Monday, February 28


How many of you purposefully chose not to view the Academy Awards' telecast last night? I did. Recall this post of mine, as well as this subsequent post? Well, I checked in with Betsy's Page this morning, as is my habit, and read her post linking to a scattering of emcee Chris Rock's jokes and "edgy" commentary.

No thanks. Glad I stuck to my guns. Not that either would have ever insulted their audience in the name of edginess, but I would no more listen to Bob Hope or Johnny Carson telling me to sit my ass down, then I would Chris Rock. As a member of any audience, I'm the customer and I want courtesy and deference shown me. I want to be entertained, not bad-mouthed.

The Oscar producers have said that Rock was hired because he could attract a younger, more hip audience, and those kind of demographics sell products and services, thereby boosting advertising dollars. Of course, they also made him take some of the edge off of what are his customary, profanity-laden routines. They wanted him to be hip, but not too hip.

How does that make you feel -- you of the "younger generation?" Is telling you to sit your asses down cool, hip, and with it? Tell me, as I'm earnestly curious: why didn't your parents prefer that kind of so-called humor, or their parents? Do you not think there's anything to the notion that our society is being continually coarsened by the liberal, Whoopie Goldberg-led, Hollywood crowd?

Rock was hired and gets away with talking to you that way (and under the guise of being hip, edgy, trendy, and youth-oriented), because when you watch him that signals to Hollywood and Manhatten that you're okay with it. Simple as that. Suit yourselves, but, I would ask this: have you ever walked out of a movie theatre, a comedy club, or flipped away from a television program because something said or something shown flat offended you? If not, try it sometime. You'll feel empowered. It's comparable to voting in an election.

When the Academy Awards' show returns to its senses (if that day ever comes), I'll gladly tune in again, as I'm a movie lover. But as long as the show's producers are willing to risk offending me and others, as if we don't count, count me out.