Sunday, November 20, 2005
It still wasn't as funny as "Battlefield Earth"
That would be asking too much of anyone, even the fertile comedic minds of "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who continue to prove nothing's more humorous than the truth.
Their latest target: Scientology, whose fictional followers come to Colorado in search of the reincarnated L. Ron Hubbard (whom they believe has inhabited the body of South Park grade schooler, Stan).
Parker and Stone alloted about five minutes of screen time to detail the nonsensical dogma of this alleged "religion" (stealing the words directly from its con man founder). So as not to blur the lines of fiction, an accompanying scroll asserted: "This is what Scientologists actually believe."
No need to attempt to explain the unexplainable. The media has rarely bothered to try since Scientology's lawyers nearly bankrupted Time magazine after the weekly published a scathing cover story in 1991. The libel suit was dismissed, but the attorneys successfully scared off other would-be critics.
Scientology may not yet be mainstream, but it certainly doesn't merit its current tax-free status. (In one of his more feckless moves, former president Bill Clinton successfully carried big donor water by lobbying the German government to remove a ban on Scientology).
I say religions should be required to pass a 1,000 year rule rule before meriting offical recognition. If Scientology's still around in 2960, then I'll relent.
In the meantime, seekers of truth should again toast Misters Parker and Stone, who, as a bonus, managed to throw some biting jabs Tom Cruise's way (the future Mr. Katie Holmes spends much of the episode locked in a closet, where he's later joined by Mr. Kelly Preston, er, John Travolta). It should be noted that Scientology is not gay-friendly, despite the alleged sexual orientations of some of its more famous members.
In the words of young Stan, "Scientology is nothing but a big global scam."
"How dare you mock our faith, you little punk," retorted the fictional Scientologists (though their reply was anything but fictional). "You'll be hearing from our lawyers tomorrow."
"I'm not scared of you. Sue me." Way to throw down the gauntlet, Trey and Matt. Hopefully, Scientology (and/or Tom Cruise) won't take the bait. God forbid one of those notorious L.A. juries rules in their favor, turning Comedy Central into Scientology Central.
Rest assured that network would find a place for devoted follower Kirstie Alley. Scared yet?
***Interestingly enough, Issac Hayes, the voice of Chef on "South Park," is an L.R.H. follower. Chef wasn't in this episode, and if Hayes is truly devoted to his faith/dementia, you may see a parting of ways. My wish: Ike comes to his senses and returns to Planet Earth. The man's much too cool to be a Scientologist.