The Academy Awards

It was not a Lincoln night.

I thought that Seth MacFarlane was occasionally funny but too often simply crude. He’s a nice-looking kid with a pleasant singing voice.

I thought the high point of the evening was Ben Affleck’s masterful put-down of MacFarlane, clearly unscripted and born of real irritation.

19 comments… add one

  • Icepick

    How dare Seth mention Gigli! Normally I detest both awards shows and MacFarlane, but last night I enjoyed both for some reason. (The Missus wanted to watch the Oscars last night, the first time in years that’s happened, presumably for the singers and the musical stuff. And she’s in love with that Adele song.)

    I enjoyed MacFarlane taking a page out of the Johnny Carson playbook: the actor “who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.” Followed with the traditional “Too soon?” Funny to see all the idiots stating how awful that was and that no one in the past would ever dream of such a thing.

    MacFarlane was the only part of the night which wasn’t a giant circle-jerk of self-importance.

    But the funniest thing about the night was Jeffrey Katzenberg winning the humanitarian award. No doubt that was a surprise to everyone that’s ever worked with him. (That was my thought when the award was announced, and I’ve seen it repeated a few places since then, and I HAVEN’T gone looking for reviews of the show.) JK is rather notorious for being the biggest, most self-absorbed, abusive asshole in whichever room he’s in, and he’s regularly in rooms with Spielberg and Geffen. So the humanitarian award was good for a laugh.

    Also, MacFarlane should get some credit for having some balls. He got up and sang a couple of songs on a broadcast that also included Babs, Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey and others singing, too. Among the “others” was Kristin Chenoweth, Tony Award winner!

    Oh, and the “So you’re on his side?” crack after the Mel Gibson/Django joke was pretty good too. The Rex Reed/Adele crack was funny once my wife gave me the background. (I really don’t follow pop-culture much these days, save for the few TV shows I enjoy.)

    I’m really shocked by this, as this is probably the first time that SM hasn’t just annoyed me.

  • jan

    I’m glad you had something good to say about the Oscars, Ice. As a kid my family and I never missed them. It was one of those annual family events of sitting around the TV and soaking in all the Hollywood magic.

    However, all that has changed for me in more recent years, and I don’t even think about watching them! For me it’s all about self-congratulations and glitz for the Hollywood crowd, who are committed to making lots of money for themselves, and then liberally supporting the reallocation of other people’s money for the sake of appearing humanitarian and environmentally correct. Their behavior, IMO, is as superficial and unreal as much of the theater they create on digital film.

  • michael reynolds

    Jan:

    for the sake of appearing humanitarian and environmentally correct.

    On what do you base the conclusion that they are not sincere in their politics?

    Liberals aren’t liberals for the sake of appearance. Most of those people live in California, and in addition to the Obama tax increase, they probably supported the state tax increase. They taxed themselves, and people in their bracket, not you. I seriously doubt you will pay a single extra cent beyond the reversion to the old SS rates.

    Your snark is self-refuting.

    As for this:

    However, all that has changed for me in more recent years, and I don’t even think about watching them! For me it’s all about self-congratulations and glitz for the Hollywood crowd,

    When were the halcyon days when Hollywood didn’t revel in self-congratulation? Everyone is self-congratulatory. Put 1000 optometrists in a Las Vegas hotel ballroom and they’ll rattle on about their own wonderfulness for hours. I was just as a writers conference: we do it, too. (Not me, but my peers.) Hollywood just does it with more side boob, and for that, God bless them.

  • Icepick

    When Hollywood starts living like it believes global warming is a true threat by cutting back on their own luxuries, it will be a first. My favorite in the oeuvre of Hollywood “Do as I say not as I do” was Larry David’s now ex-wife, who railed constantly against SUVs destroying the environment while regularly using a private jet to go fly from LA to NYC and back, all on the same day, just for lunch. She sometimes bragged about doing this a couple of times a week, at least in one interview I read.

    How many private planes do the Hollywood types use? But I’m not supposed to drive a Ford Explorer to the grocery store. They’re all for making living much harder for the rest of us while making it easy for themselves.

    But that’s typical. I drive a Camry and a Civic, and did so when I could afford more. (And given that gas rose 18 cents in 8 days about a week ago I’m glad we did that. I here it’s up 9 more cents since last Thursday, making that a rise 27 cents in 12 days. But hey, at least we’re making up for it with a 2 percent pay cut thanks to Obama’s tax hikes!) Want to guess what these rich types spend their car money on? Not to mention most of them probably own many more vehicles than they can drive. How’s that for hypocrisy?

    And I’ll note that the SS hike is biting us poor folk on the ass a lot more than those hikes on the rich are biting you guys. Hell, even CNN has acknowledged that. But that’s really the idea, to punish the poor and reward the rich while pretending to do the opposite.

  • Icepick

    And Hollywood, with the aid of compliant pols, is more than willing to claim tax breaks for itself. And here they were bragging about how profitable they were at the Oscars the other night. So they want tax hikes on OTHER rich people but breaks for themselves. Corporate welfare hypocrites.

  • michael reynolds

    Ah, the mythical tax breaks that only wealthy liberals somehow have access to. I so wish someone would tell me where they exist in nature. I have a corporation and I’m an individual, and damned if I can find a single loophole.

  • Icepick

    Who said only wealthy liberals have access to it? I’m against corporate welfare, period. But when Hollywood types call for higher taxes on everyone else but seeking breaks for themselves, that’s hypocrisy.

  • Here’s a handy infographic on the tax breaks available to the ultra-wealthy. As well-off as Michael and Drew are, they aren’t members of that club. You’ve got to have earnings of about $10 mill per year to qualify.

  • Icepick

    You’ve got to have earnings of about $10 mill per year to qualify.

    Which does capture the big players in Hollywood.

  • jan

    On what do you base the conclusion that they are not sincere in their politics?

    Michael,

    Since I don’t know any of these folks personally, I have no real basis. What I do see in their lifestyles, though, is a lot of conspicuous consumption and self- aggrandizement . Like Ice already noted, you have the Hollywood warmists effusing about carbon footprints, when most of their own are monster in size. There are also much publicized, charitable group song-fests and public service ads done (usually for liberal arm twists). But, somehow they seem more like image enhancements, rather than true personal, non-partisan time commitments meant to genuinely helping people. For instance, someone like a Gary Sinise, who has a Foundation set up for disabled military men/women — that’s what I would call a sincere endeavor. He collects money and builds custom houses (with no personal fanfare exhibited) for these severely handicapped people returning from the ME — touring with his own band to collect many of the funds used for this ongoing humanitarian effort — similar to Carter’s Habitat for Humanity project.

    Liberals aren’t liberals for the sake of appearance. Most of those people live in California, and in addition to the Obama tax increase, they probably supported the state tax increase. They taxed themselves, and people in their bracket, not you. I seriously doubt you will pay a single extra cent beyond the reversion to the old SS rates.

    Hollywood entertainers, sports figures, and liberal business moguls make so much money (in comparison to small business people like myself) that they aren’t really effected about tax increases. So, of course, they publicly support them. Look at Buffet — someone who presses for higher tax increases, while his company is fighting the IRS since 2002 for the billion dollars in back taxes owed. Plus, who knows what percentage of the Hollywood elite’s taxable earnings aren’t stashed in off-shore accounts like Google has done — another avid Obama supporter looking out after his own a**.

    My husband and I give our money to people personally, who are in need. Much of it is not tax deductible. It is done quietly and deliberately to fill a few holes in peoples’ lives. Many Christian outreach programs do the same thing — with little acknowledgement from the media. This is especially true in places like Haiti, Africa and poverty pockets here in the U.S.

    Your snark is self-refuting.

    My snark is done out of lack of respect for some of these high profile people. I have never had groupie inclinations, just because of someone’s fame or fortune. Basically, I respect those everyday talented people, with work ethics you can trust, more than the gaudy few posing on the red carpets of life.

  • On what do you base the conclusion that they are not sincere in their politics?

    When they start with their money, then ask for mine, I’ll believe them. They can clearly keep enough to live very comfortably well before they get to my money.

  • Ah, the mythical tax breaks that only wealthy liberals somehow have access to. I so wish someone would tell me where they exist in nature. I have a corporation and I’m an individual, and damned if I can find a single loophole.

    Actually I think he is referring to tax breaks for movie companies. Places like Canada are cheap to film in and often offer tax incentives (i.e. breaks). Many movie companies go to local and state governments and say, “Hey we don’t want to film in Canada but we will…unless….”

  • michael reynolds

    Tax breaks for Sony/Columbia are not tax breaks for Hollywood voters. Those are tax breaks for investors. So, no, that’s not hypocrisy. I have a deal with Sony. Did I get their tax break? No.

    When they start with their money, then ask for mine, I’ll believe them.

    That’s what they are doing: raising taxes on rich people like themselves, and at the same time generally supporting things like the EITC. They are raising their own taxes and not asking for yours. But I note that you and Jan both agree with me that well-off people are not terribly hurt by higher rates.

    My snark is done out of lack of respect for some of these high profile people. I have never had groupie inclinations, just because of someone’s fame or fortune. Basically, I respect those everyday talented people, with work ethics you can trust, more than the gaudy few posing on the red carpets of life.

    So you despise an entire class of people about whom you know nothing, because of a few cases of Hollywood people you don’t approve of. Got it. And then you assume that because a giant technology company does with its taxes what Mitt Romney did with his taxes, that somehow means, oh, I don’t know, Neal Patrick Harris let’s say, is a hypocritical liberal asshole.

  • jan

    And then you assume that because a giant technology company does with its taxes what Mitt Romney did with his taxes, that somehow means, oh, I don’t know, Neal Patrick Harris let’s say, is a hypocritical liberal asshole.

    Since your’re bringing up Romney, my understanding is that all of his overseas assets were placed so they were not exempt from U.S. taxation like Google and many other liberals have done. And the amount Google removed from American taxation was in the billions not millions.

    I know you like to stick it to anyone identifying themselves as an R or a conservative — for even the most minor political infractions or distractions. However, IMO it’s the libs who are far more hypocritical and disingenuous in their own personal practices and gains for themselves than the party they are always flinging mud onto.

  • jan

    So you despise an entire class of people about whom you know nothing, because of a few cases of Hollywood people you don’t approve of.

    Despise is hyperbolic word usage for what I said. I simply don’t respect many of them, and I certainly don’t drool over them because of their public face time. Fame oftentimes has no merit attached to it, just recognition and power to attract attention.

  • michael reynolds

    my understanding

    You have zero basis for that since your candidate, unlike his own father, refused to reveal his tax returns.

    Fame oftentimes has no merit attached to it, just recognition and power to attract attention.

    I agree. Donald Trump comes to mind in that category. Ben Affleck, for example, does not. He won an Oscar for writing, fifteen years later won for best movie, and he’s a very smart, involved guy.

  • Icepick

    jan, why are you bothering with Reynolds when you know his worldview? All non-Dems are evil, and all Dems are perfect human beings and how DARE you question any of them on any topic! He’s operating in pure Stalinist mode, so what’s the point?

  • michael reynolds

    Au contraire, I admire a lot of Republicans. They just happen to mostly be dead. It’s not my fault the current degraded remnant of the GOP declares anyone with a shred of decency persona non grata.

  • jan

    You have zero basis for that since your candidate, unlike his own father, refused to reveal his tax returns.

    You really wring people dry when they are anyone but a dem. If Romney owed any taxes, like lets day a wealthy guy like Buffet does, the IRS would be after him, day and night, like they have been after Buffet. Had Romney released more tax returns the dems would have nitpicked them to death. They’re never satisfied, and always looking for dirt on their opponents, while they are busy sweeping the dirt under the carpet of their own party members. I don’t like to call people names like you do, Michael..but, what you like to call republicans are comments mostly deserved by democrats.

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