I know there have been complaints that Glee hasn't been as good this season as last, but I'm not sure that's true. I will admit, overall I'm not as excited about the music as I was last year, but the stories (for the most part) are better. Sure, they are still over-the-top and include stuff that would never fly in a real school, but I like that they are dealing with Kurt and Santana's sexuality and how it relates to their lives at school, drinking, and this week's bullying episode. Within the craziness penned, there is always a heavy thread of truth.
This week, they did a great job of showing the importance of self-acceptance, including among the adults. Or should I say adult? Because really, Will's acceptance of his cleft chin was something of a joke. But Emma admitting her OCD was well done. I wish they'd have gone further among the adults though for the simple reason that no matter how okay with ourselves we might be, everyone I know has something that they don't like about themselves (or at the very least question). I think they kind of missed a teaching opportunity with that.
But even more so, the lack of any Sue Sylvester story paralleling the Lauren Zizes/Quinn Fabray bullying story was a mistake. I know that Sue sub-plots tend to take over (if for no reason other than Jane Lynch steals every scene she's in), but if ever there was an episode that needed her, this was it. Whether we like it or not, bullying doesn't stop in high school. It doesn't even stop in college.
Sad fact of life: bullying never stops.
One example? The Judy Mays (Mrs. Buranich) mess. The woman, who has taught high school English for twenty-five years, is being persecuted by a group of parents because she *gasp* writes erotic romance. According to a quick Amazon search, she's been publishing for seven years, but it seems now it's an issue. It's not. A group of bullies just wants to make it into one. That's a nice blatant example, and it's caused a chunk of the writing industry to stand up and get behind her (in less than 24 hours the "Support Judy Mays (Mrs. Buranich)" Facebook page has garnered nearly 4500 "likes").
There are other, less obvious things than that. Another author had someone call her out on one of her youtube videos as being narcissistic. Um...really? Based on youtube? Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure most people who post themselves on youtube either think well of themselves or fake it for the camera. The author in question posted on her blog about her right to be whoever the hell she wants to be. She shouldn't have to do that. She's a human being and doesn't have to fit into anyone's mold of "right" but her own.
But she isn't the only one who's dealt with stuff like this. There are certain people out there who have at times chosen me as their target. Thankfully, I know better. I put up with bullies throughout school. These people have nothing on Brian from third grade, or the girls from fifth, or... Back then, I took the bullying really badly. Now? I kind of find the whole thing funny. Do I still react? Sure. I'm human. But in the end I just laugh because really the only thing those people are proving is that they can't get past school-yard mentality.
In the meantime, I'm thinking about making my own Gleek-tastic t-shirt...just as soon as I'm not busy writing.