Waiting for Superman

  ...and waiting and waiting and waiting...

...and waiting and waiting and waiting...

Saw a documentary that left me sad and angry.  We in the music world are always carrying on about our mission to bring music (and especially music education) to the disadvantaged, to minorities, to those not otherwise exposed, etc.  Well, why aren't they exposed?, we might stop and think.  This hard-hitting film goes a long way toward providing the unappetizing answer:  because we don't truly care what "those kids" learn in school, not really, in fact not at all.  It is a story of prim hypocrisy (private schooling only for those who can afford it), failure as a way of life (New York City's legendary "rubber rooms") and, worst of all, the institutionalized crushing of excellence that lies at the heart of a cynical culture that protects privileged adults (un-fireable teachers) at the expense of underprivileged children.  If we truly want every child to appreciate Beethoven and Shakespeare, Goya and Goethe, Lincoln and Aristotle, then let's stop piling obstacles in their way.  And if we're happy with the way things are (hey, they're not "our" kids), then let's pipe down about the mission stuff.  It's unbecoming.