Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Leopold Butters Stotch, Life Coach

I, quite shamelessly, love South Park. The writing is brilliant, and their take on all issues, political and social, is instructive to people on both sides of it. It can be crass, for certain, but real life isn't rated PG.

Of all the characters, I really have to say that Butters is my favorite. The poor kid goes around being victim to all the others because he is so gullible. He's gullible because he likes to believe the best in others, so he always takes them as being truthful with him. It leads him into plenty of shenanigans and confusion, which often result in his being punished by his overly strict parents.

I think I like Butters so much because, as a child, I was him. I see a poor, kindred spirit that is often made a victim because of his kindness. Because of that, when Butters gets the chance to give the "I've learned something, today" speech at the end of an episode, it makes it all the more impacting.

In the case of Season 11, Episode 2, entitled "Cartman Sucks," Butters is making that speech, having been pushed to the edge of himself. He is, again, on the receiving end of a bad joke that makes his parents think he's bi-curious. He has no idea what that means, spending the entire episode thinking he's considered bi-curious just because he's confused about what that word means. So, he gets sent to a Christian camp where they attempt to reform gay boys by quoting Scripture and praying. His "accountabili-buddy," Bradley, is fraying from the corners down to the very center of the fabric of his sanity, and, after an interchange that's just interpreted in the vein of general friendship by Butters, but interpreted by Bradley as relating to their sexuality, Bradley runs off to commit suicide. Which leads to this scene:

Butters doesn't know what he is, but he is pretty certain that he's being whoever God made him to be, and that's okay. I remember seeing this episode for the first time. It was then that I began to come to terms with who I am and feeling okay with it. I came into adulthood with no ability to handle shame or guilt. That kept me from ever accepting me for who I am. We, as mankind, in all of our diversity, are an image of God. If He is parent to the human race, then we are a reflection of all of His facets. Because of that, it's time we started treating one another with more love and tolerance. We should treat each other as the image of God that we are. But, my point here is that we should treat ourselves in the same way. If we are an image of God, we should give to ourselves the grace and compassion that we would offer another person. God would have us do so. He's big enough to love us as we are.

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