Monday, February 25, 2013

A stormy night at the Oscars

For the past few years I haven't paid much attention to the Academy Awards because I don't tend to see the movies that are nominated in time to root for my favorites. But this year I had seen Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Impossible. So I settled in for the night to watch the whole thing.

Its possible I just don't get Seth MacFarlane's humor. But it was cringeworthy to me for most of the night and downright offensive occasionally. I could have taken the whole "boobs" song as simply adolescent nonsense, but cracking jokes about assassination, sexualizing a 9 year-old, and anti-semitic jokes from a teddy bear crossed a line for me.

Other than Daniel Day Lewis winning the best actor award for Lincoln, I was completely surprised and disappointed in the winners. I had read The Life of Pi years ago and hated the book. So I wasn't interested in seeing the movie. Perhaps I missed something - who knows? No matter your politics, Jessica Chastain put in an amazing performance in Zero Dark Thirty and deserved the Oscar. For best picture, my sentimental favorite was Beasts of the Southern Wild, but I didn't expect it to win. I thought Argo was good, but not in the same category as Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.

The really great moments of the night all seemed to come from the women...performances by Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Shirley Bassey and Barbara Streisand were magnificent. And then when Michelle Obama joined Jack Nicholson to announce the best picture award - now that was fun!!!!

With that said, I was having some mixed feelings about the whole night as my twitter feed was having a blast with the appearance of Michelle Obama. And then came the bombshell. Everything blew up in response to a hateful tweet by The Onion (it has since been deleted but you can see it at that link).

I am one of those people who doesn't care if your business is irony...you don't call a nine year old the "c" word - EVER!!!! I'm not sure what prompted that kind of garbage. But it seems that Quvenzhané had to correct several reporters throughout the night who couldn't be bothered to learn how to pronounce her name. Tough shit folks...deal with it! This is one little girl who isn't going to put up with your nonsense.

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And to The Onion, I've appreciated your humor in the past. But I'm done with you until you post an apology and take steps to hold the person accountable who is responsible for that hateful racist sexist slur against a beautiful child.

5 comments:

  1. I agree with your commentary about the Oscars. Lovely performances by the goddesses of music. Unfortunately the Onion tweet really put a stain on the evening. I was hurt in my soul that anyone would say something so ugly about a 9 year old.

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  2. The Onion has apologized, but they've damaged themselves, and rightly so.

    What the hell is wrong with people. Have we lost all sense of decency? Where was their common sense to know better than to associate a sweet 9-year old girl with that vulgar tweet?

    I agree on your assessment of the Oscar debacle. MacFarlane was boring, and so was a lot of the evening. I turned it off half way through. (And I saw all of the films that were nominated.)

    I would characterize most of the evening as coarse, tasteless, and lacking glamour. The hell with the idiots who don't know how to put on what is supposed to be the gold standard of movie awards show.

    Broadway's Tony Awards show always outclasses and outperforms Hollywood. I never miss it.



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  3. I suspect the Onion went to deep into the meta-humor hole on that joke. I really don't think they were poking fun at a 9 year girl. I suspect the target was the inane types of tweets you see during these kind of events in which people say some of the most offensive stuff you can imagine about people.

    Put it this way, why is calling a 9 year old a "cunt" any more offensive then calling Anne Hathaway a "cunt" (considering the hate she receives online, you can safely bet that Hathaway has been called that and more)? Yet people (generally) don't get offended when the latter happens.

    The essence of the joke was good but the execution was extremely poor.

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  4. Hmmmmm.....

    Perhaps one may "safely bet" re: Ms. Hathaway. But, it is known with certainly re: Ms. Wallis. And, people, generally, not getting offended at that extremely derogatory behavior might be an assumption. I would believe that, CERtainly, Ms. Hathaway would be offended. And, in terms of defining a female using that term, it isn't socially acceptable. Rather difficult, then, to use this hurtful term and attempt to say it was a joke. Which was the second part of why The Onion, VERY appropriately, landed in hot water.

    The first part is that it was aimed at a child.

    Ms. Pants, in her post following this one, links to a post that should answer your question fully.

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  5. Is, "Dude, she's 9" no longer a thing?

    The Boobs song was literally the only thing I saw, and that was today. Adding the LA Gay Men's Chorus sent it to "sublime nonsense" territory.

    Did someone say that the median age of Oscar viewers is about 53 now?

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