Friday, September 26, 2003

I'm watching Lean On Me- a fun movie and a nice propaganda piece. Just a little encouragement and hard work turns a school around, great huh? But I worry that there are problems that can't be solved with a little can do and movie magic. For example, all the people Clark pushed out. What ever happened to them? Is it acceptable to sacrifice them?

Also, Clark's whole get off of welfare rhetoric. It sounds good in a movie, but when your mother is working three jobs, it's not like they have time to help you with your homework. I have always thought it was strange that middle class white mothers are encouraged to stay at home, but lower class mothers(of all races, I am assuming) should get out and work. It's a paradox.

Also, if just cleaning up graffiti and a bit of yelling improved their test scores so much, why didn't anyone do this before? I am aware this is based on a true story, but I'm sure that the real story was much more complicated than this feel good flick.

I am also interested in the portrayal of race- in the beginning, some black girls are depicted as ripping the shirt of a white girl. Is this an attempt to play on the increased sympathy such a person might get?

I'm aware that this is the sort of cheery after school special we rely on to reinforce our prevailing myths, but it is pretty interesting al the same.


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