March 6, 2006

Oscar afterthoughts.

That was a long night of blogging yesterday! But watching the Oscars without blogging is much more of a slog. And I relied heavily on TiVo, so, really, it was a snap compared to just sitting around watching in real time. I skipped nearly all of the speeches, all of the commercials, all of the walking to the the stage, and (the best part) all of the singing. I also skipped all the pre-shows, so I didn't really get the chance to see as much of the fashions as I would have liked. I also got so preoccupied writing that I didn't check around to see what other folks were writing.

This morning I see that this character, apparently a somewhat popular blogger, spent the entire evening simulblogging my simulblogging. His motivation seems to have been that he had me pegged as a conservative, the sort of person he despises, so he was going to wait around and jump on me for jumping on Hollywood for being liberal. In classic lefty form, he makes plainly sexist remarks without seeming to think it counts against him! And his commenters fail to call him on it. His long post mostly consists of my statements, copied. To this he adds his repeated assertions that I'm boring and boys won't like me because I'm mean and his generic comments that mostly just express antagonism toward a crude right-wing stereotype that has little to do with me (including imputations of racism based on utterly nothing that appears in my post). What a shameful display! He does append a meager apology at the end, when it seems to finally dawn on him that he'd been off in some fantasy world of his own all night, ideating about me. What the very idea of a woman with opinions does to a man's... mind! Oh, and one of our regular commenters, who stooped to a sexist insult against me here yesterday, shows up over there and preens about that insult, without admitting that it was a sexist insult and that he apologized for it here. Apology not accepted!

Anyway, I didn't get much chance to talk about politics, because, even with Jon Stewart hosting, I heard very little politics. I think somebody thought a lot about how to avoid offending ordinary Americans, whom they need to keep going to the movies, when they had a political host and so many heavily political or politicized movies among the nominees. The memo seems to have gone out. Quite rationally, the decision was to focus on the positive, how Hollywood has supported good values, like ending bigotry. The war and President Bush were not mentioned (or if they were, it was rare and I missed it). I think the stars were advised to act serious and elegant. Perhaps they were told to play Old Hollywood. Something caused nearly all the women to wear either black or beige dresses and to pull their hair back into a soft bun. Something caused the presenters to drain the life and playfulness out of their voices. They really do want us to love them, but when we see how they act when they are trying to win our love, we get a sense of what they really think we are like. We're the people in the dark, featureless, mindless. They were trying to fit in with us. A dreary display!

I haven't read the newspaper commentary yet, but I assume there will be a lot of analysis of why "Crash" beat out "Brokeback Mountain." Were the Hollywooders trying to make the America it imagines like them? It's hard to see how group behavior can mean that much. It can't be just a matter of getting tired of the frontrunner, because there were so many other predictable winners last night. What about the possibility that "Crash" is actually a better movie? But maybe the voters really did think it was a good idea to express their social consciousness in the anti-racism mode rather than the anti-homophobia mode, because America's caught up on the proposition that racism is wrong.

49 comments:

Truly said...

Why haven't you banned quxxo? His/her posts take up too much space, anyway.

Sloanasaurus said...

I was actually shocked that there was no Bush bashing. It was as if the Oscars were about the movies rather than about Bush. In fact I missed my moment to be mad at Hollywood... Perhaps they needed John Stewart to break out of the stranglehold Bush has had on the Hollywood elite since 9/11.

I am not a fan of Stewar, but I thought he was tremendous last night. Stewart was quite surly to the Hollywood crowd and many of us at home were laughing while those in the audience were not.

ALH ipinions said...

Ann

Why do you even give "this character" so much space on your blog? Doesn't this count against you?

I agree with your supposition that maybe Crash won because it's just a better film. I think it is!

Alas, it was a very pro forma show.

What did you think of Stewart as host?

I especially liked the way Clooney bitch-slapped him for dissing Hollywood activism, which reminded me of the way Sean Penn bitch-slapped Chris Rock last year for dissing Jude Law. Neither hosts seemed able to recover his comedic swagger after these sober retorts to their whimsical monologues.

Ann Althouse said...

Truly: I don't have a way to ban commenters. I can only delete comments.

Sloan: Good point about Stewart. I hope when he gets back to his show -- comes back to us -- he lampoons them well. They really are so smug and boring. They really need to be made fun of.

Bruce Hayden said...

Thanks for watching the Oscars and blogging about them. That meant that I didn't have to.

I think though that as a guy, a lot of the show would have been lost. I doubt that I would have noticed the color schemes of the gowns or their hair. That is just not the type of detail noticed by most of us guys.

Jacques Cuze said...

Well let's let the quxxo flaming begin.

But liberals are pretty good about clicking on links, and as usual, I included a link to the thread that included my apology.

However I did sincerely and still stand by that apology. As I said at TBogg's I apparently touched more of a nerve than I had intended, and that is still true.

But I can understand and accept your not accepting the apology.

Ann Althouse said...

ALH: I considered ignoring him, but chose to write because it fits one of my longstanding themes: that male lefties are often sexist and think it doesn't show and they can get away with it. One of my self-appointed jobs is to call them on it. Also, he's got enough traffic on his own that my link isn't just giving attention to something that would otherwise remain in oblivion.

I think Stewart was okay, playing to a very cold audience and not really able to lash out at them like the real comedian he is. I want him out of that environment. He needs to be free to make fun of those people, not leading them in a self-celebration. So I don't think he is really the right kind of person to host. Billy Crystal is the model Oscars host. They need to find a younger actor who can hit that pitch. There's something gentle and old fashioned about Crystal. Plus, he sang! Who can replace him?

Elizabeth said...

Because I'm a regular reader of your blog, I didn't expect you to do the rightwing tap dance about Hollywood liberals. Hollywood is liberal? Shocking! It's evident TBogg was following on some fantasy, probably developed from third-hand sources. And the sexism-as-irony thing is tiresome indeed.

But it's hard to avoid coming to the conclusion that your comments section is full of conservative cliches on Hollywood. So Hollywood trends toward liberal. So some actors make fun of Bush, or pontificate on stuff they don't understand, or act pompous and meaningful. So what? Do all industries have to pay obeasance to conservatism? I think so-called conservatives want some sort of movie affirmative action. Strange.

If Hollywood fails to entertain, then the money will dry up. The fact is that there are all sorts of reasons big studio movies aren't that good. They spend too much on big name stars who aren't really good performers. They spend too much effort on special effects and too little on a good story. They keep rehashing the same old stuff. Who needs a Scooby Doo remake? Why remake Psycho?

So the industry is shallow and self-congratulatory. That's not a liberal failing. Mel Gibson is as caught up in his own glory as anyone else. Deep down they know they're little more than dancing bears, so if they want to have a night of faux gravitas, let 'em do it. Reading how the industry is out of touch with middle America and shoving liberal values down the throats of Joe Sixpack just makes it all the more camp.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't think Crash even approaches being as good a movie as Brokeback Mountain. I was shocked.

Sloanasaurus said...

It would have been easy for Stewart to get a good laugh from the audience if he resorted to some Bush bashing. He refrained, and instead bashed the audience.

Clooney tried to fight back, saying that being "out of touch" was really a code word for moral social activism. Clooney cited giving an academy award to a black actress in the 1930/40s....yet he cites an era where Hollywood was making patriotic movies and when Hollywood actors were also flying combat missions in World War II. Today, Hollywood is much different. It has no moral compass.

ALH ipinions said...

Fair enough Ann

I agree with you on Crystal. I say make him an offer he can't refuse to host the show, indefinitely!

jakemanjack said...

Yes, it's true; Ordinary people are fed up with Hollywood's left/liberal slant; Hollywood's predictable half-truth filled phony docu-dramas. Instead of "affirmative action" how about the truth? I'm not holding my breath.
Example:

"No doubt about it. Hollywood is now ready to tackle any subject. With that in mind, I'd like to propose a handful of titles for next year."

"Che, the Later Years: Following on the success of The Motorcycle Diaries, this sequel would pick up with Che Guevara's life after he joined forces with Fidel Castro in Cuba. It would include scenes of Che presiding over firing squads after the overthrow of the Batista government and setting up Cuba's labor-camp system, which was used to imprison not only enemies of the revolution and political dissidents but homosexuals and (later) AIDS victims. The film would also highlight Che's literary growth from a casual diarist to a political theorist: "Hatred as an element of struggle, unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine — this is what our soldiers must become . . ."
--Mark Goldblatt

Yeah- I'm sure George Clooney and Robert Redford are fast at work on that one.

Joan said...

I think it's weird that anyone would pile on Ann for her Oscar commentary. I read a few other simul-blogs (including the one at PJ Media, a site I rarely visit), and Ann's comments were by far the richest to me. I was disappointed by the group effort at PJM; since both Stephen Green and the Manolo were participating, I expected more, but got less than I would have had Green and the Manolo blogged separately. My conclusion: group simul-blogging makes the individual participants lazy. Ann, on the other hand, kept up with the show and commented on the significant events throughout.

I really appreciate Ann watching it so I didn't have to, and writing about it so well that I know, to a good level of detail, what happened.

amba said...

he's got enough traffic on his own that my link isn't just giving attention to something that would otherwise remain in oblivion.

Well, I'm not going there. I'd have to assume one of his motivations for trashing you is to boost his traffic. Moves like that deserve to be ignored, and it's easy to do because I'm sure I'd find it BORING.

amba said...

Elizabeth:

Did you ever see "The Contender"?

After helping a conservative write a book, having to inhabit that point of view, and finding my eyes opened to the fact that the liberal worldview was not the way things are but rather one very specific and in some ways delusional way of looking at it . . . I found that movie particularly repellent.

SteveR said...

Coming from a different POV, I tend to agree with Elizabeth. As a conservative, I find the Hollywood political bashing intellectually shallow much of the time.

Semanticleo said...

" I can only delete comments."

And that you do well. It's the best
way to serve the insular and vapid
crowd (especially the semi-syllabic
palladiandrone) who sycophantize
with the best of them.

ChrisO said...

It's more than a little amusing to see the number of commenters who are trying to find all of the rationalizations for why the Academy Awards weren't a festival of Bush bashing. How about because that was never a possibility? I read so many comments prior to the show about how Jon Stewart is such a lefty, and how liberal Hollywood was going to show once again how out of touch it was with America by making all of this political commentary, and I could only laugh. Other than some (rare) political speeches from winners, which are not controlled by the producers, when has there ever been political content to the show? Oh, I remember, in 2002, when there were several patriotic tributes to New York in the wake of 9/11. And that was with Whoopi Goldberg as host and Barbra Streisand as a presenter. So many of you build up this ludicrous caricature of "Hollywood," then react as if "Hollywood" made some calculated effort not to fulfill your expectations. Could it be that the Hollywood you're talking about exists largely in your fevered imaginations?

Stewart's a professional comedian who was hired to do a hosting job. The notion that he would turn it into some political rant was always ludicrous. And by the way, I thought Clooney's remarks were a response to all of the heat he's gotten recently for being outspoken. The notion that he was bitch slapping Stewart is just wishful thinking. He's been on the Daily Show, and he filmed the opening spot with Stewart. The notion that he felt compelled to rebuke him when the show had barely started is silly.

And finally, I think it's entirely possible that Crash won because voters thought it was the best film of the year, not because Crash's agenda trumped Brokeback Mountain's agenda.

I think sometimes people forget that everyone doesn't approach life like commenters on a political blog, who often seem somewhat one-dimensional in their viewpoints.

Aeolas said...

"I'm boring and boys won't like me"

Ummmm...no. 'nuff said.

PatCA said...

Stewart did make one sarcastic jab that I thought was over the top. "If we pull down this big Oscar statue, does that mean we brought democracy to the Academy?" Wow, I bet the Iraqi people and the military got a big laugh out of that one! One of his Bush-is-Stupid jokes would have been preferable. And, yes, we do focus on the liberal politics of Hwood because they keep bringing it up. Clooney and Skoll can make any movie they want, but stop telling me how "brave" you are, guys. They have put nothing at risk.

My favorite host was Ellen. Her joke after 9/11 about sticking it to the terrorists with a gay female host talking to a room full of Jews was classic. Too bad we had to return to normalcy: hating ourselves.

Bezuhov said...

The left is oblivious to its power in our media-driven culture. When gently anti-authoritarian liberals like Ann tweak that power, those unable to distinguish between liberal and left mistake her for a "conservative".

Ricardo said...

Even though I'm sure that it's painful to you on some level, Ann, don't you think that the commenters who engage in Ann-bashing are actually showing "the sincerest form of flattery"? It seems to me that they're just trying to cash in on your success, and constituency, and prove to themselves that bashing you is somehow "a constructive act".

It's so much easier to criticize something that someone else has labored over (book, movie, blog, whatever) than it is to spend the agonizing hours/years of creativity needed to come up with one's own thing. But some people don't understand that, and think that they should be applauded for their "critical skills". No such luck.

As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "it is not the critic that counts" but rather "the man (or woman) who is actually in the arena ...."

And you, Ann, are the star of this arena.

Brendan said...

Hmm. A loser who has nothing better to do than piggyback and pounce on Ann's posts? Quxxo, is that you?

Aspasia M. said...

The left is oblivious to its power in our media-driven culture.

I laughed at this.

As John Stewart once said - I think the guy with his finger on the nuclear weapons button is the one with the real power.


When gently anti-authoritarian liberals like Ann tweak that power

I love John Stewart too! Too bad Hollywood and the media is scared to laugh at itself.

Aspasia M. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aspasia M. said...

Just to clarify my last post:

I'm talking about how John Stewart's big M.O. is to go after journalists and the media. (It's always been the main-stream media first and politics second for Stewart. He saves his harshest criticism for main stream journalists. Thus- his crossfire appearance.)

But like Stewart, I believe politicians have much more real power then anybody in the news media or in the movie buisness.

The president, for example, commands an army and a nuclear arsenal. Now that's serious power.

California Dog said...

They really are so smug and boring.

unlike anyone here.

California Dog said...

anti-authoritarian liberals

no one who supports this president could even remotely be described as anti-authoritarian. that is just embarassing for you.

The Cranky Insomniac said...

Anne,

With all his "humorous" comments about you and dating, do you get the feeling tbogg is confusing you with MoDo?

Johnny Nucleo said...

Geoduck2 said: "The president, for example, commands an army and a nuclear arsenal. Now that's serious power."

What does that have to do with the power to affect American public opinion? What's he gonna do, threaten to nuke Americans if his poll numbers don't go up?

John Stewart is funny, but too many liberals put too much stock in his "wisdom".

chezDiva said...

I've learned early on that those who deem themselves "liberal" can make racist, sexist and homophobic comments about others without any fear of backlash. So it doesn't surprise me to see you write about the idiot who made sexist comments about you because he thought you were a conservative. After all, if you are labeled a conservative you are asking for it.

By the way if a "conservative" had made those types of comments you better believe NOW and every other feminist group would be asking for his private parts to be hung from the tallest flag pole in the nation, as a warning to other men who dare to utter any form of sexist comments. Alas you probably won't hear from said feminist groups because they have labeled you as "conservative".

Something else I've learned, Liberals hate intolerance when committed or is perceived to be committed by others but they ensue in a love fest with themselves when they practice intolerance. Do said liberals really believe that treating the Professor in such a sexist manner is not a form of intolerance? Is it acceptable to engage in intolerant behavior if your victim is percieved to be a conservative? As they say in Grad school - That's a lesson left to the reader.

Shan said...

Hi Ann. I was interested in this comment you made:

"I think somebody thought a lot about how to avoid offending ordinary Americans, whom they need to keep going to the movies, when they had a political host and so many heavily political or politicized movies among the nominees."

First my assumption, and please correct me if I'm wrong: You're saying that ordinary Americans would be offended if Stewart made political jokes about the President.

I wonder why you'd say that, since it would seem that anywhere from 60-65% of "ordinary Americans" do not approve of this President and an even higher percentage do not plain like him (based on the President's likability ratings).

I suppose another way of reading what you wrote is that ordianry Americans may disagree with the President, but would not like to see him embarassed in front of a wroldwide audience. That might be more reasonable, but I'm not convinced Americans are so sensitive.

Anyway, I enjoy your blog.

Best,
Shan

vbspurs said...

Truly: I don't have a way to ban commenters. I can only delete comments.

I have been very hard on Ann, about this very topic, but here is a truism:

Her blog is not like my blog.

I delete unwelcome comments with all the gusto of Eva Peron!

But Ann here, has a very popular blog, with its attendant DOZENS of comments per day.

It's not easy to husband such a volume, and to delete all the comments from a troll or maniacally disaffected person.

Having said that, I hope that the commentaries about troll(s) have brought the point home closer to you, than my posts on the topic, failed to do.

On USENET there is no problem. You killfile, they're gone.

But until Blogger puts in that function (which it won't, since it wants to encourage eyeballs/posting), we're stuck having to skim through this daily dreck.

Going to the route of the Anchoress (private site), is I know, not on your cards.

You like your Minimalist template, Ann.

Cheers,
Victoria

Aspasia M. said...

Geoduck2 said: "The president, for example, commands an army and a nuclear arsenal. Now that's serious power."

What does that have to do with the power to affect American public opinion? What's he gonna do, threaten to nuke Americans if his poll numbers don't go up?


Oh, that totally cracked me up.

It reminded me of my nephew. He lives out of state, and I was getting ready to travel home. I play with him a lot, so he enjoys my visits. He was sad and I said he could visit anytime he wanted. He replied "What am I gonna do, WALK?" It was a very good point.

I meant in terms of raw power the "left" doesn't really have any to speak of these days.

I wasn't talking specifically about the power to affect popular opinion -- although I suppose if Bush really gets desperate he could try it. The bully pulpit might be a less drastic option, however. (Or there's always Fox News and talk radio.)
----

I hope we're not going to have another cross-blog-a-sphere flame war again.

But what an interesting exercise in how the public sphere works in blog land.

Habermas would be proud. We're so beyond taverns-as-a-site-of-public-discourse baby!

I have to say that I'm a newby to the "blogs" and am fascinated by the ways the blogs interact with each other. I think someone should write a cultural anthropology article about it.

vbspurs said...

What about the possibility that "Crash" is actually a better movie? But maybe the voters really did think it was a good idea to express their social consciousness in the anti-racism mode rather than the anti-homophobia mode, because America's caught up on the proposition that racism is wrong.

I commented about this on your other Simulblogging thread.

Like Stephen Holden, the NYT critic (of whom, not having your NYT delivered several days running, you may have momentary amnesia about), said, at the end of the day, Hollywood is concerned with its image.

The Academy of voters are made up of many people, and the older ones tend to vote more often than the younger ones (as ever).

And they perhaps, thought that Crash was an overall better representation, of what the Hollywood mystique is about, in the Best Picture category.

I said this on my blog today:

"Crash was, indeed, worthy of a Best Picture statuette, but Brokeback did have its cinematographic moments, as you state below in the Ang Lee commentary.

The problem is that the characters were at times too splayed out, with trite storylines, or worse, situations which were never truly explored, because of time constraints.

(The Brendan Frasier/Sandra Bullock storyline was farcically underdone, e.g. -- and arguably, the irate Iranian man/Latino Angelino family, although the little girl was delightful)"


And I think that pretty much sums up my opinion about Crash.

In cinematic terms, Brokeback Mountain is the better picture.

But in the terms of the wide-sweep of history, it is Crash.

Cheers,
Victoria

dave said...

They really are so smug and boring. They really need to be made fun of.

Ah, sweet projection - the brownshirt's bestest friend!

Elizabeth said...

amba, I've seen The Contender. I've seen thousands of films, more bad than good, probably. What's that got to do with the price of tea in China? I've seen lots of action movies promoting conservative "one man against an army" philosophies. I've seen John Wayne take on the world, but I know in real life the lilly-livered thespian never took a risk for his country. I've seen Barbra Streisand embarrass herself time and time again in the public forum with useless, ill-informed blather.

It's an industry. Movies are fantasy. It doesn't matter if the industry workers pat each other on the back for their bravery, or idolize Che on day and the Green Berets another day. It's make believe. If it sells, it was successful. It if doesn't sell, it still might have been a good work of art. But it will be on the back shelf at the video shop soon enough.

somross said...

I liked the Oscars. I don't think it's possible to have a show that actually makes that many awards, allows about a dozen unvetted speeches,and tries to entertain as well as make its honorees happy (80% of whom, by definition, can't win) that is anything but a little sloppy and drags on a bit. The best hosts are the ones with really funny comebacks to whatever has just happened - it used to be Johnny Carson, then Billy Crystal (who made a full evening of jokes about Jack Palance's one-handed pushups); Stewart was pretty good at this, but not as skillful as Carson when it comes to making an even funnier joke about a quip that bombs. The women look perfect but a little dull because almost all hire stylists who prevent them from making big gaffes (one who can't possibly have hired one is Helena Bonham Carter, who used to date Kenneth Branagh and is now partnered with Tim Burton). I've been to LA and seen the red carpet and the giant Oscars on the street (when it was at the Shrine Auditorium, on the border of the USC campus) and it seemed like a lot of fun to me. Come on, everyone, it's FUN. You can deconstruct movies, discuss their political or social significance, and still enjoy the spectacle.

Ann Althouse said...

Shan: "First my assumption, and please correct me if I'm wrong: You're saying that ordinary Americans would be offended if Stewart made political jokes about the President."

You're wrong. My post is about what Hollywood thinks Americans think (which I infer from the decisions they seem to have made about how to present themselves). I don't assert that they were right. In fact, I view their idea of what Americans are like as a big insult. They are incredibly patronizing.

chuck b. said...

Oh, god--is Sandra Bullock in Crash? I can't stand her (nonwithstanding the fabulously huge tsunami relief donation she made). I have a visceral negative reaction to Sandra Bullock that I cannot control. Sort of like that woman who goes into siezures whenever she hears the voice of that host on Entertainment Tonight. I have to take Crash out of my rental queue.

vbspurs said...

It's an industry. Movies are fantasy. It doesn't matter if the industry workers pat each other on the back for their bravery, or idolize Che on day and the Green Berets another day. It's make believe. If it sells, it was successful. It if doesn't sell, it still might have been a good work of art. But it will be on the back shelf at the video shop soon enough.

On a higher, common sensical level, what you said above, Elizabeth is 100% spot on.

But I think the point about self-congratulatory pats made by others, and your point above, doesn't correlate with the vision of "Cash is King" in the industry.

If that were the case, Clooney wouldn't have needed to emphasise that he's proud of being part of Hollywood, since they've always been ahead of the social curve in most things.

And those endless montages we were treated to last night, didn't have to have one which basically said the same thing Clooney did, in visual form.

Maybe profit is the primary reason Hollywood has produced and will continue produce what they do.

But the point is, their self-vision is clearly that they stood up long before anyone else was standing up, for all the right causes.

Listen, life is hard.

Sticking to your ideals in life is really hard, unless you have a strong will.

But what we perceive in Hollywood, is that they wish to pat themselves on the back, at the same time pretending that they are much more enlightened philosophically long before the rest of us were, when sometimes they've not at all done so.

This is why one of my favourite actresses, Myrna Loy (whose autobiography read like a love letter to the Democratic Party), acted in films which featured embarrassing depictions of black people, in the guise of maids and chauffeurs.

She said she protested at the time to MGM, but you know -- she didn't stop making her Thin Man films, did she?

A person of true convictions would have.

But as I say, hypocrisy is common to us all.

Perhaps it would irritate others less, instead of saying they were always ahead of the curve, if they acknowledged that too.

Cheers,
Victoria

Bezuhov said...

"But like Stewart, I believe politicians have much more real power then anybody in the news media or in the movie buisness.

The president, for example, commands an army and a nuclear arsenal. Now that's serious power."

Another example of my original point. Entirely oblivious. So much for soft power...

The president controls the nuclear arsenal. The left controls the media, which forms the opinions of the old folks who still trust it, and, BTW, vote; as well as the educational establishment, K-life, which forms the next generation.

In my book, the pen is mightier than the sword; YMMV.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Ann Althouse said: "[Movie stars] really are so smug and boring. They really need to be made fun of."

Which prompted Dave to say: "Ah, sweet projection - the brownshirt's bestest friend!"

Brownshirts? Do you often compare people you disagree with to brownshirts? Dude, it isn't the showstopper you think it is. It pegs you as a nut.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Elizabeth said: "I've seen lots of action movies promoting conservative "one man against an army" philosophies."

But is the idea of "one against many" really conservative?

Elizabeth said: "I've seen John Wayne take on the world, but I know in real life the lilly-livered thespian never took a risk for his country."

It's interesting that both liberals and conservatives are disgusted by physical cowardice, even though most of us, myself included, are physical cowards.

Aspasia M. said...

The president controls the nuclear arsenal. The left controls the media, which forms the opinions of the old folks who still trust it, and, BTW, vote; as well as the educational establishment, K-life, which forms the next generation.

In my book, the pen is mightier than the sword; YMMV.


It's a nice thought, and I wish that you were right.

Power does flow everywhere and in different ways in society and relationships. However, if I had to name the most powerful I'm going with:

1) The President - He does have his finger on the nuclear button & commands an army. Hard to beat that. He sends the army into battle. He holds the power of life and death over many, many people.

2) The Congress - They make laws that we all have to obey.

3) SCOTUS - They define laws that we all have to obey.

Lots of others have various degrees of power - but I'm going with the above over writers, teachers or commedians.

PatCA said...

"In fact, I view their idea of what Americans are like as a big insult. They are incredibly patronizing."

That would explain my uneasiness with the endless gay jokes, which to me crossed over into offensive after the first skit, and then the award to a rap group singing about a pimp (how authentic and all!). Or maybe I'm reading too much into it.

So, to me, their patronizing attitude extended to all: blacks, gays, and the people whom they assume, mostly wrongly, hate blacks and gays.

Palladian said...

PatCa: Good points. Hollywood is really, really uneasy with gay people (especially gay men) unless they can turn them into clowns- velvet-suited, limp-wristed, sarcastic, show tune singing caricatures who are entirely desexualized. That's why they can handle something camp like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" but, no matter how much they pretend to be "open-minded", can't really accept a film like "Brokeback Mountain". The characters in "Brokeback Mountain" aren't "gay" in any modern sense of the word as a constructed identity. This inability to comfortably fit a category is dangerous to an industry obsessed with them. The "gay" jokes are like whistling past the graveyard for them, just as straight men often trade jocular homosexual insults with each other. It's a way to channel possible sexual or physical tension into a socially acceptable expression, like a joke or verbal aggression. It also shows that enlightened Hollywood, like most everyone else, cannot regard love and sex between two men as anything but absurd.

PatCA said...

"like most everyone else.." I would have to disagree with you there.

But, yes, the word for the Oscars is "reactionary."

jill bryant said...

The generalizations and baseless speculations that take place in both the column and the comments border on delusional. I wish I could speak for "Hollywood" but I can only speak for "liberals."

All the hidden messaging going out from Jon Stewart, b@tch-slapping between Clooney and Stewart (Clooney has been making that same statement recently so I don't think it was a response - I believe it was part of a planned speech), "Hollywood" deciding to vote to please middle America - (has there never been an upset in a category before? Especially when it is already covered by a vote in another category). Unlike others here, I don't know what the audience is thinking about Stewart. I always assume they are nervous, judging by how they look when the camera is on them and when they get up there. I don't know if "Hollywood" can laugh at themselves. I have noticed liberals laughing at themselves quite a bit when circumstances allow - check out David Cross as Russ Lieber on The Colbert Report. If they don't - oh wait, I'm speaking for liberals - I'm tired of being dinged all the time for being a liberal in America - especially from those who control all aspects of the economy, the environment, the US participation in world politics, etc.

By the way - the comment about Rachel Weisz's speech - nice. You might want to make it up to her by giving money to the Constant Gardener fund that was set up to help those in Kenya.