Monday, February 25, 2013

Some More Thoughts on the Oscars
"But, Gina, you already wrote a post on the Oscars. Do you really need another?"

No, probably not. But in the day that has past since the Oscars have aired, some really cool posts have been written about them. In a sort of parasitic manner, I'd like to reference them here because, I have to face it, I can't put my thoughts together as well as these writers.

I recently came across this post via Tumblr and thought it was really interesting and discussing an issue I knew nothing about. It also makes me feel really uneasy about the film Life of Pi which I haven't seen but want to desperately, and now feel very strange about. The fact that there were protests going on surrounding workers on this film who had not been paid and nothing was said about it at all in most media sources, then having the guys who one for visual effects cut off mid-speech when there were possibly going to mention the whole deal... look, I don't go out of my ways to find conspiracies. But this smells fishier than Gollum's breath after breakfast.
(I've seriously been waiting to use this image forever. Finally an obscure chance to make it work!)

I'm incredibly grateful that the internet exists in moments like this; otherwise I never would have heard about this protest and thought it strange that there was only one presentation that they really cut someone off during. Interesting...
Next, let's talk about Seth MacFarlane. In my previous post, I opted for the fact that humor can be used in a multitude of ways and that perhaps it would be an inappropriate reaction to say that MacFarlane was being sexist. After some more thinking about it, I have decided that... nah, he was being pretty sexist. Cinema Blend has a nice piece about this and the wonderfully brilliant writer Libba Bray lays it out all very nicely in her blog post on the topic and states the situation with a poise and elegance that I simply am incapable of (many thanks to Jordyn for sharing this with me). Take away point: this isn't about learning how to take a joke; this is about learning how to make a joke. The reason I decided to go back on my first opinion of MacFarlane's hosting wasn't because I didn't find him offensive in the first place (I did) but rather that I decided to not give him - and his writers - the benefit of the doubt. After listening to the news reaction on a local Minneapolis channel, no one was talking about how his jokes might have come across - just that he had brought in a lot of viewers and had been a bit controversial. It struck me that maybe I, who am actively looking for sexism in culture (and often worry that I'm beginning to look too hard) easily saw this while others did not. And while I thought my extreme reaction was bordering on misandry, I realized later that maybe it wasn't. Perhaps I was just really, really pissed off that in a year where a lot of stunning work had been done by women in Hollywood, we had to put up with lame sexist jokes. What perhaps enrages me most is that MacFarlane didn't do this alone. Of course not. He didn't write all of his jokes - presenters never do. That means a bunch of writers wrote up stuff they thought was good and somebody approved it and allowed it to happen. It's just really frustrating to hear some gags about eating disorders and sex appeal when the women in the audience are seriously dealing with these problems or have portrayed characters dealing with these problems and the jokes are being told by a guy who doesn't have a good track record for writing female characters (I remember hearing somewhere that MacFarlane admitted to not knowing anything about teenage girls as a way of explaining why the character of Meg is the way she is). I recognize that this is humor and that interpretation is up to the interpreter but let's just say that if I had been in that audience, there would have been an uprising. I did like his point at the beginning during the Captain Kirk meta-segment about criticism and basically pointing out the fact that he can't please everyone... but after making that point, I feel like he should have been...well, more conscious of the fact that if you can't please everyone, you shouldn't opt for trying to offend everyone instead.

So, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, because I like to pretend that you're reading this, know that next year I will not accept such jiggery-pokery from you. I really appreciated how you incorporated students into the show (but then they were overshadowed by a terrible joke about them). So here's an idea - get somebody who actually respects film-making but is savvy enough to poke fun at Hollywood culture in a witty way. Robert Downey Jr, perhaps. Or get Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to do it, because seriously, the Golden Globes were actually enjoyable this year. Or here's an even more daring possibility - get a nobody to host the show. That's right; I said it. Hold auditions with up and coming comedians or TV personalities. And if you act on this, interpret this differently, and get someone like Snooki to host, know that I will crash the Oscars for real and take over your show and you will have a malignant tyrant fangirling in front of a billion people. You think that I'm kidding. I am not.
All threatening aside, I mean it. You guys represent the awards honoring the largest film industry IN THE WORLD. Don't make me feel like the fake Oscar hosting I do in my head when I'm having a bad day could be better than what you actually produce (seriously, I am probably the worst host of anything, ever, in the history of the universe. My absurdist daydream starts looking better than the show I'm actually watching and we have a legitimate problem).

Anyway, Oscar spamming done. Back to business as usual - starting with fandom identification. Look for that post coming soon :)

1 comment:

  1. His jokes have been compared to juvenile, 5th grade quality at an affair attended by those dressed to the max. A pair of jeans and backward base ball cap are out of place at this event.