Thursday, April 28, 2011


A couple of questions to Tuesday's episode of Glee, "Born This Way" (yes, I realize I'm adressing an inatimate object - let's just go with it):

1) If it's not okay for Rachel to get a nose job, Tina to wear blue contacts, or Quinn to lose weight because it constitutes messing with how they were born and God makes no mistakes, according to Lady Gaga, why is it alright for Mercedes to straighten her hair? (And then magically un-straighten it for the next scenes?)

By this logic, is it not permissible to wear deodorant, get your teeth aligned, your cleft-palate fixed, your birth-mark reduced, or your hair cut into a more flattering style? (Don't even get me started on whether the former Stefania Gabriella Germanotta looks exactly the way God meant her to look, or whether a few enhancements may have contributed to her current appearance.) Where is the line supposed to be drawn and, more importantly, who gets to be in charge of drawing it?

2) If it's okay for Finn to sing, "Whether I'm right or whether I'm wrong/ Whether I find a place in this world or never belong/I gotta be me, I've gotta be me/ What else can I be but what I am?" why is it not okay for Dave to be a closeted bully? It's who he is. It's how God made him.

When I worked the Daytime Emmys in 1997, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Fred Rogers. In the tribute profile (watch below) Mr. Rogers' core message is described as being "accept everyone for who they are."

But, if that's the case, does that mean we should never seek improvement? In ourselves or others? Should people be left exactly as they came out of the womb? (Take a moment, would you, to imagine a world of fully grown adults who've never evolved past the infant - or, better yet, toddler - stage.)

Should no one ever try to change their behavior? Should that change be left up to a vote? Finn should just be himself because he's super-awesome according to popular opinion. Dave should change because other people believe he should.

Again, where does that line get drawn? And who gets to draw it?

Do we really want to live in a Glee/GaGa inspired society where everyone gets to be exactly who they feel like being? Conversely, do we want to live in a society where majority rule gets to gang up and beat down anyone whose choices, be it a nose-job or a sexual preference, they happen to disagree with?

In the words of my personal favorite musical theater iconoclast, Stephen Sondheim, "Is it always or, is it never and?"

No comments: