The Quick and Dirty About the Academy Awards
The ratings were bad this year, and for good reason. The show was mostly boring, as it usually is. A lot of people protested the blandness, the whiteness of the Oscars this year by refusing to watch at all. The film industry as a whole tends to be pretty reflective of the white male experience, this is true, but the awards shows tend to take that to a new level. This year was no exception.
I watched for a few reasons, one of which is that I try very hard not to criticize things I haven't personally seen or read. I know many people who refused to watch on principal this year, and I wholly respect that decision. I also know, though, that institutions only ever really change when they are forced to. The Academy is a particularly insulated institution because of the membership requirements, one even less amenable to change due to that insulation. Because of that harsh reality, it will take a whole lot more pressure for things to ever be different. Trying to make changes in society requires us to stay present.
Anyhow, for anyone who wants to try and take me to task on my criticism of the whiteness of the awards, you really only need to reflect on the truth that the room was filled with British actors and no one asked any of them who they got their Green Cards from. That question was only posed to one person, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the Mexican director (i.e. the son of a bitch) of Birdman. Did anyone else stare at the screen when Sean Penn said that, wondering aloud if that really just happened????
I know I did.
Other Oscars Observations
- John Legend and Common's performance of Glory was beyond amazing. Beyond. Speechless chills. If you haven't seen it yet, you must.
- Lady Gaga sang the hell out of the Sound of Music, which has apparently shocked most of the world...or at least the people who never noticed that she is actually talented before that performance. Of course she is. I've been saying that for years. Just seems like most people couldn't see past the meat dress. If you haven't seen this yet, here you go.
- The Academy LOVES to use popular films in its montages, but those same films relied on for applause are rarely ever the ones nominated. Hollywood loves a big box office, just doesn't think it is ever worthwhile when it comes to the tiny statues.
- The whole lock box thing was terrible. The fact that it wasn't something Octavia Spencer was asked about beforehand makes it even worse. It really was just grossly inappropriate and completely unfunny.
- Patricia Arquette. Hmmm. The sentiment was fine and all. I can get behind anyone stumping for equal rights on such a large stage. That's rad. What wasn't so rad is all the other stuff she said afterwards, the kinds of things that make it pretty obvious that she doesn't really get the whole idea of intersectional equality. It's possible to be a feminist and argue for equal rights without discounting the experiences of other groups, particularly those that haven't obtained the level of equality she implied that they have or those who fit into more than one category. Also, no one gets to demand that other groups fight for them...so there's that.
- Joan Rivers wasn't included in the In Memorium segment, and the reasons the producers gave were pretty shallow and lame. Personally, I tend to think she was left out intentionally, mostly because she spent her entire career making fun of all of them. But whatever. She was a comedienne, and someone who will forever be associated with the red carpet, for better or worse. She should have been included. But no one asked me.
- Speaking of fashion critics, slamming Zendaya's dreadlocks was a bad choice, Guliana and Kelly. Zendaya just blew me away with her response, though. You can read it here if you'd like.
- Graham Moore gave the best speech of the night, on a night when talking about mental illness and suicide publicly on a huge stage with bright lights and the world watching became okay.
The Twitter War Between Amber Rose and The Kardashians
A real life soap opera at its smarmiest, this battle is one for the ages. Seriously, there really is no level which won't be stooped to here. It's hard to look away from the trainwreck.
What bothers me tremendously, aside from the nastiness of it all, though, is the fact that Kylie is underage. Tyga is accused of stepping out on his wife for her (which it appears fairly likely that he did, unless jetting off to another country on a romantic trip together is something that totally platonic friends do now), but no one really seems to be talking about the fact that Kylie is underage.
Unless 17 is the new 18 and rules don't apply to Kardashians.
But whatever, let's all just focus on how many showers it takes to wash off the nasty.
Also, let's somehow focus on whether the women involved are at fault here, not the men (even the one accused of cheating on his wife...)
Much like Brian Williams, O'Reilly has been accused of embellishing stories, of stretching the truth, of just flat making up pieces of news stories. Unlike Williams, O'Reilly is enjoying the unyielding support of his network and throwing around promises to come after his accusers "with everything he has".
NBC suspended Williams to look into the allegations. Fox hasn't.
What does that say to you?
.....types out retraction to run at the end of the newscast....
All the cool kids are doing it
Apparently, it's totally legitimate and not at all racist to question everything about President Obama. For the longest time it was the birth certificate truthers. Then it was the people who claimed he was a Muslim. Now it's totally cool to publicly doubt his love of country and muse about how dedicated he is or is not to Jesus.
And it's totally not racist. Wink, wink.
(p.s. I should just remind everyone that Muslims and Atheists are as protected by the Constitution as all the Christians elbowing for the anti-Obama soundbytes here....)