Part Three: The Script
Keeping the "Art" in FArt Jokes (Working Title)
Scene 1: Schoolâs Argument
The fifth graders of South Park Elementary, including Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman, are in art class. Art supplies (scissors, crayons, construction paper, glue) are strewn about the tables at which the children sit. A poster on the back wall reads âKeep the Art in Smart.â
Cartman (happily rocking back and forth, practically singing the lines): âFriday art class/Friday art class/I love art so much/because art is super cool/especially on Fridayâ¦â
Kyle: âCartman, you only like Friday art class because Ms. McGee gives us Twizzlers on Friday, you fatass.â
Cartman: âScrew you! I am not fatâMs. McGee says Iâm âRuben-esque.ââ
A new teacher enters the classroom; the children respond with puzzled looks.
New Teacher (chirpily): âHello children, Iâm your new art teacher, Ms. Adkins. Now Iâd like you all to take out your toothpicks and Elmers glueâtoday weâre making toothpick sculptures!â
All the children in the class sit motionless, staring blankly at Ms. Adkins.
Stan: âUmmm, whereâs Ms. McGee?â
Ms. Adkins: âMs. McGee wonât be teaching you art anymore; I will. Now letâs all get some toothpicks and start thinking about what we want toâ¦â
Cartman (interrupting, trying to control himself, but clearly pissed): âLook lady, I donât know who you are or why youâre here, but I donât see any goddamn Twizzlers. So why donât you just go get Ms. McGee and bring her back here and we can forget that this unpleasantness ever happened, ok?â
Stan: âYeah, what happened to Ms. McGee? She was like the only cool teacher at this school. Is she ok?â
Ms. Adkins: âOh dear, I can see Iâm going to have to explain this all to you. Ms. McGee wonât be teaching you art anymore because the school has fired her. You see children, last week, when Ms. McGee took you to the South Park Museum of Art, some students saw nude artworks that parents found very objectionable. Some parents who found out that their children had been exposed to nudity on a school field trip told Principal Victoria about the incident, and Principal Victoria fired Ms. McGee.â
Kyle: âWhat?! Who the hell told on Ms. McGee? Whose ignorant redneck parents got her fired?â
Ms. Adkins: âThe parents have chosen to remain anonymous. The school respects everyoneâs rights to privacy. Parents have to feel comfortable voicing their concerns and shouldnât have to worry thatâ¦â
Kyle: âSo the school fired Ms. McGee just because some cowardly ignorant hillbillies got mad about their kids seeing naked statues?â
Ms. Adkins (sternly): âNow Kyle, those parents are not ignorant hillbillies; they voiced valid concerns and it was the schoolâs responsibility to respond to those concerns as it did. You see children, parents have a very difficult and important job; they have to figure out what kinds of things are appropriate for their kids to see, and what things arenât. Itâs especially important for them to protect you from sexual material that is inappropriate for your age and for the values your parents want you to have. The school takes its responsibility to parents very seriously; we respect and support all parentsâ rights to make their own choices about what sexual material their children should and shouldnât see. That means that whenever their child might be exposed to something offensive, like the nude statues at the museum, teachers must notify that childâs parents, so that the parent can make an informed, responsible decision.
When Ms. McGee allowed students to see nude art at the museum, without informing their parents of it, she failed in her duty as a teacher and betrayed those parentsâ trust. She took away those parentâs right to decide whatâs appropriate for you to see; it was disrespectful and irresponsible. Our schoolâs greatest asset is that parents can trust our judgment when it comes their childrenâs safety, both physical and emotional. When she showed you nude artworks, Ms. McGee lost parentsâ trust, both in herself and in the school. Ms. McGee displayed such a serious lack of judgment that it called into question her fitness as a teacher, both in the eyes of the parents who entrusted their children to her and in the eyes of her fellow teachers and South Park Elementary staff. Her disrespect for parentsâ rights and her irresponsible conduct have no place at this school. Now, I can promise you I wonât make the same mistakes she made, and Iâm sure weâre going to get along just wonderfully!â
Stan: âThis is total bullcrap! We love Ms. McGee! They canât fire her because some kids saw an old statueâs nuts!â
Kyle: âYeah, she was the best teacher at this school! She actually made art class kind of fun. Everyone else at this school is either boring as hell or a raging bitch!â
Kenny: [Indecipherable muffled exasperated speech]
Cartman (his face slightly uncomprehending but extremely serious): âSo, let me see if Iâve got this straight. You will now be the one giving us Twizzlers on Friday?â
Ms. Adkins: âOh no, I donât believe in rewarding kids with candy. But if you do a really good job, you can have a sticker. You can choose between a unicorn and a rainbow!â
Cartman (to Stan, Kyle, and Kenny, dead serious): âWeâve got to get rid of this bitch.â
Scene 2: Chefâs Spooked
Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman are in line at lunch. They come up to take their trays from Chef.
Chef: âHello children. Howâs it going?â
Stan: âBad Chef.â
Chef: âWhy bad?â
Kyle: âThose assholes fired Ms. McGee, just because on our field trip kids saw some naked statues and junk. We think itâs total crap and we miss Ms. McGee.â
Chef: âNow, children, what Ms. McGee did was a bad, bad thing. School is no place for children to be learning about sex or looking at naked people. You should concentrate on learning arithmetic and grammar. Dirty pictures donât have any place in your education. You just get that smut, and Ms. McGee, out of your head.â
Cartman: âWell canât you sing us a song to help us feel better Chef?â
Chef: âNo. Now enjoy your Salisbury steak.â
Stan: âBut Chef, usually we come to you with a problem and you sing us a song about making sweet love down by the fireâ¦â
Chef (nervous and agitated, interrupting, speaking very loudly as if someone might be listening in): âNow donât talk crazy like that children! Iâd never do anything like that. You shouldnât joke about that sort of thing! Now you kids run along.â
Kyle: âWhat are you talking about Chef? You love making sweet love down by the fire with your andâ¦â
Chef (loud angry whisper): âWill you shut up! Are you children trying to get me fired? Now get out of here and donât you say nothing about no âmaking loveâ and no âfireplaceâ to nobody, got it!?â
Startled, the children take their trays and walk away.
Stan: âJesus. What the hellâs wrong with Chef?â
Kyle: âDonât you see? Now that Ms. McGee got fired for letting kids see those naked statues, all the teachers are scared theyâre going to fired too if they say or do something that offends someoneâs parents and then they get ratted out.â
Stan: âDude, that sucks.â
Cartman: âWhat so now no Twizzlers and Chefâs not talking to us? Son of a bitch!â
Kenny: Indecipherable mumbling
Kyle: âI agree, Kenny, this is bullcrap. Weâve got to do something about it.â
Scene 3: The Broflovskis
Kyle comes home. Mr. and Mrs. Broflovski are on the couch watching television.
Kyle: âHey Mom, hey Dad.â
Mrs. Broflovski: âHi Stan. How was your day?â
Kyle: âTerrible. The school fired our art teacher Ms. McGee and itâs total bullcrap Ms. McGee took us on a fieldtrip last week, and when we...â
Mr. Broflovski: âOh yeah, we know all about it.â
Kyle: âYou do? How?â
Mr. Broflovksi: âThe Principal called a special meeting of the PTA on Tuesday, where she explained the whole thing. She said that parents who were offended had requested that she fire Ms. McGee, but that she wanted to see what the PTA had to say about the incident before she made her decision. So we held a vote, and the PTA overwhelmingly voted to support firing Ms. McGee.â
Kyle: âSo you knew they were going to fire her and you didnât even tell me? How could you let them fire her?â
Mrs. Broflovksi: âWell honey, we didnât let them fire herâin fact we voted to support firing her.â
Kyle: âWhat?!!!! How could you do that? All us kids love Ms. McGee. You canât fire her just because some kids saw some naked statues!â
Mrs. Broflovksi: âOh dear. Kyle, Iâm afraid youâre too young to understand. You see honey, we work so hard at home to make sure youâre protected from the violence and smut thatâs out there. As parents have to put a lot of trust in the teachers that we send their children to. And we have to hold those teachers accountable when, without our permission, they show you violent or sexual material that we donât approve of.â
Kyle (suspicious, accusatory): âBut you guys take me to museums all the time, and thereâs tons of naked statues and paintings in them. You guys even showed me naked statues and said they were great and historic works of art. So how can you say you were offended by the statues that kids saw on the field trip?â
Mr. Brovlofski: âOf course we donât mind that you saw a naked statue. But there are some parents who felt very, very offended by what their kids saw. Theyâre a minority of devout Christians in the community, but we have to respect their values and support their rights, even though their beliefs about nudity are different from the majorityâs beliefs. Weâre minorities too, Kyle, and you still want people to respect and support us, donât you? Weâre the only Jewish family in town. If we didnât stand up for ourselves and demand that the school respect for our religious values, then there would be no kosher lunches available for you in the cafeteria and no Hanukkah songs in the holiday choir recital. You certainly donât want other families to tell us that our concerns donât matter just because theyâre âJewish concernsâ, do you? We expect other parents to support us in looking out for you, even though theyâre not Jewish. Likewise, those parents have different religious values from us, and in order to protect those values, they demanded that Ms. McGee be fired because of how badly she offended those values. Just like us, theyâre a religious minority in the community, and just like us they deserve respect. We want everyone to support us when we stand up for our beliefs, so we have to support them when they stand up for theirs.â
Kyle (completely nonplussed): âDude, the kids saw a naked statue. You canât fire a teacher for that, just because some Bible-thumping inbred redneck thinks that an ancient masterpiece is pornography. This is total bullshit!â
Mr. Broflovksi (angry): âYou see Kyle, that kind of intolerance, and filthy language, and back-talk are exactly the reasons why we parents have to be careful about what we let you see! You must have learned this kind of filth and disobedience at school, because you damn sure didnât learn it in this house! Maybe those Christians have the right idea, after all! Now you go to your room young man!â
A scene cut indicates some time has passed. Kyle is sitting on the floor of his room, angrily bouncing a rubber ball off the wall and catching it. Mr. Broflovski enters.
Mr. Broflovski: âKyle, can I talk to you? I hope now that youâve had some time you can see that we did the right thing.â
Kyle: âNo Dad, I canât. In the first place, you canât honestly tell me that you think those Christians are some neglected minority in this town. They get whatever they want! And second, even if you do think theyâre right to be offended, that doesnât mean that itâs right to fire Ms. McGee over something this small. You wouldnât demand that they fire Chef because he forgot to make a kosher lunch.â
Mr. Broflovski (sighing): âYou really are a lawyerâs son, arenât you. I guess itâs time I talked to you about how things really work in this town. The truth of the matter is that Iâd rather Ms. McGee werenât fired eitherâ¦â
Kyle (interrupting): âThen why the hell didnât you try to save her job?â
Mr. Broflovski: âWell Kyle, the fact is that we canât beat the evangelicals on every issue where we disagree with them. When the evangelical parents get mad about an issue, the entire evangelical community comes to help them, and most of the time they can guilt the moderate Christians in town into taking their side. There are just too many of them, and theyâre too well-organized, energetic, zealous, and influential around here. There are only so many times that the rest of us parents can beat them before weâre completely exhausted and overwhelmed. So we have to pick our battles.
This battle was one we shouldnât have picked, and probably couldnât win. You know how crazy those fundamentalists get over nudity, and how much they distrust the school. When Ms. McGee showed you guys nude art, we knew right away that the fundamentalists were going to call for her head, and they werenât going to stop, not in a hundred years, until they got it. And really, Ms. McGee should have known better than to show you guys nude statues and picturesâsheâs knows what parents in this town are like. I donât know why she did it or why she thought she could get away with it, but the fact is she put her own head on the chopping block. For us to save it would have been almost impossible.
Kyle: âSo what, so you just let them win every time they want something? So when they decide that we should all do book reports on the New Testament and have prayer meetings every morning, youâre not going to do anything about that either?â
Mr. Broflovski: âNo Kyle, thatâs different. Those are the battles that we fight for you. When those parents want to change school policy, like if they want to force teachers to stop teaching evolution to you in science class, thatâs when we have to fight. And those are the battles we have to win, so we have to put all our time and energy into winning those. We canât go to the mat every time the evangelicals do something we think is silly or wrong because we have to be ready to fight them when they do something we think is really dangerous. Even though Ms. McGee is gone, you guys will still learn art. Heck, youâll probably still be able to take field trips to the museum as long the school is reasonably careful. We want to do whatâs best for you Kyle, and sometimes doing whatâs best means letting the small things go so that we can be ready to take care of the big things.â
Kyle: âOh, you think this is a âsmall thing!ââ Well itâs not small to Ms. McGee. All she knows is being a teacher, and being with us kids, and they took that away from her. What the hell is she now, huh? Whatâs left for her? And do you know she has problems with her heart? Thatâs why they have to have subs for her so often. Whatâs she going to do with no job and no insurance? She was the best goddamn teacher at that school, and we all liked her, and now sheâs gone. Itâs small to you, but itâs not small to her and itâs not small to me.â
Kyle hops into his bed and turns away from Mr. Broflovski. Mr. Broflovski turns to leave Kyleâs bedroom.
Mr. Broflovski: âIâm sorry, Kyle. I know one day youâll understand.â
Mr. Broflovski leaves and closes the door.
Scene 4: The Marshes
Stan comes home. His parents are on the couch watching television.
Mr. Marsh: âHi son, how was school?â
Stan: âAwful. The school fired our art teacher Ms. McGee, just because we went on this fieldtrip last week and saw some naked statues and junk. Itâs total bullcrap.â
Mrs. Marsh: âOh yes, we know all about it.â
Stan: âWhat? How did you guys find out?â
Mr. Marsh: âWe were at the meeting where the PTA voted to support the school firing Ms. McGee.â
Stan: âYou were? How could you let them do that?â
Mr. Marsh: âOh Stan, we didnât let themâ¦we did everything we could to stop it, to persuade the parents who were going along with the schoolâs decision to join our side instead. We called them Bible-thumping hillbilly morons. We called them reactionary redneck trailer trash. We even called them ignorant redneck ass-faces. But we just couldnât make them see the light.â
Stan: âSoâ¦you called them a bunch of names?â
Mr. Marsh (sighing): âIâm afraid youâre just too young to understand how grown-ups debate. You see, the kind of people who would object to nude statues in museums are really, really stupid. If they were less stupid, theyâd agree with us that nude artworks are perfectly fine for children to see. So, in order to get those people to agree with us, we have to get them to understand just how stupid they are. Once they realize that theyâre basically retarded, then they can understand that they shouldnât try to argue with the smart people like us. Only then will they accept that what weâre telling them is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, sometimes people are just so stupid that they canât even see how stupid they are. No amount of name calling will get through to them. And when that happens, as it did at that last PTA conference, you just canât win.â
Stan: âWell itâs not fair. Me and the other guys want to do something about it. What can we do to help Ms. McGee?â
Mr. Marsh: âIâm sorry son. Back in the Sixties, I would have fought this injustice until the last breath in my body was spent. Iâd yell insults at those goddamn hillbillies until my throat was raw. But things change son, and now your mother and I really, really like ABCâs primetime lineup. If we miss even one episode of Lost, or Hope and Faith, it might throw our entire viewing schedule off, and we just canât take that chance. Iâm afraid we canât help you, son.â
Stan (under his breath, walking upstairs to his room): âThey are so goddamn weird.â
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