I did not watch any of the Oscars last night so I didn’t have anything to say about Seth MacFarlane’s job as host, but a lot of other people did and most of them seem to agree that he stunk up the joint. Now I have watched the footage and I have to say — ignoring for the moment the actual content of his material — he did better than I expected. I’m still getting used to the idea that he’s a “performer” at all instead of the guy behind the scenes who does voices for all those shows that are exactly the same. (It never seemed to me that The Simpsons was written for people who were like Homer, but Family Guy seems targeted at guys exactly like Peter Griffin.) But anyway, he delivered the jokes okay and didn’t seem nervous or stumbly-pumbly so by that metric he was a success.
Now as for Seth MacFarlane’s big production number, I’ll let Katherine Coldiron describe how it feels to be reminded that, no matter how much you may succeed, if you’re a woman you ultimately will be reduced to a pair boobs.
For my part, what’s creepy about the song is the sense of possession and ownership it conveys: it says, no matter how much you succeed, pretty lady, I’ve got some sort of fetishistic power over you because I’ve seen your chest. And, with its final joke about Kate Winslet, it manages to perfectly encapsulate the sadistic double standard of misogyny: show me your tits but you’re a slut if you do.
Weird that the Academy would approve this. Yes, the Oscars are stodgy and interminable and impossibly self-important — but that’s how they’re supposed to be. That’s what they are: a five hour infomercial. You created this show, you sold us for decades on the idea that it’s important and noteworthy. So fucking well act like it. Everyone else on the face of the earth can take the piss out of these people the moment they’re off the stage, but for that one single moment can’t the very group that’s honoring them actually honor them without irony or reservation? Is that so hard?