Thoughts on the Oscars and Politics

I was talking to a Conservative friend the other day and mentioned that I was not watching the Oscars, that I just had not stomach for all the smug political virtue signalling.  He said that he knew why he and fellow Conservatives were not watching, but why me?  He observed that for most issues that would come up -- immigration, gay marriage, distaste for Trump -- that I probably would agree with most of what was going to be said.  My answer to him was in three parts

  1. I am exhausted by the addition of politics to every sphere of life - there is nowhere to escape any more.  This politicization of everything, including sports and entertainment, has historically been a feature of totalitarian governments.  In Hitler's Germany, you couldn't just cut hair, but you had to be in the league of national socialist barbers and be ready with a plan for how your barbering was going to advance national socialism.  yuk.
  2. People seem to like it when famous movie stars and sports stars espouse political opinions that they share.  I am not sure why.  I can only imagine that these folks are in their hearts unsure of themselves and thus get renewed confidence when some famous person agrees with them, like counting likes on Facebook or something.  I on the other hand already am pretty sure I am right and I have thought a lot about the issue including reading opposing opinions on it.  Nothing Martin Sheen or Beyonce says about the issue, unless it is related to the entertainment industry, is likely to either change my mind or make me more confident in my opinions.  In fact...
  3. Hearing actors who I know to be dumb as a post agree with me using facile and hysterical reasoning is only likely to make me question whether I really feel good about agreeing with this dolt.  When Rosie O'Donnell agrees with me, it's time to rethink that issue.  I feel like I was stampeded into supporting the Iraq war in part due to the incredible lameness of a lot of the anti-war "arguments".  That was a mistake on my part, and I own up to it, but I still feel tempted to do the opposite of whatever Sean Penn says even when I agree.
  • ErikTheRed

    There was a philosopher who bemoaned the problems associated with having people making idiotic arguments that agree with your position, but the name and quote escape me.

  • Not Sure

    Sean Penn is a dick. The fact his opinion happens to mirror yours is, of course, a reason to be concerned. There is always the chance that he doesn't know WTF he's talking about, and that might ameliorate things.

    Or not.

  • Mars Jackson

    i've finally reached my limit on politics for this year. I'm not only sick of the news pundits constant bickering and disagreement over whatever news bite is happening today, but I'm also tired of my friends', entertainers', and sports figures' opinions as well. "Politics" is something that should be in the background of your life, rarely in the foreground. The emotions people are feeling over Donald Trump, one way or the other, have been ludicrously overblown to the point of hysteria. I believe we would all be better off right now to turn off the TV, close social media, and avoid politics for a while so that we can get back to concentrating on the important things in our own lives rather than whatever someone said on Twitter or the Oscars.

  • frankania

    Here in Mexico, where I have lived since 1988, has bad politicians, but the people generally ignore them all. The good thing is that the govt. is SO inept, that the people are free to do almost anything WITHOUT interference. I have built many houses, started businesses, started clubs and associations, etc. all with no permisos or red-tape! Come on down; be free!

  • "I am exhausted by the addition of politics to every sphere of life - there is nowhere to escape any more."

    Which is one of the primary reasons why I don't watch movies any more. I haven't set foot in a theater in over twenty years, and I disconnected my TV cable six or seven years ago.

  • me

    Let's face it, the Oscars are just a trifle boring to watch, so there is a component of "why bother watching at all".

    One thing for Rightists to remember: Trump genuinely upset the Leftist mind. The political messaging you'd rather not hear is a consequence of how horrified the left is by the administrations actions so far - not unlike the reaction to Obama. I think there's a fair element of "shut up already, I don't care", but at the same time ask yourself how much time a month you spend to hear and understand the concerns of the other tribe.

  • marque2

    I am sure it was worse yesterday, but this has been the Oscars for years, say something political about evil GOP and then than everyone under the stars, boring. Interesting might be, hey thanks for the award, and here is something I found interesting and not particularly political about filming this particular movie. That I would watch, but Oscars are basically new information free.

  • marque2

    Now that is funny 😁

  • Titan28

    Point number one is especially cogent. I'd neglected to see this crusade in those terms, but you're right.

  • me

    Too true. Apparently we missed the biggest snafu in history yesterday though, because we both assumed the Oscars could only be dreadfully boring. On a sidenote, it's amazing that the one event for the folks at the pinnacle of the entertainment industry is so little entertaining.

  • Mike

    Amen.

  • marque2

    Also part of the stage fell down, and Jimmy Kimmel, doesn't have material other than Trump, so he started mocking people's names. They are so Trump deranged they can't even put on a show any more - it is like an elementary school presentation. Still wouldn't waste 4 hours to watch. My kids and I went pokemon hunting instead, got some exercise last night.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "This politicization of everything, including sports and entertainment"

    I doubt that you can show that there was ever a time when sports and entertainment were completely free of politics.

    A lot of Classical music and Opera has heavy political influences.

    As for sports, at it's most fundamental level, team sports are a substitute for tribal warfare.

  • There's a difference between "completely free" and overwhelmingly political. Lately, entertainment, sports and news have become overwhelmingly political, and all in one direction.

  • ReadMyLips88

    It's not that sports and entertainment should be free of politics. But it seems that every moment in either has become an occasion that cannot proceed without some kind of political statement, one way or the other. It's the amplitude of politics that has changed, not the frequency.

    Regarding sports as a tribal war substitute, I for one am thrilled at such a prospect, since those engagements don't control fiscal policy, nor do they require mandatory participation.

  • SamWah

    Did the GOP and conservatives riot in reaction to Obama?

  • herp

    I don't think that whatever extreme elements of the right or left overreact to the election of not-my-candidate deserves much attention as they would have done something stupid anyway if not for this reason, but looks like there was violence following the BO election: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/305749-republicans-employ-double-standard-to-discredit

  • Mars Jackson

    It's all so against Trump. If you were one of the 60 million people who voted for Trump, these political diatribes in sports and entertainment get tiring. I don't listen to sports radio or watch TV to be talked down to by people who make obscene amounts of money playing pretend or playing a sport. It also plays into Trump's narrative that these people are "elites" who have no respect for its audience.

  • Bryan Townsend

    Taking the opposite position to Sean Penn is probably a good first approximation!

  • herp

    One more, this one's interesting because it looks like at least someone is attempting to keep score. No idea if the source is well researched or legit.
    http://markhumphrys.com/left.right.violence.html

  • Matthew Slyfield

    Sure, if you consider the last several decades "lately"

  • me

    Wow, there was a lot more than I thought I missed. Still stand by my statement about lack of entertainment, and salute you and the kids for the pokemon hunt. That game probably has done more for worldwide fitness than any sport...

  • Fred_Z

    Me too, and I'm about to quit NetFlix. They're making and lot more of their own content and it is the same old leftist claptrap. The NetFlix CEO has been making public statements proving he is another lefty dingaling. Time to dump their stock, they are just another organization taken over by leftist moles.

  • CC

    In North Korea there are a limited set of government approve hair styles. In the US there are a limited number of SJW approved hair styles (don't you white people dare get dreds or an afro).

  • I hate hate hate the politicization of everything. I can't even enjoy football without it being shoved in my face. Though hockey so far seems to not be hyper affected.

    'I feel like I was stampeded into supporting the Iraq war in part due to the incredible lameness of a lot of the anti-war "arguments".'

    That was a tough time to for me. I opposed the war but the arguments against it by famous people were lame. Agreeing with Michael Moore wasn't easy (even if for the most part he is wrong).

    You have to strive to ignore the messenger. I have a friend who I'll send him something and he'll say "THAT GUYS A DOPE". That may be so, and I may disagree with them, but I need to ignore that and read what they are saying.

  • No, we are talking about the last 5 yearsish. It has not been "several decades".

    Sure it has always involve politics, but not to the extent it has *lately*.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    There were Oscars acceptance speeches that included rants against President Regan and both Presidents Bush. No, it's not just the last 5 years. Hollywood has been obsessed with politics for as long as I can remember (I'll be 48 this year).

  • Again we are not saying it's been free. We are saying it is worse. And it has been the last five years. Especially sports.

  • Sure there were the occasional speeches that you mention, but "lately" it's been everybody, all the time, regardless of what the subject under discussion actually is. Actors, athletes, newscasters, it doesn't matter; everybody with access to a microphone seems to feel the overwhelming need to make a political statement.

    And BTW, I'll be 60 in March.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    And I'm saying you haven't been paying attention.

    It's been getting steadily worse for decades. The Hollywood and the news media were fawning all over Obama for the last 8 years,

    Anyone who thinks something changed suddenly in the last five years hasn't been paying attention.

  • 拜读大侠博客,感悟人生道理!

  • And I'm saying I have been paying attention, but you haven't.

    "It's been getting steadily worse for decades."
    So which is it? Either its always been bad, or its been getting worse?

    Anyone who thinks something HASN'T changed suddenly in the last five years hasn't been paying attention.

    It HAS been getting worse, and in the last 5 years its drastically gotten worse. If you can't see that, you aren't paying attention.

  • marque2

    You are awfully young, if you think the level of politics on sports, in entertainment venues and other public items is the same as it always was.

  • Salt_Lake_Resident

    The philosopher Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn said...
    “Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain't that a big enough majority in any town?”