Friday, February 8, 2013
Like an engraved disinvitation.
So I was talking to my sister Karla this evening and I asked the almost rhetorical question "Do you know who is hosting the Oscars this year?"
"Seth MacFarlane?" she answered, her voice trailing up at the end.
Now let me be clear. The question mark at the end of the sentence was not because she didn't know and was hedging her bet. Karla and I are as Gentile as Gentile can be, but her voice going up at the end was one of the Jewish versions of the question mark.
The one that means "What have we done that has displeased G-d so that this plague has been brought down upon us?"
I don't like Seth MacFarlane. I have never liked Family Guy and even though some people say Ted was better, I haven't seen it yet. I will stipulate that he is not the plague that is Adam Sandler. Many critics are now wise to the fact that Sandler tried to do better work but realized his worst crap is the stuff that sells and his movies are getting progressively worse, testing to see exactly where the bottom is that his fans will no longer watch.
MacFarlane is better than that, but I find his pop culture references obvious and unfunny, and the rest of his comedy not even worth criticizing.
Okay, so let's look at the history of Oscar hosts. How important are they?
When I was a wee lad, the host was always Bob Hope. I might not have loved Bob Hope, but I bought into the idea that the Oscars celebrated the best in Hollywood.
In the late 1970s, the standard Oscar host became Johnny Carson. By that time, I neither loved nor hated Carson, but I still kind of bought into the idea that the Oscars gave the awards to the best movies, even though that idea was sorely abused by the idea that Rocky really was a better piece of cinema than All the President's Men, Network and Taxi Driver.
In the long run, the host doesn't matter that much. My favorite host got the job one year and wasn't asked back.
Jon Stewart is my favorite for this one act of kindness. The picture Once won the Best Song award for Falling Slowly, written by the stars of the movie, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Hansard was first to speak, and when Irglová got to the mic, the band started playing the "get the fuck off the stage, you are boring us" music and she walked off.
Jon Stewart was backstage, and when the show came back from commercial, he invited her out and she finished her speech.
Honestly, that is the biggest class act I ever saw at the Oscars.
I don't have a TV, so I have to visit friends to watch the Oscars nowadays. I probably will pass this year. I have seen the movies that are most hyped, Argo and Lincoln, and I liked them both. But I have reached the point where I have ceased to care what movies win and what movies lose. More than that, the hiring of MacFarlane feels like an engraved disinvitation.
Dear Mr. Hubbard,
We regret to inform you that you are now 57 years old and no longer of much interest to the advertisers of our broadcast. Because you are old, we expect you will watch anyway, not unlike the pathetic people still watching Miss America. But regardless of what decision you make, we really don't give a fuck one way or the other if you tune in or not.
And if you decide to blog about your feelings... yeah, well, good luck with that, too.
Eat shit and die,
The producers of the 85th Academy Awards
To be fair, they did spell my name right.