Authoritarian, Politics & Society

South Park Jesus saves Belarus and Pussy Riot

Last night’s episode of South Park took in a few issues close to our hearts at Index: Belarus, Pussy Riot and the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Briefly, in an effort to clean up his image after being exposed as an Armstrongish drug cheat, Jesus Christ begins to campaign on behalf of Belarusian farmers struggling against their government.


The cause becomes a hit — or at least, the coloured plastic bracelets associated with it becomes a hit.

At the end of the episode, Jesus appears in a “Save Pussy Riot” T-shirt.

The episode raises questions about people’s engagement with causes. As Ryan McGee put in at AV Club:

Are they motivated by empathy? By cultural pressure? By the desire to overcompensate for selfish behavior? By the desire to belong to a group? All options are possible, and all play out in one shape or another in tonight’s installment. Mr. Mackey really, really cares about those Belarusian farmers. But he also only cares about them so long as they justify his purchase of a bracelet proclaiming his support of them.

Anyway, apart from all the serious business, the episode does look very, very funny. You can watch some clips here.

Padraig Reidy is news editor of Index on Censorship. Follow him on Twitter – @mePadraigReidy

 

You may also like:

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Belarus and the battle for artistic freedom

 

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