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November 18, 2003

JOHN LEO:

The showpiece of antiliberal humor is one that appalls a good many conservatives: South Park, Comedy Central's wildly popular cartoon saga of four crude and incredibly foul-mouthed little boys. . . . This is a new paradigm in pop culture: Conventional liberalism is the old, rigid establishment. The antiliberals are brash, funny, and cool. Who would have thought?

Who, indeed?

UPDATE: Well, this guy, I guess. . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Read this, too.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Ed Paul thinks there's more going on culturally than just South Park:

Saturday night, I had a real feeling that maybe conservatives are doing even better than they think in the culture wars. I was walking out of Master and Commander which is a compendium of what used to be called the manly virtues. Courage, honor, tenacity, loyalty and tolerance are all on display without a whiff of irony. Even an appreciation of the arts and education are included without any astonishment that warriors could value those things. Master is not an anomaly. Black Hawk Down and They were Soldiers Once and Young were both straightforward depictions of heroism unaccompanied by knowing smirks.

At the moment it is almost impossible to imagine Hollywood producing a Mash or Catch 22 or Doctor Strangelove ( Although I hasten to add Strangelove will always be in my top five movies.) It wouldn't dare. They may still smile knowingly over their designer water at home but not in their films.

Are things really going as well as all that?