Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Speaking of free speech

In a similar vein to the recent row over the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, there is an especially offensive episode of South Park called 'Bloody Mary' that is very offensive to Catholics. In the episode, to be shown in New Zealand three months early due to all the controversy surrounding it, there is a statue of the virgin Mary that bleeds from its vagina and then sprays blood all over the Pope. As you can imagine, Catholics all around the country are incredibly offended and some are even threatening to boycott channel 3 and TV4 (who are owned by Canwest).

Personally, it's once again plain ridiculous to get so upset over this sort of thing because it just makes people more curious. If nobody said anything about it, I doubt anyone would realise its existence except for the people that watch South Park, which is pretty much renowned for being offensive to just about everybody. Now, instead of a boycott they've just managed to stir up much more interest in the the cartoon. In fact, I have to concede that even I am more than a little curious as to what the show contains and may even watch it, when otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. With various calls to ban the cartoon as well, it once again raises the issue of where free speech should and should not be protected. In this case, although I'm 100% certain the cartoon is just a load of idiotic nonsense, I again support the TV company for sticking to their guns and displaying the cartoon anyway.

No matter how 'offended' something makes you, there is always a solution that actually works and that is even built in to every TV remote. It's called an "off" switch. Some people need to get more familiar with it.