If you know of anyone who denies that we are truly living in an enlightened age of Matthew McConaughey super-thespianism known as the McConaissance, all you'd need to do to is remind them that The Great One will be teaching a film class at UT-Austin this fall.
That's right — the man who won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, and who was robbed of another for Ghosts of Girlfriends Past — will teach a course called Advanced Producing: Script to Screen with Hunger Games director Gary Ross. (McConaughey stars in Ross' Free State of Jones.)
It would be far too predictable for us to say that the notion of a McConaughey-taught film class is more than "alright, alright, alright" to us, so we'll just say we hope this is only the beginning of his professorial duties. There are many other courses we'd like to see him teach. Here are just a few.
Percussion 302: Nude Bongos (With an emphasis on the "bong")
Back before he nearly stole The Wolf of Wall Street, McConaughey was committing other crimes — namely, violating an Austin noise ordinance. Police responding to a neighbor's complaint found "a nude white male dancing and playing bongo drums," according to an Austin Police Department arrest warrant obtained by The Smoking Gun. The astute officer also observed "a marijuana bong sitting on the coffee table."
One neighbor's noise is another's musical treasure, and, like any musician worth his or her salt, McConaughey's alleged use of reefer was just part of taking the sound to the next level. We're sure that Mozart, Miles and Mr. Mister have all rehearsed in the nude.
Sure, the dude may bang skins in the nude, but he's not one to toot his own horn — many people might be unaware that, in 2006, McConaughey saved a cat from the murderous clutches of a bunch of deviants who were about to douse the feline in hairspray and set it on fire.
McConaughey was driving in Sherman Oaks, California, when he happened upon the two jerks, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "He leaped out of his car, snatched the cat, and after shouting at the gang, took the pet to an animal refuge," the paper reported.
How many of us would have looked the other way, or just called 911 and hoped for the best? Where does a person get nerves of steel like that? That stuff don't come with a SAG card. You're either born with it, or you're taught it at college, by a real hero.
Mainlining the Secret Truth of the Universe
There's only one true True Detective, and that's Rust Cohle. We refuse to believe anyone wrote that character's lines for McConaughey. In fact, we're beginning to believe that Cohle is the real person, and McConaughey is the persona.
Let students swallow and regurgitate facts in their other classes; in MTSTU, they will swallow the truth. And what's that? Is it that "human consciousness was a tragic misstep in evolution?" Is it that your entire existence is just "a dream that you had inside a locked room"? Or is it the horrifying discovery that "death created time to grow the things that it would kill?" Whatever it is, your grade depends entirely on one final exam, but all the questions are really just answers staring at you in reverse. (Lone Star is provided.)
Zen and the Art of Mid-Range Domestic Sport Utility Vehicles
Similar to Mainlining The Secret Truth, but with an automotive twist. Before those ubiquitous Lincoln ads, we mostly considered driving a basic mode of transportation. How young and naive we were back then. Now we know that driving should rarely, if at all, be attempted without cufflinks or talking to your dogs about sushi. Students will learn not to observe their surroundings, including whatever may be reflected in their side-view mirrors — they will be instructed to stare straight ahead, because nothing else matters. Students will also be encouraged to disavow Google Maps for obscure rural routes that offer serenity and chance encounters with longhorned bos taurus. (Special GPA incentives available to well-qualified students, up to 36 months, $1,250 due at signing.)
Public Speaking 101
University of Houston officials pulled off a real coup by nabbing McConaughey for the school's 2015 commencement address. McConaughey doesn't exactly scream "academia" — that's not a bad thing — which is why the announcement was such a surprise. Unsurprisingly, McConaughey delivered the goods. As we reported, "After he was introduced, he stepped to the podium and then pulled off his suit jacket, slung it onto the podium, grabbed the stool behind it and dragged it closer to the edge of the stage. (It was an effortless move that instantly made him not seem like "a commencement speaker" or anything dull-sounding like that.)"
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
McConaughey broke down his advice for tomorrow's leaders into 13 key points, including a nugget about how "Life is a verb. We try our best; we just don't always do our best. But architecture is a verb as well, and we are the architects of our own lives." (It remains unclear whether "bong sitting on a coffee table" is also a verb.)
Introduction to Philanthropy: j.k. givin', yo
McConaughey donated his UH commencement cash to his charity, the j.k. livin' Foundation, which helps build "after school fitness and wellness programs in inner-city high schools." As the nonprofit's website boasts, "participants get in shape and gain confidence while also improving their grades, attendance, and behavior." That's something that even a deranged nihilist like Rust Cohle could get behind.
The charity also encourages "students to give back in their own communities" — so they aren't just the recipients of charitable giving; they're learning early on that they also have the capacity to help others. A class like this would come naturally to McConaughey — like a role he was born to play.