Saturday, March 12, 2011

Britney's New Look

Human sacrifice is a remote topic to most. Modern people realize that human sacrifice has occurred for thousands of years, and still does in some parts of the world, but don't think it relates to modern life in any way. This episode of South Park mocks a celebrity-obsessed culture by explaining it as modern human sacrifice. The full episode is available on the show's website:

Britney Spears arrives in South Park in the midst of extreme obsession. In classic South Park style, the adults behave like children and the children are the ones to ask questions. The first part of the episode shows the town's adults obsessed with Britney Spears and harassing her to an extreme. A botched suicide attempt leaves her with almost no head and the townspeople become excited over "Britney's new no-top-of-the-head look!" The boys are confused by the older generation's commitment despite overlooking the fact that she has no head.

As usual, the plot takes a turn and the boys discover that Britney Spears is being prepared for human sacrifice to ensure a bountiful corn harvest. The adults explain that in a modern civilized society it is better to drive the victims to suicide rather than stoning them to death, which is what happens. Near the end of the episode:

Paparazzo 8: Look, kid, throughout history people have found it necessary to engage in... human sacrifice.

Bob Summers: In ancient times, humans would commonly pick one lovely girl, adorn her with jewels, treat her like a goddess, and then... watch her die.

Paparazzo 9: We like to think we're more civilized now, but the truth is our lust for torture and death is no different than it was in gladidator times.

Paparazzo 10: Only difference is that now we like to watch people put to death through magazines and photographs.

Canadian Paparazzo: It's a damn shame too. Old ways were bettah. Used to be we just picked someone by lottery and then stoned them to death.

Woman: Stonin' to death was too violent. Rather have the sacrifice kill itself.

Kyle: You mean everyone has been wanting Britney Spears to kill herself?

Man: Britney was chosen a long time ago, to be built up and adored, and then sacrificed. For harvest.

The episode ends with the townspeople in South Park's supermarket. The residents comment on the good corn harvest as Miley Cyrus appears on the TV news. Ominously, Randy Marsh comments on how next year's harvest will be even better.

People have not lost any of their bloodlust just because in this century they have cars, cell phones, and Netflix. South Park is famous for poking insightful fun at topics in American culture, especially if they are surrounded by hypocrisy. They do not argue that Americans should take the high moral ground and stop coming together to mercilessly mock the same person. They argue that it should be called what it is, a modern human sacrifice.

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