The Grumpies Weigh-in on Current Issues

Topic 1: students who don’t read the syllabus.
THE SYLLABUS, YOU MUST OBEY!  OBEY!!!!
 (or, take your F and go away)
email me and you will see
how very angry I can be
 #2:  scary!
 #1:  I know right
 #2:  “Dr. #1 is scary.  Don’t take classes from her unless you’re really smart and responsible.”
 #1:  True story
Topic 2: Boobs.
 #1:  so who do you agree with re: boobgate, Historiann or Dr. Crazy?
 #2:  I haven’t read dr crazy yet.  I did read historiann and mildly agree with her.
 #1:  I also agree with historiann
and also understand that most people would have excused the misogyny if he’d at least been funny (and not just “women have no sense of humor” unfunny, but even unfunny to sexist men!)
 #2:  My partner chuckled occasionally, but also felt that a lot of it fell very very flat.  He remarked, “Chances that Seth McFarlane ever hosts anything again:  Approaching zero.”
#2:  I’m reading dr crazy too, and I slightly agree with her as well.
#1:  I think Dr. Crazy is right that this points out the standards of Hollywood.  But I also am fairly sure that was not Seth McFarlane’s intention.  I think that no, really, his audience is jerky 12 year old boys
#2:  actually I think it kinda WAS his intention
#1:  really?
#2:  yes, but our views are not mutually exclusive.  He could be honestly poking at Hollywood while at the same time also appealing to 12-year-olds
 #1:  and even if it did, hollywood can feel good about slamming him down and getting back to business as usual, meaning he messed up.  He needs the “wink” to show he’s being ironic.
 #2:  I feel like Seth McFarlane at the Oscars is such a tiny blip in the landscape of prevailing misogyny that I can’t get that upset about it.
 Sexist or not-sexist, I wish he had been FUNNIER
 #1:  that’s what everyone is saying!
 #2:  some parts were mildly funny
some parts… were bombs
(relatively independently of what the subject matter was)
 #1:  also I watched Will Ferrell accept the Mark Twain award, which also made me laugh and had a little bit of poking at the patriarchy in it, which was a pleasant surprise
 #2:  Yes!
 #1:  the steve martin/alec baldwin intro to the oscars was not actually particularly politically correct, but it sure was funny
 #2:  ah, see, here:  I agree with Flavia:  “I actually wasn’t particularly bothered by the “boobs” number. It was the casual, relentless misogyny in the rest of MacFarlane’s act that did it for me. Like his description of “Zero Dark Thirty” as testimony to women’s ability “to never, ever let anything go.” Like his saying that it didn’t matter if we can understand a word Salma Hayek or Penelope Cruz say, because they’re great to look at. And on, and on. “
 #1:  right
 #2:  right
the boobs number was actually somewhat amusing.  The “women can’t let go” joke was offensive.
 #1:  I don’t think seth mcfarlane was trying to point out misogyny– I think he just is a misogynist
 #2:  he can be both.
 #1:  well, I meant boob controversy as teh whole thing
he lives and breathes misogyny
can’t help it
 #2:  and here is where I agree with dr. crazy:  “And so, while I don’t think that McFarlane was a laugh riot, and I am deeply suspicious of the way that irony is used as an alibi for sexism these days, I didn’t find him demonstrably more offensive than most of the pop culture that I encounter on a daily basis.”
 #1:  no, it was obviously the combination with being offensive and not being funny
even ricky gervais was forgiven for skewering hollywood becasue more folks found him hilarious
Topic 3:  Creepy education.
 #1:  I think that this is a good idea:  http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=07ca13bf-c915-4b87-a44e-55ba4d02ba55  but MUST we start an article about education with an assassination analogy?  I think that’s tasteless.
 #2:  more than a bit creepy
 #1:  yes
 #2: intro analogies are pretty bad journalism anyway
 #1:  goddamn, I know.
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9 Responses to “The Grumpies Weigh-in on Current Issues”

  1. Historiann Says:

    Thanks for the link. I still don’t understand why Dr. Crazy styled herself as outside of or different from “the feminist” critiques of McFarlane’s performance. They (and I) all made the point that she made, which is that McFarlane is a symptom of a larger problem. He’s not special–that’s what was so wrong about his performance.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I think we (the grumpies) agree with you! Man, I am feeling crappy about the state of the world this morning, so I will watch that video of babies eating lemons from further down the page….

  2. undinenotofgeneralinterest Says:

    Didn’t see the Oscars but would agree with both Historiann and Dr. Crazy: the whole culture is fixated on this stuff, and McFarlane is just one of the chief standard-bearers for it. On a positive note–think of all the stuff on TV that you can ignore and all the time you’ll save not watching it, since it’s all for 13-year-old boys and those who stopped their emotional development at that stage. For those old enough to remember Beavis and Butthead: “Boobs! Heh! Heh-heh!”

  3. hush Says:

    “most people would have excused the misogyny if he’d at least been funny”

    Amen. Reminds me of Michael Richards’ use of the n-word in response to a heckler: Richards was not funny, therefore the public would not excuse his uses of a racial slur.

  4. Dr. Koshary Says:

    Thanks for the link, and much love to the Seussian poetry! I should try that myself some time.

  5. Cloud Says:

    The thing that bothered me the most about the Oscars was the treatment of Quvenzhane Wallis. It disgusts me that a grown man thought it was OK to subject a 9 year old girl to jokes of even a vaguely sexual nature in any venue, let alone a venue like the Oscars. And don’t even get me started about The Onion tweet.

    In both the case of the Onion tweet and McFarlane’s possibly ironic stance- if you want to use humor to call out misogyny, you should do it at the expense of the misogynists, and not the women and girls who are the targets of the misogyny in the first place.

  6. rented life Says:

    I can’t get into the boobs debate anymore. I’ve read so many different views on it and really, can’t we just ask for our money back because offensive or not, he wasn’t funny at all. McFarlane has neven been funny to me. (And most offensive humor isn’t funny to me, but it’s rather popular.) I saw a lot of people saying he was being ironic, but I didn’t see it–his nonverbals were SO clearly arrogrant. At tne end of the day the entire Oscars show was a mix of dull and painful. (I’m sorry, actors being praised for doing live singing while filming is not all that special, if they were on broadway, that would just be WHAT THEY DO. 8 times a week. Can we please stop acting like that was going above and beyond?)

    I think I want to put this on all my syllabi next year: “THE SYLLABUS, YOU MUST OBEY! OBEY!!!!
    (or, take your F and go away)
    email me and you will see
    how very angry I can be”
    Or maybe I’ll just chant it as I pass it out.


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