5 Stupid Moments from the Oscars 2016

Let the countdown begin for when Chris Rock will win the award for “most eyeroll worthy comment” when he inevitably makes the most obvious joke of the night about being “the only black person you’ll see on stage tonight”.

I will be watching it later in the night or tomorrow or never. Will update this post accordingly with the reactions you desperately crave from me.

UPDATE: I still haven’t watched the whole thing and doubt I will, given the snippets I viewed in order to comment on. Here are those highlights…

Jokes on the Blackout (black activists calling for boycotts of the Award ceremony)

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Stupid “Acceptance Speech”
Nothing says “out of touch millionaire elitist” quite like calling warm weather the “most urgent” problem humans currently face.

Stacy Dash
Poor Stacy Dash lets herself be the butt of a joke at the Oscars and then the reactions to it bash her anyway because they’re too dumb to understand the joke or whose fault it was that it didn’t land.

-Here’s the background: She recently said that segregation is bad and that the Black Entertainment Television network (BET) and Black History Month should not exist.

-Here’s how the bit was supposed to work: She walks out and everyone laughs at her presence because they know of her comment.

-Here’s what happened: The crowd didn’t know who she was, the ones who did didn’t know her recent comments to get the joke, and the small percentage that knew her and her comments don’t have a sense of humor about the topic so it was a guaranteed no-laugh-moment.

Joe Biden’s Very Special Rape Message…
Let’s have the Vice President come out to give a Special PSA about not having sex with drunk people. WTF? The actual sitting Vice President of the United States walked onto the Oscars stage and asked everyone to take a pledge that says they will intervene “when consent has not or can not be given”, adding “let’s change the culture”… What culture?

Robin Williams is Not “Free”. He is Dead.. (and other things wrong with this image)

Some dope at “The Academy [of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences]” (better known as “the place that gives people Oscars) reacted in a terribly irresponsible way to Robin Williams’ suicide and well meaning people on social media are spreading it. You shouldn’t.

In a tweet by the official @TheAcademy Twitter account a screenshot from Disney’s Aladdin of the Genie and title character hugging is followed by  the text “Genie, you’re free”…. WTF.

There aren’t many things more irresponsible than a leading figure in the creative community, glorifying killing yourself as being freedom.

Death is not “freedom”. It is death. It’s the end. And killing yourself because you are sad is not setting yourself “free” of anything – you are merely multiplying and transferring your sadness onto others so you don’t have to deal with it anymore. It’s taking a giant water balloon of sadness and saying “here. You deal with this instead” and popping it over all who knew you – with those closest to you getting the most drenched but its splash reaching far and wide, wetting many beyond that circle and at least spritzing those who just knew of you.

Aside from the whole “do not murder” thing that the 3 major world religions find being a pretty big deal, they probably are against suicide because of this pain-spread transference inherent in the act.

This image posted by Disney on their official Facebook page shows the correct way of making this sentiment (or just an appropriate sentiment in general):

Subtle, non-offensive, morally sound, minimalist imagery presenting an ambiguous but respectful sentiment. Was that so hard?

Death isn’t freedom. Not even freedom from pain. It is an end to pain of the deceased but not a “freeing” of them as the word has an inherent implication of choice and opportunity which by definition requires life. The difference is significant.

Equating suicide with freedom is unAmerican. The famous Patrick Henry quote is “Give me Liberty OR give me Death”. Not “Give me Liberty *by* giving me Death”. Because death is not a liberation.

If you busted a laboratory doing cruel experiments on chimps and you put an end to it and sign up for the years of rehabilitation of those animals, you are “freeing” them. If you just go in and kill all the chimps, all you’ve done is kill a bunch of chimps. You haven’t freed anything. You ended pain by ending life.

But with this tweet, the Academy committed a crime far worse than merely glorifying suicide or perpetuating bad moral philosophy: it didn’t even get the picture right…

The screenshot posted in the tweet is not from the Genie being freed. A good hint of this fact to this possibility to someone less familiar with the film would be those big gold wrist bands, cuffing him to the servitude and rules of the lamp and its master. Those aint bracelets, dawg (even though I originally thought they were when I saw the movie). They’re slave clasps. It’s kindov a major point int he movie when they come off (and go on another character, shortly before coming off Genie). You’d think some kind of Academy of Motion Pictures (and Sciences!) would maybe know that…

The scene isn’t even close to the Genies (spoiler alert) eventual freeing. It is from when Genie saves Aladdins life at the end of the 2nd act and they embrace as friends (even though Genie cheated the wish rules in his – not Aladdins favor – in effect billing him for the rescue as it was counted as a used wish when no wish was made).

But like I said: the choice of that quote, correct scene or not, is what is inappropriate. The proper sentiment to deliver would have been the line Aladdin delivers at the end, “Genie…I’m…gonna.. miss. you.” in which Genie replies “me too, Al…” and the two hug – Aladdin bittersweetly and Genie, teary eyed and frowning at this necessary departure. This is the first time in the movie both are truly “free” (the Genie from the servitude of the lamp and Aladdin from the bondage of his lies stemming from the issues of inadequacy that were holding him back all this time), so that message could have been positively delivered in an “up for interpretation” kind of way.

When a person dies, yes, it means they aren’t suffering anymore but it also means they aren’t happy anymore. It means they will never hurt again but it also means they will never smile, laugh, love or feel anything positive ever again. They are gone, not liberated. They aren’t anything anymore. Not in this world. They exist only in the memories of the living and that’s about it. I know it is comforting to think someone who killed themselves is somehow better off but they aren’t. There’s no religious, secular, or scientific basis to think otherwise. Which i’m not pointing out to make you sad – I’m pointing out to not romanticize killing yourself to be “free” of sadness.

Don’t do it. It ain’t freedom. Hollywood doesn’t know WTF it’s talking about.

Howard Stern on Precious Fatty

Howard Stern said what all of us were thinking about Gabourey Sidibe and actually, I’m surprised he’s the only one who’s said it publicly – especially the way he did so. The whole spiel is very un-Sternian in its lack of crudeness and cruelty. He really just says the truth: she’s unhealthily huge and should change that and that Hollywood isn’t an industry-town that rewards obesity with acting roles. If you’re a big fat fatty in Hollywood, you can be a comedian or a one-shot role player and Gabby is the latter. It’s not mean to point that out – it’s mean to lead her on by pretending she’s going to move on to an illustrious career after this. eek.

Which is not to say that she’s gonna vanish immediately either. duh. not after all the buzz on her. Actually, I hear she has been given a role in the Showtime series The C Word and a role in a feature called Yelling to the Sky, so ya, she’ll have some kind of a wave to ride at least. But staying that size isn’t going to make that surf a long one. just makes sinking inevitable.

Stern also made the same Gabourey/Cabaret song acknowledgment that I’ve been saying to myself every time I hear her name, so I liked having that validated as a reference.