# Nailed on Sunday

Not content with insulting the intelligence of the public on a whole, David Thomas of the Mail On Sunday wrote the following article in the Femail section, probably with the lateral thinking that it relates to women, or perhaps that he’d be mocked by his own gender.

The Sick Adult Joke That Became Britain’s Latest Playground Craze by David Thomas – Mail On Sunday 03.01.1999

THE Spice Girls may have had this year’s Christmas Number One single. But if you really want to know about the world today, listen to the record that has been bought by tens of thousands of teenagers and even children to make it the New Year’s first Number One today.
It’s called Chocolate Salty Balls, by Chef, and consists of a recipe for cookies, interspersed by Chef – a pseudonym for 56-year-old soul star Isaac Hayes – begging us to suck, lick and generally consume his . . . well, I hardly think I have to spell it out.The song comes from a late-night TV cartoon series shown on Channel 4 and Sky One called South Park.

The promotional displays of South Park videos and CDs (with guest appearances by Meatloaf and Elton John among others) and the South Park T shirts are covered in crudely-drawn children in woolly hats and winter coats. This might lead you to suppose it was a suitable programme for children.

Maybe that’s what parents at the King’s School EIy, a Cambridgeshire Public School, thought, too. Last week, however, they received a letter from the school warning that pupils as young as 11 were repeating the obscenities and lavatorial actions from South Park in the playground.

South Park’s producers would doubtless point out that their videos carry a 15 certificate, and the CD has a Parental Guidance sticker warning of foul language. But those stickers -are a con – a come-on to kids in search of thrills.

BOTH my daughters, aged nine and 10, had heard of South Park. `My best friend watches it,’ Lucy told me. `She says it’s really funny and it’s on tonight.’

Not in our house, it wasn’t.

The four stars of South Park are Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny, who dies in every episode and whose body is eaten by rats. South Park video episodes have titles like Cartman Gets An Anal Probe, or Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boat-Ride. Kyle insults his baby brother in terms that I cannot repeat and the boys then play a game called Kick The Baby.

This crude, unfunny rubbish has been greeted with rapture by critics on broadsheet papers and glossy magazines, all desperately trying to display their trend-spotting credentials.

South Park began life in December 1995 as a video Christmas card, sent to 40 pals by a Los Angeles TV producer called Brian Garden.

Written by twentysomething scriptwriters Trey Parker and Matt Stone, The Spirit Of Christmas showed how Christ came back to Earth, met the four South Park kids, and beat up Santa Claus. So omnipresent is the use of the F-word that the Mafia movie GoodFellas seems genteel by comparison. It was, to quote the film magazine Premiere, `deliriously sacrilegious’.

If anyone had insulted Judaism in this way, the film community would rightly have denounced such anti-Semitism. Had Islam been the target, Garden, Parker and Stone would currently be facing a fatwah.

But you can say what you like about Christianity. The Spirit Of Christmas became a huge hit within the industry and Parker and Stone were signed up by the US cable network Comedy Central. South Park was the result.

What began as an act of blasphemy is now a cog in the multi-million pound market on both sides of the Atlantic peddling filth to young people.

It’s also a perfect example of what happens when the fashionable refusal to accept any moral standards collides with the need to attract attention in an insanely competitive marketplace.

Each new TV show has to be more outrageous than the last. Now we are so numbed by the bombardment of filth that one more bad smell barely makes any difference. The most disturbing thing about South Park is that so few people are shocked.

Sooner or later, though, we have to say: `Enough.’ We have spent so much time mocking our values, our morality and our religion that now we have nothing left to hold on to.

British teenagers – the main target market for South Park – are among the worst-educated in Europe, with the highest rates for drug-taking and pregnancy. The parents who ought to be looking after these lost souls are too wrapped up adding to one of the continent’s worst divorce-rates, assuming (which is increasingly improbable) that they ever got married at all.

However you look at it, something is going terribly, terribly wrong.

So do yourself and your children a favour. Take Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls and bung them in the bin where they belong.

It’s only a little gesture. But it’s a start.

********

It’s quite a masterpiece don’t you think? British journalism from a soap box and at it’s very best.

Having blamed the declining moral standards in Britain on a low budget cartoon called South Park, shown on late night Channel 4, and a poor, albeit humorous recording entitled, ‘Suck on my chocolate salty balls,’ I can only assume that Mr.Thomas is still smarting from the fact that the Very Reverend Cliff Richard decided not to release a Christmas single this year. So Chef is making millions out of blaspheming whereas Sir Cliff made millions out of selling Jesus, the end result is everyone was screwed in the name of religion. While the nation breathed a collective sigh of relief at the festive demise of Cliff Richard, Mr. Thomas decided to take it in hand to find a family (with an uncanny family name resemblence) to implore the South Park cartoon and cry havoc over the Chef’s chart topping single.

Words like disgusting and filth are used with such venom that I actually do believe David Thomas means what he’s saying. The rest of us take the single for what it is, a joke; it’s the sort of thing you buy to watch your mother (and David Thomas) cringe as the singer urges you to suck on his chocolate salty balls; although I must admit the recipe does sound a little dubious.

Incidentally, the Parental Guidance sticker on the front of the CD is the product of years of campaigning by Tipper Gore (wife of the American vice-president) and the so-called Moral Majority who wanted these warnings in place so parents would know what they are buying for their children! What on Earth possessed them to actually believe that parents have the slightest inkling as to what their teenage offspring like, and how many parents actually buy their children CDs?

It is quite apparent that this seemingly devout christian journalist is not content that his fellow Christians are not as fanatical as their Islamic counterparts, and maybe a few lashes of the scourge at the creators of South Park would go towards redeeming his feelings. And while he’s at it why not throw heavy Bibles at those detestable single mothers; how dare they have children and how dare they let them watch South Park.

I have to admit, David Thomas does have a valid point; since I started watching South Park I’ve become uneducated, I’ve started taking drugs, I’ve just got divorced and I’m expecting my fifth illegitimate child.

Is this all the British press has to offer? Did we not hear this when Chuck Berry asked us to play with his ding-a-ling? Did we not hear this when the Sex Pistols told us to never mind the bollocks? Did we not hear this when Frankie Goes To Hollywood told us when to come?

It’s old hat Mr.Thomas, you’re the only one who was shocked and disgusted with this ‘filth.’ The rest of us it seems, are yet to have the humour by-pass operation which you have so obviously undergone.