South Park and Philosophy: Bigger, Longer, and More Penetrating

By Richard Hanley | Go to book overview

10
White Jews Can't Jump

RICHARD HANLEY

Sports plays a central role in our lives. If you think it's only a game, then you haven't been paying attention. People live and die with their teams, and I'm going to take this seriously. Because there is a close analogy between sports and life in general. And in our attitudes to sports and our attitudes to life in general. They're both in general disarray, Professor Chaos.

To demonstrate this, look no further than our ideas about what's fair in sports. Take steroids. No, really, take them, like Jimmy does in “Up the Down Steroid.” Be bigger, longer, faster, stronger. Of course, they will tell you it is wrong. Even South Park seems to tell you it's wrong. But why, exactly? I will show you that the standard arguments against taking steroids perform about as well as Cartman in the Special Olympics.

In Seasons Eight and Nine, there are three different episodes devoted to sports themes. Season Nine opens with “Mr. Garrison's Fancy new Vagina,” where Kyle tries out for the allstate basketball team and discovers he isn't nearly black enough. In “The Losing Edge,” it's about competition: how to lose at Little League baseball and win at being an obnoxious sports Dad. And in Season Eight's “Up the Down Steroid,” it's about drugs and fairness in sport.

Cartman is so Cartman in this episode. He hears that there is a one thousand dollar prize for the Ultimate Grand Special Champion of the 2004 Special Olympics. So he decides to enter, and win, by any means necessary. The joke is that Cartman trains really hard the week before the Olympics, accompanied by a sort of “Eye of the Tiger” theme. But all his training is

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