Yes, I love the television show GLEE. What’s not to love…
It embodies fun, happy-go-lucky times, teenage angst, coming of age, a celebration of the arts and cleverly rearranged songs from our high school days.
But every once in a while, and ever increasingly, as I watch GLEE, I feel like I’m being preached at.
Watching this week, yet again, I had the distinct feeling that the writers were trying too hard to defend social questions from a particular viewpoint that they believe to be the correct one.
On one hand, I find myself laughing, weeping, and learning to love life as I watch.
On the other, the writers of the show cause me to reflect, wrestle and react to their particular viewpoints on social, moral and religious questions.
As Philip Yancey says in his brilliant essay Art and Propaganda, “like a bipolar magnet, I feel the pull of both forces: a fervent desire to communicate what gives life meaning counteracted by an artistic inclination toward self-expression, form and structure that any “message” might interrupt. The result: a constant, dichotomous pull toward both propaganda and art.”
Is GLEE art at its finest? Clever writing, stirring music and dancing, people of various ethnic groups and well developed characters (who will ever forget Sue?) combine for a work that seems to stand Plato’s test.
Is GLEE propaganda? It provides a powerful platform from which to spread doctrines and principles propagated by particular social movements.
Question: Do you think GLEE is propaganda or art?
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