Russia: Don’t invade Cartman in winter

By Sujay Kumar

What if there was a Russian cartoon about the town Sosnovy Bor? It would chronicle the adventures of nine-years-olds Vlad, Mik, Iggy and Cartman. Everything from Putin to homosexuality would be fair game to satirize.

If you listen closely, you can almost hear the music: I’m goin’ down to Sosnovy Bor. Gonna have myself a time. Friendly faces ev..”

It’s NEVER going to happen.

Russia is legally trying to ban South Park because it is “extremist.” In Russian law, the definition of extremism lists anything that leads to the “abasement of national dignity” and “inciting religious and national hatred.”

According to regional prosecutors office spokeswoman Valentina Titova, the push to ban South Park started in January after a specific episode aired on Moscow station 2×2.

The episode in question was season 3, episode 15: Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classic. Dubbed in Russian, of course.

It was not clear whether Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo (a jovial piece of holiday human feces), Adolf Hitler’s rendition of O Tannenbaum, Satan’s tune of Christmas Time in Hell, a rocking duet with Jesus and Santa Claus, or Merry (Expletive) Christmas in which Mr. Garrison tells Muhammad, Hindus and the Japanese to put down their holy scriptures and (expletive) celebrate, was the primary segment that was objectionable.

But could the South Park prohibition in Russia have horrible repercussions here in the United States? Isn’t there anything we can do to stop this unfair policing before it invades our own televisions?

To investigate, let’s look at some of the casualties we’d experience if a ban on extremist American television was instituted.

First to get the boot would be ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” This high school drama, a fitting genre because the show actually looks like it’s made by a high school drama club, goes down the Juno-path and tackles the tricky issue of teen pregnancy.

Only this time, it’s no secret that the story carries a pro-abstinence message brought about by heavy Christian undertones, horrible acting (it’s really so bad that it’s good), a young Bob Saget wannabe who falls in love with/proposes to our knocked-up heroine, and teens (not to mention a 12 year old) unrealistically talking about sex as if it’s as second nature as eating Frankenberry.

Next in line for censorship would be a slower, yet sustained attack on the American psyche – Alltel Wireless Wizard and Geico Caveman commercials. No, it’s not what you think.

Although there are plenty of grounds to make the case that subliminal messages about sorcery or evolution are being passed on, these two-minute spots would be banned because they are extremely terrible.

No one cares about Alltel Wireless, yet we are continuously bombarded with commercials that center on Chad, four awkward salesmen and a Wizard. They’ve even showed us some plotline that includes the Wizard’s family.

Unlike Alltel, the Geico Caveman was funny at first. But 16 spots and a canned sitcom later, Geico has done the impossible and made cavemen seem older than they actually are.

Both have long worn out their welcome, yet these companies keep pumping out more commercials under the impression that we viewers are praying to see the Wizard’s love life or to find another way to insult the Cavemen.

No discussion about extremist television would be complete without mentioning cable news networks. Regulations on MSNBC would undoubtedly cut Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from anchoring election night for fear of having coverage that leans extremely to one side or the other.

This would eliminate all speculation about whether Bristol Palin’s bf is her bff in the matrimonial sense. Right?

When we consider what we’d lose, maybe a ban on some of our television may not be a bad idea.

Only one thing is certain: Valentina Titova is guaranteed an appearance in the inevitable South Park episode to be made about its banishment from Russia.

Sujay is a senior in biochemistry and is wondering if pigs really have lips.