Life isn’t perfect, and neither are public relations strategies. If you’re getting a reputation for being too greedy, you can show some philanthropy. If you’re getting a reputation for being to soft, you can toughen the image. If you’re accused of being overly-sensitive and litigious, then by all means whine and sue!

Okay, that last one was just a joke. Unfortunately, Tom Cruise is becoming his own punchline.

Cruise has become his own worst enemy. From blasting psychology to mud-stomping a hole in Oprah’s couch, he has systematically convinced most of the world that he is really out of touch. Or maybe from another planet.

When the couch-jumping and Brooke-bashing didn’t fade, he apparently went on the offensive. The latest rumored victim is Comedy Central’s South Park. This past Wednesday was supposed to feature a repeat of an episode in which Tom literally lives “in the closet,” and Scientology gets revealed. Instead, the episode was yanked at the last minute. Some are reporting that Cruise put the screws to Viacom, threatening to sit out the Mission Impossible 3 publicity tour.

Meanwhile, he has already filed suit against the New Zealand operator of www.scienTOMogy.info to the tune of $100,000. Let’s also remember that the daily postings on www.tomcruiseisnuts.com abruptly ended on December 6th.

All South Park did was make fun of Scientology, with the same irreverence shown to Christians, Jews, Muslims, and everyone else. It made fun of Scientologists as out-of-control and litigious. It made fun of Cruise as out-of-control and litigious. So what does Cruise do? He plays right into their hands.

South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have a low tolerance for this sort of thing. Expect Cruise to reappear on the show in coming weeks — probably as Saddam Hussein’s next girlfriend in hell.

UPDATE: Matt and Trey have issued a statement to Variety:

“So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!”

The duo signed the statement “Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu.”