on Comedy Central
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
When future generations look
back and wonder when America’s cultural decline began, they may consider a
variety of possible starting points; but there will be no argument that, at
least in terms of entertainment, the metaphorical apocalypse was well underway
As recently as twenty years
ago, zombie movies were frightening, and excessive and graphic bloodshed,
displays of bodily organs, and cannibalism were considered repulsive by everyone
in civilized society. But today, graphic gore and sickening storylines are
considered not only appropriate, but even hip and popular, entertainment for the
younger generation. Classic literature is warped into books like Pride and
Prejudice and Zombies, while even superhero comics are transformed from the
light-hearted adventure romps of years past into entire series featuring “Marvel
Zombies” (with kiddie favorites like Spider-Man now turned into cannibals with
flesh rotting off the bone), and the horrific death-glorifying DC Comics series
Darkest Night. Now, this same sensibility is being promoted in cartoons.
As proof, consider exhibit #1: Comedy Central’s latest attempt to fill the post-South
Park timeslot, Ugly Americans.
takes place in an alternate New York, one in which everyday individuals are
mingled with demons, zombies, and other supernatural and bizarre creatures.
Everyman Mark is the protagonist, who must content with Randall, a zombified
roommate with rotting flesh, who wants to eat Mark’s brain; Callie, a
demon-spawned woman who invites Mark to snack on aborted babies; and Leonard, a
drunken wizard whose spells frequently go wrong in spectacularly gory fashion.
The episode shown on Comedy Central on Wednesday, March 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET was
a particularly disgusting mélange of violence and gore, and richly deserves the
title of Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.
The episode opens with a
werewolf gashing another man’s face, then ripping his arm off at the shoulder,
blood and bone visible. The werewolf is placed in Mark’s “tolerance” class,
which is shown a film on New York’s history. According to the show, vampires
ruled New York – until the Irish arrived, whereupon society fell into disorder.
Graphically shown are a knife being graphically thrust through a man’s throat;
another man being strangled, with his eyeballs popping out and dangling by their
nerves; a baby being burned alive; snakes bloodily devouring a vampire (at which
a Buddha-like figure exclaims, “Jesus Christ!”); and a decapitated corpse, the
head resting in a pool of blood with the body impaled on a huge pitchfork, blood
streaming everywhere. A pantsless Irishman is shown urinating into the neck hole
of the mutilated corpse.
Meanwhile, Mark has other
problems. With the onset of the full moon, Randall gets cravings and fantasizes
in graphically-shown detail about cutting open Mark’s head and feasting on his
brain, while Mark is still alive and conscious. Randall attempts to cope by
calling a friend and describing his fantasies, only to blurt out, “Dude, are you
masturbating to this? You are the worst sponsor!”
Mark also tries to encourage
Leonard. The wizard is despondent because his brother, stage magician Christ
Angel (whose biography is titled “The Body of Christ”) has become famous, while
Leonard is a pathetic nobody. Mark, Randall and Leonard attend Angel’s stage
show, where Angel performs his famous “dove” trick: a woman volunteer from the
audience suddenly grows a huge pregnant belly. After a stream of urine is shown
graphically pouring from beneath her skirt, the woman screams, “I’m going into
labor!” A blood-covered baby shoots out of her crotch, umbilical cord still
attached, then grows into Christ Angel.
At Mark’s urging Leonard
develops his own magic act, which he advertises by turning into a lion, then
exploding and splattering everyone in the office with blood and entrails, as the
lion’s ripped-open corpse is shown. As part of his act, Leonard asks Mark to
shoot himself in the head: “I’m going to kill a man and bring him back to life!
Let’s see your Christ do that!” Mark obliges, with a huge mass of blood gushing
out of his head and pooling on the floor beneath him. In the afterlife, Mark
observes what happens next: Randall graphically gnaws on and tears the flesh
from Mark’s toe, devouring it. Mark returns to life, but Leonard resigns himself
to being a failure, ending the episode with the uplifting advice, “Forget about
shooting for the stars; just have a few drinks, and pass out on your desk.”
To call Ugly Americans
“violent” is like calling Hurricane Katrina a gentle spring shower. Extreme and
graphic gore completely dominates the program – indeed, it IS the program. The
obsession with blood and guts alternates with sickening “jokes” made about
subjects like cannibalism and suicide.
Comedy Central is clearly
eager to attract a young audience to the program. The show is rated TV-14
(despite being on after South Park, which always garners a rating of
TV-MA). Clearly, Comedy Central’s corporate owner, Viacom, is comfortable with
showering teens with this kind of extreme content; but then, given the same
company pushes the almost-as-graphic Glenn Martin, DDS at kids on
Nickelodeon, this does not really come as any surprise. Comedy Central even
advertises an Ugly American game on its website, and invites (implicitly)
young viewers to join in the carnage.
This is where the
entertainment industry’s corporate media conglomerates are taking America’s
children, culture, and future: to a place where abortion, cannibalism,
dismemberment, gore, graphic sex, and incessant profanity are considered
delightful entertainment – and where everyone who subscribes to cable or
satellite television is forced to finance it.
For further degrading the
American republic, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans is the Worst
Cable TV Show of the Week.
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