Glee goes Political?

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KrazyerKate
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Glee goes Political?

Postby KrazyerKate » Wed May 26, 2010 6:26 pm UTC

There's a reason I stay away from politics most of the time. We've all seen from the Tea Party protests how ridiculous you look when you get up in arms about something without getting all the facts. So for this thread I'm not claiming to be very well informed, and I'm certainly no expert. I've just come across a few things that kind of made me uncomfortable, and wanted to run them by an anonymous crowd to make sure I'm not making a bigger deal out of this than I should.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_as ... orporation
I came across this page a while ago, and it kind of disturbed me. I had no idea that one organization had so much control over our media. It's pretty obvious that all the subsidiaries with Fox in their names are connected, but I had no idea that, connected to Fox, there's National Geographic, Myspace, Hulu, and The Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. Fox News has a pretty obvious political agenda, I don't think I have to prove that point, but I've always thought that eventually people will start realizing how stupid pundits like Hannity or O'Reilly are, and Fox News will just start lose money.

Then Glee happened. This is where I started to think I was sounding paranoid. I've been noticing that they slip Fox News talking points into the dialogue occasionally. When Glenn Beck first came onto the scene sometime last year, one of the minor characters made a passing reference to watching the show. The character wasn't really supposed to be likeable, so it could just be excused as a quick pop-culture reference to make him a bit easier to dislike. Then, last week, Neil Patrick Harris made a guest appearance, and his character made a passing reference to thinking that Global Warming is a hoax. You're kind of supposed to like Harris' character, so I didn't really understand why they added that. Then, on last night's episode a character says 'faggy' toward a gay character, and during the obligatory chewing out, he's told "Do you call [black character] the N word? do you call [disabled character] retarted?", obviously referencing the hell that Sarah Palin raised after someone she didn't like said "retarted". The point of the scene was to give a bit more insight into the values of and relationship between two characters, but the only thing I could think was "wait, why is this show assuming that we all took Palin seriously?". And these weren't minor characters this time, they were two characters that we've seen play a big part of every single episode for the past couple weeks.

So I guess I'm just a bit freaked out by the fact that these sorts of things are appearing on a show owned by the same corporation that owns Fox News. What do you think? coincidence? corporate agenda?

I'm working on digging up the actual scenes that I mentioned so you guys can watch them and judge, but I wanted to post this first so I would have time to process what's being said.
edit: http://www.hulu.com/watch/148548/glee-d ... s-p1-so-i0 <--at 2:05 "don't make that face..."
edit2: http://www.hulu.com/watch/149175/glee-t ... s-p1-so-i0 <--at 26:40 "faggy blanket"
Last edited by KrazyerKate on Wed May 26, 2010 8:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby lutzj » Wed May 26, 2010 6:42 pm UTC

It's a fictional TV series with some mild topical humor. Fox TV shows have a long history of espousing liberal viewpoints that run counter to the "agenda" of Fox News (Family Guy, famously) and even outright mocking the network itself. You're probably just reading into stuff that isn't there.

EDIT: Took a closer look at some of your examples to bolster this post:

Then Glee happened. This is where I started to think I was sounding paranoid. I've been noticing that they slip Fox News talking points into the dialogue occasionally. When Glenn Beck first came onto the scene sometime last year, one of the minor characters made a passing reference to watching the show. The character wasn't really supposed to be likeable, so it could just be excused as a quick pop-culture reference to make him a bit easier to dislike.


In other words, they reveal that an unsympathetic character is a fan of a Fox News star in order to make him even less likable. Anti-Fox News.

Then, last week, Neil Patrick Harrison made a guest appearance, and his character made a passing reference to thinking that Global Warming is a hoax. You're kind of supposed to like Harrison's character, so I didn't really understand why they added that.


Neil Patrick Harris is openly gay and his character is another unsympathetic stereotype of Fox News viewers. Anti-Fox News.

Then, on last night's episode a character says 'faggy' toward a gay character, and during the obligatory chewing out, he's told "Do you call [black character] the N word? do you call [disabled character] retarted?", obviously referencing the hell that Sarah Palin raised after someone she didn't like said "retarted".


This is a common argument against the use of all 3 of those words as derogatory epithets and definitely not unique to Sarah Palin. Fox News-neutral.
Last edited by lutzj on Wed May 26, 2010 7:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby Alder » Wed May 26, 2010 6:43 pm UTC

At this point of the show the character is supposed to be antagonistic, this weeks' "I'm going to close down the club" character. I'm pretty sure the "Global warming is just a theory" line is a joke, given that he just said he owned a successful business selling Hummers...
Can't comment on this week's episode as it hasn't aired over here yet.

Also, "Harris", not "Harrison".
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby roflwaffle » Wed May 26, 2010 7:02 pm UTC

News Corp and others know that nothing sells like controversy. That's the only reason they have someone like Beck (or whoever else on whatever stations). The news shows also seem to be separated into tiers based on how much they want whatever issues pushed, probably for different audiences with different economic habits.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby Indon » Wed May 26, 2010 7:07 pm UTC

News Corp's media control and presence is frightening, but not due to their entertainment that I am aware of.
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby phillipsjk » Thu May 27, 2010 9:15 pm UTC

I didn't trust Glee from the first and only episode I watched: The glee club seems to lip-sync the over-produced recorded versions of what ever music their sponsors are pushing this week.

Or are we supposed to believe they are using Real-Time Pitch Correction to compensate for disruption to their diaphragms while dancing?

It provides real upcoming signers (or glee clubs) with unrealistic expectations.

Edit: Apparently, Glee does use automatic pitch correction.
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby H2SO4 » Fri May 28, 2010 11:36 pm UTC

They also made a "Sarah Palin is an idiot" joke. Lemme search here for the exact quote...

Ah, here we go...

Sue: "You may be two of the stupidest teens I've ever encountered. And that's saying something. I once taught a cheerleading seminar to a young Sarah Palin."
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby KrazyerKate » Mon May 31, 2010 7:08 pm UTC

Alder wrote:At this point of the show the character is supposed to be antagonistic, this weeks' "I'm going to close down the club" character. I'm pretty sure the "Global warming is just a theory" line is a joke, given that he just said he owned a successful business selling Hummers...

Yeah, i get the joke, but it still seems out of place. That line is the only time in the entire episode that they mention his Hummer dealership.

lutzj wrote:
Then, on last night's episode a character says 'faggy' toward a gay character, and during the obligatory chewing out, he's told "Do you call [black character] the N word? do you call [disabled character] retarted?", obviously referencing the hell that Sarah Palin raised after someone she didn't like said "retarted".


This is a common argument against the use of all 3 of those words as derogatory epithets and definitely not unique to Sarah Palin. Fox News-neutral.

Is it? I never heard 'retard' used in the same context as 'fag' until Palin started getting angry about it. I'm not saying the words aren't both derogitory and rude, I just never heard the N word compared to 'retard' before she came along. Can someone else weigh in on this?

roflwaffle wrote:News Corp and others know that nothing sells like controversy.


So maybe the show doesn't help 'promote' Fox News, but it helps it by giving attention to the controversy? I mean, you can give all sorts of quirks to characters to make them interesting, but it seems like they're giving a disproportionate number of characters quirks that involve stuff that Fox News likes to talk about.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby General_Norris » Mon May 31, 2010 8:00 pm UTC

KrazyerKate wrote:Is it? I never heard 'retard' used in the same context as 'fag' until Palin started getting angry about it. I'm not saying the words aren't both derogitory and rude, I just never heard the N word compared to 'retard' before she came along. Can someone else weigh in on this?


It's a pretty common argument albeit I don't share it as I think the comparison is only superficial as being less intelligent is a flaw while being gay or black isn't. That doesn't make less intelligent people less people though.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby tNok85 » Mon May 31, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

KrazyerKate wrote:There's a reason I stay away from politics most of the time. We've all seen from the Tea Party protests how ridiculous you look when you get up in arms about something without getting all the facts. So for this thread I'm not claiming to be very well informed, and I'm certainly no expert. I've just come across a few things that kind of made me uncomfortable, and wanted to run them by an anonymous crowd to make sure I'm not making a bigger deal out of this than I should.


Well, I'm not arguing for or against the Tea Party protests (I as well don't know much about them) but you start off with calling the Tea Party protests ridiculous because they don't 'know the facts', then immediately admit that you don't know the facts (you're not very well informed). Then you proceed to complain about possibly interpreted political agenda behind a comedy show. Why not rant about any number of very liberal TV shows?

KrazyerKate wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corporation
I came across this page a while ago, and it kind of disturbed me. I had no idea that one organization had so much control over our media. It's pretty obvious that all the subsidiaries with Fox in their names are connected, but I had no idea that, connected to Fox, there's National Geographic, Myspace, Hulu, and The Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. Fox News has a pretty obvious political agenda, I don't think I have to prove that point, but I've always thought that eventually people will start realizing how stupid pundits like Hannity or O'Reilly are, and Fox News will just start lose money.

Murdoch is about money. Money, money, money. That's all. If he had a political agenda to push, he wouldn't have Seth McFarland and his multiple shows on his stations. He makes a lot of money. FOX News makes a TON of money. Why? Well, the other news stations are generally center or left, FOX is right, and the right (no matter how much you dislike them) is still a large part of the country. If the news was all center/right, I will bet you that FOX News would be left leaning - to gain that viewing block.

KrazyerKate wrote:Then Glee happened. This is where I started to think I was sounding paranoid. I've been noticing that they slip Fox News talking points into the dialogue occasionally. When Glenn Beck first came onto the scene sometime last year, one of the minor characters made a passing reference to watching the show. The character wasn't really supposed to be likeable, so it could just be excused as a quick pop-culture reference to make him a bit easier to dislike. Then, last week, Neil Patrick Harris made a guest appearance, and his character made a passing reference to thinking that Global Warming is a hoax. You're kind of supposed to like Harris' character, so I didn't really understand why they added that. Then, on last night's episode a character says 'faggy' toward a gay character, and during the obligatory chewing out, he's told "Do you call [black character] the N word? do you call [disabled character] retarted?", obviously referencing the hell that Sarah Palin raised after someone she didn't like said "retarted". The point of the scene was to give a bit more insight into the values of and relationship between two characters, but the only thing I could think was "wait, why is this show assuming that we all took Palin seriously?". And these weren't minor characters this time, they were two characters that we've seen play a big part of every single episode for the past couple weeks.

I think you are sounding a bit paranoid. ;) And calling an overly Basically Decent speech a right-leaning political agenda? I thought that it was the left that was overly Basically Decent, and the right that was racist/ignorant. Whoops! Getting our agendas mixed up! :oops:

KrazyerKate wrote:So I guess I'm just a bit freaked out by the fact that these sorts of things are appearing on a show owned by the same corporation that owns Fox News. What do you think? coincidence? corporate agenda?

It's a corporate agenda. Absolutely. The corporate agenda of... uhh... hmmmm.... I guess that the passing reference to Glenn Beck could be cross-show promoting. If it was on an MSNBC station, it probably would have been a reference to Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews. If it was owned by CNN, it probably would have been Anderson Cooper. Conspiracyy!!


/shrug

I think you're being oversensitive. Just watch a few episode of Family Guy and you'll figure out there's no secret right wing extremist agenda. It's about MONEY, and he's making lots of it.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:20 am UTC

General_Norris wrote:It's a pretty common argument albeit I don't share it as I think the comparison is only superficial as being less intelligent is a flaw while being gay or black isn't. That doesn't make less intelligent people less people though.


I have worked with somebody less than intelligent. He was courteous, hard working, and a more careful worker than I am. I suspect he was careful through force of habit: you can't take steps for granted if you are working with less intelligence than everybody else. Technical debates with him are a little weird (he focuses on superficial things), but calling reduced intelligence a flaw is arrogant, IMO. I have been told I have slightly above-average intelligence. I worry every time I hear that because I know how ill-considered my actions can be sometimes: if I am above average, that implies most people are worse.
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby KrazyerKate » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:29 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:
General_Norris wrote:It's a pretty common argument albeit I don't share it as I think the comparison is only superficial as being less intelligent is a flaw while being gay or black isn't. That doesn't make less intelligent people less people though.


I have worked with somebody less than intelligent. He was courteous, hard working, and a more careful worker than I am. I suspect he was careful through force of habit: you can't take steps for granted if you are working with less intelligence than everybody else. Technical debates with him are a little weird (he focuses on superficial things), but calling reduced intelligence a flaw is arrogant, IMO. I have been told I have slightly above-average intelligence. I worry every time I hear that because I know how ill-considered my actions can be sometimes: if I am above average, that implies most people are worse.


Just a clarification, he's not saying people with disabilities are worse people, he's saying that the disability is a flaw. Like how your lack of courtesy and work ethic are flaws. In an ideal world, everyone would be courteous and hard working, and intelligent. The same cannot be said for 'straight' or 'white'.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby General_Norris » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:55 pm UTC

KrazyerKate wrote:Just a clarification, he's not saying people with disabilities are worse people, he's saying that the disability is a flaw. Like how your lack of courtesy and work ethic are flaws. In an ideal world, everyone would be courteous and hard working, and intelligent. The same cannot be said for 'straight' or 'white'.

Exactly. Thank you very much.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby H2SO4 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:18 pm UTC

I would also just think it's funny that he's worried about Glee being political when there are MANY a show out there that has some political messages every couple of episodes (House is a big one that sticks out in my mind right now).
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:57 pm UTC

H2SO4 wrote:I would also just think it's funny that he's worried about Glee being political when there are MANY a show out there that has some political messages every couple of episodes (House is a big one that sticks out in my mind right now).


Really House just takes shots across the bow at everyone, with House the person just taking a lot of shots at religion

Any criminal/medical show will have episodes based on real moral dilemas with political signifigance.
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby lutzj » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:18 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:Any criminal/medical show will have episodes based on real moral dilemas with political signifigance.


Some shows even seem inclined to do this just for the sake of doing it; for example the CSI: Miami writers seem obsessed about commenting on illegal immigration and the Russian Mob (!?). Producers like to get people riled up (i.e. generating press and ratings) by arbitrarily inserting political themes.
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby MEGAMANTROTSKY » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:43 am UTC

In order to arrive at a broader analysis of Glee and its corporate sponsors, I would first focus on how it paints such a false portrait of life and modern society. Every single character on that show (with few exceptions) is incredibly selfish, vain, conniving, and ultimately stereotypical. The show is politically disingenuous simply because of its low opinion of the audience's intelligence. There are definite political conceptions and views that go into such an effort. And I would disagree that Murdoch is all about "money." The capitalist bourgeoisie is not homogeneous. If "money" all there was to it, then the US government would have no need to fund an imperialist adventure in the Middle East, nor would they even be stoking tensions with Iran; since it is about the money, how could petty nationalism be on such strong display at the olympics?

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby Silverclaw » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:12 pm UTC

Honestly, I think you're see things that aren't there. If Glee has an agenda, it's a fairly liberal to moderate one.

"When Glenn Beck first came onto the scene sometime last year, one of the minor characters made a passing reference to watching the show. The character wasn't really supposed to be likeable, so it could just be excused as a quick pop-culture reference to make him a bit easier to dislike."

As you said, the character isn't a likeable one, in fact they're supposed to be a conservative religious nut. I'd say they were taking a shot at Beck.

Then, last week, Neil Patrick Harris made a guest appearance, and his character made a passing reference to thinking that Global Warming is a hoax. You're kind of supposed to like Harris' character, so I didn't really understand why they added that.

While the character is somewhat likeable, he's originally presented as a depressed, self-deluding maniac. Also, the line was a joke.

Then, on last night's episode a character says 'faggy' toward a gay character, and during the obligatory chewing out, he's told "Do you call [black character] the N word? do you call [disabled character] retarted?", obviously referencing the hell that Sarah Palin raised after someone she didn't like said "retarted". The point of the scene was to give a bit more insight into the values of and relationship between two characters, but the only thing I could think was "wait, why is this show assuming that we all took Palin seriously?". And these weren't minor characters this time, they were two characters that we've seen play a big part of every single episode for the past couple weeks.

Actually, I have heard that comparison before, many times. Regardless of Palin's ridiculous reaction, she does, in this case, have a point. While I see the difference, the point of the comparison is that both are offensive.
As for complaints about stereotyping, my impression was that the characters were SUPPOSED to be outrageous stereotypes, and the show was parodying them. People seem to be missing the point that Glee is a COMEDY.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby KrazyerKate » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:02 am UTC

MEGAMANTROTSKY wrote:In order to arrive at a broader analysis of Glee and its corporate sponsors, I would first focus on how it paints such a false portrait of life and modern society. Every single character on that show (with few exceptions) is incredibly selfish, vain, conniving, and ultimately stereotypical. The show is politically disingenuous simply because of its low opinion of the audience's intelligence. There are definite political conceptions and views that go into such an effort. And I would disagree that Murdoch is all about "money." The capitalist bourgeoisie is not homogeneous. If "money" all there was to it, then the US government would have no need to fund an imperialist adventure in the Middle East, nor would they even be stoking tensions with Iran; since it is about the money, how could petty nationalism be on such strong display at the olympics?

Holy mother of jesus, what was THAT?


Silverclaw wrote:Honestly, I think you're see things that aren't there. If Glee has an agenda, it's a fairly liberal to moderate one.

That's been said enough before. I let the thread die so that I could wait until more episodes had come out before taking the discussion any further.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby MEGAMANTROTSKY » Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:28 am UTC

I apologize for not explaining my terminology, Ms.Krayzer, as it seems you didn't understand what I said. It's a loathsome habit that I should try to correct in the future.

Mr. Silver, I wouldn't disagree that Glee's political 'agenda' smacks of the moderate brand. What I should have called attention to is the social premise of the show itself. I will try to list as much as I can:

-How the show apparently takes place in a "hick" town and yet has an incredibly wealthy "public" school, and a decent presence of racial and sexual diversity. The initial cast of the first few episodes attests for this.
-Why is the Spanish teacher portrayed as sincere and progressive, even when he threatens to frame Finn for drug possession? His remarks are merely limited to banalities about "being yourself" and "being expressive."
-Sue Sylvester is an abusive, militaristic sociopath. Her success in cheerleading may explain why she hasn't been fired, but she never once tried to seriously hide her crimes, as can be seen when she physically abuses students in the hallway.
-The principal is portrayed as a blundering penny-pincher, yet how does that explain the incredible lighting cues and the size of their auditorium?
-Why does Finn, possibly the poorest member of the cast, always have to be the patsy to the vile schemes of someone else? And why is he advised to "deal with it" in one episode after he finds out about the baby's real father?

The list of plot holes and contradictions could make a dictionary of itself. This is to say nothing of the consumerism, or its false portrayal regarding the the wealthy and its influence on society. Your response, as characterized in your last post, to this would likely be along the lines of "Glee is a comedy, nobody seems to get this." I heavily disagree with your conclusion. If Glee is simply a comedy, then the Vatican (or Alcatraz, if you like) is simply a building. The question that needs to be asked is in regard to Glee's social function. In what way does it serve the interests of the capitalist bourgeoisie and its corporate allies?

Doubtless, I will again be accused of seeing things that aren't there. I won't deny the possibility that I am wrong on many counts. However, it is inconceivable that Glee and its plot were created in a vacuum. The show was created and produced with definite political conceptions, most of which simply do not stand up to reality. Most real public schools in America lack a real arts program, or even an auditorium (In fact, the one "underfunded" school in the show cheated at sectionals). The show's interpretation of social classes in high school is insulting and stereotypical. I would even go so far to say that the show practices racism in some cases. The scheming individualism and cynicism of the characters is regarded as humorous and necessary. The camera pans lovingly over the students as they cruelly manipulate other people for their own ends; I was reminded somewhat of the E! channel. There is no character in the show that has eyes for anything or anybody but themselves.

Glee's glorification of wealth and privilege are extremely clear to anybody who have watched it. Their attempts at "comedy", given the reality of the social gap in capitalist society that they ignore, are dishonest at best. None of this found their way into your appraisal. As far as I can see, you only make fleeting references to certain remarks or amusing throwaway lines, which seem to serve identity politics rather well. If only things were so simple! Such is the nature, and flaw, of petty-bourgeois politics; staring through such unfocused lenses does not make a visit to the eye doctor any less imperative.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby livelyness » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:09 am UTC

MEGAMANTROTSKY wrote:I apologize for not explaining my terminology, Ms.Krayzer, as it seems you didn't understand what I said. It's a loathsome habit that I should try to correct in the future.

Mr. Silver, I wouldn't disagree that Glee's political 'agenda' smacks of the moderate brand. What I should have called attention to is the social premise of the show itself. I will try to list as much as I can:

-How the show apparently takes place in a "hick" town and yet has an incredibly wealthy "public" school, and a decent presence of racial and sexual diversity. The initial cast of the first few episodes attests for this.
-Why is the Spanish teacher portrayed as sincere and progressive, even when he threatens to frame Finn for drug possession? His remarks are merely limited to banalities about "being yourself" and "being expressive."
-Sue Sylvester is an abusive, militaristic sociopath. Her success in cheerleading may explain why she hasn't been fired, but she never once tried to seriously hide her crimes, as can be seen when she physically abuses students in the hallway.
-The principal is portrayed as a blundering penny-pincher, yet how does that explain the incredible lighting cues and the size of their auditorium?
-Why does Finn, possibly the poorest member of the cast, always have to be the patsy to the vile schemes of someone else? And why is he advised to "deal with it" in one episode after he finds out about the baby's real father?

The list of plot holes and contradictions could make a dictionary of itself. This is to say nothing of the consumerism, or its false portrayal regarding the the wealthy and its influence on society. Your response, as characterized in your last post, to this would likely be along the lines of "Glee is a comedy, nobody seems to get this." I heavily disagree with your conclusion. If Glee is simply a comedy, then the Vatican (or Alcatraz, if you like) is simply a building. The question that needs to be asked is in regard to Glee's social function. In what way does it serve the interests of the capitalist bourgeoisie and its corporate allies?

Doubtless, I will again be accused of seeing things that aren't there. I won't deny the possibility that I am wrong on many counts. However, it is inconceivable that Glee and its plot were created in a vacuum. The show was created and produced with definite political conceptions, most of which simply do not stand up to reality. Most real public schools in America lack a real arts program, or even an auditorium (In fact, the one "underfunded" school in the show cheated at sectionals). The show's interpretation of social classes in high school is insulting and stereotypical. I would even go so far to say that the show practices racism in some cases. The scheming individualism and cynicism of the characters is regarded as humorous and necessary. The camera pans lovingly over the students as they cruelly manipulate other people for their own ends; I was reminded somewhat of the E! channel. There is no character in the show that has eyes for anything or anybody but themselves.

Glee's glorification of wealth and privilege are extremely clear to anybody who have watched it. Their attempts at "comedy", given the reality of the social gap in capitalist society that they ignore, are dishonest at best. None of this found their way into your appraisal. As far as I can see, you only make fleeting references to certain remarks or amusing throwaway lines, which seem to serve identity politics rather well. If only things were so simple! Such is the nature, and flaw, of petty-bourgeois politics; staring through such unfocused lenses does not make a visit to the eye doctor any less imperative.

Wow, slow down a second. First off if you want to look critically at the intention behind any type of artistic endeavor (pop art is still art, ask Andy Warhol) it helps to take a historical critical approach and look at what came first. For Ryan Murphy the creator and lead writer of Glee it was Nip/Tuck, a show that very much attacked the superficial crust of capitalist society. Now for Glee I'd like to point out that while all the characters are self centered and affluent, none of them are ever really happy either. They constantly try to attain more popularity/fame/etc. and while they even occasionally get it, they still aren't happy. Perhaps, the creators of the show are saying that there is something more important than the traditional values of capitalist society.

As to the OP, Murphy is openly gay. My guess from this and his other show is that his politics are left if not strongly so. (certainly Nip/Tuck pissed off a lot of people on the right) I think the first two examples you mentioned were just supposed to be punchlines, and the last one was a vocal defense of why fagot is such a hateful word to so many people.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby Silverclaw » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:34 pm UTC

MEGAMANTROTSKY wrote:I apologize for not explaining my terminology, Ms.Krayzer, as it seems you didn't understand what I said. It's a loathsome habit that I should try to correct in the future.

Mr. Silver, I wouldn't disagree that Glee's political 'agenda' smacks of the moderate brand. What I should have called attention to is the social premise of the show itself. I will try to list as much as I can:

It's Ms. Silver, actually. (Or possibly Miss. No one has ever properly explained the difference to me.)

-How the show apparently takes place in a "hick" town and yet has an incredibly wealthy "public" school, and a decent presence of racial and sexual diversity. The initial cast of the first few episodes attests for this.
-Why is the Spanish teacher portrayed as sincere and progressive, even when he threatens to frame Finn for drug possession? His remarks are merely limited to banalities about "being yourself" and "being expressive."
-Sue Sylvester is an abusive, militaristic sociopath. Her success in cheerleading may explain why she hasn't been fired, but she never once tried to seriously hide her crimes, as can be seen when she physically abuses students in the hallway.
-The principal is portrayed as a blundering penny-pincher, yet how does that explain the incredible lighting cues and the size of their auditorium?
-Why does Finn, possibly the poorest member of the cast, always have to be the patsy to the vile schemes of someone else? And why is he advised to "deal with it" in one episode after he finds out about the baby's real father?

Forgive me for my ignorance, but I don't really see what you're getting at. How is the fact that it takes place in a rural town and still shows some diversity a problem? Wouldn't that be a good thing? As for the Will, your complaint seems to be one of bad characterization. Unless I'm misunderstanding? Sue is meant to be ridiculous, and of course in real life she would be fired. The term is "suspension of disbelief". Same thing applies to the lighting cues.
I really don't think the fact that Finn is "the poorest member of the cast" (I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion anyway, as we never see many cast members families, and there is no indication of their income) has anything to do with his portrayal. If anything, it's the "dumb jock" stereotype.

The list of plot holes and contradictions could make a dictionary of itself.

It's a musical. It's not SUPPOSED to be reaalistic.

This is to say nothing of the consumerism, or its false portrayal regarding the the wealthy and its influence on society. Your response, as characterized in your last post, to this would likely be along the lines of "Glee is a comedy, nobody seems to get this." I heavily disagree with your conclusion. If Glee is simply a comedy, then the Vatican (or Alcatraz, if you like) is simply a building. The question that needs to be asked is in regard to Glee's social function. In what way does it serve the interests of the capitalist bourgeoisie and its corporate allies?

I apologize if I came across as dismissive. I just meant that perhaps you were over-analyzing a little, and seeing thing that were not intended. And the Vatican IS simply a building, if you choose to see it that way. There's nothing special about the building itself, it's the importance it holds. (I'm sorry, that sentence was completely incoherent, and probably made no sense whatsoever. I'm not sure how to say it better.) However, I disagree with you in that I don't think every show on television needs to be a social commentary. It's purpose is entertainment, not any social or political message. In response to your last point, it's a TV show, on FOX, of all networks, aimed at teenagers, and it's primary goal is to make money. Yes, it serves "corporate interests". Is that surprising?

Doubtless, I will again be accused of seeing things that aren't there. I won't deny the possibility that I am wrong on many counts. However, it is inconceivable that Glee and its plot were created in a vacuum. The show was created and produced with definite political conceptions, most of which simply do not stand up to reality. Most real public schools in America lack a real arts program, or even an auditorium (In fact, the one "underfunded" school in the show cheated at sectionals). The show's interpretation of social classes in high school is insulting and stereotypical. I would even go so far to say that the show practices racism in some cases. The scheming individualism and cynicism of the characters is regarded as humorous and necessary. The camera pans lovingly over the students as they cruelly manipulate other people for their own ends; I was reminded somewhat of the E! channel. There is no character in the show that has eyes for anything or anybody but themselves.

Glee's glorification of wealth and privilege are extremely clear to anybody who have watched it. Their attempts at "comedy", given the reality of the social gap in capitalist society that they ignore, are dishonest at best. None of this found their way into your appraisal. As far as I can see, you only make fleeting references to certain remarks or amusing throwaway lines, which seem to serve identity politics rather well. If only things were so simple! Such is the nature, and flaw, of petty-bourgeois politics; staring through such unfocused lenses does not make a visit to the eye doctor any less imperative.


I see you don't like the show, and that's perfectly reasonable. However, I think you're taking a lot of the things on the show literally, and they're not intended to be taken that way. Of course, you may be right, but I can see none of the agenda that you seem to.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby KrazyerKate » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:01 pm UTC

Sorry, your first post was pretty rambling, made me think you might be a bot. Your second post is just as wandering, but I think it passes the Turing Test. I've chopped up what you've said a bit for organization sake.

MEGAMANTROTSKY wrote:-How the show apparently takes place in a "hick" town and yet has an incredibly wealthy "public" school, and a decent presence of racial and sexual diversity. The initial cast of the first few episodes attests for this.
-Why is the Spanish teacher portrayed as sincere and progressive, even when he threatens to frame Finn for drug possession? His remarks are merely limited to banalities about "being yourself" and "being expressive."
-Sue Sylvester is an abusive, militaristic sociopath. Her success in cheerleading may explain why she hasn't been fired, but she never once tried to seriously hide her crimes, as can be seen when she physically abuses students in the hallway.
-The principal is portrayed as a blundering penny-pincher, yet how does that explain the incredible lighting cues and the size of their auditorium?
-Why does Finn, possibly the poorest member of the cast, always have to be the patsy to the vile schemes of someone else? And why is he advised to "deal with it" in one episode after he finds out about the baby's real father?

A lot of those things are pretty standard in television. The threat of punishment was just a Deus Ex Machina so that we could get on with the story. Sue Sylvester isn't fired because Status Quo Is God (WARNING: TVtropes). Since the show is a Musical, the musical numbers are going to be as spectacular as possible. Most of us viewers are willing to suspend our disbelief for them.

If Glee is simply a comedy, then the Vatican (or Alcatraz, if you like) is simply a building. The question that needs to be asked is in regard to Glee's social function. In what way does it serve the interests of the capitalist bourgeoisie and its corporate allies?

The Vatican is a center of an entire sect of Christianity, setting it apart from most cities. What sets Glee apart from other comedies?

There is no character in the show that has eyes for anything or anybody but themselves.

Mercedes is letting Quinn live with her. Kurt's dad cares very deeply about him. Tina tries to help Artie find ways to overcome his disability. Hell, even Sue Sylvester is seen caring for her sister who has Down Syndrome. If anything, I'd think people would criticize the show's message as being too warm-and-fuzzy.

This is to say nothing of the consumerism, or its false portrayal regarding the the wealthy and its influence on society.

Glee's glorification of wealth and privilege are extremely clear to anybody who have watched it.

wait, what? The plot is just The Mighty Ducks for theater nerds, the characters don't really talk about money, and the music is pretty standard pop stuff. Where's the glorification of wealth?

bourgeois society

In the words of Inigo Montoya...

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby MEGAMANTROTSKY » Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

It is true that my previous posts were "rambling" and somewhat incoherent. I allowed my mind to operate at a far quicker pace than my fingers. Thus, there are numerous holes in my logic. The only way to remedy this is to explain my position as best as I can, so that I can avoid such mistakes in the future. I hope to address the concerns of whomever first raised them.

Spoiler:
At present, I'm convinced of the existence of the class struggle. This is between, but not limited to, the bourgeoisie, the petty-bourgeoisie, and the proletariat. In American capitalist society, the bourgeoisie controls the means of production and exploits their fruits for the sake of its own self-preservation as a social class. This was not always so, however. As an antidote to feudalism, capitalism could be viewed progressive in its day, due to its task of expanding industrialization and revolutionizing the very production processes themselves. A decent example of this is Henry Ford's assembly-line techniques, which created the conditions for the mass-production car plant; in addition, the Ford Motor Company played an important role in the welfare Detroit's urban proletariat. Most unfortunately, no social system, not even capitalism, has been able to fully withstand the test of time. The historical progression of society hitherto is marked with specific instances of perpetual social struggles. As the social contradictions intensify, the old system shows signs of decay and may not be able to contain them. It is at this point when capitalism ceases to play a progressive role in industrial society, and begins instead to act as a crude and arbitrary brake.

Naturally, the question arises as to why the old social order has not been overthrown yet. There are many clues to this conundrum, but part of the reason class consciousness has frequently stagnated throughout the century is that the lubrication of capitalism's oil, so to speak, did not force society's gears to go fully backward. American capitalism did provide immense prosperity at several points in last century, which partly explains the failure of socialism to fully separate itself from the repressive reputation of Stalinism. The genuine enlightenment traditions in the bourgeois American revolution of the eighteenth century could also account for such misconceptions and confusion. As the ruling class waged its witchhunt against 'communism' during the 1950s, the media currents were largely subordinated even more to give free rein to the McCarthyite trials (Edward R. Murrow is one of the few exceptions to this rule, of course). Though the HUAC was eventually disbanded, Hoover, along with the intelligence apparatuses of the US state did not give up the fight against alternatives to capitalism. Instead, the stagnation of the class struggle culminated into a bourgeois morality in which the principal recipients are the bourgeoisie themselves. Any eruptions and and protests were either quickly put down, disrupted, or ridiculed and encouraged to ally with one of the big business parties themselves. Pacifism, Anarchism, and its adherents provide a clue to these reigning ideologies. Difficult situations beyond the control of the individual, or the social class, are transmuted into the most absurd form of pathos. Personal lives of well-dressed and "well-off" high school students are allowed to play a far more greater role than the social circumstances they live in. People are encouraged to live through their celebrities and feel at one with their schemes and achievements. This may provide the bedrock to understanding the media today; how such pointless voyeurism can provide an understanding of the present political scandals and media jingoism is anyone's guess.

FOX's "Glee" is one of the many products of this social background. I will freely admit that I have not seen Ryan Murphy's earlier works, including "Nip/Tuck". I do not know what kind of controversies it has inspired with the right wing. From what I can tell, it has only focused upon matters of an overtly sexual nature, such as "foursomes" and what have you. I have also never researched TV tropes, but it seems like another way to understand television in far greater detail. I have no real understanding of media structure. Ryan Murphy, from what I can find, does not seem to have a political or social opinion of a significant nature. Apparently he spoke out against an allegedly anti-gay article that appeared on Newsweek in May, but that's all there's been. He should be praised for his apparent passion for defending gay rights. Conversely, he deserves criticism for crafting a show that only serves to deflect and distort the realities of decaying capitalism. He has not offered any words whatsoever regarding the Wall Street, nor has he publicly recognized Barack Obama's role in the tawdry affair. Due to the fact that his wife Michelle personally requested the Glee cast perform at the White House in February, it can be assumed that Murphy perhaps does not have anything serious to say on the matter. This is a serious flaw. The state bailout of the very social class responsible for the economic crisis is nothing less than a demonstration of how far the ruling class is willing to go in order to safeguard their interests and confuse public opinion. Cable television has proved to be one of News Corp's most effective and dangerous weapons for the distribution of mendacity. The contradictions on the education front are only made clearer with Ian Brennan's direct relation with a charter school founder (charter schools, given that they are publicly funded but privately run, sheds light on the rather inconsistent portrayal of the so-called "public" school.

"Glee" likewise does not shed revealing light on any of these realities. I was certainly wrong to say that all of the characters have eyes only for themselves. In my mind, I was referring specifically to the main cast, with the possible exception of Finn. Certainly Kurt's father cares deeply for him, likewise with Finn's mother (I thought Quinn was only offered to live with Mercedes, but I suppose I might have missed an episode). It is true that the characters do not talk ostensibly about wealth, yet perhaps their wardrobe speaks louder than words in this regard. In addition, celebrities, even Lady Gaga, are offered up to the audience on a silver platter, with little to no exceptions. The Madonna episode, with all of its pandering to shallow feminism and eclecticism are equally extolled by both of the opposing camps (Glee club, and Sylvester's cheerleaders). Most of the cast only follows their own inner desires, without any regard for who might get in their way. "Competition" and underhandedness is the order of the day. Neither does the show seriously take any stand on Principal Figgin's inconsistent and cheap treatment of the Glee club.

Glee only stands apart from other comedies in that it does not hide the shallowness of its political limitations. It champions anti-intellectualism to an even greater degree than South Park. Lima, Ohio is a town that exists in its own universe. When the real world threatens to rear its ugly head for an instant, a conformist rhapsody or sequence of events is offered in its place and the severity of the nationwide unemployment rate is ignored, as well as who's responsible. There may be some "throwaway" lines to dispel this opinion, but they are not developed any further in its social contradictions. Only the right wing Sue Sylvester is given the "best lines," and the most penetrating insight as to the silly pretensions of the main cast, while stockpiling and strengthening her own. This is a "comedy" that goes no farther than the conformist limitations set down by its creators.

P.S. Indeed, it is implied that Finn is the poorest member of the cast. I would argue that this is shown in the pilot episode, as Finn explains his family situation. Finn's single mother is shown at one or a couple of points arguing with a superior over which shift she should take, her poor luck with men, etc. His living room and bedroom is rather modest in comparison to the other cast members. The mother also found it necessary at one point to sell furniture, though its possible it was out of memory of Finn's father. Of course, if I missed an episode along the way that refutes this, I'd have to go back and find out which one it is.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby Azrael » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:23 am UTC

Megaman, I think you're done with this thread.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby MEGAMANTROTSKY » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:31 am UTC

This would have been an appropriate time to be quiet.

-Az

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KrazyerKate
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby KrazyerKate » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:41 pm UTC

Yeah, that post is too long to bother reading, much less responding to. I'll see you guys when the next season starts.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby setzer777 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:39 am UTC

I'm trying to picture a high school comedy that heavily features the severity of the national unemployment problem and that has something serious to say about "those responsible". Not normally topics that inspire laughter and mirth...
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby fooliam » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:38 am UTC

KrazyerKate wrote:Then, on last night's episode a character says 'faggy' toward a gay character, and during the obligatory chewing out, he's told "Do you call [black character] the N word? do you call [disabled character] retarted?", obviously referencing the hell that Sarah Palin raised after someone she didn't like said "retarted". The point of the scene was to give a bit more insight into the values of and relationship between two characters, but the only thing I could think was "wait, why is this show assuming that we all took Palin seriously?".



I don't watch Glee, so maybe there's something on the show which I missed, but in the context you've given, I don't know why you state it is "obviously referencing the hell that Sarah Palin raised". THere has been a long running and fairly well known campaign to not refer to the mentally disabled as "retarded", largely sponsored by the Special Olympics. I really don't see how a character implying that referring to the mentally disabled as "retarded" is unacceptable is an obvious reference to Sarah Palin. I think you're reading wayyyy too much into that.
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby KrazyerKate » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:24 pm UTC

fooliam wrote: I think you're reading wayyyy too much into that.


Seriously, if one more person posts without reading the rest of the thread, I'm going to ask that Azrael lock this thread.

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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby stevey_frac » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:10 pm UTC

KrazyerKate wrote:
fooliam wrote: I think you're reading wayyyy too much into that.


Seriously, if one more person posts without reading the rest of the thread, I'm going to ask that Azrael lock this thread.



Just because you don't agree with someone else's conclusions, doesn't mean you get to take your ball and leave.

I also agree that you are reading far far to much into a couple of jokes, and one serious (Basically Decent) line in a hit TV show. Just because it's on Fox doesn't mean it's Fox News.

They're making far to much money off that show to risk alienating more then half the country...
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Re: Glee goes Political?

Postby Azrael » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:47 am UTC

I've had to ask myself why I hadn't locked this yet far too many times already.


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