In the Wake of the Aziz Ansari (non)-Scandal, Revisiting South Park’s ‘Safe Space’

South Park Image courtesy of Comedy Central

 

The dialogue following the Aziz Ansari non-scandal has been as heated as any since the legitimate Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations unleashed the explosive, zeitgeist-shifting #MeToo movement. But just as the French Revolution had its Robespierre, #MeToo has its hysteria-stirrers.

And so it was that this Monday Babe.net published an “exposé” by Katie Way, in which she detailed what was apparently little more than a bad date that the anonymous subject of the article (assigned the nom de guerre Grace) had with comedian/celebrity Aziz Ansari, editorially escalating it into some bizarre notion of sexual predation. If you need getting up to speed on the “situation,” read the original Babe.net piece here, then read Bari Weiss’ incisive New York Times rebuttal.

Of course, the story is a direct extension of the First-Amendment-defying culture of “safe spaces,” currently multiplying on college campuses across the nation, and arguably cultivating a generation of hair-trigger-sensitive ideological absolutists – those who long for a world in which they would never again have to see or hear anything that offends their delicate sensibilities. (Brett Easton Ellis has branded them “Generation Wuss.”)

As usual, genuine wisdom comes in the form of a particularly incisive South Park episode, this one from October 2015, and fittingly titled Safe Space. In it, PC Principal heaps the burden on poor Butters of sorting out all the negative comments from Cartman’s social media – leading to him then having to perform the same task for a somewhat bizarre collective of celebrities, including Steven Seagal, Vin Diesel and Demi Lovato.

No surprise, the episode’s crowning moment is a song called “In My Safe Space.” Within it is contained all the enlightenment (“If you do not like me / You are not allowed in my safe space”) you will likely need to draw your own conclusion on the whole mess.

 

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