1 Let’s get the Oscars out of the way. I didn’t watch, choosing instead to finish streaming Netflix’s excellent “Seven Seconds.” I have skimmed the transcript and checked the reporting, however, and these items leap out..
- On the “red carpet,” Ryan Seacrest was snubbed by the majority of the stars he tried to chat with them. Seacrest was accused of sexual harassment by his ex-personal hair stylist last year. His employer hired an independent counsel to investigate, and could not confirm her allegations, so he kept his job.Never mind: he was snubbed like a leprous skunk at a picnic anyway.
This is a flagrant Golden Rule fail. Not one of the over twenty stars who walked by him while he was trying to do his job would feel fairly treated if they had been in his position. It also is as perfect and example as there is of how the #MeToo movement is a witch hunt, not interested in facts, or fairness, just power and the ability to destroy without due process.
If I was going to watch the Oscars, the treatment of Seacrest in the pre-show would have changed my mind. These are awful people. To hell with them.
- The disgusting and smug Jimmy Kimmel hosted, because he’s “America’s Conscience of America” despite seeking ratings by encouraging parents to be cruel to their own children for his amusement.
He began the night with a penis joke.
- As I noted in yesterday’s Warm-Up, the Oscars are now part of the effort to divide the nation. Bigotry is good, as long as it’s trendy bigotry:
…Presenting the best director award, Emma Stone introduced the nominees as “these four men and Greta Gerwig.” Nice. Misandry is funny! (Gerwig lost. GOOD.)
…Maya Rudolph assured the presumably racist white viewers, “Don’t worry, there are so many more white people to come.” Bite me, Maya.
…And, of course, “Get Out!,” the racist film that I have already written about more than it deserves, won Best Screenplay, because representing all white people as monsters is award-worthy.
- In the past I have devoted whole posts to the Academy’s snubs in its “In Memoriam” segment, which is supposedly Hollywood’s final salute to film artists who made their final exits. At this point, I really don’t care what the Academy does, but the loved ones and fans of the snubees care, and that should matter to the Academy. Here is the complete list of omissions that at least someone has complained about. I’ve highlighted the ones who really should have been included:
David Ogden Stiers
The names fall into five categories. Bill Paxton is in one of his own: he was left out of the list due to a silly technicality: he died right before last year’s Oscars, so it was too late to include him in 2017, and some jerk decided that since he was a 2017 death, he couldn’t be honored this year either. The second category is flat-out mistakes: Dorothy Malone won a Best Actress Oscar; if that isn’t enough to be listed, what is? Director Tobe Hooper was responsible for a film that revolutionized horror movies, “The Texas Chain-Saw Massacre,” and also directed “Poltergeist.” He was an important director. When two of your films launched sequels, remakes, sequels to remakes, and endless knock-offs, Hollywood should show some respect: it made millions because of Tobe Hooper.
Category 3: John Hillerman and Powers Boothe were successful and prolific film actors in some major movies, though both are remembered best for their TV work. There is no good argument for omitting them. In the fourth category are TV actors who made a few mostly forgettable films: West, Jeffreys, Merrill, Ferrer and Hardin. I can see the argument: they will be honored at the Emmys.
Stephen Furst deserves a category all his own. He played a memorable character in a classic, iconic film: “Flounder” in “Animal House.” That should have been enough to earn a place in the roll call.
That’s it for the 2018 Academy Awards.
Let us never speak of it again.
2. Just like the good old days. The wind storms in the area knocked the power out in some places around our neighborhood. My wife needed to pick up something and found the local 7-11 dark and closed. However, the owner/manager recognized her, and beckoned her inside. He unlocked the door, and since the computers were down, allowed her to take what she needed without paying. He wrote down the merchandise along with his initials, the date, and her name, and said. “Don’t worry, I trust you. We can settle up later.”
How often does that happen any more?
3. Shouting “Fire!” in a crowed theater? Written by Australian playwright David Finnigan, “Kill Climate Deniers”opens the 2018 season of the Griffin Theatre in Sydney, with the final show scheduled for April 7. What do you want to bet this play is rapidly exported to the U.S.? I suppose, from a free speech perspective, any play title is unassailable, right? No matter what follows “Kill…”. correct? “Kill Democrats”? “Kill the President”? “Kill Pro-Choice Advocates”? “Kill Atheists”? “Kill the Jews”?
If someone can see a coherent line to draw between inciting violence and protected speech, I’d love to have it pointed out for me, because I can’t see it at all.
4. Here’s a pretty mess: The Trump business organization is in a messy conflict with the shady Panamanian owner of a hotel bearing the family name. This is the kind of thing that was predictable with all of the President’s business holdings and activity around the world. Nobody paid much attention to it before the election, because nobody thought Trump would win. Once he did win, there were no precedents to follow and nothing to force him to meaningfully divest himself of everything that bore his name. The various situations that this business/leadership conflict could create are infinite, and naturally, especially with this President, critics are eager to turn every one into a scandal.
No, we never should have reached this point, but the time to address it was before the election and during the campaign. The news media, Democrats, and Trump himself were negligent in not doing so. An international business owner is by definition conflicted if he or she is elected President. Do we want to just make it impossible for such individuals to run for office? New regulations and laws have to be developed, and it won’t be easy.