During the “Organizing for Social Change” reading one thing kept popping into my head: South Park. Now, I know that some people may not understand the intelligence behind the construction paper animation, but most people would agree they are pretty great. ANYWAYS, there is an episode (Night of the Living Homeless – an obvious reference to zombie movies) where homeless people come to South Park, Colorado and grow in numbers because someone gives the first homeless man money. As the show continues, the whole town freaks out and eventually gets rid of them by luring them with the promise that California loves the homeless people. This negative position towards the poor community became obvious with this episode.
The second section of the reading discusses how “when you cannot see a population of people it is easy to forget them” (254). Just on Franklin Street, policemen urge homeless people away as a way to hide the poverty occurring. However, by simply ignoring the problem, nothing can get better. In the South Park episode, the homeless people are simply hidden away to California in an initial attempt to ignore the poverty occurring all over the world. Numerous suggestions of methods to improve the lives of the poor and the homeless such as the Community Suppers in Appalachia. Such an idea was extremely reasonable and respectable especially since so many opportunities today are based on the people you know. However, the problem of acknowledging the homeless as real people is something that came up in the article as well as South Park. During the episode, a scientist explains that the homeless “anotomy is shockingly similar to ours. See? Everything is there: heart, lungs, kidneys, they’re almost identical to us in every way.” Although Matt Stone and Trey Parker are obvious being satirical, the message does reveal how many people view the homeless as different than them.
This episode also revealed the power of television in America as well as India. The idea that the show Tinka Tinka Sukh can affect communities so deeply reveals media’s ability to change the world for the better. While South Park attempts to reveal the issue and the problem of simply ignoring the situation, I doubt many viewers were as touched as those watching Tinka Tinka Sukh. Although they are addressing different issues, the influence of the media is impossible to ignore and the need for change to occur is apparent.
Also, here is the South Park episode.