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Thread: Matt Damon, public school advocate, sends his kids to private school: hypocritical?

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Matt Damon, public school advocate, sends his kids to private school: hypocritical?

    Matt on his mom’s reaction to his Vanity Fair cover: “She’s a professor. If it’s not the Nation, she doesn’t read it. And she said, ‘This thing is nothing but page after page of adverts for products that nobody needs!’” He chuckles. I’d love to know what his mother makes of his latest film, Elysium, a big-budget sci-fi action thriller packed with set-piece fights and expensive pyrotechnic violence. “Hmm, well, my mom’s big on non-violent conflict resolution,” he grins.

    Sending his kids to private school: “Sending our kids in my family to private school was a big, big, big deal. And it was a giant family discussion. But it was a circular conversation, really, because ultimately we don’t have a choice. I mean, I pay for a private education and I’m trying to get the one that most matches the public education that I had, but that kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system. It’s unfair.” Damon has campaigned against teachers’ pay being pegged to children’s test results: “So we agitate about those things, and try to change them, and try to change the policy, but you know, it’s a tough one.”

    Moving from NYC to LA: “It’s a little unnerving. It’s going to be a very big change for us.” In New York, he explains, “I’ve been really lucky. I’ll completely forget that I’m a celebrity. And then something will happen and I’ll go, oh, right. Literally days will go by in New York where I’m seeing the same parents drop off and pick up at school, and where everything just feels completely normal. I’m going to the Starbucks, and people know who I am, but it’s the same baristas there, and they’re calling out everybody’s name. It’s just our neighbourhood spot. So I’ll fool myself, and then something happens.”

    Comparing Lucy to Jennifer Garner: Damon’s Argentinian wife was a bartender in Miami when they met 10 years ago. “I think marrying somebody who’s not a celebrity, it just takes a lot of the pressure off.” His old friend Ben Affleck hasn’t been quite so lucky. “Ben’s wife, Jennifer Garner, she sells a s–tload of magazines in the midwest. Magazines that – Ben explained this to me – you and I have never heard of, but that appeal to a mom in the midwest, who for some reason identifies with Jennifer and wants to know what she’s doing as a mom. As a result of that, there are always five cars outside their house.”

    Will he move out of LA if it gets rough? “Well, if that part is really bad, then we’ll leave. It’s just not worth it. There are things I’m willing to give up, you know, but there’s a limit.”

    Letting his kids grow up privileged: “Our kids are growing up with more privilege than we had; that’s true for most of my friends in LA. I don’t know any actor who grew up with any particular privilege, so everyone wrestles with this. And I think a lot of times it’s about being patient with your kids.”

    A story about privilege: He remembers once staying in an apartment without air-conditioning when his stepdaughter was 10, and she simply refused to sleep. “And we sat there in a huff for a second. And then my wife and I looked at each other and went, ‘Oh my f–king God, she’s never slept in a house without air-conditioning. This is not her fault; this is our fault.’ And I went upstairs and explained to her that all over the world there were kids right now who were sleeping and they never even knew what air-conditioning was. And that, when I was a kid, it was this hot every night in the summer, and I got a washcloth and I wet it. And I explained how her uncle Kyle and I would bump into each other in the bathroom in the middle of the night rewetting our washcloths. And she was laughing. We talked for, you know, 10 minutes, and I turned the light off and she was already asleep. It’s something we talk about a lot, but I think ultimately it’s about giving them an understanding of the world. So at least they can get some context for where they fit into everything.”

    Does he ever work for the money? “I’ve never taken a job for money.” Never? “Not since early on, starting out, no. I’ve passed on a lot of huge-money jobs. Money doesn’t enter into the decision-making. If I do a big blockbuster, it’s about how big an audience you’ll get, and where you can take them.” It must be my turn to look surprised, because he adds, “You know, I lost money last year.” What does he mean? “Well,” he says, looking perfectly relaxed, “I earned less money than I spent.”

    The news about Edward Snowden: “It just seems to have taken this weird, Orwellian turn. It’s surreal. I don’t know where we are now.”

    Politics and Obama:
    “I think it’s tough for guys who weren’t in the military,” he says. “One, their manhood is kind of challenged on some level, I imagine, and they allow themselves to get bullied. And two, they’re just politically afraid of either looking soft or looking incompetent, so they overcompensate.” Could disillusionment put him off campaigning for another presidential candidate? “No, I’m sure I will. As disturbed as I am by a lot of the things that Obama has done and is doing, I would not have preferred a Romney presidency, that’s for sure. The alternative is even more frightening.”
    [From The Guardian]

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    Bronze Member Uindangergurl's Avatar
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    Comparing Lucy to Jennifer Garner: Damon’s Argentinian wife was a bartender in Miami when they met 10 years ago. “I think marrying somebody who’s not a celebrity, it just takes a lot of the pressure off.” His old friend Ben Affleck hasn’t been quite so lucky. “Ben’s wife, Jennifer Garner, she sells a s–tload of magazines in the midwest. Magazines that – Ben explained this to me – you and I have never heard of, but that appeal to a mom in the midwest, who for some reason identifies with Jennifer and wants to know what she’s doing as a mom. As a result of that, there are always five cars outside their house.”
    Wow, this sounds really bitchy.

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I don't take that as bitchy at all. Just the facts. Housewives in the midwest don't even know who Matt's wife is.
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    Elite Member MmeVertigina's Avatar
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    I like him here, he sounds alright. The story about his step daughter and the wash cloth was sweet, I remember my dad telling me similar stories, but his involved outhouses and walking 10 miles barefoot in the snow. & I completely agree on the private vs. public school comment. We also do our best to support our public schools, but until they are up to par with what I feel is a beneficial experience for my children, we will continue to homeschool or send them to private school. :/

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I don't really care where he sends his kids, but wealthy towns tend to have great public schools. I'm sure the schools in his neighborhood are top notch.



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    They may be,but I would think in any high profile person the kids safety has to be ever present. Look how many crazy stalkers there are. If you actually mention them it could fire some creep up. I kinda think it wise. Private schools have fewer students,tighter controls. Some here in Dallas have a whole school of potential kidnap victims.
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    Elite Member NickiDrea's Avatar
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    He annoys me and always has.
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I don't really care where he sends his kids, but wealthy towns tend to have great public schools. I'm sure the schools in his neighborhood are top notch.
    i don't think he's saying that he sends his kids to private school because the local ones suck, but because he wants them to enjoy a 'progessive' education.

    and i agree that wealthy towns tend to have good schools.
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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    I think he sounds like a pretentious asshole.

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    I tend to agree with him. I live in a pretty wealthy area and people always rave about the schools, but I'm not impressed. I had a very different type of education and I don't see it out here. Not in Orange County. I'll probably end up going private.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernbelle View Post
    I think he sounds like a pretentious asshole.
    why?
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    Well, if you have plenty of money, education is certainly one of the best things you can spend it on. On the other hand, private school is just one more thing that can insulate your kid from other types of people (that's not always the case of course - there are scholarship kids in private schools, too).

    He should have just stayed in the Boston area and sent his kids to public school in one of the nicer suburbs. My kids have gotten an excellent education here and their teachers are so liberal they're practically commies. I mean that in the nicest possible way - I'm very pleased with that.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    maybe it just doesn't make sense for him and his work to live in boston though.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    If I were a celebrity who was known to have a lot of money, I would be pretty careful about where I sent my kids to school. I'd be worried about their personal safety as much as the quality of their education.

    The public schools in this area are pretty good. Generally, people only pull them out and send them to private school if they are having trouble keeping up with the curriculum and would benefit from a program that is more tailored to their learning style.

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    I get what Damon is saying. Boston still has some of the most progressive public and private schools in the country. It's difficult to match that anywhere else, even in a private school. It might be very difficult finding something comparable in L.A. at all.
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