Life is just a game/art at Vermont farm

Monday, March 21, 2011

Talking point #6 Glee Yesterday, today, whatever...

We all know that GLEE is more than a story about stereotypical teens with a fabulous musical thrown in to keep thinks cooking. The point I want to make standing at this end of the tunnel is that teens today are no different than teens at any time.  Teens are by nature scared and searching, some with more foundation than others, but even with a strong supports system, will still be victimized by the most insecure.

Never Been Kissed exposes the bullying that is universal, be it an adult who does not fit the media's description of pretty/sexy/desirable (Beist, the coach) and reflects on media Dominant Ideaology that Christensen discussed or Raby's The Storm discourse of youth played out by the sexual Santana or the bully K.
Will makes a good teaching point that the kids had treated her, Beist, as they had not wished to be treated, but then totally ruined any solid point that could be made by riding in on his white stallion and kissing away her difference. I loved seeing her soft side. Yeah, we all have them, but she confused her role as a adult mentor and took the kids immature behavior personnaly and qiut. Wanting to be liked and acepted wins out over self confidence and liking who you are, being old or young. A potentially very strong figure brought down by bullying and insecurity.
Kurt's circumstance with being victimized was raw and real and exposed the weakness of the school systems to protect their kids. It is so real and so sad. I thought the private school as a "safe place" was a perfect comparison and made a very strong point. None of this is realistic, not meant to be. Exagerated, in your face, stereotypical characters and curcumstanances that happen everyday all the time. But, hey, they only got 30 minutes.e
The kids are the same now as they were in the past. Nothing changes.  Being different is ridiculed by bottom feeders.  It takes maturity to respect differences as a good and admirable trait. It comes with time and saftey and endurance. I am glad this is being played out on such a popular media format for all to see, discuss and think about. But it sadly looks, oh, so familiar.


  1. Mary - You touched on a theme that is very prevalent in these three episodes but that I haven't seen anyone else write about - about how teenagehood persists not only though generations but throughout your own life. In the Pilot episode Will stays with the school to relive his teenage dream of Glee, in Never Been Kissed Beiste is unable to get over the pain of her teenage years, and some of that pains continues on through her adult years.

    And I agree with you on the exaggeration - it is used more purposefully on the show than I first realized...offering a greener grass is a different way of holding up a mirror.

  2. Mary- you hit the nail right on the head when you pointed out how Will kissing Beist took away from the message of the show and reinforced the idea that being different is never a good thing. Doctor Bogad and I had an hour long talk about that kiss scene yesterday and what a kiss signifies in our culture for both males and females. i will be really interested to hear what you have to say in class!

    ps. Jane your last line "offering a greener grass is a different way of holding up a mirror," is something you must share in class! Love it!

  3. Mary I completely agree with you about the depiction of Kurt's battle with the school bully. It is real, raw and in your face. Although I am not a watcher of this show I became attached to his character immediately and got emotional for his situation. I agree that it is a good example of how little attention and support these situations get in a school setting simply because faculty's "hands are tied".

    I thought it was interesting that the private school was the safe place for Kurt. Most of the time private schools are shown as terrible places where no public school kid wants to go. They are shown as strict, stifling, and completely one directional. It was interesting that this school could be Kurt's safe haven. Really good job with your points!

  4. Hey! You're gonna hate my guts, but, I want to totally revamp our project because the Avril Lavigne "What the Hell" video is so in line with Raby's article on discourse that we can't not do it in class! lol.

    This is the link for you to watch, I already wrote a bunch of stuff and would like to email you all of it and see if you want to add anything or if there's anything you don't get that I wrote etc. So! Watch it, e-mail me so I have your e-mail address and I'll send you my page of notes! :)

    Link to video:


  5. Interesting points, with good evidence to support them. how does your claim about GLEE challenge our class assumption that youth is a culturally constructed category? Go look at that assumption and how it works (or doesn't) with your ideas here. What do you think?