bureaus AND Lexis Nexus, but also to be declined due to derogatory marks (missed payments in the last 7 years).

    They aren't a service for people with poor credit, they're a predatory lender looking for people who are poised to miss payments but haven't yet.

  3. I haven't had a flew shot since I was 6 years old. And now at 25 years old. I've never had the flu. But my Papa, nanny, and two sisters who get flew shots every year have had the flu multiple times. And I've been around them while they were sick. But my great grandparents who are 91 and 92 have never had a flu shot and never got the flu either. Talk about a coincidence.

  4. wait are you saying that a problem of the free market is businesses lobbying the govt to reduce competition? what kind of free market allows for government intervention? pls help me understand what youre saying lol

  5. I'm a dental surgeon and I can tell you preventing others from entering the field (a protectionist move) by having an 8-11 year education, Board testing, and licensing requirement is not merely to prevent others from getting into the field. It's done so your dentist is not a mere carpenter and understands the human body/biology! And if there's no need for regulation/testing/licensing then it should apply to everyone; not just requiring some dentists to go through 8-11 years of education and others to just pick up a tool from Home Depot and start drilling. That's a fairness and equal grounds argument. You can't have it both ways. There's either licensing/education requirement to achieve quality of care standards for everyone or there should be no such thing for no one. And if you agree there should be no training/qualification process for dental surgeons then we can have a conversation about how willing you would be to visit the dentist in such society!

  6. I think part of taking responsibility for us is stop supporting companies that bend over for China, like recently there are reports saying that Apple is sending safari data to Tencent and had been self censoring their apple tv shows, but we still use apple

  7. All Americans are just China's fuck-meat
    also, this would explain why American media hates Trump so much – after all, he is anti-China

  8. I like South Park, but trey and Matt are sometimes hypocrites. They take down the Mohamed episode down and is still down from the saga, they “apologize” with the new mannearpig episode jumping so into the hype train, and many more things.
    They are too bound to bend down to another masters as well

  9. America's second-biggest export is freedom? Well. I guess you ha a point there. If by that you mean how America is freeing the rest of the world of its oil and natural resources. Or is that liberation… agh doesn't even matter

  10. Chineses know how to command RESPECT.
    Africans should have embraced communism for themselves a century ago. Black lives would have been easier.

  11. Gonna be honest: I saw this pop up, thought to myself, "I wonder if they'll mention the Blizzar–aaand there it is."

  12. i liked southpark more when it was just random fun and not so political
    remember the guinea pigs destroying the world ?
    miss that…

  13. Fucks sake South Park, just asking the NBA or Blizzard to not suck up to the Chinese government is a weak sauce conclusion – even if they didn't (and just to be clear, they will never stop unless its unprofitable for them), others would suck up to them in their place. Personal responsibility is the weak sauce bs I've come to expect from the South Park team, "Oh just be cool and everything will be cool"; grow a spine and actually realise it doesn't work.

  14. On freedom. Your right to swing your fist ends where my face begins…

    Freedom is one of those concepts that is so broad you can't really say anything about it without being specific. On the whole most people agree you are free to do things that don't break the law and don't harm anyone. In practice you are free to do a thing, if that thing is permitted by the classes of people that have power over you, and you have access to the means to exercise that freedom. Being free to choose your own doctor is meaningless if you don't have healthcare. Being free to start a business is meaningless if you don't have the necesary capital to do so. Being free to enjoy college education is meaningless if you cannot afford it.

    There is a difference between being legally allowed to do a thing, and being given the ability to do so. Many of the 'freedoms' that Americans like to think they have are not rights, they are privileges. Things whose availability will depend on what class you belong to. Your right to life and pursuit of happiness maybe heavily infringed upon by society if you happen to be a black transwoman (average life expectancy of black trans women in the US is 35…) and people infringing on those rights will likely never face any consequences.

    Freedom then, is nothing without the means to excercise it. Power.

    In a capitalist society power is a combination of capital and the ability to spend that capital. There are many kinds of capital, Money, having a huge platform from which to reach people, influence, race, sex, gender, property, law. Having the correct kind of capital, and a way to use it, are absolutely critica when you want to make use of one of your freedoms.

    Personal responsibility is it's own hornets nest. Neo-liberalism has used it as a hammer to shirk all responsibility from the system unto the individual. The thing is this:

    You can only take responsibility for things you can control. Control requires power or agency and those require means that people don't have in the same quantity.

    For instance:

    Being on time for classes, paying your tuition, taking care of yourself, doing the homework in time, having the correct schoolbooks are all responsibilities you have when going to college. Failure to do these things has consequences that the person failing is considered to have brought on themselves. Now consider this. A person without the financial means to pay rent, tuition and books then has to take several jobs to carry these things. This cuts down heavily on his available time which will make him miss classes and hand in homework late. There is no choice this person can make that has him carry all of the things he is responsible for.

    Anyone living on their own or with a partner or even kids is familiar with this problem. You are responsible for a myriad of things and you cannot afford to cover them all. So a fat tire, broken washing machine or sudden health problem can bankrupt your family. Personal responsibility says it's your fault, you should have this or that.

    All that fails to see the systemic limiting of your choices.

    So your baby can die at two weeks old, because some person decided not to vaccinate their kid. Are you responsible for some reason? Is the person who didn't vaccinate? What if this person was misinformed as many anti-vaxers are? What if there is a coordinated effort by people of means to spread antivaxing? What if the government could simply declare that vaccinations are mandatory to protect the health and freedom of all citizens. It may seem like an infringement, but there are many like it you accept without question. Police can violate your freedom and even shoot you whenever they please. Corperations can evict you from your home. Cable companies can decide the speed and cost of your internet. Your boss can require a drug test at work depending on the kind of job you do. Legislators can decide whether or not you can have an abortion or access to contraceptives. Schools may decide what clothes you can wear and the DMV requires you to have and keep a license for your car.

    Furthermore, in an epidemic outbreak, the CDC has the right to detain you under quarantine, take your blood or do other tests and try treatments on you.

    These things are not all simply good or bad (though some certainly are). We live in a world where power decides such things and not deciding is also a decision.

    The thing is. Leaving it to individuals will not end the problem. It simply decides who to blame. The responsibility must lie with those who have the power to change it.

  15. This reminds me of when North Korea tried using Sony to mass censor everything around the globe, or like article 13 in the European Union. In other words, butt-hurt over freedom of speech more than anything market-wise, by to me what is corporate and political clowns, failing at curbing necessary excesses and being relevant in modern times without financial pressure.

  16. People have forgotten this poor guy that Marriott allowed the Chinese government to fire.

  17. blizzards decision to ban the player wasn't because of Chinese influence. Its written in there contract not to bring up any political shit which he did. The fact that he wasn't perma banned was lucky and the fact that his ban was shorten even more while receiving his prize money is lucky to say the less.

  18. Conspiracy time:
    US is controlled by capitalism, capitalism is controlled by large corporations, large corporations are controlled by huge markets that give money away, China has a huge market that gives money away, Chines market is controlled by Chines government, China controls the US.

  19. Man I just love china now cause now they're showing that they're just as terriable a shitty people as everyone else on this globe isn't that right chinas president winnie the poop bear atleast are president is just orenge and dumb imagine someone stting there describeing you in great detail and you wind up looking and thinking an acting like a childrens teddy bear if it were a dictator who pretended to be democratic oh also bet you ten bucks or ten yen that are presidents weiner is bigger then your presidents and dude I think we need to send just reset the earth so let the big boys fly can hate endure a nuke nope can money survive a nuke a underground bunker might make 1 not 20 oh and p.s. america still is #1 for having the most nukes followed by russia so I dunno bout you guys but I never messed with the biggest person in my area I mean what I'm saying is we never should have stopped expanding the u.s. has the power to arm bar everyone into becomeing the property of the u.s. I mean dude we've been terrorized enough just remeber what lead to us nuking chine the first two times was cause they attacked and bombed pearl harbor a mostly medical military base woth a few planes and solders oh and they attacked around like 3 or 4 in the morning and yes I know china has more funding on military research then the u.s. but we still got lots of ships and planes from last time we won and I don't think if the u.s. gets involved with another war I say we just shell em from the water with the ships main cannons and 5 morter teams all set up on the ship and dude we have a fucking rail cannon it fires a fucking flagpole and we have an eperimental laser that triggers the missles payload to trigger early but the laser has to be fixed to it for a bit so if pooh bear wants to get testy over some criticisms he should remember we did it twice next time it'll be a carpet bomb of hydrogen bomb it'll rain bombs for 3 weeks straight before those planes need more explosives and fuel though then again it would be kinda funny to see a plane loaded with bomb crash into the royal house or whatever richie rich emearld tower or where ever pooh bear lives ya know kami the kami's beat them with their own kazee game oh and I apologize to any Chinese people you have an egotisitacal stuffed elephant or pooh bear sorry they look just the same when it comes to that guy with the small cold beady eyes the almost cartoonish apearence of his belly and his hair the nose and his fat feet all make him look like winnie the pooh bear if he was a dick-a-tator

  20. I cringe every time I hear the words" personal responsibility"; it's the calling card of selfish assholes who refuse to take responsibility for the effects their actions have on society as a whole

  21. well said ! im Chinese, people in China actually chill about these whole things. we all know our goverment is kinda seriously. but it doest bother what we think and what we do at all.

  22. It's a surprise that it's banned now. I thought the content of South Park should have been banned by China for a long time.

  23. Tegrity farms is South Park and Tegrity Farms is going to declare bankruptcy unless it gets a bail out. – Called It

  24. Aye nigga stop selling out at tha first halve of your video it blows do it at tha end so we dont have to wait for you to stop advertising shit

  25. ChiNazi will shut everyone up. So free Hong Kong is free the whole world. Brothers and sisters please support us the HongKongers. Thank you!

  26. Show me proof that Polio ever existed and wasn’t a reaction to a pesticide that simply was taken out of use in order to curb polio show me proof real proof that adding poison to drinking water helps your teeth show me proof.

  27. Do you think that china can continue to live in its antiquated ways forever? We must at some point refuse to allow it and pressure them to cave to the rest of the world ie its customers, right?
    I guess its the products we demand and their antiquated ways are the only reason we can afford them, potentially never breaking the chain?

  28. I will stress this, if a company tries to lobby the government for ANYTHING, they're working against a free market.
    … Far too many people use examples of government interference, especially when courted by companies, as reasons why the free market doesn't work; ignoring that this would by definition NOT be a free market.

  29. 9:33 our vaccines work so well that they only work if EVERYONE takes them. Right….. our vaccines work so well we didn’t bother doing an efficacy experiment, where you take 1000 vaccinated children and 1000 unvaccinated and study the differences…. nope we just assume they work as intended and ignore all evidence to the contrary. Lol ppl who love science but aren’t trained in it really don’t look at already accepted theories with any skepticism or objectivity…. it’s sad. There are over 500 doctoral scientists that disagree with evolution as a way of explaining the complexity of life, and they wrote a paper and made a website. There are just as many phds that dispute climate change, as well as vaccines yet wisecrack is gonna say I’m stupid for not just trusting the government enough to risk my child’s life and livelihood. I guess I’ll just be stupid then lol

  30. Upstart commercial saying we’re basing credit on education? My mom rocks an 810 and dropped out sophomore year of high school.
    Ooof fuck upstart.

  31. 9:40 “if ‘for me’ freedom is being able to walk around without being worried about catching a disease and dying”

    So now freedom includes be free from potential sickness? So then what stops someone from saying I should be free from poverty, I should be free from having to work, I should be free from any and all conflict? Is the government going to also make that happen? You can’t be free from potential hardship, I’m sorry but this seems like a retarded way of making this particular argument…. no disrespect meant for the differently abled, I literally meant making the argument in this fashion slows or retards the progress of humanity lol

  32. To be fair to Blizzard it's in their contract rules to keep politics out of public interviews. Honestly it seems to be something added after Athletes started taking a knee to peotest police brutality. Not saying they should defend China or whatever, but there is a rule against what the player did.

  33. Damn the volume of this video was low…

    The last seasons of South Park were complete and utter bullshit starting with the internet troll one. I am surprised to hear South Park still exists and is still a thing. It went from Legendary status to a crap stuck in a toilet nobody cares about.

  34. If vaccines work. Then why are you so afraid of those unvaccinated?. Unless of course vaccines do not work. As for "herd immunity" that is bullshit.
    Want everyone vaccinated. Then easy. Remove the immunity vaccine companies have from lawsuit. If their product is so secure. Then they shouldn't have any problem with people being able to sue them for any problem their product cause. Instead of the current system in which the extortion payer pay billions in the damages (yes, billions with B, for something that is supposed to be safe).
    You believe in a system in which:
    A. The vaccine does not protect you. Otherwise you wouldn't be bitching about other people not getting vaccinated.
    B. Vaccine companies have immunity and instead lawsuits go to a special court in which the government (in reality the extortion payer, as government does not produce anything)
    C. A doctor will never become responsible for any damage the vaccine causes.
    D. Bill Gates was caught in camera expressing that if they did a really good job with the vaccines they would be able to reduce the population by 15%.
    And somehow the people that do not believe in the safety of vaccines are the dumb ones.

  35. You don't voice support for Nazis, you don't voice support for those Hong Kong filth attacking random people, trashing subway stations, burning flags, and asking foreign powers to invade China. It's not a freedom of speech issue just like how in Germany you can't access Nazi websites.

  36. "free" is not a catch-all term for freedoms liberties and rights. they are not interchangeable. I enjoyed this video but there's a lot wrong with the idea of "freedom" presented here.

  37. Overall, good video, but you don't really explain the point the show is trying to make about child speration or how it fits with the themes of personal responsibility, and individual freedoms conflicting. In fact you barely even mentioned it.

  38. Just like how Walmart lobbied with the Obama administration to increase minimum wages to put small businesses out of the market because Walmart would be able to absorb the cost while at the same time cutting hours and become a monopoly.

  39. Fyi Vaccines are dangerous..but if YOU are vaccinated then don't infringe on the people that choose NOT to get Mercury put into their body.
    Your "protected" so what difference is it to you if someone else chooses NOT too?
    Fascism…under the guise of Freedom.

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