I remember seeing early episodes of this show and thinking it was the dumbest show I had ever seen. THe attempts to be offensive were merely offensively strained. The idea that four eight year old boys would be potty-mouthed had all the novelty of, well, nothing, really. The earliest episodes had forced jokes and plots that just didn't gel together. The show was simultaneously "irreverant" yet remarkably preachy. It seemed to be less an animated accomplishment than even Beavis and Butthead, which seemed the greater precurosr.
And so I held this view about South Park for about three years.
Until I saw Trapper Keeper.
A show that could so ruthlessly but gleefully make fun of James Cameron's Terminator franchise, Bill Cosby, Akira, Stanley Kubrick's 2001, and the 2000 election for president whie implicating Dawson's Creek ... ?
Well, I was from that moment sold on at least giving the show a chance, if not just plain loving the show.
And then, just a year or so later I stumbled upon Christian Rock Hard.
And then I was hooked.
Well, for me, if you've seen the episode and know Romans 2 the rest is self-explanatory. NOt that you have to actually go see the episode where Eric Cartman starts a Christian rock band or anything. For me what Parker and Stone were able to do in making fun of CHristian subcultures is point out how true Malachi 1 and Romans 2 can be. There are times when Christians offer sacrifices that were apparantly snagged from someone else walking down th eroad. Instead of "ooh baby" someone replaced the drippy phrase with "Jesus". ANd thus Eric Cartman encapsulates the most absurd and obscene aspects of the Jesus-as-girlfriend song form. One could also include the Jesus-as boyfriend paradigm. I won't belabor the point since Cartman (and accordingly, Parker & Stone) made the point so eloquently for me.