Monday, March 04, 2013

This is My Brain on Toothpicks

I think the human race could do without math. We'd probably all be happy little hunter gatherers if math had never happened, dying at around 28 or so, if it weren't for math and all the busy work it's brought us.

Such implosive apocalypses occur to me while plotting graphs from three variables. From now on, why don't we just have one, two, three, and several? Zero, too, I guess.

I also need to write an essay for British Literature class to-morrow. I started writing it on Friday but stopped when I realised I hadn't had enough sleep. I got even less sleep last night but now I'm out of time. It's a comparison of Shelley's "To a Skylark" and Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale". So this essay is for the birds! Heh *cough* that probably won't be my opening line.

There's a nice defence of Seth MacFarlane's performance at the Oscars at The Advocate now. There are some points I thought about making last week on my blog, but the kind of vitriol that was being put out about MacFarlane was so fervent and hollow it seemed like the sort of thing that could only be solved with Street Fighter or Pokemon. "Misogynist" may be catching up to "paedophile" in the insults people throw out when they want people to hate someone without supporting their argument. I didn't need to know, either, that MacFarlane's jokes were written by an openly gay man to know they weren't homophobic. Both times he referred to homosexuality in faux-derision he was talking about himself, including when he introduced performances of nominated songs by saying something like, "I guess we felt this show wasn't gay enough." One of the songs was one he wrote, a seemingly earnest song about the importance of having a best friend.

The Advocate article mentions MacFarlane's Mel Gibson joke which, the more I think about it, the more I think it's been crucial in the aftermath. How many of the people who are now condemning MacFarlane gave Gibson treatment as harsh?

There's more to Hollywood's hypocrisy about Gibson than the fact that a lot of prominent individuals in Hollywood are friends with him. There's a presumption that the Hollywood machine has magical redemptive powers and pointing out onstage that a Best Picture and Best Director winner is opposed in his personal life to concepts of inclusiveness and non-violence throws the hollowness of the typically saccharine awards ceremony into too sharp relief.

I will say there's something on which I neither agree with the condemnations of MacFarlane or the defences of him, and that relates to the "We Saw Your Boobs" song. The condemnation hinges on the idea that MacFarlane in singing this song is telling women that no matter what they do, they'll never be more than their bodies. The defence of MacFarlane, in the Advocate article and in other places, is that the song is meant to be a criticism of Hollywood that forces women to take off their clothes in order to be in movies. I think both interpretations are trying a little too hard.

The joke is simple--MacFarlane is playing a fool. In the context of the alternate timeline, presented by Captain Kirk, where MacFarlane is a horrible Oscars host, he's a man who can't function at an intellectual level higher than his libido. MacFarlane's point is that it's absurdly stupid to only appreciate these movies for the bodies of the women in them. If there's a whole sex derided by MacFarlane's joke, it's men, not women.

Twitter Sonnet #483

Varnished pepper blanks conceal all the moles
But the Fendahl default cursed the smoothies.
Comedy deems dramatic cobbler holes
Poke too many inverse pinker movies.
Checks bounced in the snack bowls dryly crumble.
Funds will raise only the onerous box.
Here then, is the Ouija board so humble.
Even the ghost's got nothing in Fort Knox.
Long range candy cane sticks to the shamrock.
Dehydrated stockings glisten with mail.
The cup holder fires by a flintlock.
Fortnights fade in a forlorn plastic pail.
Delayed allies finance the blank receipt.
Cohorts can collaborate on deceit.

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