Commentary

EVENT: Reason, South Park, and Sullivan in Amsterdam

Reason in Amsterdam, 2006 The Grand Amsterdam Hotel August 23-26, 2006 With Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Creators of South Park, And Time magazine’s Andrew Sullivan Join Reason in Amsterdam for a three-day conference on the contemporary struggle for freedom in Europe. More info here. Speaking of South Park, in case you missed it, check out last week’s episode. It’s a critique of the hybrid car craze that suggests that, while the rise of hybrids is a good thing, it does pose new environmental threatsââ?¬â??namely “smug” clouds capable of leveling entire cities. Hybrid car owners do enjoy putting their green credentials on display. (In the SP episode the Prius is renamed the “Pious.”) Sometimes it gets a bit muchââ?¬â??I saw one bumper-sticker that asked “How many lives to the gallon do you get?” Thankfully most hybrid owners never reach that level of self-righteousness. A while back I touched on the public side of hybrid ownership:

there will probably always be a market for hybrids that look like hybrids. Marketing consultant Art Spinella notes that hybrid buyers in focus groups fixate on the Prius “because of its unique design and will candidly admit that they expect to receive some acclaim from friends, relatives, co-workers for their concern about the environment and/or fuel efficiency.”

Whole thing here. Download South Park’s “Smug Alert!” episode here. (According to the official South Park site, Matt and Trey are OK with people downloading episodes off the internet.)

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.