“What the hell, dude. I can’t believe you’re helping out this loser.”
“Don’t you get it, man? We’re all losers. Everyone in this school. Tz, hell, everyone in this town. Of all the kids who graduate maybe half will go to college and … and two will leave the state to do it. I’m not afraid to be called a loser because I can accept that that’s what I am. But I am afraid of turning my back on something that actually made me happy for the first time in my sorry life.”
“So what? Are you quitting to join homo-explosion?” [snickering laughter]
“No. I’m doing both. ‘Cause you can’t win without me and neither can they.”
Puck and Finn in “Glee”
I watched the first season of Glee last week. I found it impressive. It’s feel good escapism with a nice amount of self-irony and some very ugly topics weaved in (e.g., bullying at school, teenage pregnancy, coming out, peer pressure). But it integrates these serious topics flawlessly and shows them in a distorted, humorous way. This way the show establishes a distance that makes it possible to be confronted with these issues without being hurt by them.
For example, being bullied in school is even worse than mobbing at work, because you cannot “simply” leave. It is something that really destroys people and inflicts scars that can take ages to heal, if they heal at all. It can drive students to commit suicide. But watching the geeks line up at the dumpster to be thrown in by the jocks — it’s kinda funny — showing the ugly truth as it is would only hurt and lead to avoidance, but this way you can watch it and say, yeah, kinda true, but why …?
It clearly does not show school at it is — but perhaps how it can be … and perhaps should be. There is some kind of eternal optimism in the show that makes it fun to watch … and think about a different way school could be like. After all, school only takes up a few years of your life and you’ll leave it eventually.
But the main point why I like the show and recommend it here on Organizing Creativity is that it shows you that you should not be afraid to make a fool out of yourself — otherwise you’ll never risk trying to reach your dream.