Part Two: Background and Guidelines for Participation
The intent of this project is to generate a script for a South Park cartoon that, given sufficient time and technical expertise, could be animated and circulated on YouTube. I would like this project to be an interactive, participatory experience for the reader. I am by no means a professional, nor even an experienced, writer of comedy or cartoons; I am not sensitive about readers altering or criticizing this script. I welcome and strongly encouarge readers to participate in any way they feel comfortable, whether through commentary on the discussion page, substantive changes to the script's story or dialogue, or edits of the existing material. Below are a few broad guidelines for participation in the script that I hope will help facilitate your active engagement with it; they are not immutable rules or restrictions.
- Purpose: Please remember that the focus of this project is empathic argument. Just as Wikipedia asks its users to bear in mind that content submitted should be "encyclopedic", I would ask that the content of this script should show empathy. Note, of course, that content reflecting the traditionally vicious satirical style of South Park is perfectly fine, so long as it does not obscure the empathic elements of the script.
- Time constraints: I would like the running time of this cartoon short to be somewhere in the area of ten to fifteen minutes. To the extent that you would like to add material, please bear in mind that we should keep the script relatively tight and prevent it from expanding beyond a fifteen minute running time.
- Particular areas of contribution: There are a few aspects of the script in which I would particularly appreciate feedback and contribution.
- Humor: I know for a fact that many people who will read this script are funnier than I am. Please help me make this script as funny as it should be.
- Empathic Arguments: There are three groups in this dispute whose positions require articulate and empathic exposition: (1) the concerned parents whom Ms. McGee upset when she exposed their children to nude art and who support her dismissal; (2) the great majority of parents who do not oppose Ms. McGee's dismissal, either because they sympathize to some degree with the offended parents or because they feel that it is unwise to oppose the offended parents on this issue; (3) the school administrators who believe that they made the right decision in firing Ms. McGee. I am especially eager for readers to examine the arguments offered in this script on behalf of those groups, to contribute to them, edit them, or comment on them in the discussion page.
- Narrative Structure: Does the story of this cartoon make sense? Is it coherent? Is there a better way to tell this story and make these arguments?