Monday, March 06, 2006

The Academy Awards and Jesusland

Jon Stewart

Caught some of the Academy Awards last night. Some takes on the show.

• The “gay themes in traditional Hollywood westerns” montage was hilarious. Reminded me of the new Willie Nelson song, Cowboys are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other. Some of Willie’s Brokeback inspired lyrics:

Well there's many a strange impulse out
on the plains of West Texas;
There's many a young boy who feels things
he can't comprehend.
A small town don't like it when somebody
falls between sexes,
No, small town don't like it when
a cowboy has feelings for men.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other
Say..what do you think those all saddles and boots was about?
There's many a cowboy who don't understand the way
that he feels towards his brother,
And inside every cowboy there's a lady
who'd love to slip out.

Inside every cowboy? :^)

How did the Village People miss out on writing those lyrics back in their YMCA day? And when did Willie start using Dr. Seuss rhythms and rhymes? "Frequently secretly," said Sam I Am, "I like to eat green eggs and ham."

Don't think the good folks down at the Baptist Church will be singing Willie's song with their kids in the car on vacations. Probably not many Brokeback DVD rentals from that crowd either.

It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp won best song. Wow. When they announced that award you could hear evangelicals all over Middle America clicking off their TVs.

Pimp seems like just the latest example of the kind of “grinnin’ and shufflin’” black minstrel show that so much of hip hop has become. Just throw in a lot of the “N” word and the “F” word and posture like a ‘gangsta’ so whites can enjoy watching 'immoral' and 'inferior' black men. Guess there's a very good living in 'coonin' so it's hard to blame the young men who do it.

I loved it that the Academy forced Three 6 Mafia (that can’t actually be the group’s real name, can it? :^) to remove the “N” and “F” words for the performance and made em change “bitches” to “witches.” Funny stuff. Does anybody wonder why so many people I talk to overseas think American blacks are all gangsters and spend most of their time calling each other “nigger”?

Crash the best picture? I sort of liked it though it rang a little false and over the top to me. Of course, I don’t think more than 1000 people combined saw all the best picture nominees this year :^), so maybe that explains the surprising victory. If you want box office go with American Pie and leave the grown up stuff for obscure film festivals.

• Got a kick out of Jon Stewart. I’ve watched the Daily Show regularly since it started and I love his ability to lampoon political blowhards with a measure of self-deprecation and class that’s usually absent in his ‘targets.’

• In retrospect, you wonder if the whole thing was a kind of joke at the expense of the citizens of “Jesusland” from the coastal cultural elites. Seemed like most of the movies with nominations were about homosexuality or violence or racism or the threat of political and cultural homogeneity and corruption. Oh, and a drug addicted country singer. All of it hosted by a Jewish, east coast, Harvard educated political satirist. Just a thought :^)


Anonymous Greg said...

I watched the last half hour of the Oscars. I thought it was interesting when the Brokeback screenwriters (after winning best adapted screenplay) used such Biblical imagery. Referencing the film arts as "shining light into the darkness of men's hearts" and thanking the actors for "breathing life into their words".

I had only seen 1 of the nominees for best picture last year, Crash. I am glad it won. Men's hearts will be enlightened after they buy the DVD (which will also enlighten the heart of America's ecomony).

2:17 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

Yeah, I only saw Capote, Crash and Good Night Good Luck. I kept thinking I should see Brokeback and Munich but I was never in the right "mood" for either topic. I loved both Capote and GNGL--really any of the films this year probably would have been a good choice. I ended up seeing a bunch of the movies that got various nominations on the plane flights to and from Morocco and South Africa. That's pretty much the only place I see a lot of movies these days. I was so desperate to stay awake on one flight that I watched "Walk the Line" twice and even sat through the ultra chick flick costume drama "Pride and Prejudice."

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

I can't disagree with you about the majority of contempoary hip-hop, but I thought the performance of Its Hard out there for a Pimp did misrepresent the way the song was utilized in the movie. Hustle and Flow was the only movie mentioned last night that I have actually seen (I don't get out much anymore), and Terence Howard's portrayal of the main character was actually fairly nuanced - I thought the song worked in the context of a movie which at least tried (though not entirely successfully) to problematize the pimp lifestyle. My main problem with the film involved the "so-called" prostitutes. Honestly, the men and women in the movie are just too glamorous and beautiful to accurately represent reality. I occasionally drive by $20 prostitutes in my neighborhood, and believe me, it's not a glamorous lifestyle. But regardless, I thought it was a decent movie.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous John Teter said...

Wordcat, good to have you back rocking the blog. Funny stuff about red America and the blue oscars.

I am going to be in Asia next week and would like information from you on a contact there. Can you email me at Thanks.

8:08 PM  
Blogger 3wishes said...

I had a million things I should have been doing but I usually make time for Ol Oscar. It is only for the memories of So Cal. Being native LA, I get it. Hollywood is just a another business. I enjoy the choreography, dosnt matter what social ill the dance portrays.
I chose only one movie of all the nominees and that was "Syriana". Mr. Clooney deserved his Oscar and I was glad he got it. I also think that Matt Damon did a great job in that movie and he was overlooked. I believe that movie speaks loudly but I'm not surprised that it isnt more popular. My goodness, that would mean Americans might have to give some thought as they fill up their Japanese Suvs with Middle East oil, and that just wouldnt be American. Peace.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

I didn't see Hustle and Flow, Alex, but I really like Terence Howard. I'll check it out. I loved early hip hop--even the most angry and violent stuff like early NWA--because I thought it was saying something authentic. I don't mind honest hip hop at all, even with all the harshness and mysogeny, as long as it doesn't glamorize gang life and as long as it isn't simply a minstrel show for whites. You and I both know there's nothing glamorous about it--not many beautiful people among the thugs and not many Julia Roberts characters among the "pretty women."

4:07 PM  
Blogger jon said...

Aren't we mostly filling up our SUV's with American, Canadian, and Mexican oil?

7:56 AM  
Blogger jon said...

(just checked - about 70% of our oil comes from somewhere in North America. About 10% comes from the Middle East)

8:01 AM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

I checked those stats too cuz I didn't really know the percentages. My source is the EIA (US governmental agency)and from their current stats on 2005 we import the following percentages of petroleum (the numbers for crude oil are very similar)from the following countries. These don't include oil and petroleum produced here in the US:

Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait)--20%
Unstable Countries (Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Ecuador, Russia)--38%
Stable Countries (UK, Norway, Brazil, etc.)--9%

Again, these figures don't include US production, but they're pretty interesting. Lots less Middle Eastern oil than many folks believe, though lots more from non-Middle Eastern unstable regimes than most of us thought too.

12:50 PM  
Blogger jon said...

I got my stats from EIA too, but was looking at the December 2005 stats (, which were slightly different (Canada/Mexico accounted for 36%). The % of imports from Nigeria, Algeria, and similar countries is what surprised me as well.

I read elsewhere that the US imports about 50% of its oil, and adjusted the figures accordingly.

5:38 PM  
Blogger 3wishes said...

Ok sure, you can plug in any of those countries in both categories. Your Lexus that is built in Canada or your Citgo Venezualan oil. Now do you feel better? Maybe you do, but it just reminds me that we are truly owned by foreign lands. And as your stats show, MANY foreign lands. If you are happy about that so be it. Im just not. We are owned by the oil companies. Americans dont want to see it. I dont think as a society we can see the forest for the trees. Guess I better pick out my burka style now. Oh and as for the stats, they equal 100% so how is it that we import 50% again? Thanks!

4:35 PM  
Blogger jon said...

"Oh and as for the stats, they equal 100% so how is it that we import 50% again? Thanks! "

Because those stats were for % of imports, not % of total

6:21 PM  

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