The normal blog post about Mexico and the media is a negative one. Drugs, beheadings, shoot outs – that sort of thing. But the country is also good for producing some bizarre stuff as well. The latest scandal* involves South Park. A show which, it has to be said, is a bit edgy and likely to court controversy now and again. This time though, the offense is pretty innocuous. Certainly to us foreigners. The episode features President Felipe Calderon, just for a moment, at the end of the show. That’s not the problem though. The issue is with the cartoon rendition of the Mexican flag. It’s just hanging on the wall, with no obvious reason for offense to be taken. But Mexico is incredibly protective of its flag. Any sort of reproduction is ‘frowned upon’.
More than frowned upon in fact – a hefty fine can be levied. A few years ago Australia’s version of Big Brother caused a right old diplomatic spat. And even broadcasting a cartoon show with a cartoon Mexican flag has the television companies worried where exactly they stand legally. Worried enough to pull the episode from the schedule. I’ve put the relevant clip in the video below. Truth be told, it’s not that funny. The South Park episode featuring Mexico’s Cesar Millan, aka the Dog Whisperer, was much, much funnier.
If you ask me the February edition of the Mexican issue of Playboy is much more scandalous. The descendants of two very famous revolutionaries, Calles and Carranza, both of whom went on to be Mexican presidents, have posed naked (or as naked as Playboy allows) for a special ‘Revolutionary’ edition. To be honest, neither are very pretty. I bought a copy to go in the Mexico Mementos box. And because sometimes these magazines become valuable after a few years. Not mega valuable, but worth the investment. Señores Calles and Carranza, however, are turning in their graves even as I type. And the South Park rendition of the Mexican flag, I suspect, is not high on their list of concerns. Ironically, whilst picking up the magazine, I noticed a newspaper. With the Mexican flag painted on a hand. Obviously this newspaper and the South Park censoring television station have a different set of lawyers…