I'm honestly not certain whether I find the egregious offense-baiting of Western artists and writers who wish to be perceived as somehow tough, unbowed by, uh "totalitarianism," or the preposterous willingness of Muslims around the world to respond in kind by taking the ridiculous bait to be more annoying, so instead I am going to make fun of Ross Douthat, whose author photo at the Times makes him look like he just killed seven hookers and then ate a cheesburger, for his evident belief that South Park is actually as opposed to superficially iconoclastic. South Park can be kinda funny if you're stoned. So are classified ads, trees, clouds, breathing, tee-shirts, dogs, squirrels, ice cream, houses, bicycles, sounds, fingers, etc. But the idea that it evinces anything other than the most conventional American mores is authentic American intellectual flatulence. Examine the Stone/Parker oeuvre and you will discover that politicians are dishonest, local police are inept, real racism is bad but "political correctness" has gone too far, governments and schools are too involved in our lives but at the same time its important to work together . . . ad fucking nauseum. South Park happily embraces the same set of inconsistent political and cultural nostrums that you'll hear bandied over any neighborhood bar or diner counter, a sort of mild and mostly incoherent libertarianism combined with a vaguely atavistic sense that Things Used to Be Different combined with an off-color joke or two. Its foul mouth and scatology are a mere patina under which lurks an almost wholly normative cultural sensibility. It may be the least challenging thing on television. American Idol is more radical.