Red Scare

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ROLL TITLES

“It Could Happen Here!”

A PRESENTATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

JANET NAPOLITANO, DIRECTOR

IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

AND THE HOUSE ANTI-TAX ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE

AN IOWAHAWK EDUCATIONAL FILMS PRODUCTION

SCROLL

march music

The story you are about to see is true. Or, at least, could be true. At this very moment dangerous subversive extremist elements are infiltrating our communities and schools, bent on destroying our American Way of Life. These are the shadowy forces of International Constitutionalism. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security are on the trail of these nefarious Red State saboteurs, but it will take a vigilant public – including ordinary high school students like you – to help bring them to justice before it’s too late. Only with your help can we preserve the American Way!

Janet A. Napolitano

NARRATOR

This is Pinewood Lane, in Anytown, USA. A street probably a lot like yours. Happy citizens enjoying the bounty of living in this great land of ours. At 1102 we find the Baxters — Mom and Pop, teen twins Bobby and Debbie, little Susie and Grandpa. A typical family who knows what it means to be an American. Why, here comes Gus the Mailman! I wonder what he’s got in his mailbag for the Baxters?

How about that — it’s a mortgage bailout for Pop, an NEA grant for Mom’s transgressive performance art collective, and guaranteed student loan applications for the twins. They’re off to State U next fall to study Lacanian Semiotics, you know. And for Gramps, a letter from Medicare — they’ve finally approved that gender reassignment surgery he’s always wanted.

Yes sir, that’s a mighty fine benefits package the Baxters harvested today, all courtesy of the United States of America in Washington DC. Hey, wait Gus! Before you head off to your next stop, Pop has something for you, too. It’s his annual tax contribution ready for delivery. Patriotic Pop is mailing it early this year because he knows the wise folks in Washington will put that money to work for all of us through the collective magic of economic stimulus. No wonder Pop sealed it with a kiss!

That’s the beauty of our American Free Prize System – regular folks bundling our money together for our leaders, who return it a thousandfold in free prizes for all. How does it work? All we really need to know is that it’s the best system in the world. A lot of us take it for granted – but there are some who want to take it away.

hoodlum peers behind a tree at the Baxters; sneers, combs greasy mop with a switchblade comb

HORNS

bomp bomp BAAAAAAAAH!

fade out

NARRATOR

It’s first period American History at Anytown Chomsky High. Hey, it looks like there’s a new face in class — could it be the mysterious young stranger from Pinewood Lane?

MS. ANDERSON

All right, students, calm down. We have a new boy joining in class. John? John Smith, stand up and say hello to your new classmates.

JOHNNY

Hey Toots, I go by “Johnny,” see?

class laughs, Bobby and Debbie Baxter exchange concerned looks

MS. ANDERSON

That will be quite enough, students! And I suggest you watch that sassy mouth of yours, Mr. Smith. Now everyone open your textbook to page 23, “Iraq: America’s Imperialist Hegemony Chickens Come Home to Roost.”



NARRATOR

Bobby and Debbie notice that there’s something just quite not right about Johnny. The air of contempt. The pasty complexion. The way he slouches and fidgets in his desk when when the teacher explains America’s legacy of genocidal racism.

MS. ANDERSON

Now who can tell me how capitalist phallocracy gave rise to Military-Industrial Complex? Mr. Smith?

Johnny snaps his fingers rhythmically, unaware he is being called on



Mr. Smith… is that a transistor radio earphone?



JOHNNY

Oh yeah… hey, teach, like, it’s cool, I’m listening to NPR. Terri Gross is talking about gay marriage chapels in Vermont.

Ms. Anderson walks over and grabs the radio out of his motorcycle jacket

MS. ANDERSON

Just as I thought… AM talk radio! Young man, report to re-education hall this minute for fairness cleansing!

Johnny swaggers out of the class, combing his hair; Bobby and Debbie Baxter exchange concerned looks; fade out

NARRATOR

During lunchtime in the school cafeteria, Bobby and Debbie see the new student Johnny sitting alone. They want to be friendly, and have been trained to be on the alert for potential Columbine-style loners and outcasts. So they decide to strike up a conversation with him — but they’re in for a big surprise.

BOBBY

Mind if we sit down?

JOHNNY

Go ahead, it’s a free country.

BOBBY

Haha, good one! You’re quite the cut-up, Johnny. By the way, I’m Bobby Baxter. I’m a senior and president of the Future Tax Collectors of America.

JOHNNY

Reet poteet, Daddy-o. Hubba hubba, who’s the tomato?

Johnny ogles Debbie hungrily

DEBBIE

I’m Debbie Baxter, Bobby’s twin sister. I’m varsity captain of the Eco Spirit-ettes. Go Polar Bears! Where did you say you came from, Johnny?

JOHNNY

Tex… heh, I mean, San Francisco. Yeah, that’s it – San Francisco.

BOBBY

Look, Johnny… we saw what happened in History this morning. Maybe you got off to a rough start, but you’ve still got a chance to fit in. Why don’t you join one of the after-school clubs? There’s the Diversity Club, the Peace-a-longs, The Diversitarians, Feces Art Society, The Multidiversies…

DEBBIE

…don’t forget the Multiculturalettes!

BOBBY

And how, sis! What do you say, Johnny? It’ll be swell! And all our clubs have full federal funding. If you wash that greasy kid stuff out of your hair, I think you might even be FTCA material!



JOHNNY

No dice, Daddy-o! Taxes are for squares.

Bobby and Debbie look at each other quizzically

DEBBIE AND BOBBY

“Squares”?

JOHNNY

Yeah – L-7s. Cubes. Melvins. Nosebleeds.

DEBBIE

Bobby… I think he means he doesn’t like them!

BOBBY

Johnny! Keep it down! Do you want the Hate Speech monitors to hear you? That kind of language could be interpreted by as illegally offensive! They could send you off to Juvie for that!

JOHNNY

Ha! There ain’t no such thing as illegal speech.

BOBBY

What!? Says who?

JOHNNY

Sez dis.

Johnny whips out a laminated card from his dungaree pocket, close up of the Constitution

HORNS

bomp bomp BAAAAAAAAH!

NARRATOR

And so it begins. What Debbie and Bobby don’t know is that “John Smith” is actually Johnny “Snake” Republico, secret agitator for the forces of International Constitutionalism — the insidious extreme rightwing ideology that seeks to bring America to its knees by enslaving our helpless unsuspecting government, and stop it from giving you all the things that you want. It spreads like a cancer, slowly driving victims into violent, racist, anti-tax madness. It takes a strong will to resist the Consties’ hypnotic sales pitch — are Debbie and Bobby up to it?

DEBBIE

“In Congrefs”… what is this thing?

JOHNNY

Get hip to the glissando, kitten! Feast you baby blues on the Constitutionalist Manifesto. Dig this… I got the right to say what I want, pray how I want, assemble with anybody I want, nice and peaceable-like. It’s all right there in Amendment numero uno!

BOBBY

Whoa, hold on there. Ms. Anderson says that kinda stuff is only for the Guantanamo prisoners!



JOHNNY

Just read it, Daddy-o. It’ll flip your lid and make you blast off to crazyville!

fade out; fade into split screen of Bobby and Debbie in their respective beds, reading the Constitutionalist Manifesto with flashlights

NARRATOR

Against their better judgment, and the warnings of their teachers, Bobby and Debbie Baxter decide to experiment with Constitutionalism. ‘Just a little before bed, to help me relax,’ they say. Soon their curiosity grows stronger. Mom and Pop start noticing changes.

MOM

Lights out, Debbie! Remember you have that big Patriarchy midterm tomorrow.

DEBBIE

Yes Mother. Oh, and and Mother… can I borrow Grampa’s makeup tomorrow? Johnny is taking me to the Spring Mandatory Sensitivity Grievance Hop tomorrow night.

MOM

Johnny Smith? That strange greasy rude boy your brother has been hanging around lately? Oh, Debbie, I’m just not sure…

DEBBIE

Please mother? Shulamith Firestone is leading one of the workshops. I think putting on a little makeup will help raise Johnny’s conscious about lookism. Aren’t we supposed to mobilize the lumpenproles?

MOM

Well… alright. I don’t suppose Grandpa will mind if you borrow a little of his rouge and mascara. But stay out of his gown closet, young lady! G’night.

In the living room

MOM

George, I’m worried about the kids. Ever since they started hanging around that Smith boy, they’ve been acting strangely. Do you think we ought to report it to the authorities?

Pop looks up from his copy of In These Times

POP

Now that you mention it, Bobby has been out-of-sorts lately. I got a note from the school mental health nurse the other day, said Bobby got all het up about “quartering soldiers,” or some nonsense. Kids today, I guess. I wouldn’t get worked up though, I guess it’s probably just one of those teenage phases.

MOM

I suppose so. Honestly, sometimes I wish I had aborted them when I had the chance.

NARRATOR

Instead of trusting their own instincts, Mom and Pop let the incidents pass, neglecting their duty to alert trained federal security authorities in the deluded hope that the problem would go away on its own. Every time Bobby and Debbie met Johnny after school “at the malt shop” things turned worse — much worse. Debbie dropped out of Multiculturalettes and the Eco-Peps. Bobby’s grades in Community Journalism and Queer Theory plummeted. Then one night Johnny dropped by the Baxters’ to pick up the twins for some sort of “party”…

POP

Hi there, you must be Johnny. Say, that’s quite an automobile you got out there. What is it?

JOHNNY

It’s a ’49 Merc. I mean… Prius.

POP

It sure is big. Are you sure it meets mandatory federal safety and fuel standards?

JOHNNY

Uh, sure, Daddy-o. It’s like, uh, solar-powered.

POP

Well, I’ll be! Sure makes a lot of noise for a solar. I couldn’t help but notice you don’t have a single bumper sticker on it.

JOHNNY

Oh, yeah. well, ya see, um, I just put on a new paint job. Lacq… I mean, sure, some kinda super ecology saver paint. All copacetic with Big Mama Planet, and like that.

POP

Phew! That’s a relief. For a minute there I thought you might be one of those no-bumpersticker extremists. I don’t want you young folks to get pulled over on suspicion of anything. Here, take one of my Nader 04’s. Say, is that snake tattoo on your arm? “Don’t Tread On Me”… what does that mean?

JOHNNY

What is this, Daddy-o — some kind of interrogation? I”m pleading the 5th!

BOBBY

Reet poteet, Jackson! Slip me some skin!

Bobby and Johnny go through elaborate handshake

Hurry up, sis, It’s time to agitate the gravel!

POP

Robert Baxter! Since when did you start talking like that? And why are you wearing a tricorn hat?

BOBBY

Unlax, Daddy-o! I know my rights!

DEBBIE

Hey, Tiger.

Debbie is at the top of the staircase, chewing gum in capri pants and tight American flag sweater. Johnny lets out a long wolf whistle.

MOM

Deborah! For Gaia’s sake, stop objectifying yourself! Just what kind of party is this?

JOHNNY

The wildest, baby. The wildest!

DEBBIE AND BOBBY

Ha ha ha!

Debbie, Bobby and Johnny race out to Johnny’s Merc and peel out

POP

Lucille… what is this thing that dropped out of Johnny’s coat?

HORNS

bomp bomp BAAAAAAAAH!

MOM

Great Earth Mother… it’s a teabag! Look away, George!

Pop shrieks, begins sobbing uncontrollably on Mom’s shoulder; fade out

NARRATOR

After an emergency call to the Department of Homeland Security, two of the bureau’s top agents arrive on the scene to help the Baxters stop the madness from ending in tragedy.

AGENT JONES

It’s a good thing you called us when you did, Ms. Baxter. We ran the description you gave us through the DHS Univac, and we positively ID’d the suspect as Johnny “Snake” Republico, notorious ant-tax rebel.

GRANDPA

Can I offer you officers some free trade espresso? It’s fresh!

AGENT JONES

No thank you ma’am. Gee, that’s a pretty dress you have on there.

GRANDPA (flustered)

oh you sweet thing!

AGENT JONES

As I was saying, we’ve had Republico on our watch list for some time. He’s no teenager — he’s a babyfaced adult and a card-carrying Constie. In fact, he spent a 3-year stretch in the Marines.

POP

Marines!?

shreiks, sobs

AGENT OLSEN

I’m sorry you had to hear that sir, but I’m afraid your children are in great danger. Republico matches every profile we have for a dangerous sleeper terrorist – pallid complexion, male, military veteran, weirdly unenthusiastic about paying taxes. It all adds up to one simmering, boiling cauldron of racist, misogynist, anti-government, anti-tax terrorism waiting to explode. In fact, we believe he may even have a gun.

POP

gun!?

shreiks, sobs

AGENT OLSEN

Yes sir. Owning guns is part of the Consties’ sick and perverted Manifesto. In fact, the Marines make their recruits swear an oath to it. If I were a betting man I’d say Republico has kidnapped your children and taken them to some sort of illegal Tea Party gathering where they’re about to be brainwashed — without the proper Department of Education permits!

MOM

Are you sure?

AGENT JONES

Ma’am, Agent Olsen is the top expert analyst on the DHS rightwing monitoring task force. Olsen, show her your Georgetown PoliSci diploma.

MOM

I’m sorry, I didn’t know. What gets in these people’s heads — don’t they know that our very lives depend on government? Our mortgages, our jobs, our food, Garrison Keillor – without taxes, how do these Consties think we can pay dedicated public servants like you?

AGENT JONES

It’s a mystery Ma’am.

Gus the kindly mailman bursts through the door

GUS THE MAILMAN

Agents! Come quick! there’s some sort of ruckus down at the docks!

agents put on fedoras and bolt to the door; fade out

NARRATOR

Meanwhile, at the docks, Bobby and Debbie Baxter are going through Stage 2 of the Consties’ evil indoctrination program — a so-called “Tea Party” led by Constie propagandist saboteur and rightwing hate DJ Smash Taxbill.

SMASH

Welcome hepcat daddy-os and teen comrades! The hour of our ascendancy is here! Tonight we will poison the entire waterfront with our teabags, and bring the entire government of Anytown to a halt — and without filling out an environmental impact statement! Minorities and women will be hardest hit! Bwahahaha! Today Anytown, tomorrow Berkeley! Now, look closely into the spinning spiral… feel the soothing rights…

BOBBY, DEBBIE, JOHNNY (mesmerized)

All Hail Madison and Jefferson!

screaming sirens, screeching tires

SMASH

Cheese it! It’s the feds!

pandemonium as DHS agents burst onto the scene, guns blazing

AGENT OLSEN

Stop! In the name of the Fairness Doctrine!

Olsen unload seventeen rounds into Taxbill’s gut; he clutches his chest and drops lifeless over a crate of Celestial Seasonings

BOBBY

Nooooo! Not Snake!

Just as Jones is about to fire at Republico, Bobby Baxter jumps in front of the bullet and drops to the floor

JOHNNY

Speak to me Daddy-o!

BOBBY

Live… free… or… die….

Bobby drops dead.

JOHNNY

You’ll never take me without a warrant, coppers!

Johnny scales the nearby Anytown watertower

Top of the World, Ma!

DEBBIE

Johnny, give yourself up, baby! We can fight this in court, just like it says in the Manifesto!

JOHNNY

Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket! The Manifesto will protect me!

Johnny pulls the laminated Constitutionalist Manifesto from his cuff and brandishes it at the agents

Come and get me, you filthy coppers!

AGENT OLSEN

Open fire!

A hail of bullets slice through Johnny’s Manifesto, and he tumbles 100 feet to his death. Olsen and Jones stand over his lifeless body.

AGENT OLSEN

Ironic, isn’t it?

AGENT JONES

How’s that?

AGENT OLSEN

Seems Johnny and his pals ended up just like their heros – dead white males.

AGENT JONES

It’s even more ironic that he fell from a government water tower, on to this goverment sidewalk.

AGENT OLSEN

If you ask me, ‘Twas beauty that killed the grease. Speaking of which, book Debbie Baxter — on aggravated political deliquency!

Debbie is frog-marched to a waiting DHS paddywagon

MOM

Well, young lady, what do you have to say for yourself?

DEBBIE

Hah hah hah! Guess what? I’m pregnant with Johhny’s child!

HORNS

bomp bomp BAAAAAAAAH!

POP

Sweet holy Gaia! Do you realize what this means, Lucille?

MOM

Debbie’s first abortion! Oh honey, we’re so happy for you!

DEBBIE

Abortion? I’m going through the birth! And then I’m giving it away… to a pentacostal preacher in Oklahoma!

HORNS

bomp bomp BAAAAAAAAH!

Pop shrieks, faints

MOM

Not if I can help it!

Mom grabs Olsen’s revolver

Time for a certain late term medical procedure, you ungrateful brat! Taste my right to choose!

Mom fires 11 shots; Debbie drops to the floor, dead

HORNS

bomp bomp BAAAAAAAAH!

AGENT JONES

Good aborting there, Ms. Olsen!

GRANDPA

Anyone for expresso? I made it fresh! Did I miss something?

BAXTERS, AGENTS

Oh, Gramps, you scalawag!

everyone laughs happily; fade out to swelling music

JANET NAPOLITANO

Hello, I’m Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano. Although this particular story ended happily, who knows what could have happened to the US Treasury had the Baxters not alerted the authorities? That’s why it’s important for students like you to remain ever-vigilant for the warning signs of International Constitutionalism, and know how to respond. Do any of your classmates nod off in class during various Cultural Awareness Weeks? Does the soda jerk at the local malt shop complain about his FICA withholding? Have you heard rumors of unsanctioned, not-for-credit protest marches?

If so, you may be face to face with a Constie. Don’t panic, and remember the 4 steps: (1) Stop, Drop and Roll. (2) Duck and Cover. (3) Cover your ears, and scream “Teabaggers! Teabaggers!” (4) Call your local Department of Homeland Security office to clear the area. Practice with your friends and teachers, and pay attention during the weekly school drills. It’s up to all of us to stop the Consties, because the next victim could be you… or you… or YOU.

THE END

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