Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Matt Damon

Here's something to remember when you challenge Matt Damon: He's no dum-dum. He's probably smarter than you are.
Damon was in Washington, D.C., Saturday to give a speech at the Save Our Schools March. (Damon's mother, who introduced him at the event, is a teacher.)
Pictures: Matt Damon
A reporter and a cameraman for suggested to him that job insecurity should motivate actors - and by apples-to-oranges comparison, teachers - to be better at what they do. Damon's face reveals he's not buying the reporter's questions as she asks it.
"In acting, there isn't job security, right?" says the reporter. "There's incentive to work hard and be a better actor because you want to have a job, so why isn't it like that for teachers?"
"You think job insecurity is what makes me work hard?" asks Damon.
"Well, you have an incentive to work harder, but if there's job security..." says the reporter.
Damon cuts her off. "I want to be an actor; it's not an incentive. That's the thing. See, you take this MBA-style thinking, right? It's the problem with [education] policy right now. It's this intrinsically paternalistic view of problems that are much more complex than that. It's like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when they have tenure. A teacher wants to teach. I mean, why else would you take a sh**ty salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really love to do it?"
Later, the clip's cameraman asks, "Aren't 10 percent bad? Ten percent of teachers are bad."
Damon's mother, standing next to him, says, "Where did you get that number?"
"I don't know," says the cameraman. "Ten percent of people in any profession should think of something else."
Damon says, "Well, OK. But maybe you're a sh**ty cameraman, I don't know."
Sadly, the video ends there.
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