March 23, 2003 6:34 AM   Subscribe

I had a really cool site on Wednesday to post, but stopped myself due the (prime time) start of the War, out of respect for MeFi users that have loved ones on either side of the line. It wasn't apprpriate. One of the things I have noticed on this site since last Wednesday is a very strong bifurcation of posts - those who are staunchly anti IraqFilter - who post as if nothing is going on, and those who can't seem to focus on anything else. This seems to be a struggle going on in other circles as well, as seen in this column by Roger Ebert, who discusses the appropriateness of tonights Oscars. The show must go on, right?
posted by Quartermass (21 comments total)
ah, humans! always with the conscience!!
posted by mokey at 6:46 AM on March 23, 2003

This sort of post is, perhaps, best made to MetaTalk, where discussion about MetaFilter & posting to it is conducted.

Or am I not getting the gist of your set-up for the Ebert link?
posted by majick at 6:47 AM on March 23, 2003

I had the impression that Ebert's link meant..."discuss weather or not the Oscars should go on."

And on that note: "Of course." It is a form of entertainment. America hasn't shut down. They've gone to war. Throughout every war life goes on (for some). The radio talk show hosts haven't stopped spouting off. The off-broadway plays are still singing and dancing. The March Madness is still underway.

Why not have a silly award ceremony? And if some winners want to say "Stop the War" and others want to say "Stop the Sarandon" fine.

The way I understand the American constitution is that the right to Free Speech is not limited to the occasion or to the whim of any one or group of people.

I just wonder what are the politics of the director of tonight's ceremony. That person is going to be jumpy no matter what happens.
posted by ?! at 6:55 AM on March 23, 2003

it's funny how suddendly so many people care about the Oscars -- it's always been a tacky, stupid night, serious fun for millions of tv viewers and another occasion for "intellectuals" to enhance their sense of superiority. Postponing the event can't work (what if the war is a 6-month-long thing?), not a good idea to cancel either (why this war should be different from the Vietnam bloodbath or Korea or WWII?)
So let them be silly and cry and thank all the people they've slept with/done coke with

The Talk Radio cavemen are whining because they just know that many celebrities are against war and will talk about the war in their victory speech, giving free tv time to a point of view is not very welcome in W's and Cheney's and Ashcroft's America

If all the celebrities were right-wingers like Schwarzenegger, Talk Radio people would be creaming their pants thinking about the Oscar's patriotic orgy

After all, commie celebrities should be blacklisted, right?
posted by matteo at 6:57 AM on March 23, 2003

Whether it's here or MetaTalk doesn't change the vomitous tone "the greatest art form of our time"
You're shitting me.Right?
posted by johnny7 at 7:03 AM on March 23, 2003

I usually like Ebert...but how could he call cinema "the art that America invented"? Is he siding with the freedom fries bunch in forgetting the French?
posted by kozad at 7:04 AM on March 23, 2003

And the Russians?
posted by kozad at 7:04 AM on March 23, 2003

I've actually never seen the Oscar's, it's just not my cup of tee. I think that they should go on though, just like I think I should go to work Monday morning. Are the Oscar's frivolous? Yup, but they always were, regardless of whether there was a war going on or not. None of the people who say that the Oscar's should be postponed seem to be pressuring the networks to postpone their favourite sitcom, drama or news program. They don't lobby for their work places to close down. Work and profits are just as trivial when compared to people dying.

I agree with matteo, it's not so much that any of these talk show bozos are concerned with the frivolity of the Oscar's in a time of war, they're concerned with celebrities with a differing agenda getting air time. Of course all of these talk show hosts are just celebrities, they have no real qualifications that separate them from an actor on a soapbox.
posted by substrate at 7:08 AM on March 23, 2003

I don't get it - are the Oscar's like some sort of holiday now? Do they occur on the last Sunday in March or something? Is there like a window of time when the Planet Hollywood and the Stars line up during which time the Oscars must be shown or we risk catastrophe?

Personally I'd like to see the Oscar's postponed for a week or so... I mean... what's the big deal? Postpone and you'll get stars like Tom Hanks and Will Smith back on board & you won't be competing with war coverage. Seems like a no brainier to me.

Not that it matters much - the Oscar's blow. A Beautiful Mind get's best picture over Lord of the Rings? Screw you Academy...
posted by wfrgms at 7:18 AM on March 23, 2003

If anyone's taking odds, I bet half the winners say something about the war. Or the troops.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:29 AM on March 23, 2003

We start bombing in five minutes--drop the satellite guided Joan *makes finger down throat gesture* Rivers upon the Presidential Palace! Kerplooie!
Well, a guy can dream, can't he?
posted by y2karl at 7:52 AM on March 23, 2003

the oscars are shallow bullshit.
americans love shallow bullshit.
americans are at this very minute fighting and dying to protect their right to shallow bullshit.
there WILL be shallow bullshit.
posted by quonsar at 8:33 AM on March 23, 2003

In defense of shallow bullshit at least we get to see what subdued wartime Oscar fashions are all about! Personally I think frivolous life goes on, but let's assume the Oscars would have been postponed like everything else was after 911. In that same vein they should be postponed now as well.
posted by oh posey at 9:03 AM on March 23, 2003

the oscars are shallow bullshit.
americans love shallow bullshit.

[cynicism on] I've had this image the last few days of somebody changing channels briefly from basketball games to the Foxhole Propaganda Network, which they think is airing some marathon Giant Reality Show/Video Game/Fireworks Display. Their thought processes: "[burp] I hope that Dubya Dude kicks ass and gets Saddam off the island. USA USA. Go State."
[cynicism off]

Moi - As you guess, I don't think much of basketball and I keep forgetting the Oscars are even on until it's mentioned in connection to the war. But I do have my own phluffy escapist events/shows.

On the one hand, I'm just concerned that some people have no perspective on what's really important, and are like a lesser version of what I've parodied. OTOH, I struggle with whether it is appropriate for actors/athletes/whoever to bring the terrible realities of the world into their little phluff event. (*I* don't want to hear Ah-nold's view of things.)

Oh, and I too think Ebert forgot Russian/French contribution to early cinema - oops, bad French word - to movies.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:03 AM on March 23, 2003

The whole point I think is that "war" that involves a first world superpower against a third world dictatorship really causes you to pause a moment and realize how crazy it is that while other people look forward to say - eating, we look forward to the next Matrix film.

I was at the bar the other day where hundreds of university kids come to dance/drunk on Thursday night. In said bar, they usually have on sports or MTV or whatever. Instead they were showing War coverage - without the sound. So there was this weird thing where you were watching bar stars dance to T.A.T.U. while seeing bombs explode over Baghdad on giant screen televisions.

If that is not the purest example of living in "false consciousness," I don't know what is.

Hence, this thread. I am normally in the "pure" MeFi side of the fence, and personally wish it were more like memepool (with discussion) most of the time. But since Wednesday, I have gone to memepool, where they have threads about skyscrapers and the comic code, and I couldn't help but feel like it was tad trivial.

I went through this phase after Sept 11, and here I am again. Heres hoping to a quick return to the fantasy world where it matters which actor/actress wins.
posted by Quartermass at 11:01 AM on March 23, 2003

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
- Mahatma Gandhi.

*shrug* That's good enough for me.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:22 AM on March 23, 2003

The essence of this post reminds me of a conversation I once had with my brother, a mormon minister.
Brother: You should go to church more often. It would really improve your life.
Me: You should go to a strip club more often. It would really improve your life.
Just another parable for our time... ;-P
posted by mischief at 11:29 AM on March 23, 2003

I was somewhat suspicious about "the art America invented." In a way that's right: the first films were made in America because the technology was invented in America. I think the great contributions to early filmmaking were Germans, most of whom moved to America with the rise of Nazism.

I don't think there's any choice but having the Oscars, but people are going to be upset if they're too politicized. Actually that's fine with me, the more people against the MPAA the better...
posted by dagnyscott at 11:42 AM on March 23, 2003

The Academy Awards have always been about four things:

1. Awarding mediocrity.
2. Idiotic song and dance numbers.
3. Washed up comedian hosts.
4. Hollywood endlessly patting itself on the back for its supposed greatness.

The upside to any protesting is that it would be the first time that anything relevant or interesting happened at the Oscars for decades. No, I won't be watching.
posted by mark13 at 2:46 PM on March 23, 2003

"...another parable for our time." - mischief

Although I have been to both churches and strip clubs in my past, for the past several years I have made an active attempt to avoid both. Instead I frequent night spots featuring local talent with phenomenal music and thought provoking lyrics. Lovely, clothed men and women, getting on their soapbox and sharing their perspectives on reality. That's my "church": a "club" stripped of either silly extreme.

And I feel that has dramatically improved my life. *smirk* With that in mind I don't watch as much of the latest Hollywood films anymore. So the Academy Awards are insignificant to me, but I relent that they are important to others. I gather it's all a matter of perspective.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:54 PM on March 23, 2003

Quartermass: I had a really cool site on Wednesday to post, but stopped myself due the (prime time) start of the War

Don't worry. I had a similar but milder reaction when I started a thread about weird and pukey hairless animals at Christmas. I'm pissed of with certain issues being treated as so Significant that some think it suspect to talk about anything else. There are various reasons. We might not see them as significant (e.g. the death of celebrities such as St. Diana or Jan Dildo that not all of us cared about). Or we might see them as significant, but just feel, as you imply, that life goes on and that there are other things of simultaneous interest.
posted by raygirvan at 5:15 PM on March 23, 2003

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