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Go God Go

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"Go God Go" is episode 1012 (#151) of Comedy Central's South Park. It was broadcast on November 1, 2006, and is part one of a two-part story arc. Part two is "Go God Go XII". The episode is rated TV-MA.

Plot summary

Cartman is unable to wait three weeks until the Wii console is released, causing him extreme insomnia and other symptoms. He tries to go into cryonic suspension by getting in his refrigerator but his mother catches him. He finally gets Butters to freeze him in the mountains.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Garrison is reluctant to teach "godless evolution," which she summarizes as the process of "squirrels having butt-sex with fish and giving birth to monkeys." Outspoken evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is hired as an assistant teacher to help Mrs. Garrison present the evolution lesson, and after some initial friction (namely Garrison insulting Dawkins, deriding evolution and hurling feces at him), a romantic interest soon develops.

During their date, Dawkins almost instantly converts the infatuated Mrs. Garrison to atheism by citing the Flying Spaghetti Monster to demonstrate that religion is based on logical fallacies, to which he replies "there's no great mystery to life, evolution explains everything and God's a spaghetti monster, thank you, Richard!" Later they go back to Mrs. Garrison's house and have vaginal sex from behind, owing to the fact that Mrs. Garrison is post-op. Dawkins is none the wiser that Mrs. Garrison ever had sex reassignment surgery. The next day in class, Mrs. Garrison reveals herself to be a fanatical atheist, and places Stan in the "dunce chair" when he tries to argue that faith in God can be reconciled with evolution. Later that night, as Dawkins and Garrison are cuddling in bed surrounded by various erotic toys, she convinces him that they must cleanse the world of God-belief and thus end religious wars forever.

By this time, Cartman has become cold enough to enter suspended animation and a freak avalanche buried his body. In a montage that spoofs the opening credits of the late-1970s TV series Buck Rogers,[1] it is revealed that Cartman ultimately remains frozen for over five centuries, until being discovered and thawed out by members of the Unified Atheist League (UAL).

In the year 2546, the entire world is atheistic and supposedly dedicated to rationality and science, yet atheism itself has splintered into several mutually hostile denominations: bloodthirsty wars are waged "In the name of Almighty Logic" and people use "Science-dammit!" as a curse; a very different depiction of the violence-free atheist world thought by Dawkins. Cartman, however, is horrified to learn that no one in the future plays "Wii" or any other video games for that matter.

On their way to the Ancient Technology Museum in search of a "Wii console", the UAL comes under attack by a rival group, the United Atheist Alliance (UAA). After a fierce battle that leaves all the UAL members dead and Cartman a UAA hostage, the group is contacted by yet another faction, the Allied Atheist Allegiance (AAA) -- who are super-intelligent sea otters at war with the humans of the UAL and UAA over world domination and the best name for atheists. The Otter King threatens to smash Cartman's skull "like a clam on my tummy".

"Genesis" of episode

Trey Parker and Matt Stone briefly describe one part of the inspiration for "Go God Go" in their director commentaries for the Season 10 DVD. During an appearance by the pair on TV's Nightline, an interviewer had asked, "May I assume you two are atheists, since you make fun of religious beliefs so often?"

Surprised by the question, Parker and Stone emphatically said that they did not consider themselves to be atheists—leading to a phone call shortly thereafter from their friend Penn Jillette, an outspoken advocate for atheism who had seen the interview and was evidently disappointed to learn that the two were not"on the Atheist team."

Their subsequent conversations with Jillette about atheism and related topics (e.g., the difference between "atheism" and "agnosticism") gave rise to the idea of satirizing the "militant" or "evangelical" atheism as represented in the episode by Dawkins and Garrison.

Reaction

Nintendo's response

Nintendo of America's President and Chief Operating Officer Reggie Fils-Aime responded in an interview on CNET TV regarding this episode: "Obviously we love it," he said, insisting that no permission was sought from Nintendo. "It's fantastic to be in popular culture that way. I'll tell you this: It's not going to be the last."[2]

Starting the week of November 5, 2006, a poll on Nintendo.com has asked "How bad do you want a Wii?" With the responses being "Bad", "Way Bad", and "Worse than Cartman," with the third choice holding out with 80% of the votes.

At Nintendo's 2007 E3 press conference, a clip of the episode where Cartman tells his mother he must have a Wii was included in a motage of clips about the demand for the Wii.

Also, on the Season 10 DVD Commentaries, Trey and Matt mention that, due to this episode, they actually received free Wii systems from Nintendo.

Richard Dawkins' response

Richard Dawkins, in a Q & A session at the Free Library of Philadelphia said: "I would have thought they could at least have got an actor that could do a proper British accent." On his website, Dawkins states: "I’m buggered if I like being portrayed as a cartoon character buggering a bald transvestite. I wouldn’t have minded so much if only it had been in the service of some serious point, but if there was a serious point in there I couldn’t discern it. And then there’s the matter of the accent they gave me. Now, if only I could be offered a cameo role in The Simpsons, I could show that actor how to do a real British accent."[3]

Episode name

There was some confusion regarding the episode title. Originally, many cable and satellite providers listed it as "Go, God, Go! Part II," despite the lack of a "Go, God, Go! Part I." When the episode was broadcast, the official South Park website simply listed it with the generic title "TBA". Several days after its initial broadcast, it was officially designated "Go God Go."[4]

References

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Go God Go. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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