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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

I can quit you, Chef

I don’t usually watch “South Park”, not because I don’t appreciate it, but because I don’t watch a lot of TV. I couldn’t tell you when the show airs.

Last night, I had the TV on as I cruised the blogosphere on my laptop, and the only watchable channel I found was Comedy Central – lo and behold, there it was.

My cultural awareness is vast and ever-expanding, so I knew that Isaac Hayes (Chef) had left the show in an apparent fit of righteous indignation over its religious “intolerance and bigotry.” Hayes is a Scientologist, and conventional wisdom has his departure linked to last fall’s “Trapped in the Closet” episode, which mocked Scientology and adherent Tom Cruise.

Comedy Central had scheduled a rerun of “Trapped in the Closet” for last night, but pulled the episode for reasons most entertainingly left to conspiracy fans to guess at.

The network broadcast a replacement episode that seemed awfully topical. Chef returns from a stint with the Super Adventure Club, which held some thinly veiled Scientology precepts – plus pedophilia. Chef’s dialogue was obviously spliced together. Chef himself had been brainwashed by the club. And in a grand and grotesque send-off, Chef falls off a cliff, gets impaled on a tree, and is eaten by a grizzly and a cougar.

This episode, it seemed to me, was slapped together in a week with snippets of past Chef dialogue. My hunch was right.

Bonus horrible critique:

“By the Book” treatment critiques are dribbling in. Women seem to like it, but have problems with the characters. Men seem to like the characters, but have problems with the plot. It does need more plot, but I’m going to set that aside and turn back to “Sheep’s End” for now.

Here are some snippets from one reader (edited):

It’s a total mess my friend. You have some interesting characters, with no real story, pushing them forward. And they have all these characteristics that add up to nothing and bog down the read, plus I don’t know what kind of story it is. If I were you, I’d start over.

Yeah, that was a guy.

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