Open Letter to Matt and Trey

I first saw your work as a dup-of-a-dup-of-a-dup video of Spirit of Christmas. Sweeet. What would Brian Boitano do? Since then, you’ve managed to make a pretty big name for yourselves. You now have a chance to become legendary.

One of the things that makes your show a hit is your ability to respond to events in a very short time. When the world is being stupid, you are there to mock it.

According to the internet, there will be no new episodes of South Park ready to go until September. That’s cool. I respect that as artists you need time to step back from the cash cow and maybe make another broadway hit musical.

But.

Were I you, I’d have my animators standing by. The major party national conventions are coming up, and chances are things will happen that you will have a take on. The fact you have no planned episodes is perfect.

After the Republican national convention, announce that you have created a special out-of-season episode. The network will happily find a place for you, and the ratings will blow out the roof, as people gobble up your take on the whole dog and pony show. When the Democratic National Convention comes round, play it coy, get people all lathered up accusing you of being partisan for not mocking the Democrats, and then do a Mr. Hankey episode to tidal wave ratings, followed by tidal wave anger.

You guys are in a position to define a new realm in political satire. Don’t let me down.

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Christian Mingle, Random Numbers, and Prayer

I typed the above title into my bloggotool a few days ago, thinking I’d get back to it when I had time. I vaguely remember the point I was going to make. Let’s see how this goes.

Christian Mingle is an online matchmaking service for Christian folks. It makes sense; there are a lot of people for whom a partner must be of the same religion, and it wouldn’t surprise me if same-faith relationships tend to last longer (though there is likely precious little in the way of unbiased data on the subject — it’s one of those simple-sounding propositions that turns out to be a bitch to measure. But I digress…).

Anyway, my memory of the site’s tagline is fuzzy, but it’s something like, “find God’s match for you.” So you see, they are presenting themselves as an agent of God, a conduit that allows the Big Guy to work his subtle magic. I’ve heard crazier things. But then I thought some more (perhaps too much), and I realized that most likely they apply mathematical comparison algorithms to find the best matches, as do the rest of the matchmaking sites. In fact, they are probably a branded front end on one of the other major services. It’s all math, and it’s deterministic. The same data in will produce the same result. If God wants Sally to be with Jorge, but the numbers say she should be with Marcel, what’s He gonna do?

Although random numbers in computers aren’t truly random, they’re unpredictable enough that a deity could jigger them now and then and no one would be the wiser. If Christian Mingle threw a lot of entropy at the problem, they could create the wiggle room God needs to work His will. Clients would fill out a detailed questionnaire, send it in, and Christian Mingle could match them up randomly and bickety-bam, God’s will is done. Sally’s with Jorge.

(Note that God’s will does not necessarily translate to what’s best for the individuals involved.)

Generating the random number is much like prayer, except that now we have a machine to perform that tedious task for us. We are appealing to a higher power for guidance, trusting ourselves to His plan. For marketing, I would suggest to Christian Mingle that they substitute the phrase “Divine Guidance” for “Random Number” in their brochures.

Meanwhile, I’m going to go home and whip up a quick “pray for my soul” script. I have a feeling I’m going to need it.

Feedback for God’s Entry in the Hyperspace Open

Score:
Structure: 21
Life Forms: 16
Style: 21
Originality: 23
Total score: 81

A very interesting universe. Your concepts of ‘gravity’ and ‘light’ really added a fresh twist to the old Big Bang style of universe. Generally universes unfold better without direct intervention from the creator, but in this case the miracles are done with a delicate touch and seem to work. But to what purpose? To create a whole ‘planet’ full of beings that seem to serve no purpose other than to slaughter each other comes off as cruel. The ending feels anticlimatic, with the entire universe slowly dispersing into nothingness. Increasing the ‘gravitational constant’ so the universe collapses back into itself at the end would have provided a good feeling of closure.

Holy Hell what does it take to get a competent judge around here? Were they even looking at the same universe?

Cruel? I guarantee that no one else in this contest came up with a natural order that gave rise to an intelligence like that. Their struggle to overcome their animal instincts is the whole point. I don’t know how I could have made that any more obvious. How could the judges not get that?

And not everyone wants their universe to end with an explosion. I mean, come on, aren’t we tired of that by now? As the energy-people fade away one by one, until the last intelligence in the universe drifts into a dreamless sleep — that’s gold right there. Or maybe they thought that was cruel, too.

I’d like to see any of these so-called judges make a universe even half as good at this one. I guess I should have known what to expect, though; after all if they were as talented as I am they wouldn’t need a job judging a contest.

My universe is perfect! Flawless! I mean, for starters, just look at the way the physical laws work together. All my friends agree with me! Anyone who can’t see that is obviously not worthy to view my masterpiece in the first place.

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