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News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Team America: World Police

I went to see the new and highly offensive movie, Team America: World Police. Even before the movie came out, it was a topic for the blogosphere, due to its political nature. Does it favor the Republican or Democratic position? Or does it only make fun of Hollywood?

There are jokes that target both sides of the political spectrum, and assorted others (a mime gets it, to the cheers of the world). In other words, there's evidence to support you if you think the movie is trashing conservatives, and evidence to support you if you think the movie is trashing liberals. But something noteworthy can be seen if you analyze the main jokes.

Team America (the Bush Republican stand-in) causes casual destruction as it fights to save the world. Have you seen this joke before? It happens all the time in humorous series, especially cartoons. Watch Cartoon Network and see Townsville destroyed on the Powerpuff Girls, or New Jersey destroyed (yay!) on Megas XLR. South Park sees its share of collateral damage, too, from disasters as diverse as independent filmmakers, Mecha-Barbara-Streisand, and a flood of sewage.

The Michael Moore puppet is shown two-fisting hot dogs, stained by mustard. Have you seen this joke before? Certainly; the fat slob is a common archetype. But it's only a brief joke against a liberal.

The big anti-liberal joke: Liberal Hollywood types, led by Alec Baldwin of South Park Movie "Bomb the Baldwins" fame, believe the evil Kim Jong Il when he announces a peace conference. Have you seen this joke before? I can't think of anything similar. It's far more common to see the evil geniuses command legions with the aid of a mind control device.

Leftists come out of the movie far worse than conservatives. But that's to be expected, based on what Trey Parker and Matt Stone have done before. They really hammer those who ignore common sense in embracing liberal positions. One episode that comes to mind is the (also horribly offensive) episode where gay schoolteacher Mr. Garrison is acting in his most offensive manner in trying to get fired, only to be stymied by the townsfolk's blind following of tolerance. A column in TechCentralStation by Stephen Stanton highlights the "South Park Republican," which is really more Republican with libertarian leanings, who are no prudes.

As for the movie? Funny, of course, and way on the offensive side. It pays homage to countless movie types. Trey Parker shows his mastery of all styles of music with a Broadway musical song, country track, and much more. "I'm So Ronery," the solo by Kim Jong Il, stands out, and I like the clever song "Montage," playing as a montage of training scenes plays. The character Kim Jong Il shines as the evil leader, acting a lot like the Saddam Hussein character does in South Park. All in all, if you like humor and if you are not shocked by anything, you will probably like Team America: World Police.

Lt. Smash has a roundup of reviews from the blogosphere.


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