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Hollywood Can't Help Itself

Noted with humor...

Chris Rock's monologue goes right to Fahrenheit 9/11 Bush-bashing; Robin Williams segment looked like it may have tripped a network broadcast delay; the song of the year is in Spanish and honors Che Guevara; Ronald Reagan barely gets a golf clap in the memorium segment; etc... I wasn't even looking for political content - those just sort of jumped out at me.

From the winners to the humor, it just seemed to be deja vu all over again.


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Comments (34)

It was bad, as in, not good... (Below threshold)

It was bad, as in, not good, not at all. A bad evening indicative of a worse industry...poor old entertainers just can't help themselves. I mean, I guess. Otherwise, the conclusions are too awful for words.

Yeah, I noticed that ode-to-Che attitude a while earlier. Not like Soros had nothing to do with that, by the way.

I missed it. Last year, I o... (Below threshold)

I missed it. Last year, I only watched to see who could make the biggest ass of themselves. Was it really that bad this year?

Chris Rock sucked.Ro... (Below threshold)

Chris Rock sucked.
Robin Williams sucked.
Sean Pean sucked.
Che Santana sucked.
Clint Eastwood ROCKS!
And again,
the silence from Hollywood on the MURDER of Theo Van Gogh continues, not even in the "Honor the Dead this year" segment.

julie: let me put it this ... (Below threshold)

julie: let me put it this way, and that is that no one sparkled this year. The Awards seemed like an ornate funeral experience, people railing against the light, to put it bluntly.

It was very, very bad.

I think the Academy of Moti... (Below threshold)

I think the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should seriously consider salads. As in, a luncheon awards ceremony where people are closer-up, where the wiz and bang is lauded but not held up to glorify, where the entire Cult of Personality is omitted. Theatricals work, they don't bestow and that's the issue right there, that the entertainment industry is based upon the promise of the unreal and should focus on that delivery in product, not in self promotion.

People are disillusioned with all the excess coming from film, theatre and music today. A lot aren't but many more are. Films used to be about great works of art and are no longer but are about great films. As in, you make a great film, people will buy tickets (and have and will again). You make a film because you assume it's great to do so, people won't buy tickets, and everyone involved looks like the overpaid exploiters that they are.

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was a great example of that...being dissed by Academy members because they concluded that "it wasn't great filmmaking" while they can otherwise rely on actual bad filmmaking as being laudible because it suits their circle of idealism (it's subjective, all of it, as to what is great, what isn't)...while the public responded because they found it, in fact, a great film about a great story enacted greatly.

Although I very much appreciate and value the work by Clint Eastwood (while I also do that by Morgan Freeman), he sorta won this year by default. At least he won but it's a dismal year for filmmaking, this one just past. America needs heroes.

And, the hero is the story,... (Below threshold)

And, the hero is the story, not the performers. Such that, the current Awards format is dated and embarrassingly self angrandizing.

You know, it looked like a ... (Below threshold)

You know, it looked like a pretty lavish affair. Lots of expensive jewelry. Loads of designer dresses. Scads of tuxedos and limos. Red carpet everywhere. Parties and parties and more parties.

Wasn't this the same group last month that mocked the Republicans for throwing a lavish soiree during war time?

I've been watching the awar... (Below threshold)

I've been watching the awards for many many years now. Tonight really did suck. Apart from the silly left wing barbs (they weren't even well done), the show was BORING. Chris Rock was marginal - he seemed to get off on black "in" jokes that the 97% of Americans who aren't young and black wouldn't get. Nothing spontaneous happened. And introducing overt political commentary (Bush bashing) into the opening monologue???? Is Hollywood trying to reduce its audience or what?? Then his tepid comments about The Passion - ugh, he shouldn't have bothered, they were so forced and insincere.

Perhaps the only good part was the short retrospective of Johny Carson's MCing career at the Oscars - boy what a contrast to Chris Rock. Johny was the uber-classy guy. Hollywood could learn a lot from him.

OH yeah, and the "we suppor... (Below threshold)

OH yeah, and the "we support our troops" comments stuck in my craw. Maybe if the Academy actually DID SOMETHING this past year to help the troops it would have meant more. But as far as I can tell, the sole thing they did was to say on air that they supported the troops. And dissed the commander in chief. And not agree with the mission that a lot of our forces are engaged in. Bleah.

How is supporting our enemi... (Below threshold)

How is supporting our enemies supporting our troops? All these a**holes do time and time again is embolden the terrorists.

Some of us here in the shad... (Below threshold)

Some of us here in the shadows of the Hollywood sign FREEPed the Oscars.

There's a photo of yours truly manning the bullhorn at Hollywood & Highland, talking about what President Bush called the "purple revolution" on Friday.

I brewed over 200 rubber fingertips (the kinds cashiers use for handling money) in purple RIT dye and gave them away this afternoon.

Clint Eastwood was doing ju... (Below threshold)

Clint Eastwood was doing just fine when Julia Roberts smacked him on the lips. But after Babs Streisand did the same thing, I hope that he garbled with an econo-sized bottle of germ-killing Listerine.

I didn't happen to see the ... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

I didn't happen to see the broadcast. Could someone post some direct quotes as an example of this 'Bush Bashing'? What did Chris Rock actually say about our dear leader?

I guess with all this 'Hollywood Hating', the boycotts on! No more movies, video rentals and canceling of cable?

It would be interesting to ... (Below threshold)

It would be interesting to see a transcript - but basically Rock tried to launch into a comedy rift about the movie F 9/11 - problem is that Rock wasn't intrinsincly funny, so the material had to stand on its own - and if you aren't a Bush hater, it didn't.

How can you label it Bush ... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

How can you label it Bush hating, when you can't even remember what he said that was so wrong and offensive, Jezebel?

Comparing the war in Iraq t... (Below threshold)

Comparing the war in Iraq to a war between Gap and Banana Republic was disgraceful, then saying that during that war Gap lost over 1000 employees was downright disgusting. Banging the drum for F9/11 set the tone, no reason to even bring that movie up unless you're going to bash Bush.

Give me a break Clive - you... (Below threshold)

Give me a break Clive - you can remember the gist of what was said without remembering the exact words.

THe rift started out with a bash about Bush starting his presidency with 0 deficit and ending the 4 years with $70 trillion debt. It then reminded us that no WMDs were found in Iraq, that 1,000 soldiers died (implied for no reason). He did this under the guise of a comedy analogy comparing the war with a war between the Gap and Banana Republic. I don't know that I was offended by it (although if I had lost someone I knew in the Iraq war, I might have been offended) so much as turned off by the transparant Bush bashing barely hiding as humor that didn't even work.

RE: CT (February 28, 2005 ... (Below threshold)

RE: CT (February 28, 2005 06:23 AM)
How can you label it Bush hating, when you can't even remember what he said that was so wrong and offensive, Jezebel?

OK, here's some political humor of the night:

Host Chris Rock comes out firing

"Bush did some things you could never get away with at your job, man. ... Just imagine you worked at the Gap. You're $70 trillion behind on your register and then you start a war with Banana Republic 'cause you say they got toxic tank tops over there. You have the war, people are dying, a thousand Gap employees are dead, bleeding all over the khakis, you finally take over Banana Republic, and you find out they never made tank tops in the first place."

And the anti-Democratic "equalizer":

"Oprah is so rich, I saw John Kerry proposing to her an hour ago."

Would you call these equally fair? I love political humor and it's important that we retain that sort of expression against authority. Call it a public check and balance or an escape mechanism innate in our country's success. However, don't you find the trivilizing of our soldiers' and others' deaths in Iraq with the bleeding GAP employees metaphor a bit tasteless if not offensive? It seems Rock could have done better since so many feel Bush is such an easy target for humor. Instead he presents another divisive retread of the Left's "no WMD" mantra. Mindful of his local audience, maybe that was wise. Mindless of his national one, maybe it wasn't.

Rock wasn't all that funny,... (Below threshold)

Rock wasn't all that funny, but I'll at least give him a pass as he is a comedian. And he did call Moore out for having "done the research" for Supersize me, and introduced Tim Robbins as the guy that "when he's not entertaining us with his movies, he's boring us to death with his politics", in addition to the Oprah/Kerry joke.

Overall, I didn't see anything overtly offensive, when viewed through the knowledge that it was intended as comedy. Sean Penn doesn't seem to understand that the monologue was comedy, but hell, he's a moron.

If anything, we should be asking Rock why his Bush material sucked so badly. But then again, you play to your audience. The hollywood leftists certainly seemed to be laughing it up...

I don't want to sound smug ... (Below threshold)

I don't want to sound smug here, but sometimes it looks like you guys could maybe still learn a thing or two from good old Clint, that good American hero...

Well, you all have now expo... (Below threshold)

Well, you all have now exposed our big secret on the liberal side, black comedians! By exposing Rock's anti-bush hatred you have subverted our plans to take over the country in a coup staged from the Apollo theatre. Plan B! Go to plan B!

I didn't see much of it, bu... (Below threshold)

I didn't see much of it, but Chris Rock did seem to prove his point about black people not watching the oscars when he interviewed people at the Apollo who had never seen any of the nominated movies.
I can't say I blame them. I didn't see them either, except I just watched the Ray Charles movie and Jamie Foxx did deserve the Oscar. Good movie.

Just curious, if you didn't... (Below threshold)

Just curious, if you didn't see the rest of the movies that the the best actor nominees were nominated in, how do you know Jamie Foxx's performance was more deserving than the rest??

Pieces of shit nominating a... (Below threshold)

Pieces of shit nominating and giving awards to other pieces of shit...my bowels move in sympathy...

skybird: HIGH HITLER! (roll... (Below threshold)

skybird: HIGH HITLER! (rolls eyes at title)

Well you got me there mike.... (Below threshold)

Well you got me there mike. I guess I shouldn't say he was more deserving of the others. Maybe they deserved one too, I don't know since I didn't see the movies. but Foxx just did a stunning job acting wise. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job.

Kevin,Are you hone... (Below threshold)


Are you honestly trying to tell us that you can watch anything from Hollywood without your political spectacles on? Sorry...read you too long to buy it.

I didn't think Rock was tha... (Below threshold)

I didn't think Rock was that bad. It was humor. Sure he tweaked Bush, but it was different from how the morons like Penn would do so. I had no issue with it. And I have lost a classmate in Iraq. Personally, I think Rock is really making fun of Bush-bashing itself in an oblique way.

Jezebel wrote:H... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Jezebel wrote:

He did this under the guise of a comedy analogy comparing the war with a war between the Gap and Banana Republic. I don't know that I was offended by it (although if I had lost someone I knew in the Iraq war, I might have been offended)

I remember very clearly, a comedy bit Bush was involved in during last year's White House Correspondence Dinner. I remember seeing a video presentation of Bush and Condi looking for WMDs' under furniture in the Oval Office, while you hear your President from the podium saying 'Hmm, no weapons under there'.

'Bush Bashing' can now share the new definition of the word 'gaffe' - an offensive remark that also happens to be true.

So, save your manufactured outrage Ms. Jezebel, because you're only playing this 'Hollywood Hating' for a wedge issue. If you were not a hypocrite, you'd never pay to see a movie again, rip up your Blockbuster card and rip out your cable!

Gonna add a thought here:</... (Below threshold)

Gonna add a thought here:

Someone, earlier/this thread, posed the contrariness in that "we support the troops...but oppose the war" popular line of reasoning among most in the entertainment industry, and why they are promoting the "we support the troops" thing lately, as displayed in the Awards production...

And, my comments are that it's because there are several/many films in the works at present that are based upon the "support the troops" sentiment. I have no idea what statements will be made in any/all of those films in production/preproduction at this time, but that there's now the trend in Hollywood to make films in that line of social comment (the "we support the troops but oppose the war" thing).

I consider the sentiment very much a false one, preposterously unsupportive of "troops" in our current efforts, just as they were and have been throughout times past in other war efforts (remember Tokyo Rose?).

But, as to Hollywood recently pushing through publicity that line of promotion ("we support the troops, but..."), it's like other trends that run through the same social groups. And, since trends are later observable in general shared filmmaking concepts, I'm thinking that it's an indication of Hollywood's next offering: the "I support the troops but oppose the war" genre, which is currently in the pipeline for some.

I'd love to read something that exposes the foolishness of this meme, written by, say, Tom Clancy.

-S-, Your added th... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:


Your added thought is very timely, as it is revealing. Before the Iraqi election, it was rare to find someone from the Right willing to defend Bush's war. But of course, recently you all came out of the woodwork to exclaim your steadfast faith in his judgment.

But, until you crawl into your hole when things get bad, this bile you're spewing is still all you got.

A majority of Americans now think the war was not worth it, but I'm seeing more and more 'support our troops' ribbons. So, don't try manipulating such sentiment as support for this war, because an even larger percentage of Americans want us out within the next year!

If an injured soldier stays past 90 days at Walter Reed, they now have to pay for their meals! That's your idea of 'supporting the troops'!!

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson's p... (Below threshold)

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson's post (March 1, 2005 10:49 PM)

Before the Iraqi election, it was rare to find someone from the Right willing to defend Bush's war. [emphasis added]

Say what? Practically the entire Republican party defended the war then (pick any date) and now. What are you talking about?

A majority of Americans now think the war was not worth it...
First, citation please. Second, polls fluctuate with the winds and a snapshot is not particularly valid. The timeframe of the Iraq and ME endeavor needs to be measured in years and decades, not week to week. The majority of Europe hated Reagan when he was saving their asses from Communism, but now they look fondly on his steadfast vision. Many Democrats disingenuously remember the same vision now with satisfaction but excoriated that other cowboy at the time. They reminisce through an artificial lens while true Reagan supporters remain fully cognizant of their faulty memory. The same will happen with Bush in a decade when the ME is transformed.

Of course, I could present the opposite argument:
"Do you think that the recent elections in Iraq are an indication that President Bush's policy in dealing with Iraq is working, or do you NOT think that the elections are an indication that President Bush's policy in dealing with Iraq is working?"

2/10-14/05 (%)
Indicates Policy Working - 53
Does Not Indicate Policy Is Working - 37
Depends/Some of Both (vol.) - 5
Unsure - 5

Polls are often quite misleading. Some even predicted that John Kerry was winning a Presidential election. What does that tell you about polling?

Pick your poll and your question to "prove" whatever point you want. But even taking your question about overall support in Iraq, this poll states that Americans are statistically split with the pro-war support trending upwards again. I find your argument rather lacking, if not outright incorrect, once again.

AD, Next time you ... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:


Next time you wanna pull the only beneficial polling numbers from a web page, you might wanna forget the link, especially when most of the other data on the page strongly contradicts your argument!

RE: Clive Tolson's post (Ma... (Below threshold)

RE: Clive Tolson's post (March 3, 2005 12:51 AM)
Next time you wanna pull the only beneficial polling numbers from a web page, you might wanna forget the link, especially when most of the other data on the page strongly contradicts your argument!

Why? I have no fear of presenting data good or bad - it is what it is; and this illustrates my point about cherry-picking and polls in case you missed one of the main points of my comment. Did I need to scan the universe for the "representative sample poll" to mislead? No, I scanned the questions from the first current poll I found and presented a refutation of your argument from the same snapshot poll. It was emblematic of any poll of any divisive issue and merely a snapshot at that.

On the other hand, you take the data and state that "a majority of Americans now think the war was not worth it" when this very poll states that it is (currently) a statistically split opinion for the question as phrased. Now who is being misleading? A poll is just a poll with all of its daily (monthly?) fluctuations and concomitant noise.

More globally and expanding the idea of polling as the sine qua non for action, following a daily poll is not a particularly grand style of leadership and certainly pretty poor for a President who must advance an agenda. This mentality is what made Clinton's legacy such a failure. B. Clinton was a very popular politician but really accomplished little. History will not reflect kindly on his record despite the political success he has enjoyed during nasty political divisiveness. A contemporaneous "success" in spite of his shortcomings (typical of many Presidents), Clinton will be one of the less remembered except for that impeachment thing - for that he'll get an asterisk.

Maybe you could start a poll?






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