If you're looking for biting, absurd and hilarious social commentary, "South Park" should be one of your first stops. The cartoon was quick to jump on Apple's location tracking controversy in an episode Wednesday that portrays Steve Jobs as a megalomaniac seeking control over the entire human race. (Warning: spoiler alerts.)
In the episode titled "Humancentipad," Jobs is pictured standing in front of a giant map of the Earth littered with tiny dots, with the label "Where everybody in the world is right now."
PAST VICTIMS OF 'SOUTH PARK': High-tech icons parodied
Jobs creates a new "product" called the Humancentipad by surgically attaching three living people -- including the character Kyle -- with an iPhone and iPad in a parody of a fairly disgusting movie called "The Human Centipede."
Kyle's mistake was signing the iTunes terms and conditions without reading them first, inadvertently signing over to Apple the right to perform whatever gruesome surgery it wishes upon him. Just before Kyle is abducted by men in suits, he is seen showing off his iPad to a waiter who replies,"Apple's stuff is pretty great, but I just don't want any big company tracking me all the time." Kyle scoffs, "That's just a rumor," before being accosted.
Fusing Kyle and two other humans together with Apple products, Jobs proclaims the invention of the first "part human, part centipede, part Web browser and part emailing device."
Horrified by these events, Kyle's father suggests going to the police to locate his son, but is told by Stan: "Dude, when the police want to know where somebody is they ask Apple. The only way we can fix this is by going to the highest authority on the planet: ... the Geniuses."
While the Apple Store Geniuses decide Kyle's fate, a series of events involving Cartman's inability to convince his mother to buy him an iPad leads to Apple teaming up with TV personality Dr. Phil to present the first Humancentipad to Cartman. But he doesn't get to play with it for long before Jobs has a change of heart and allows Kyle to be surgically removed from Apple's other two victims.
Before that happened, though, Kyle's father had to give up his PC for a Mac and agree to let Apple track him at all times and have access to all of his personal information. Just like when you buy an iPhone.
To see many more examples of South Park parodying the high-tech industry, take a look at our slideshow from last year, when the cartoon took on Facebook with the episode "You have 0 friends."
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This story, "In South Park, Apple Knows Where You Are...Just Like in Real Life" was originally published by Network World.