Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sauce For the Goose, Sauce for the Gander?

In what most folks will find unsurprising once they read the linked article, Issac Hayes (yes, the leather-clad, "Shaft" Theme-immortalizing, bald, kodiac bear of the 1970's) is backing out of his role on "South Park." Now, there is part of me that wants to applaud the movement that Hayes is making.

But I can't.

Ultimately, I have to side with Matt Stone, co-creater of "South Park" on this one. (As I typed that I threw up in my mouth a little bit.) It is really toooo convenient in my mind that suddenly after, what, 7 seasons of the show regularly beating up on any religion, leaving aside the blasphemies hurled at Our Lord and Our Lady, that suddenly he can't stomach it. You're right, Mr. Hayes; I missed the laughable quality of people's devotion to the Mother of God hidden in the sensibility of a joke about a recent apparition of a bleeding statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, being explained away by, shall we say, a more natural source of bleeding. I totally overlooked how funny it is when the faith of a billion Catholics, not to mention the love and respect with which we hold our Holy Father, Benedict, is made mock of by two juvenille filmmakers. Hey, it's not like any body thinks this religion stuff matters, right? Just ask Dan Brown's winning little tome which reminds us all, that every faith is a fabrication...

Methinks Chef protests too much.

It comes down to the fact that Mr. Hayes didn't like the fact that SP writers et al. took Scientology severely to task and finally when it was his sacred cow they attacked, it was time to go. I'm sorry, but I am not buying Mr. Hayes' statement: "Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," and "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices." Oh, really, Mr. Hayes. Tell me, why didn't you quit the show after Jesus and Satan had a boxing match in which Jesus gets the living stuffing beaten out of him? After all, wouldn't that be insulting to suggest that the Son of God could be beaten by the devil? And before you drag the crucifixion out as proof that the show wasn't that bad, remember, the Devil is conquered by that act because it is an act of obedience to the Father and the Resurrection is the last word in that fight. In the episode in question, God the Father never start acting as an erstwhile celestial Don King, so I can't figure out how this tracks. In your concern for religious sensibilities, did you feel a need to bring this oversight to the creators' attention?

All I can say is, "Was the money worth losing any and all credibility, not to mention dishonoring your work in the civil rights movement? Your compunction is too little and too late."

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