Essential knowledge I’ve gained from watching South Park every time I smoke weed

Don’t be an asshole — S2E10 “Smug Alert” — This episode is about a bunch of people who get hybrid cars and think they’re better than everyone else. When people get smug, “smug” is released into the air (from farts — they like to smell their own farts) like smog and it becomes a problem. The smuggiest city is San Francisco. This funny, satirical episode taught me to stay humble, even if you secretly believe that you are better everyone. The key is to not verbalize that so you aren’t an asshole.

The Government is not conspiring against you — S10E9 “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce” — In this episode somebody shits in the urinal and everyone scrambles to point fingers. Conspiracy theories spread similar to how they did in post 9/11 America. This episode is making fun of those theories but it gets serious at the end — The message is that the government doesn’t care enough about its citizens to do them that dirty. If the government is violating your rights it’s usually pretty clear, no conspiracies necessary. No need to bother with conspiracies — the truth is right in front of us. It’s usually a good idea to believe the things people (or politicians) tell you about themselves.

Being angsty is really pointless (by definition also) — Every episode featuring the goth kids — There are a few episodes I could reference here. When Stan gets dumped and becomes goth, he’s responding to his breakup in a normal way. The depressive goths are aimlessly angsty. Stan soon sees through this facade and decides to be himself again. (I’m not reading into this as a metaphor for people with actual mental illness or anything, disclaimer. I’m interpreting each goth character as the Holden Caulfields at your local high school, not a seriously depressed person.) The goth kid episodes taught me that if I’m being angsty, I’m probably just feeling sorry for myself and need to snap out of it. And also that it’s okay to laugh at yourself, even if you really love Bauhaus.