They are not amused
Anybody who's ever seen Jon Stewart and has half a brain knows he's (a) funny, and (b) astute. He's a guy who's blessed with the humor gene and cursed with open eyes. Unfortunately, that combination got him in trouble on Sunday night when one of the most staggering collection of hypocricies on the planet sat bejeweled before him waiting to be stroked. Stewart isn't good at stroking, either other people or himself. In fact, he's almost everything most of the Oscar audience is not: wry, self-deprecating, funny, and ruthlessly honest. To DVD pirates everywhere, he demanded that they look at the people they were stealing from -- some of them so poor they couldn't even afford enough clothing to cover their breasts, poor things. He reminded the audience that many people say Hollywood is out of touch with America, a den of sin and iniquity, a stinking cesspool of moral wastage where innocence is lost and dreams shattered ... and, well, he didn't really have much of a joke after that. George Clooney smiled a little bit. Charlize Theron looked like she wanted him drawn and quartered. For joke after joke, the stars of the silver screen turned up their noses at the lout at the mic who dared to criticize their majesty.
Yup, this is Hollywood. This is America's version of royalty, the people that captivate us at grocery store checkout lines and on celebrity ice skating TV, who drive crowds into a hysterical frenzy by walking down a street or waving from their passing SUV. Why do we put up with this crap? These people take themselves way too seriously, and we, America, have let them, because they're beautiful, rich, and have massive PR campaigns working night and day to bouy them up. Remember that the next time you pay $9.50 to see a movie.
My thanks to Jon Stewart for his solid emceeing job, and for standing up there in front of the glitz and telling it a tiny bit of truth, sugar-coated as it was. I hope he does it again next year, although I wouldn't bet on it. He may not even make the emcee reject montage at the start of next year's awards.
Andy Dehnart of MSNBC has a sensible take
on why Stewart fell flat with the stars of the silver screen. And Eric Lundergard, also of MSNBC, is pissed off that Crash won best picture
. He makes a good point: racism in America is
much more complicated than this film depicts it, and crayola portrayals don't do anybody any good.