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a literary and economic professor who uses South Park episodes to teach his courses
just read and bask in it.
Plato’s Symposium is useful for showing that vulgarity and philosophical thought are not necessarily antithetical. Before dismissing South Park, we should recall that some of the greatest comic writers – Aristophanes, Chaucer, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Voltaire, Jonathan Swift – plumbed the depths of obscenity even as they rose to the heights of philosophical thought. The same intellectual courage that emboldened them to defy conventional proprieties empowered them to reject conventional ideas and break through the intellectual frontiers of their day. Without claiming that South Park deserves to rank with such distinguished predecessors, I will say that the show descends from a long tradition of comedy that ever since ancient Athens has combined obscenity with philosophy. There are almost as many fart jokes in Aristophanes’ play The Clouds as there are in a typical episode of The Terrance and Philip Show in South Park. In fact, in the earliest dramatic representation of Socrates that has come down to us, he is making fart jokes as he tries to explain to a dumb Athenian named Strepsiades that thunder is a purely natural phenomenon and not the work of the great god Zeus: “First think of the tiny fart that your intestines make. Then consider the heavens: their infinite farting is thunder. For thunder and farting are, in principle, one and the same.”  Cartman couldn’t have said it better.
b) South Park has been written about before like this.
c) One of my uni supervisors, the semi-famous Eric Griffiths, used to reference South Park all the time in lectures, and wrote about it here for the New Statesman:
why do you think this one is so special?