|January 25, 2007
||It seems that Matt and Trey were at "The Amazing Meeting 5," sponsored by the James Randi Educational Foundation, last Saturday at the Riviera in Las Vegas. The convention focused on Iraq, Islam, and religion in general. For skeptics, no topic is taboo - except Iraq (Las Vegas Sun) has this summary:
"We knew this would come up," said Matt Stone as he glanced at his watch.
Stone is onstage with "South Park" co-creator Trey Parker. The two were invited out to the convention by their friend Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller, a magician and prominent skeptic who is also friends with the event's founder, magician James Randi. Last season on "South Park" the pair pilloried atheist Richard Dawkins. Specifically, they portrayed him as a dogmatic extremist and depicted the gray-haired biologist in flagrante delicto with a sexually ambiguous schoolteacher.
"He's the smartest dumbest person in the world," said Stone, who found Dawkins' brand of atheism as intolerant as religious extremism. "So we had him fall in love with Mr. Garrison."
The crowd seemed only slightly appalled at Dawkins' treatment - not enough to keep them from lining up for autographs and pictures. One attendee, a stock trader from Chicago, made a $10,000 donation to the James Randi Educational Foundation in exchange for a private photo with Stone and Parker.
The audience will forgive Stone and Parker anything after their show's ripping parodies of Mormonism, Scientology and psychic John Edward , all of which they felt compelled to subtitle with notes like, "This Is What They Really Believe."
"It's just so stupid that people are going to believe we made it up," Stone said.
And don't expect the 10-year-old show to end anytime soon.
"As long as people are stupid, we'll still be able to have a show," Parker says. "So that'll be at least three or four years."