Why Your Dragonmaster Doesn't Do the Papparazzi (Much!)
South Park has declared war on Scientology.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the Comedy Central animated satire, are digging in against the celebrity-endorsed religion after a controversial episode mocking outspoken Scientologist Tom Cruise was abruptly yanked from the schedule on Wednesday with an Internet report saying that it was an act of covert warfare by Cruise's people that led to the episode's departure.
"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun!" the South Park creators ranted, in a statement printed in Friday's issues of Daily Variety. "Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies .... You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to rescue Humankind will fail!"
According to a report posted on Thursday in the blogger HollywoodInterrupted.com, Cruise had threatened not to promote Mission: Impossible 3, a surefire summer blockbuster, if the offending episode aired. Comedy Central is a company of Viacom, as is M:I 3 studio Paramount. However, Arnold Robinson, Cruise's representative, told The Associated Press that Cruise had made no such demands. "Not true," said Robinson. "I can tell you that he never said that." Paramount reps were not available for comment as of Friday.
In the episode in question, "Trapped in the Closet," which originally aired last November, Scientology leaders are depicted hailing Stan, one of South Park's quartet of devilish fourth-graders, as a savior. At one point, an animated Cruise locks himself in a closet and refuses to come out. This leads a toon version of John Travolta, another famous Scientologist, to encourage Cruise to come out.
The battle began in earnest earlier this week when Issac Hayes, yet another celebrity Scientologist and longtime South Park regular, voicing the town's resident ladies' man, Chef, quit the show, saying that he could no longer tolerate the series' religious "intolerance and bigotry."
Stone and Parker didn't buy that, either, apparently. On Monday, Stone told the AP, "This is 100% having to do with his faith in Scientology ... He [Hayes] has no problem and he's cashed plenty of checks with our show making fun of Christians."
And as if this little item didn't make the case for stupidity in the entertainment community, consider if thou wouldst Brokeback Mountain author Annie Proulx' now-infamous rant on how her quest for recognition at the Oscars got dashed by Crash:
"The people connected with Brokeback Mountain, including me, had hoped that, having been nominated for 8 Academy Awards, it would get Best Picture, as it had at the lively, funny Independent Spirit Awards the day before. We should have known that conservative heffalump Academy voters would have rather different ideas of wha twas tiring contemporary culture. Roughly 6000 film industry voters, most [of them] in the Los Angeles area, many [of them] living cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates, or in deluxe rest homes, out of touch with not only the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city, decide which films are good.
"After 3 1/2 hours of butt-numbing sitting, we stumbled away, down the magnificent staircases and across the red carpet, [which] had now taken on a different hue --- a purple tinge. The source of the color was not far away. Down the street, spreading its baleful light everywhere, hung a gigantic, vertical electric-blue neon sign, spelling out: Scientology. .... For those who call this little piece a sour grapes rant, play it as it lays."
Now, dear Mortals, I trust you understand why your Dragonmaster is never seen doing elegant parties and whatnot ---unless such events are worthy of my interest. At the risk of being accused, as far too many celebrities are, of biting the hand that feeds me, I must honestly tell you that this is exactly why our Exalted Father of Magecraft, wise and sensible Merlin, dismissed television in particular and most entertainment in general as catering to the lowest common denominator and the shortest attention span.
Interestingly enough, one of the worst movies ever made, 1964's epic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, was quite ironically prophetic in its vision of our society's future: "They [the children of Mars] are bored," laments the ancient wiseman Chochem. "Our electronic teaching machines are attached into their brains even as they lie in their cradles .... information is fed into their minds at a constant stream .... and by the time they are able to walk, they have become adults!" Is it any wonder, then, that ours is an age where reality television and the greater force which is the iPod generation have become the dominant powers in the Multiverse at a time when the rest of us mere dinosaurs --- that is to say, the other members of our subspecies --- are simply struggling to stay alive!
The point, my dears, is simply this: word of mouth will only aid you to a certain point. Once it escalates into verbal wars and mere kvetching, that's when the road starts to change.
As ever, I wanna know what you think, America. Gimme an e-mail at email@example.com.