The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

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.....


  1. Maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist, but I feel like someone made sure "Zero Dark Thirty" did not win anything this year. The fact the Miss Bigelow did not even get a nomination (absolutely unconscionable) was very telling.

  2. I think a better analogy for MacFarlane is George Lucas. I actually think the early seasons of Family Guy were pretty funny and I still enjoy watching them (you probably disagree, but oh well). After he got uncanceled, though, he quickly realized he was Fox's cash cow, and no one was willing to pull him back from excesses. As such, his comedy became tedious and needlessly offensive. Every creator needs someone who can tell him/her "this sucks" without fear of losing their job.

    1. Hell before that he was perfectly fine when he was cutting his teeth in the business, when writing episodes of Johnny Bravo, of course the end product didn't with him.

      McFarlene is an example of a guy who when you give him TOO MUCH freedom he can become a disaster.

  3. Oh, and as for the awards themselves: Mainly this reminded just how many movies I need to see.

  4. I'll be honest aside from the other jokes about black people, jews, Lincoln being shot, and many others; I didn't think the female jokes were terribly offensive. That doesn't mean I found them funny, With the exception of the Hayek joke I just don't think they were anywhere near as offensive as the others. Women are difficult, yeah haven't heard that 8 million times before. Or jokes about them dieting, ditto, the boob song was just dumb.

    The only two genuine laughs I got from him was, "The next woman needs no introduction (then walks off)", and Kirk from the future telling him he'll be known as the worst host of the oscars ever. But the later laugh ended because I just realized at that point what kind of night we were in for.

    But believe it or not, the part that made me want to wretch the most was his liberal ass kissing in having Michelle Obama announce the best picture award.

    For the most part I agree with your analysis on the awards themselves. While I like Jennifer Lawrence it should've been Jessica Chastain (though Zero Dark Thirty probably got snubbed of more wins BECAUSE the academy were a bunch of pussies that didn't want to give more prestegious awards to a "controversial movie".) Though, Lawrence flipping off the press with the oscar in her other hand (Seth McFarlene was probably behind them), won me over. :D

    Thank god Best Actor went to the one who deserved it.