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View Full Version : Can great writing really exist without Eric Cartman?



Paul
02-26-2012, 08:54 PM
yes, post a South Park episode. By my goodness, what a fab, fab character. The teachers ask him to prevent a child's (say Johnny's) suicide, so he orchestrates a different child's suicide.

In answer to his critics he states

"It's what you wanted isn't it? Now Mary will kill herself - but Johnny will live." (I'm paraphrasing)


wow. and it got me thinking...

Celia Cyanide
02-26-2012, 11:48 PM
I know the episode you're referencing, but I have no idea what you're asking.

I prefer Butters.

Paul
02-26-2012, 11:54 PM
Badies. can there be great writing without them? just watching King of Queens - again Arthur fab character (diff genre of course)

muravyets
02-26-2012, 11:56 PM
Are you asking if there can be great writing - or rather, storytelling? -- without villains? I'd say no, if only because I don't think there ever has been a story worth repeating that did not have a pretty compelling, intriquing, and/or entertaining villain.* Conflict = story.


* I would apply this also to stories in which the villain or antagonistic force turns out to be illusory or the same person as the hero.

Paul
02-27-2012, 12:13 AM
agreed. maybe certain works of reflection (Ulysses) but even they have the MC with internal Cartmanism (what? that's a word)

Stacia Kane
02-27-2012, 12:22 AM
I prefer Butters.


Butters is awesome.


We already know the answer to the OP's question, though. The truth lies in THE TALE OF SCROTIE MCBOOGERBALLS.

Mclesh
02-27-2012, 12:29 AM
Great writing can exist without Eric Cartman, but South Park would be much less entertaining.

Maryn
02-27-2012, 12:34 AM
We saw "The Book of Mormon" last weekend--just brilliant. No surprise.

Maryn, whose only regret was not a single cute guy in the cast

Paul
02-27-2012, 12:36 AM
Great writing can exist without Eric Cartman, but South Park would be much less entertaining.
Naw...

without Cartman?


naw. wouldn't last a day.

Paul
02-27-2012, 12:40 AM
We saw "The Book of Mormon" last weekend--just brilliant. No surprise.

Maryn, whose only regret was not a single cute guy in the cast
Nine Tonys. Who was the baddie in it? ;)

Jamesaritchie
02-27-2012, 01:16 AM
Eric who?

Paul
02-27-2012, 01:19 AM
Oh Jamie...

Tepelus
02-27-2012, 02:52 AM
Respect my authoritay!

Had to do it. :D

buz
02-27-2012, 05:19 AM
The truth lies in THE TALE OF SCROTIE MCBOOGERBALLS. *throws up*

Don't forget THE POOP THAT TOOK A PEE, narrated by Morgan Freeman.

"Why are we here?" Douglas cried, as poop came out of his wiener in a long, thin strip.

(Best literary novel ever quasi-made)

In seriousness, um...what was the question?

Right, the villains. It depends on the story. Sometimes the villains are sort of throwaway nothings, just something for the MC to strive against, so...they're there, as a plot device, which is fine, but not brilliant. You could replace Voldemort with an evil big red dog who wants to eat everyone, basically. (I mean, I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get my point.) Harry Potter could go toe to toe with a different villain or evil force--he just needs an evil force.

Cartman is the most brilliant f****** villain I've ever come across. Ever. In any medium. He's not replaceable; South Park would not be what it is without him; he's not just an evil force (though that is certainly part of it). If Harry Potter went up against some wizard version of Eric Cartman, it would have been an entirely different storyline...

A much more twisted storyline...

As to which is "greater", I'm gonna say...it sort of depends on what you set out to write. And how you write it. :D In other words, I'm a dumbcrap and I dunno.

Paul
02-27-2012, 05:55 AM
*throws up*

Don't forget THE POOP THAT TOOK A PEE, narrated by Morgan Freeman.

"Why are we here?" Douglas cried, as poop came out of his wiener in a long, thin strip.

(Best literary novel ever quasi-made)

In seriousness, um...what was the question?

Right, the villains. It depends on the story. Sometimes the villains are sort of throwaway nothings, just something for the MC to strive against, so...they're there, as a plot device, which is fine, but not brilliant. You could replace Voldemort with an evil big red dog who wants to eat everyone, basically. (I mean, I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get my point.) Harry Potter could go toe to toe with a different villain or evil force--he just needs an evil force.

Cartman is the most brilliant f****** villain I've ever come across. Ever. In any medium. He's not replaceable; South Park would not be what it is without him; he's not just an evil force (though that is certainly part of it). If Harry Potter went up against some wizard version of Eric Cartman, it would have been an entirely different storyline...

A much more twisted storyline...

As to which is "greater", I'm gonna say...it sort of depends on what you set out to write. And how you write it. :D In other words, I'm a dumbcrap and I dunno.
i think you answered your own question. And mine :)

artemis31386
02-27-2012, 08:06 AM
Cartman is an a**hole but he's my favorite character on that show. He's a cleverly written villain type because he truly believes in whatever he is doing. He always believes that he is doing the right thing and his interactions with other characters (which are usually humorous) reflect this.

blacbird
02-27-2012, 09:24 AM
The OP was a pretty strange and obfuscating way to ask what should be a straightforward question.

I'd recommend more straightforward questions from here on.

So, with that in mind, I'll translate what I understand to have been meant: Can great writing exist without an antagonist?

If, by this, you mean a human or quasi-human villain, I'd say, yes it can. Many great novels have been erected on the premise that the protagonist contains within all the conflict necessary to make a great story:

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Nostromo, Joseph Conrad
Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
Native Son, Richard Wright
An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
. . .

caw

bearilou
02-27-2012, 04:28 PM
*puts South Park in the same bin as Eraserhead as something bearilou just. didn't. get.*

Paul
02-27-2012, 04:40 PM
The OP was a pretty strange and obfuscating way to ask what should be a straightforward question.

I'd recommend more straightforward questions from here on.





caw


:tongue




what? I can't be writerly witterly a smartass?

Paul
02-27-2012, 04:43 PM
agreed. maybe certain works of reflection (Ulysses) but even they have the MC with internal Cartmanism (what? that's a word)




If, by this, you mean a human or quasi-human villain, I'd say, yes it can. Many great novels have been erected on the premise that the protagonist contains within all the conflict necessary to make a great story:

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Nostromo, Joseph Conrad
Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
Native Son, Richard Wright
An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
. . .

caw
the term is 'internal Cartmanism'. dude.




ok, i'll behave from now on. (promise)

tmesis
02-27-2012, 06:50 PM
Ah, but could The Coon truly exist without Mysterion, or Professor Chaos, or Mintberry Crunch?

willietheshakes
02-27-2012, 07:07 PM
I can't believe I wasted the time I did trying to figure out what the hell was going on in this thread.

Paul
02-27-2012, 07:18 PM
I can't believe I wasted the time I did trying to figure out what the hell was going on in this thread.
Really?

;)

elindsen
02-27-2012, 07:40 PM
*Kyle punches Cartman*
"Mom!"

Question
02-29-2012, 12:39 AM
I agree that King of Queens is good.

But we could all have done without King of the Hill...

Layla Nahar
02-29-2012, 05:11 PM
*puts South Park in the same bin as Eraserhead as something bearilou just. didn't. get.*

really? I made my mom watch it once. Think English lady of the WWII generation. She kept saying 'what is this?' - until the crab-people came out. (Mom might be an outlier. Jackass made her laugh.)


But we could all have done without King of the Hill...

QFT!

The Lonely One
02-29-2012, 08:46 PM
Funny, the Great Expectations episode of South Park was one of the least watched episodes in the history of the franchise, probably because most people in their demo just didn't have the source material read to make it funny.

I watched it in a Victorian Adaptations honors course. I much prefer the robot monkeys.

Phaeal
02-29-2012, 10:31 PM
*puts South Park in the same bin as Eraserhead as something bearilou just. didn't. get.*

That's all right. As long as you like Barton Fink, you can still claim to be a kool intellectual.

Celia Cyanide
03-01-2012, 02:27 AM
Funny, the Great Expectations episode of South Park was one of the least watched episodes in the history of the franchise, probably because most people in their demo just didn't have the source material read to make it funny.

I thought it was just that everyone hated Pip. He's hated by all the kids at school, and most of the fans. Unlike Butters, who is supposed to be very uncool at school, but he's everyone's favorite character.

"Pip" made Trey & Matt's list of the worst South Park episodes ever.

IMO, the very best episodes of South Park:

1) Imagination Land
2) Go, God, Go
3) Margaritaville
4) Overlogging
5) Coon2: Hindsight/Mysterion Rises/Coon vs. Coon & Friends

The last one is a 3 parter.

Andrea_James
03-01-2012, 03:06 AM
Peruvian panpipes. "It's so cultural." Yeah, that probably wasn't Cartman, but it should have been.

Paul
03-01-2012, 04:53 PM
I thought it was just that everyone hated Pip. He's hated by all the kids at school, and most of the fans. Unlike Butters, who is supposed to be very uncool at school, but he's everyone's favorite character.

"Pip" made Trey & Matt's list of the worst South Park episodes ever.

IMO, the very best episodes of South Park:

1) Imagination Land
2) Go, God, Go
3) Margaritaville
4) Overlogging
5) Coon2: Hindsight/Mysterion Rises/Coon vs. Coon & Friends

The last one is a 3 parter.

Excellent choices. I shall add

The Passion of the Jew

You're Getting Old/ Ass Burgers

Sexual Harassment Panda

The Crack Baby Athletic Association

(plus Fishsticks, Chicken Lover, Die, Hippie, Die and of the course my all time favourite
The Red Badge of Gayness, (Civil War ep)

KellyAssauer
03-01-2012, 05:59 PM
Can great writing exist without an antagonist?


Yes! The antagonist could be the social setting, the times they live in, the restraints of that society. The main character can be her/his own antagonist... could be a whale... when it comes to the possibilities of just what the antagonist is within any particular piece of writing the possibilities are endless!

*and I agree, I had to research the OP's wording to understand the premise of the question (having never heard of Eric Cartman) and now, knowing what the name represents I'm quite annoyed that I spent the time I did looking...

There went a few minutes of my life I'll never get back.