Tuesday, February 26, 2013
But Mo-o-om, George Carlin made offensive jokes!
I can't really talk about the awards without first discussing the dubious choice the academy made in selecting their host. Let's make one thing clear. I have a sense of humor. I have a very irreverent sense of humor. George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Conan O'Brien, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mel Brooks, Monty Python and so many other comedians are among my heroes. But, like every other art form, offensive humor takes skill. To make an analogy to action movies, on one side you have people like John Woo, John McTiernan, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Richard Donner, Steven Spielberg, etc. On the other side you have people like Brett Ratner, Uwe Boll, and Michael Bay. Seth MacFarlane is the Michael Bay of both comedy and animation; and like Michael Bay before him, he had no business being at the Academy Awards. Yes, George Carlin made offensive jokes, but the difference is that Carlin was funny and could use offensive humor to make an astute observation about the human condition. Carlin had style.
I'm baffled by the people posting in support of MacFarlane. Unless he was trying for some kind of Andy Kaufman/Neil Hamburger anti-comedy, there was nothing "edgy" about what he did. It wasn't funny. Sometimes he succeeded in being mean, racist, and misogynistic but he wasn't clever or funny about it. He doesn't know how to weave cutting humor and never has. MacFarlane's target audience has always been the douche bag frat boy, and MacFarlane himself is a seventeen year-old boy in a thirty-nine year-old's body. His rise to being the highest paid producer in the history of television fascinates me in the same way Michael Bay's flicks gross a billion dollars; because they are reflections of our broader culture and the success of both, along with the success of "The Twilight Saga," "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," "Jersey Shore," and "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" say some very disturbing things about where we are as a society. We are the ones who put $100 million into his bank account, we are the ones who put him up on that stage and that is the greatest travesty of the evening.
With that out of the way, on to the awards themselves.
I was a little bit surprised that what seemed to be the early favorite, "Lincoln" got almost completely shut out. But it won the one award it was supposed to win, the one it needed to win, and Daniel Day-Lewis earned his third Academy Award for Best Actor.
The big winner of the evening was "Argo," which surprised me even if it shouldn't have. I can't be too upset because "Argo" was amazing on every level. I just thought the other Best Picture nominees that I had the privilege of seeing were better. "Lincoln" was great. "Django Unchained" was awesome. But my pick of the litter was the amazing "Zero Dark Thirty." I knew ZDT wasn't going to win, there's been a lot of manufactured controversy over it. But I thought it was amazing.
Overall, I felt 2012 was one of the best years for movies in a long time, and I can't be too upset about anything at the Academy Awards... except for the host. Good lord, the fucking host.....