The parallels between the discovery of Eric Cartman's identity, and the loss of Muhammad's were highlighted in the uncomfortably censored conclusion to South Park's 200th episode. The show asked why something already seen on television cannot be seen again.
The Trey Parker/Matt Stone philosophy has always emphasized that the best process in breaking down the boundaries of the suburban middle classes in America is done with humor. This philosophy has lead to an unmissable media franchise that has every right to sell out or slow down, but cannot because of the political substrata it was founded upon. While death threats may be an unwanted tier of the creators' business model, and rejection may come to some of their best work, the pure satire of South Park keeps the show running years after it's first broadcast. It also keeps viewers watching, even the people that don't "get" it.
Most "haters," refuse to take the show at more than face value, and they can't be faulted for that. If humor isn't to your liking the last thing your going to do is dig deeper than anyone ever intended, but many of us fanboys out there know that the reason South Park wanted to show Muhammad entailed the context in which they showed him before:
He was equal to all the other "Gods" in television-land, or so suggested South Park in Season 5's episode "Super Best Friends." And those that still find offense at the parody of deities most likely are going to try and demand that these men have no respect for any religion, which is not true, as Parker and Stone attempt to explain to Nightline in 2006:
The issue with not being allowed to show Muhammad is not that it's such a huge deal to not be allowed to show Muhammad on television (though obviously it is, just look at this article from yesterday's New York Daily News), but that it looks as though more reverence is due to Muhammad than any other religious figure, and this is the antithesis of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's argument, that being that satire should be honest parody, the kind where nothing is off limits, not even feeding your own father to your half brother.
That's right, Cartman not only fed a kid's parents to him in retaliation for being a playground bully, but last night's episode revealed that his own father was the man in Scott Tenorman's chili, and the expected result would be, of course, a tragic realization that the boy had murdered his father... but no, the revelation had by Eric Cartman was that he was tragically half-ginger, but being half Denver Bronco miraculously and offensively canceled it out. It was Team Parker and Stone's way of saying that they are not worried in the slightest about shooting themselves in the foot.
There is no doubt, if you ever watch a South Park DVD commentary, that there are shows that Parker and Stone are sorry they made, but not because the shows offended you, rather it was because they didn't match the comedic criterion the creator's hoisted so early in the game.
And for those of you who missed last night's "big reveal" of Muhammad, here's the clip below:
RIP Pip, and Kevin? We missed you.