World AIDS Day (and South Park, of course)

1 12 2010

The first of December: a time of festive cheer, getting ready to take leave from work, preparing for the new year, making your budget work… and a day we show are awareness about AIDS.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease – or, rather, it has become a pandemic – of the immune system that attacks and weakens the system at a rapid rate. The immune system is damaged to such an extent that the infected person has basically no defence against diseases, making him/ her more susceptible to them while his/ her body is unable to fight against it.

Millions of people have died, children have been orphaned by the disease/ pandemic, and we are still a far cry from radically reducing the amount of casualties.

This is why we have World AIDS Day on the 1st of December (which was first implemented and ‘celebrated’ in 1988): to raise awareness of the disease, to serve as a prevention initiative, and to encourage us to get tested and know our status. Counselling and support systems are provided, and by making people aware of the cause and effect of this disease, a lot of people can be and are helped.

All of this said, I cannot help but think about a South Park episode called TONSIL TROUBLE… and if there is such a place as hell, I’m probably going to it for referring to this episode and seemingly making ‘light’ of the situation (which is what the creators of the series are playing with).

In any case, Cartman goes to the hospital to have his tonsils removed. For some or other highly inexplicable reason – not that you’d expect any less from the show, or the doctors who run that hospital – Cartman had to have a blood-transfusion, and it is through this act that he is infected with HIV (though, throughout, they vary between HIV, which is the virus, and AIDS).

Receiving the news.

Now, if you watch the series and know about Cartman’s personality, you too would find it ironic that he should be infected – he is always the one who is making fun about everything, being rude, complaining about hippies and Mexicans and whatnot… basically, being offensive and obnoxious all the time.

This is why his friend, Stan, has to leave the hospital room and burst out laughing at the irony of Cartman’s predicament. Of course, Cartman doesn’t take too kindly to this, so he goes to Stan’s home at night and, while he’s sleeping, injects him some of his (Cartman’s) blood, thus infecting him with HIV.

Sick and twisted, isn’t it?

Not to go rambling on and on about it, but they go in search of a cure, then travel to retired basketball player Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson’s house. Cartman believes that the answer lies with him, since he has lived for so long with the virus without dying. In the end, they deduce it’s because of all the money he sleeps with in his bedroom (piles and piles of it) – thus, money is the answer. Yes, I know what you’re thinking right now… So, they take a lot of money (approximately 180 thousand dollars), shoot it into their bloodstreams, and the virus seems to ‘disintegrate’ and vanish.

Liquefied money = the 'cure'.

See, money does solve problems…

I love South Park. I really do. It’s nice how they can bring humour to the most sensitive of subjects, even if people feel offended by it. Because, really, if you think about it, they are trying to make you aware of it, as well as notions around serious issues (and even how people think that a lot of money will make you happy, keep you immune from things, and eventually solve all your problems).

So if you don’t like South Park, that’s fine. But take today to think about all the AIDS victims out there, all the people infected with the virus, and hope that one day the amount of casualties will be reduced. I like to think that things will turn out all right.

To quote Cartman: “I’m not just sure – I’m HIV positive.”




3 responses

1 12 2010
World Spinner

World AIDS Day (and South Park, of course) « The Skinny on my ……

Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

2 12 2010
World AIDS Day (and South Park, of course) « The Skinny on my … | Watch South Park Episodes Online

[…] link: World AIDS Day (and South Park, of course) « The Skinny on my Jeans (Genes) […]

31 12 2010
ip camera

Hi, can I quote some of the content found in this entry if I provide a link back to your site?

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