I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly nice person. I’m always worried about hurting people’s feelings and coming off as insensitive, but today I heard news that may make me want to change my ways.
Apparently, you can make a lot more money being a jerk than you can by being considerate. This morning I heard news that the creators of Comedy Central’s hit cartoon “South Park” landed a deal for three more seasons of the show, and will be receiving $75 million for their efforts, which is pretty impressive since it looks like the entire show is constructed on colorful pieces of construction paper and could be made for about $3.50.
I’ll admit, I’ve been a fan of “South Park” for some time. (Although, even I find some episodes horribly inappropriate.) It’s a guilty pleasure. The foul mouthed eight-year-old characters are always finding themselves in some kind of horrible situation, that sometimes alludes to the ridiculous nature of world or political events, and in the end they learn an important lesson.
The thing about “South Park” is that in the ten years the show has been on the air, they’ve probably offended every possible religious or ethnic group on the planet, taking on controversial issues like the Catholic sex scandal, the homosexual Boy-Scout leader controversy, the war in Afghanistan and numerous high profile criminal cases. They’ve also gone after the most popular celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez, Mel Gibson, and even the Scientology clan led by their all powerful leader Tom Cruise, who decided to sue in order to keep an episode from airing. (Although if he saw what some of the other celebrities were putting up with, he might have thanked his lucky stars they took pity on him.)
The crazy thing is that it’s not just “South Park” that’s cashing in on this offend-everyone trend. Shows like “The Chappelle Show” and “Mind of Mencia” have been hugely popular, and most of their content is aimed at picking on different groups of people and saying things that nobody else wants to say out loud.
Shows are popping up all over, with the express purpose of making people laugh by offending a group of people, but it’s OK, cause they’re going to offend everyone eventually, so it’s not really wrong.
The only question left is where do I sign up. For 24 years I’ve been struggling to hold in all the mean things I’ve wanted to say, but what’s a few hurt feelings if you’re going to get $75 million? (And if you get to take Tom Cruise down a peg or two, that’s just an added bonus.)