August
4th 2011
Matt Damon goes all Good Will Hunting on some glibertarians

Posted under: American history, bad language, jobs, students

Enjoy! (Via Blue Jersey): UPDATED BELOW, later Thursday morning.

Love it. Damon has always struck me as significantly brighter than your usual big-time actor. Of course, this clip recalls this scene in Good Will Hunting when Damon’s character totally faces the Harvard jerkoff. Apparently MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell picked this up and ranted about it, and Reason responded with their usual complaint that “we’re not right wingers, because legalize pot and fight police brutality, how dare you!”

(Confidential to Reason magazine: if you’re so in love with the free market, why do you send your subscribers not just calls to renew their subscriptions, but also solicitations to send money to the Reason Foundation? Why don’t you let the free market decide on the value of your journalism? In any case, I find it difficult to believe that you can’t sell enough advertising to companies who champion deregulation and nonenforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Tobacco, coal, big Pharma, Monsanto, etc.)

UPDATE: Jonathan Rees at More or Less Bunk already posted on this yesterday–see his reaction & further thoughts on the race to the online bottom of higher ed over at his place.

14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Matt Damon goes all Good Will Hunting on some glibertarians”

  1. Urban Exile on 04 Aug 2011 at 6:52 am #

    Wonderful. And look at his proud Mama admiring what he’s saying!

  2. Dr. Koshary on 04 Aug 2011 at 6:53 am #

    I dig it, too. I try not to put too much stock in political opinions offered by celebrities, but I agree with you that Matt Damon is a lot brighter, thoughtful, and more articulate than the average movie actor. And it kills me that he immediately calls the cameraman on his nonsense statistic, and the cameraman admits just as quickly that he has no idea whence his statistic came. Lies, damn lies, and statistics: Twain will always be right on that score.

  3. Historiann on 04 Aug 2011 at 8:35 am #

    The fact that *famous actor Matt Damon* called out the “MBA-style thinking. . . [that's] the problem with ed policy these days” is to me much less important than the fact that SOMEONE said this and dispensed with the bullcrap statistics and fatuous talking points in about 20 seconds. (But, that Damon said this is in fact the reason this clip is getting hits here and elsewhere.)

    People who don’t share educational values think that those of us who care about education and learning must be in it for some cynical, material reason beyond educational values. Because they’re cynical and motivated only by money, they assume that the rest of the world works that way. It’s really a failure of imagination on an epic scale that’s led us into these ridiculous conversations about education, in which public school teachers are goldbrickers and the MBA-style consultants who’ve never set foot in a classroom are the Sainted Voice of the Taxpayer.

    Be sure to click and listen to Lawrence O’Donnell’s rant about this–it’s a little over the top, as he usually is, but he makes a good point about the absence of scrutiny for police officers versus school teachers. He doesn’t connect the dots on gender here, but of course that’s a big part of the angle here too: teacher’s unions are female-dominated, and it’s always easier to inculcate doubt or pessimism in the public about paying for women’s labor.

  4. koshembos on 04 Aug 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Why doesn’t everyone have job security? Why should it be easy to fire workers? Do you really believe that teachers’ “quality” measures are meaningful?

    It’s interesting that mainstream decent reporters take Matt Damon to task. We live in a Koch world and way too many people see it as a given. Way too many of these reporters would have failed a solid qualifying test, yet they tell us what to think.

  5. Rachel on 04 Aug 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Didn’t you know about 72% of statistics are made up on the spot? Take that cameraman!

  6. Spanish Prof on 05 Aug 2011 at 9:06 am #

    After Good Will Hunting came out, there was a joke regarding the script of the movie, that both him and Ben Affleck co-wrote, that Ben Affleck had done all the typing. Affleck proved them wrong when he started directing (he is just a very bad actor). But yes, Matt Damon always looked to me better than your average celebrity (maybe because he’s married to an Argentine woman!)

  7. Indyanna on 05 Aug 2011 at 9:14 am #

    A few random annotations re Damon. a) Where did that Cambridge mop-top go?!? b) The same clip from GWH referenced above–the historiography slam with the grad student in the bar–was also cited last Sunday in the NYT book review in what seemed to me, at least, to be an unduly adulatory review essay on the life oeuvre of Gordon Wood. The legendary “Pete Garrison” (the D.B. Cooper of the original _Radical History Review staff_) went unmentioned, as usual. And c), Damon was named in an article yesterday about baseball’s investigation of Alex Rodriques’s alleged participation in a “Hollywood High Stakes poker game.” A pretty low-fidelity source was given for the underlying report, and not sure what any of this means anyway. I never heard of “Reason Magazine,” much less t.v. network, but that interview crew seemed like a couple of interns.

  8. Trudy on 05 Aug 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    I love it when he goes, “You think job insecurity is what makes me work hard?” I don’t get it, the interviewers point is that all people should be made to fear losing their jobs, as an incentive to work hard? Because human beings are by nature lazy loafers and must feel the whip in order to earn their keep? I thought Taylor’s bleak ideas about workers and what makes people tick had gone out the window by the 1970s, but seems like they are still very much around.

  9. Lowie94 on 06 Aug 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Want to know why Reason.TV had to include the random clip from Good Will Hunting? It was so they could find a seamless way to edit out the part where their reporter compares her own expertise to that of Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a professor of early childhood education who has taught teachers for 30 years. The reporter says, “She was a teacher, I was in school, so I’m just as educated as she is.” I love Matt Damon’s delayed and understated reaction: “But you’re not.”

  10. Historiann on 06 Aug 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Wow–thanks Lowie94!

    That’s freakin’ priceless. What a clown college they’re running over at the Reason Foundation.

  11. TriPartite Academic on 08 Aug 2011 at 6:38 am #

    I have always loved me some Matt Damon, and now there’s even more reason to! :-)

    It is truly tragic that there is a mentality that suggests that fear is our only incentive to work hard. Yikes.

  12. Liz2 on 08 Aug 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Do you ever wonder how boring and awful someone’s life must be if fear is their only incentive to work?

  13. Indyanna on 08 Aug 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    The American Association of Clown Colleges (r) dba since 1927, feels they and their three hundred plus hard-working and productive member institutions are being unnecessarily dragged into this contretemps, and have asked their K-Street law-and-lobbying firm to take a look at the issue. :)

  14. Tenured Radical - The Chronicle of Higher Education on 09 Aug 2011 at 7:50 am #

    [...] in August, so that nobody has to even strike a day of school to attend it.  Coverage by Historiann here and by CatalystChicago [...]