I have been a fan of Glee from its first episode. I love music and musicals! They remind me of my childhood when my mother and father introduced me to all the classics: Oklahoma, Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain, Showboat, etc. As the series has gone on though my favors have fallen upon the one character who could be considered the antichrist to the gleeful Glee-leeans: coach Sue Sylvester. I love her acerbic wit and cynical way of looking at everything. I worried last season when her sister died that she was going to go all soft. Happily this weeks episode shows her in all her caustic finery! She is sitting in her office addressing Kurt, Artie (the guy in the wheel chair), and Kurt’s boyfriend (whose name is escaping me):
Sue Sylvester: Wheel, porcelain, other gay–the Yuletide is upon us and everyone knows that Christmas is a time for forgiveness. So, I have decided to forgive you for having no talent and ruining the American songbook one mash-up at a time. I’ve also forgiven you for forcing me to run in and promptly lose a humiliating state-wide election.
Artie: We…accept your forgiveness.
Sue Sylvester: Now Christmas isn’t just the time when Jewish kids get slightly uncomfortable and dwarves get jobs as Santa’s helpers in demeaning non-union commercials that make them quietly die inside. No, Christmas is also the time to give back, which is why this Friday I’m volunteering at the Lima Homeless Shelter and I thought maybe you Glee-clubbers might want to pitch in by giving the gift of song.
Kurt: Coach Sylvester I’ve heard you say on several occasions that you don’t believe in homelessness.
Artie: You said you considered homeless people urban campers.
Coach Sylvester- May I be honest with you stumbles, gelfling, and young Burt Reynolds? I lost my sister this past year. This will be my first Christmas without her, and honestly I’m just trying to keep myself occupied. I had plans to shoot reindeer from my helicopter with Sarah Palin but she cancelled. Apparently, Todd gets fussy when she misses his ballet recitals.
Kurt-We’d be happy to help.
Coach Sylvester- Oh, that’s fantastic! And now in the spirit of Christmas get the hell out of my office.
Ahhh, Sue Sylvester–she adds that little dash of evil to a show that would otherwise raise the scale of diabetes in this country simply for its over-the-top sweetness aspect.
In thinking about Glee I am reminded of this weeks Community. In which the obnoxiously chipper Glee club is forced out due to copyright laws and our gang has to fill in. As a former Jehovah’s Witness I loved Troy’s acknowledgement of how JW’s spend Christmas. When asked what he would be doing for Christmas he said:
“I’m spending Christmas with my family. Actually, I’ll be spending the day with my family while we try to ignore the fact that the rest of the world is celebrating Christmas.”
That pretty much nails it. JW’s hate this time of year because they are inconvenienced by the Christmas-y spirit and all the shoppers. Oh, they will tell you they don’t like Christmas and find its blatant commercialism as anti-christ as the holidays come, but it is all a cover to conceal the fact that many of them have never celebrated Christmas and have no idea what they are missing. They don’t have fond memories as children of opening presents Christmas morning and watching the annual Christmas cartoons. They don’t know what it is like to think about people in the loving manner that is required when one considers gift choices. As a matter of fact, without holidays and birthdays, most JW’s aren’t very good at giving gifts or knowing how one goes about it. I was almost 30 before I wrapped my first present, and I actually gave up and bought a bag with tissue paper because I couldn’t figure out how to wrap. I wouldn’t wrap another present for years.
This is my first Christmas. I have a tree, and lights, and presents, and stockings, and a Yule log. I have loved shopping for it, and planning for it, and sending out cards, and getting in the spirit of it. What is the spirit? When I was a JW all I saw was the spirit of selfish gain. That is what I chose to focus on because I was jealous, I think. Now I see brotherhood, kindness, unselfishness, and love all around me. It’s nice to share in it, for once, rather than call it sour-grapes.