11 May

Primetime Irony

I can’t watch “Glee”

Yes, it’s true. Because I was a “band fag” in high school (that’s what the jocks and burnouts called us), I can relate to a lot of the abuse handed out to the students on that show, and I 100% support teaching arts in high school. But “Glee” is just not for me. It’s like all the bad parts of musicals rolled together and drenched with annoying sauce: the rhythmic sanitization of songs, where everything ends up on a beat instead of its original flow; the simplistic characters that are 1/2-dimensional at best; the over-the-top-drama….I don’t like it.

Yet I’ve seen enough of it to know it promotes tolerance and acceptance; not every character is a drop-dead gorgeous 30-year-old model playing a teenager. It also seems to show that teaching kids music (and by extension the arts) in high school is a worthy endeavor. I sucked at gym, but I learned teamwork, focus, drive, the need for practice, and a lot of things usually associated with sports from band. And I hope I hope I hope I don’t regret saying this, but I do kind of like their version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

I can’t watch Fox News

First of all, I disagree with their conservative, Republican angle, which seems to drip from almost every second of their broadcasts. So it’s not news, it’s just editorials. They have the right to do this, but calling it news is a lie.

What’s worse (or brilliant) is most of their material comes from an ‘angry victim’ perspective. “How dare THEY (gays, liberals, socialists, Democrats, atheists, etc.) do that to US (straights, conservatives, wealthy capitalists, Republicans, God-worshipers, etc.)?!”

The worst, and IMHO most dangerous of the Fox News people is Sean Hannity. What little I can stand to watch of his show features a “good-looking” guy who is perpetually doing a “I’m sorry, but [insert unapologetic small-minded bullshit here]…” dance. It’s a passive aggressive tactic that can sway many to agree with the bullshit because it seems to be wrapped in an apology. It’s not.

So he and his Fox peers present anti-gay tripe (or just Google “fox news” and “anti gay”) and support the (mostly) Republican plan to gut funding for the arts and education funding.


The Irony

Both of these networks are owned by the same company, News Corporation, run by CEO Rupert Murdoch. Yet…

On Fox, homophobia is presented as news, while tolerance is presented as entertainment.

The class and teacher presented in Fox’s “Glee” couldn’t exist within the budget promoted by Fox News.

The ‘Rational’ Explanation

How can such a dichotomy exist? My guess is it all comes down to money. I have no proof of this (my Vulcan mind meld isn’t very effective because, well, I’m not a Vulcan) but I’d bet that all Murdoch wants is to earn boatloads of money. So it’s not the promotion of an ideology that matters to him (conservative or liberal), but rating vs. earnings. As long as “Glee” ranks high, it’ll stay on the air, and if Glen Beck could’ve gotten more big-paying advertisers, he’d still have a show too.

How can we make tolerance and arts education turn a profit? Or if they can’t be a money-makers, how can it thrive instead of ignorance and fear? Would it help if more beloved, smart, gay artists came forward and said “I started doing what I do in a school program”? Can the right slogans somehow change minds and help turn the tide? Is there any kind of “it gets better” program that can encourage these things in kids and schools?

Or do we need to let things fall apart completely so that the ignorant will see what they’re missing? (Sadly, this would mean sacrificing at least one generation.)

I have no answers.

Instead, I’m going to keep not watching, but rooting for, “Glee,” while also not watching, but dreading, Fox News.