Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Subversive Side of Celebration

On the tidy streets of Celebration, behind the neatly clipped lawns and the pristine house facades, you could probably never imagine the subversive television viewing activities going on.

Even I had no idea, and I consider myself pretty open-minded. I was an early fan of "Beavis and Butthead" and "Ren & Stimpy," and I watched "South Park" in the early days, before it entered the mainstream. Ah, those were the days! Some of the new episodes are still funny, but for me, nothing has ever topped Stan's grandpa begging him to perform euthanasia while all of the parents were committing suicide by sling-shot-ing themselves into the wall of the Cartoon Central building to protest "Terrence & Phillip" fart humor. (Well, okay, Cartman's tricking Scott Tennerman into eating the flesh of his own parents somes close, and "Woodland Critter Christmas" is the ultimate holiday classic.)

Nowadays, the foul-mouthed Colorado kids are nearly passe, and the new version of "Family Guy" is a watered-down shadow of its former disgusting, politically incorrect first incarnation. I loved "Kid Notorious" on Comedy Central, but I think I was one of only three people who ever watched it (and one of the other two was my husband, who I forced). I thought the only truly pants-wetting-hilarious, politically incorrect cartoon was "Drawn Together," and even they exhibited a rare modicum of taste by not airing the Christopher Reeve episode due to his passing away.

For the uninitiated, "Drawn Together" is an animated spoof on reality shows, in which characters such as Foxxy Love (a Josey and the Pussycats/blaxploitation 70s character), Toot (a chunky, black-and-white Betty Boop clone whose hobbies are eating and cutting herself), Wooldoor Sockbat (a cross between Stimpy and Spongebob Squarepants), Princess Clara (a stuck-up, racist Disney-style princess), Spanky Ham (a nasty internet cartoon who looks suspiciously like Chuckles the Silly Piggy from "Dave the Barbarian"), Ling-Ling (a Pokeman ripoff), Captain Hero (the requisite muscle-bound jock superhero), and Xandir (an elfin video game hero who was on a "neverending quest to save his girlfriend" until his housemates forced him out of the closet) attempt to live together in harmony.

Typical plots include the housemates' efforts to help Clara with her "problem" (her genitals are inhabited by an octopuss monster), leading the characters to break into song like on "Scooby Doo" and those other 60s Hanna Barbera classics. But on "DT," the lyrics aren't exactly Saturday morning material; the song is "La La Labia, Baby."

"Drawn Together" can manage to gross out and/or offend virtually anyone, regardless of sex, race, orientation, or belief system. You know that you're being very, very naughty by watching it, but that's part of why it feels so good. I get the same feeling when I dare to admit how much I enjoy "Reno 911."

But although "DT" walks the edge, it's getting hard to shock people in a day when even Disney Channel cartoons have their subversive moments. For example, on the "Lilo and Stitch" series, for Halloween Lilo dresses up like a Disney princess...with a bloody ax embedded in her skull. On "Dave the Barbarian," Fang yells at Uncle Oswich for touching her monkey warmer. He laments, "But touching the monkey is addictive!" (If you don't get it, think back to Dieter's Dance Party on "Saturday Night Live.")

Thus, when I tell you about a show that was revealed to me by a Celebration friend, please, please believe me when I classify it was possibly the most disgusting and offensive thing that I've ever watched on t.v. I feel like scrubbing my eyes out with Lysol when I'm done. But still, like a train wreck in which an engine full of babies collided head-on with one full of nuns at 75 m.p.h., I want to look away...I know I should look away...but I just can't. Dare I admit it, it makes me laugh. It's horrible...hideous...and often very funny in the most perverted way possible.

The show is called "Wonder Showzen," airing on MTV2. It looks like a PBS children's program on the order of "Sesame Street" or "Zoom," and the theme song would even lead you to believe that. But here is the advisory, verbatum:


If you are easily offended, I implore you not, I repeat NOT to click the link below. It is a link to the Wonder Showzen pilot, which the show's creator's prepared for the USA Network. USA immediately took a pass, but they somehow convinced MTV to go for it, albeit buried on their bastard red-haired step-sibling channel.

It will open in a new window, and since it's a 15 minutes video, it may take some time to download (I only recommend it for high speed connections). One more time, before you click, I implore you to think twice, especially if graphic horse sex, child reporters questioning adults as they come out of the bathroom, puppet sex and childbirth, cows pooping, and a turkey getting its head lopped off would disturb you. You'll either think it's hilarious or will projectile vomit all over your computer screen and then start a petition to get me run out of Celebration (just remember, I'm not the one who discovered this!).

Don't say I didn't warn you: Click here to see the train wreck

Okay, hopefully you survived that, or had the good sense not to click on the link. And speaking of puppet sex, that makes a good segue into another subversive piece of viewing material that I was introduced to by yet another Celebration resident. It's both hilarious and disturbing, although in a more mainstream way than "Wonder Showzen." I'm referring to the movie "Team American: World Police," created by Matt and Trey of "South Park" fame.

"Team America's" characters are all marrionettes, but that doesn't stop them from destroying various locations around the world, decapitating liberal celebrities, and making graphic love in almost any imaginable position. I was nearly rolling on the floor throughout the movie, although the hilarity factor was probably enhanced by chugging margaritas beforehand. For those who appreciated the "South Park" soundtrack, you'll love "America, F&!k Yeah!" and "Montage" (which is also featured in the Aspen timeshare "SP" episode). The movie is loaded with quotable quotes and dialogue so hokey that it makes George Lucas look like Shakespeare. I had wanted to see it in the theater, but somehow I never got around to it. Now, it's a must for my home DVD collection.

Click here for the "Team America" script. I promise it won't make Jesus cry like "Wonder Showzen surely does; it's funny and subversive in a much more mainstream South Park/Simpsons/Family Guy kind of way.

When I moved to Celebration, I thought I was already corrupted pretty thoroughly. Now, I can see that I barely scratched the surface. I'm tapped into the seamy undercurrents flowing below the Disney/Stepford facade, and life will never be the same.

So if you're ever in Celebration in the evening and you see the bluish flicker of a television screen dancing around the edges of a window shade, be very, very afraid. And if someone tries to invite you inside for some t.v. or a movie, RUN! You never know what disturbing images might be dancing on their screen.

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