Matt Damon has been one of the most vocal advocates of America’s public schools. But what’s good for your kids and mine, is apparently not good enough for Matt’s four daughters. Damon’s announcement he’s sending his kids to private school is the subject of a PR Goofy Award today.
For even Damon’s biggest fans, the star’s apparent hypocrisy is a far cry from visions of Damon’s past character. Private school may not have been in the cards for Damon as a kid, he must have watched contemporaries in Cambridge back in the 70s and 80s headed off in preparation for Harvard, but somehow his upbringing realigned the future star’s stars – Damon ended up down the street at Harvard anyhow. The lead for the big budget film Elysium, out this weekend, gave an interview at The Guardian to address the criticism on his decision. But despite the triplicate “big, big, bigness” of “giant family discussions”, the Damon kids are still headed for the relative Elysian Fields of education in LA.
Finally, Damon’s rationalization for virtually destroying any credibility his education initiatives will ever have? He is sending his kids to private school to approximate the 70’s public education he got. Then Matt goes into what sounds like a soccer mom from hell’s rendition of “Oh my god, we (and all of you) are suuuuch bad parents for….” Damon tells of one night with the family sleeping without air conditioning, and the ensuing psychiatric mumbling that usually follow surreal family norms. The heart rending tale of Damon’s wet washcloths on hot Summer nights, brought forward to sooth his stepdaughter’s discomfort without AC, the world’s greatest action star finishes with:
“We talked for, you know, 10 minutes, and I turned the light off and she was already asleep.”
The reader here, even the demonically possesses Damon fan (I myself am a fan but not possessed) HAS to read the rest of this Guardian interview by Decca Aitkenhead. Let me say this before I go on, we live in Germany in a small village on the Mosel, and guess what? My five year old never slept under an air conditioner, though we could easily afford the system. I won’t even go into what it was like in South Georgia in the late 50’s before we even knew there was such a thing. I am reminded of the great poet Pindar and Odes:
“…the good receive a life free from toil, not scraping with the strength of their arms the earth, nor the water of the sea, for the sake of a poor sustenance. But in the presence of the honored gods, those who gladly kept their oaths enjoy a life without tears, while the others undergo a toil that is unbearable to look at.”
Damon goes on to damn any semblance he lives in any sort of normal reality. When asked how he justified the boat loads of money he rakes in in films, with his supposed ultra liberal self, Damon assumes the character some wacko eccentric. Apparently the movie star has never done a film for the money, but instead so that audiences could “understand” his blockbusters. Evidently Damon is in the industry so that his public can bond with characters like Jason Bourne in a catharsis. But there’s more.
Matt Damon’s math is not your math, or is it? Damon told Aitkenhead about actually losing money last year. And here I will my readers and I begin our own purgation. Damon gauges profits and losses not by how much he invested, but by whether or not he and his family spend more than he makes. “I spent more than I made last year” brings to mind a drunken conversation I once had years ago – I think I was proving the existence of God, or something. Anyhow, Matt Damon buying the biggest house in Pacific Palisades last year for $15 million, or other purchases the 99% cannot even fathom.
Matt, good luck recreating the atmosphere and learning hotbed Cambridge Alternative School was today. I am sure all kids wish they could grow up to spend more than they make, to endeavor for the art of endeavor.. the air conditioning on those sticky hot Summer nights. With steadfast advocates like you, everybody will be a movie star soon.
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