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Monday, March 20, 2006

Fool me twice...won't get fooled again 

Oops. Big oops.

From Inoperable Terran:

Apparently Issac Hayes did *not* quit South Park - his Scientology handlers did it on his behalf after he suffered a stroke.

From Roger Friedman of Fox News:

Isaac Hayes did not quit "South Park." My sources say that someone quit it for him.

I can tell you that Hayes is in no position to have quit anything. Contrary to news reports, the great writer, singer and musician suffered a stroke on Jan. 17. At the time it was said that he was hospitalized and suffering from exhaustion.

Ah, the famed illness of all celebrities - exhaustion. But a stroke? If true, that does make it hard to quit stuff. Anyway, here's how Blackflix reported it in January:


Isaac Hayes, best known for his Oscar-winning 1971 hit "Theme From Shaft," has been hospitalized in Memphis for exhaustion, according to his longtime songwriting partner David Porter. "He's just overworked and had been in Atlantic City performing, the D.C. area performing, and in Tunica (Miss.) a couple of nights ago. He was just overworked," Porter told The Commercial Appeal newspaper. "He's doing much better." Hayes, 63, is best known to "South Park" fans as the voice of Chef on the Comedy Central series.

The Isaac Hayes official website press page hasn't been updated since November 2005.

So what does Isaac Hayes think about South Park's humor in general, and the "Trapped in the Closet" episode in particular? Friedman refers to an interview that was posted at The A.V. Club on January 4:

AVC: Do you ever challenge Trey Parker and Matt Stone on what they're trying to say with South Park?

IH: Well, when I did "Chocolate Salty Balls," I asked them, "Are you sure you want to do this stuff, man?" But then I looked into the studio and saw the whole crew in there cracking up. I said, "Shit, they might have something." So I went on and did it, and I'm glad I did, because it was such a huge hit. In fact, when it was out in England during the Christmas holidays, I aced… who were those girls who were so hot then?

AVC: The Spice Girls?

IH: Exactly. I aced them for the number-one spot. [Laughs.]

AVC: There's some pretty harsh satire on South Park. They don't really care who they offend.

IH: But that's their thing! They're success was built on that cutting-edge stuff. I've had to defend them a lot of times. One time on BET Tonight I defended them because Tavis Smiley, the host on that show, was coming at me. It was a call-in show, too, so people were calling in. I told them not to take this stuff seriously. If you do, you'll get in trouble. Just enjoy it. Remember your high-school yearbook? You look at those pictures now, you laugh, right? That's what South Park is. You got to laugh at it. Because we cursed, but we just didn't dare let the principals, the teachers, or the preachers hear it. And we didn't turn out bad, okay? Just look at it that way. Also, usually there's some kind of moral message at the end for the kids, by the Chef.

AVC: They did just do an episode that made fun of your religion, Scientology. Did that bother you?

IH: Well, I talked to Matt and Trey about that. They didn't let me know until it was done. I said, "Guys, you have it all wrong. We're not like that. I know that's your thing, but get your information correct, because somebody might believe that shit, you know?" But I understand what they're doing. I told them to take a couple of Scientology courses, and understand what we do. [Laughs.]

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

I don't understand it. Why are these people so ashamed to admit what their religion teaches?

Here's a link to the CNN story:

If I were a Scientologist (thank God I'm not), I wouldn't necessarily object to the beginning of the South Park episode, but I might object to the end of the episode. After the Scientologists convince the South Park kid that he truly is the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard, they ask him to start writing new revelations. When the South Park kid writes the revelation that Scientology teaching should be given away for free, the head Scientologist issues a "wait a minute" - do you really think we believe all that space stuff?

If I were a Scientologist, I wouldn't be worried about someone revealing my religious secrets - I'd be worried about someone calling me a money-grubbing hypocrite.

It's things like this that lead me toward removing tax exemption for churches.

And, of course, it's a condemnation of the mystery religions, which have been around in some form or another for millennia. In retrospect, I've written about a lot of mystery religions in this blog - Scientology, LDS, Freemasonry, all of which have secrets that aren't taught to new members of the faith. In Christianity and other religions such as Islam, you get the whole story on day 1.
I'm beginning to agree with you about removing tax-exemption status from churches.
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