No no! If you cheat and fail, you’re a cheater. If you cheat and succeed, you’re savvy.
Not a great sign when a South Park episode triggers an epiphany, but I take’em where I find’em.
As the perfect antidote to all the endless yapping and snarling about the economy, bailouts, and stimulus packages, I switched channels and caught a semi-recent South Park episode. It features a cheeky send-up of Stand and Deliver with Cartman doing a superb Edward James Olmos.
Through a series of plot twists, Cartman ends up as an inspirational special student-teacher at Jim Davis High School, a gritty inner-city school where all the students are getting left behind. As Mr. Eric Cartmenez, he sets out to teach the no-hopers the power of cheating, as exemplified in this 2008 episode by Bill Belichick; however, as you’ll see, the concept is flexible enough to embrace the current inhabitants of the entire Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE) sector of the US economy.
[Jim Davis High school class room. Cartman is starting to do his job.]
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Okay, everyone take a syllabus, and pass it to the amigo behind you.
Student 2: Hey man, what the hell do you think you’re doing?
Student 3: Yeah!
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Mr. Cartmenez is here to make sure you all get into college.
Student 4: Getting into college? Man, we ain’t get into no college! Fuck you! [the other students agree with this]
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) *sigh* How do I reach these kids? The reason that you think you can’t get into college, is because you haven’t been taught... How to cheat. Properly! How do you think white people always get ahead? Because we cheat all the time – I mean because they cheat all the time. [brings out a picture of Bill Belichick] This is Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots. He’s won three Super Bowls. How? He cheated. He even got caught cheating, and nobody cared. Bill Belichick proved that in America it’s okay to cheat, as long as you cheat your way to the top!
Student 5: Hey, I don’t wanna be called a cheater!
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) No no! If you cheat and fail, you’re a cheater. If you cheat and succeed, you’re savvy.
Student 6: This is bullshit! I don’t wanna waste my time learning to cheat!
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Go ahead, the door’s right here, bye bye have fun, we will miss you. [waves to the kid while looking the other way. The kid leaves.] *sigh* How do I reach these kids?
[Jim Davis High school, day. Student 6 (the kid who ran out of the class before) is shooting baskets. He misses, and the ball rolls away, ending up at Cartman’s feet.]
Cartman: [picking up the ball] (in a Mexican accent)Nice form, compadre!
Student 6: Hey I walked out of your class, teacher! Look I don’t wanna argue with you about the merits of cheating!
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Who wants to argue on a nice day like this? How about a little pickup game? [whistles to a kid sitting by the scoreboard reading a book] Hey Petano! Can you keep score for us?
Petano: Sure thing, Mr. C! [he gets up]
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Okay, you start on defence amigo! [tosses the ball to Student 6. Cartman bounces the ball for a few seconds, then gets past Student 6... by smacking him on the leg with a teacher’s pointer. He sinks the basket, and Petano changes the score to 1 - 0] Oh, that’s one to nothing amigo!
Student 6: You cheated!
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) What’s the score, Jefe? Okay lets go, your turn! [Student 6 tries to get past Cartman, but again gets whacked by the teacher’s pointer. Cartman steals the ball and sinks another basket. Petano changes the score to 2 - 0] That’s two to nothing, amigo!
Student 6: Fuck you man! You can’t do that!
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Look at the scoreboard, amigo. No matter how many times you say I cheated, the scoreboard says two, nothing. [tosses the ball to Student 6]
Student 6: I know what you’re trying to say. But I still don’t agree with it. [throws the ball away and limps away]
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) (yells after Student 6) Two to nothing esé! Two to nothing! *sigh* How do I reach these kids?
[Jim Davis High school, day. Cartman has managed to get the kids to pay attention, and they are writing down the things he is telling them.]
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Today we will discuss one of the fundamental ways to cheat: getting material ahead of time. When Bill Belichick cheated for the Patriots, what did he do? He videotaped the opposing team’s defence. Think of the defence as your test. When taking a test you must also videotape, the defence. Learn what’s on the test before they give it to you. And that way you can – [stops. Student 6 has quietly entered the classroom.]
Student 6: [looks around guiltily.] I thought that... Well maybe I can give cheating a try.
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Have a seat amigo. Good to have you back. [Student 6 sits down] Alright. When Bill Belichick got caught with his, camera, he did not panic; he simply said what every good white cheater says when caught: “I misinterpreted the rules”. It’s what you must also say when caught cheating: “I misinterpreted the rules”. Say it with me.
Cartman and the class: “I misinterpreted the rules”
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Good! Again!
Cartman and the class: (with more enthusiasm) “I misinterpreted the rules”
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Again!
Cartman and the class: (Student 6 joins in) “I misinterpreted the rules”
Cartman: (in a Mexican accent) Now you sound like white people!
The class: (shouting excitedly) “I misinterpreted the rules!”
END OF LESSONS
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