I know that I have recently commented about the issues with the 200 and 201st episodes of South Park, but last week I read an article in the USA Today about it and it has gotten me thinking even more.
In case you are not aware of the issue with the episodes, Comedy Central pulled them from rotation, airing them only once and Episode 201 was aired in a Bleeped out fashion, totally missing the point of the episode. The storylines revolved around the Muslim Prophet Muhammad appearing in a bear suit (or perhaps the issue was him appearing at all). A Twitter account owned by someone named Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee threatened to kill Matt Stone and Trey Parker for this. Perhaps it wasn't a direct threat, but they mentioned Theo Van Gough, a film director that made about movie about Muhhamad that was killed by a Muslim for it. That is pretty clearly a threat to me. What's even funnier to me is Al-Amrikee is stating he is allowed to say what he wants due to free speech because he is an American Citizen. Isn't Stone-Parker American citizens too?
Last season South Park lampooned two of my favorite things. One is professional wrestling (Episode 191). The other is a show called Ghost Hunters (Episode 189). Did I threaten them? No. You know what I did. I didn't watch the episodes. It really is that easy. If something offends you, don't watch it.
It seriously bothers me to have someone in the USA, let alone New York City, freak out about this and then claim Freedom of Expression. It works both ways. It kind of reminds me of the quote from A Few Good Men when Jack Nicholson's character talks about "the blanket of freedom we all rise and sleep under and then questions it when it's appropriate". Ok, I am paraphrasing it, but you get the point.
And yet nothing has been done to the man for threatening to kill Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Can anyone explain that to me? When even recently a man was arrested for threatening to blow up the WWE Offices and visit the building with a machete and a machine gun. Zavr Peygumbari was charged with one count of second-degree harassment, two counts of second-degree threatening and four counts of fourth-degree threatening. He made 20 calls to WWE Headquarters which such threats. And you may be asking yourself, why would he be this upset at professional wrestling? His favorite Diva, Mickie James had been recently released from the company.