Thinking as a Hobby
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2004-10-13 9:54 AM
Parker/Stone Interview in Salon
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Trey Parker and Matt Stone are interviewed
And actually, they make a lot of sense. My favorite bits:
Parker: The thing is, obviously, we're not setting out to make a movie going, Look, America, this is how you should run things, this is how it should be. Because then we'd be no better than the fucking actors we hate. But the only thing that we assert is that there's a difference between dicks and assholes. That's the biggest thing that we assert.
Stone: That's such a strong political statement.
Parker: And it really kinda is! Because that's the thing that we realized when we were making the movie. It was always the hardest thing. We wanted to deal with this emotion of being hated as an American. That was the thing that was intriguing to us, and having Gary (the main character) deal with that emotion. And so, him becoming ashamed to be a part of Team America and being ashamed of himself, he comes to realize that, just as he got his brother killed by gorillas -- he didn't kill his brother; he was a dick, he wasn't an asshole -- so too does America have this role in the world as a dick. Cops are dicks, you fucking hate cops, but you need 'em.
Interviewer: Thanks to all the assholes -- or criminals. Or in the case of the movie, terrorists.
Parker: Right. Because there are assholes -- terrorists -- you gotta have dicks -- people who hunt down terrorists. And I think that that is a pretty strong thing to assert, actually ... at least the pussies think so.
Parker: But another thing that goes along with the optimism part of it is basically the idea of, well, if I'm not going to have a fucking great time and I'm not going to really appreciate and enjoy and say life is great, then there really is no hope. Because all of the hope for the world is that there can be a great life, and to me, I'm proof of that, that there can be a great life. And yes, it's all about trying to dole that out to as many people as possible, but it's also about, when you have a great country, and it all works, and your life is awesome, then be able to say so! But for some reason, it's almost taboo to say, My fucking life is awesome, and I have a great time, and I have a sweet house and a nice car. People are like [using a scolding voice], "Hey, hey, hey, hey!"
Stone: Especially the richest people in the world, which we know some of in this town, you know? [Angry voice] "The world is fucked up!"
Parker: Look, we were below middle class growing up, and I had a dream that someday things were gonna be better, and I assume that's the way it is in Third World countries. So, if you're not going to enjoy the dream, then there's no hope for anything.
Stone: I think that when Trey wrote "America! Fuck, Yeah!" -- that song? That, to me, encapsulates it. We could talk for hours about America's overzealous stance overseas, but there's also, you know, "America! Fuck, Yeah!" too. And somehow that song encapsulates an hourlong conversation. When people ask me, "What's your attitude about America?" I think of Trey's song. That's the perfect way to put it.
Also, if you weren't aware of it, Sean Penn wrote these guys a letter recently. Here it is:
To Trey Parker and Matt Stone,
I remember a cordial hello when you guys were beginning to be famous guys around Hollywood at some party. I remember several times getting a few giggles out of your humor. I remember not being bothered as you traded on my name among others to appear witty, above it all, and likeable to your crowd. I never mind being of service, in satire and silliness.
I do mind when anybody who doesn't have a child, doesn't have a child at war, or isn't or won't be in harm's way themselves, is encouraging that there's "no shame in not voting" "if you don't know what you're talking about" (Mr. Stone) without mentioning the shame of not knowing what your talking about, and encouraging people to know. You guys are talented young guys but alas, primarily young guys. It's all well to joke about me or whomever you choose. Not so well, to encourage irresponsibility that will ultimately lead to the disembowelment, mutilation, exploitation, and death of innocent people throughout the world. The vote matters to them. No one's ignorance, including a couple of hip cross-dressers, is an excuse.
All best, and a sincere fuck you,
P.S. Take this as a personal invitation from me to you (you can ask Dennis Miller along for the ride as well) to escort you on a trip, which I took last Christmas. We'll fly to Amman, Jordan and I'll ride with you in a (?) 12 hours through the Sunni Triangle into Fallujah and Baghdad and I'll show you around. When we return, make all the fun you want.
They point out that not only is this great free marketing for the movie, it's pretty much what a Sean Penn puppet would say if he were in the movie.
As for voting for the sake of voting, they're right on:
Stone: But when you read it, the letter comes from such a high place of arrogance, you know, [deep, serious voice] "You guys are young guys! If you don't have children, you can't say anything about anything!" And the whole voting thing. All we ever said was that we thought that uninformed people should not vote -- on either side of the political spectrum. It doesn't matter who you're gonna vote for. If you really don't know who you're gonna vote for, or are uninformed, or haven't really thought about it? Just stay home. Don't let people fucking shame you into going to the polls.
Parker: If you have absolutely no idea, fuck it.
Stone: If you really don't know or you're just going to vote for George Bush because he's already in office, or you're gonna vote for John Kerry because he's on the cover of Rolling Stone, don't do that. That's lame. Just stay home. That's all we ever said.
I'm surprised these guys make this much sense. I've said something along similar lines. There's nothing wrong with not voting, whether it be out of ignorance or because you honestly don't like any of the candidates.
Anyway, I thought these were the best parts of the interview, but the whole thing is pretty good. Have a look (though you'll have to wade through some lame advertising first).
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