Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On Life Lessons From Glee...

Damian McGinty as Irish foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan.

*courtesy Perez Hilton*

So aside from the grand unveiling of Irish foreign exchange student and resident Leprachaun Rory Flanagan (played by the charming Damian McGinty), last night's episode - in which Mr. Hummel throws his hat in the political ring - served up one hell of a false dichotemy.

I love that Sue's vicious bashing of the arts has become a composite characterization of the real life treatment of arts programs in public schools aross America. And last night when she called a cease fire on arts bashing in order to highlight the genuine discrepancies in education programs for developmentally challenged students created a scenario all too familiar in our nation: if we fund arts, we can't fund sports. If we fund sports, we can't fund special education [bt.dubs, "gifted and talented" programs also often fall under the budget of "special education"]. Or worse still - pitting education against health care or an increase in environmental standards against social security.

Now, I'm not an expert (clearly), but I have some strong opinions that I'm going to share with you.... I will leave my feelings on global harmony out of this for the moment and focus on the US of A.

We are a nation of hard workers, we are bright, creative and innovative. If we can avoid the trap of petty in-fighting that (ahem) some people have set, I bet that we will learn some things.

1. If we make a serious effort to think outside of the box - to demand a paradigm shift - we could come up with cost productive solutions for everyone. It will require consultation, collaboration and compromise - but it is doable.

2. It won't take as much money as you think... and my feeling is that we actually have the money available to do these things! And before you get all crazy, what I'm actually talking about is a move towards social and fiscal responsibility: and no... I don't see these as mutually exclusive concepts.

Because seriously? I don't know any old, rich guys. And you probably don't either. So why are we so hung up on their opinion? Most of the people I do know have worried at least once about how to get food on the table, or gas in their car, or getting their bills paid on time... these are the concerns that should matter.

And that's what I learned on Glee: be creative, be brilliant, be a problem solver.

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