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South Park And Our Culture

            In the past half century the United States has developed a culture unlike any the world has seen in history. With the on set of mass communications technology, the culture that has grown from the post World War II era has had an immense effect on not only the United States but societies all over the globe. To ask the average American what our culture's meaning is not only here at home but abroad as well is to get a processed answer. This is all but a programmed answer, the "American way" or the "American dream". We see the mediums of culture and the products they present us with as what we would like to be or want, often this turns into a false reality or an escape from problems that plague us in life. This can be seen on most every television sitcom, popular music, and movies. Culture in this society has become a commodity in which we always indulge in. With culture becoming a commodity it loses its value to enrich the human intellect. In this time of mass produced, pop culture, are there any aspects from this culture that critique the times and beliefs that we live in? I will argue yes. Although there are very few examples of pop culture giving a social critique today, one stands out in my mind, South Park. In particular the recent movie, South Park: Bigger Longer, Uncut. According to the thoughts of philosophers Marcuse, Adoron, and Horkhiemer, today's culture industry is a tool to subdue the masses from realizing real problems in the world around them, and that culture's main role in a society is to question the standing beliefs. In my view South Park is a critical challenge to the current society's belief system and is a valuable critique on the American psychic. There is no question that late 20th century pop culture has captured the collective conscious of the world, are movies and programs such as South Park the cultural review that we need to break the chains of domination?.

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