at least they weren’t boring

Peace sign lapels were ubiquitous on celebrities at the Oscars yesterday, perhaps making not wearing one a statement in itself. The show was off to a good start when Chris Cooper finally won his oscar. His speech included something like “in light of all the trouble in the world, I wish us all peace.” Applause.
Native Texan Matthew McConaughey wore three flowers on his lapel: red, white and blue, as he introduced something. Can’t remember what. Was too preoccuppied by trying to figure out which flowers he used.
Mexico’s Gael Garcia Bernal (of Y Tu Mama Tambien fame) was very composed as he introduced the Oscar-nominated song for the film Frida. He then quoted la Kahlo “I don’t paint my dreams, I paint my reality, ” and used to that to segue into, “The necessity for peace in the world is not a dream, it’s a reality. We are not alone. If Frida was alive, she’d be on our side — against war.”
It was probably worth it to tune in just to see Barbra Streisand squeal with delight as she read Eminem’s name as the winner for Best Original Song. Didn’t know she listened to rap.
Michael Moore received a standing ovation for his win for Bowling for Columbine. He proceeded to give (a very slightly modified version of) the same speech he had delivered the night before at the Spirit Awards. “We live in fictitious times, when we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president, when we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you.. And anytime you have the Dixie Chicks and the Pope against you, your time is up.” Or something like that. At the Spirit awards Moore was applauded, but last night he was greeted with loud boos, which had the effect of getting the orchestra started, then more cheers, then again more boos. What a difference a day makes.
I was thrilled by Adrien Brody’s surprise (but more than well-deserved) win for The Pianist because I had absolutely loved that movie, and loved Brody in it. He gave a great acceptance speech, and just as they tried to cut him off with the music, he waved to Bill Conti to stop and said, “[This award] fills me with great joy, but I’m also filled with a lot of sadness tonight because I’m accepting an award at such a strange time. You know my experiences in making this film made me very aware of the sadness and the dehumanization of people at times of war and the repercussions of war. Whether you believe in God or Allah, may he watch over you and let’s pray for a peaceful and swift resolution.”


12 Responses to “at least they weren’t boring”

  1. Big John Says:

    Mr. Moore has a lot of gall calling other people ‘fictitious’! Check out this extremely detailed examination of “Bowling For Columbine”, the Oscar winner in the documentary category:

    That category apparently no longer exists as such. Moore actually went so far as to disect speeches given by Chuck Heston, splicing together parts of DIFFERENT SENTENCES into seemingly complete lines. The dates and locations of the speeches were altered to make it look like the NRA had rushed to the sites of high profile shootings in order to screech about gun rights.

    By giving Moore this ‘award’, the Academy once more displayed its ignorance/bias. Not that I pay attention to such drivel.

  2. hiker Says:

    I’ve been watching the Oscars religiously for over 10 years now and this has been my favorite year by far.

    Despite great performances by Daniel Day Lewis and Jack, Adrien Brody definitely gave the best performance this year. His acceptance speech was amazing. But the best acceptance speech was clearly Michael Moore–I’m glad he had the cojones to stand up for free speech. The best presenter was definitely Gael Garcia Bernal.

    It’s interesting how times of stress can bring out such creativity among artists.

  3. mike fudakowski Says:

    “Whether you believe in God or Allah…” That was what Adrian Brody said, non? How ignorant is that, and how come no-one else picks him up on it?
    Concise Oxford Dictionary,
    “God” = (2) (God)(in Christian and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe; the supreme being.
    “Allah”= the name of God among Arabs and Muslims (Arabic allah, contraction of al-ilah, from al = the + ilah = god).
    Being one of the monotheistic religions, it is clear that “God” and “Allah” refer to the same inscrutable, unknowable, transcendent entity. I think the Oxford Dictionary is inaccurate in saying that “Allah” is the NAME of God among Arabs. Probably more accurate to say that “Allah” is the term for “the one God” in the Arabic language. And haven’t some interesting things been done, allegedly in the name of said deity? Then again, perhaps Christianity can’t be considered along with the monotheistic religions, so Adrian is right to speak as he did in a “Christian” culture? The dumbing down effect in full swing…go Hollywood!

  4. moorishgirl Says:

    I’m impressed, Mike. I was going to point that out myself. But I felt like Adrien’s feelings came from a good place, and I didn’t want to be harsh. Plus I’m kinda developing a crush on him. So there.

    PS: You probably meant “Then again “perhaps Islam can’t be considered along with the monotheistic religions”.

  5. Publicola Says:

    I fear you are confused about free speech. In a public setting anyone can talk about anything they wish. They can even do so if the subject matter is offensive to others. That is a loose definition of the Right of Free Speech.
    However on private property it is not so. A person may only act according to the wishes of his or her host. This means if the host does not want them to talk about a particular subject, then the hosts’ wishes should be respected, as in this case Property Rights trump Free Speech. If a person cannot abide by the rules of conduct set out by their host, then the only just options are to attempt to convince the host to change their mind, or to not be present on the hosts property.
    What Mr. Moore did was to go against the wishes of his host. It was childish & irresponsible, but from Mr. Moore that’s not exactly a new thing.
    As to what he said, forgetting for the moment that he had no Right to say it in that venue it was very hypocritical of him to use the word “fictitious” when he was receieving an award for a film that was deceptive & misleading in a category that implied some factual basis for consideration. His film was not a documentary. It presented justification for a popular opinion among various people who judged his work, but it was filled with factual errors & ommissions most of which were intentional.
    Mr. Moore was not brave, he was disrespectful. Not in what he said about whom (although that’s another arguement) but in where he said those things & why.

    I have often felt that it was wrong for people, at least in America to assume that God referred soley to the Judeao/Christian God. Properly it is a generalized term as it does represent many different ideas about who God is. It gets to me a little when anyone brings up the much overused seperation of church & state argument just because a government official mentions God in a sentence. To me it seems the most generalized, non commited way to attempt to encourage some form of spiritual activity is to use the word God. But it is taken as a condonement of Christianity when as you have so concisely pointed out it is a general name for the Supreme Being in most monotheistic religions.

  6. hiker Says:


    I could mention that “Producers said as of Friday rehearsals were going on as usual, and they said they plan no major alterations in the content of the show. Stars receiving awards will not be prohibited from making political statements in their 45-second acceptance speeches.”
    Therefore, Moore was not acting against the wishes of his “host”. The Property Rights vs. Free Speech argument is moot.

    But I’d rather just say “Whatever!”

  7. Publicola Says:

    From my understanding the ‘hosts’ requested everyone to steer clear of politcally contreversial statements. I do not know when they made the request, but it was made before the show aired.
    Also if Mr. Moore was not acting against the wishes of his hosts, then why did the music come up signaling an end to his time well under the 45 second limit? I do not think it took Moore 45 seconds to recite his remarks as they were very similar to ones he made the day before. He followed the mic as it was being lowered in order to attempt a completion of his comments. I seriously doubt his hosts decided they didn’t like the timber of his voice & pulled the plug on him. So the most plausible explanation would be that Moore was asked not to make any political statements & when he disrespected his hosts wishes he was cut off from the mic.

    Also if the winners were told they could comment upon any subject they wish as long as it stayed under 45 seconds, then why was Moore the only one to make such comments? I’m sure you realize that many actors & actressess are anti-war &/or anti-Bush. Yet for some reason they were silent on the matter. That does seem to fit in with their being asked not to speak on certain subjects doesn’t it?

    Not only do I still contend that the Property Rights vs. Free Speech argument is valid, but that “whatever” would have been a more defensible position for you to take.

  8. moorishgirl Says:

    In my post, I cited a number of actors who DID make political statements (Gael Garcia Bernal, Colin Farrell, Chris Cooper, Nicole Kidman, Susan Sarandon). In addition, Cameron Diaz arrived in a Toyota Prius and Harrison Ford in a Honda Hybrid (if that’s not a political statement, I don’t know what is). Many attendees wore peace signs (Harvey Weinstein, Tim Robbins, etc.)
    You may disagree with Michael Moore’s politics, but I don’t understand why he’s being singled out for political statements when (for example) Brody’s statements are being hailed as classy and poignant.

  9. publicola Says:

    From my understanding the comments made by other winners were somewhat more generalized & did not contain an ad hominem attack on Bush. They were made as part of the acceptence speech, not in place of it.
    There is a difference between making broad statements about peace being preferable to war & accussing one person of starting the war with evil intent. So I can see a distinction between Brody’s calling for a peaceful & swift end to war & Moore’s calling Bush a fictitious president that should be ashamed.
    In any event it is the hosts discretion as to what statements can be made & by cutting Moore off well before his time was up I take that as proof that he did in fact go against the wishes of his host.
    It’s not so much that I disagree with Moore’s politics (although I do for the most part) as I disagree with the way he presents his opinions. He is rude & tasteless. He has no qualms about making any cheap shot he can get away with. Add to that his distortion of facts to justify his positions & you have the beginnings of why I don’t particularly care for Moore.
    I know many people whose political views I am oppossed to but I respect for their character in presenting those opinions. Moore isn’t one of them.
    & I would disagree that driving a hybrid car is a political statement, unless you drove one to a meeting or event at an oil company. It’s more of an economic statement which is not necessarily political in this context.

  10. hiker Says:

    Publicola, if you read my comment correctly you’d see that it *is* the position I took. (although I don’t agree with your agrument about the hosts telling them anything) It’s all good though.

    Peace & Love.

  11. moorishgirl Says:

    Michael Moore is not the most delicate man on the planet. I think we can agree on that.

    You seem to have a problem more with the way he presents his arguments than with the arguments themselves. And I don’t have that problem, mainly because he is one of very few voices on the left who dare to dissent.

    As for hybrid cars: driving one (to the Oscars for God’s sake, where limos are practically mandatory) is a political statement about our dependence on foreign oil, and that’s a cornestone of the anti-war movement. But we don’t have to agree on that either.

  12. publicola Says:

    I won’t deny that I find his conclusions to be erroneous. Considering the logic he seems to use to arrive at them is questionable it follows that his conclusions are questionable. & I disapprove of the methods he uses to support his position. He is dishonest & very very rude.
    However the main point I was trying to make was not that Moore is wrong. Granted, that’d be an easy point to make, but my aim was to refute that he was brave & that he stood up for free speech. From what I have seen & heard form him he’s done nothing brave & the only kind of speech he will ever stand up for is speech that furthers his own ends.
    & i don’t mind dissenting voices. I dissent myself quite a bit. what I would prefer though is dissent based on logical, rational, truthful arguments rather than the emotional speculation, supposition & lies that Moore seems to have built a career upon. If you want to oppose the war, fine. Want to dissapprove of Bush? no problem. Just use facts rather than sepculation & present a position that stands up to a little scrutiny. I can think of several reasons to be against the war or to not approve of Bush’s actions. The war for oil argument seems unconvincing to me, but if you have a new angle ( as oppossed to iraq has oil, we need oil, therefore it’s for oil) I’ll be happy to consider it & if you present your facts correctly ( read honestly) then you might sway me. I’m stubborn but not unreasonable. But were you to attempt to use unsupported, sweeping accussations & ad hominem attacks against the wishes of your/our host then you would fail to convince me of anything other than your lack of respect & your selfishness.
    As I said, I do have serious problems with Moore’s conclusions & possibly to an even greater degree his attempts at justifying them, but Moore’s tactics were the focal point of my ranting.

    I’ll leave you with a hypothetical situation to consider:
    You & I & a few others have been in disagreement over a few things in this comments box, yet so far we have all remained relatively civil to one another. Now let’s say for the heck of it that you asked for there to be no more intense political discussion upon this thread, & only light hearted generalizations would be tolerated. Now imagine instead of complying with your wishes or attempting to politely change your mind that I adopted Moore’s tactics.
    I would have started to question your justification for having a blog, would have compared you a book-burning tyrant for attempting to limit the discussion, & typed in a statement or two to the effect of you’re wrong & I do not approve of you nor does anyone else & you should give up blogging.In conclusion I would have pieced together two or three word phrases you have typed on this board to prove you said that every one but you should die & that you like kicking puppies.
    Now if I would have done any of those things I assume you would delete the post, block my I.P. & remain totally unconvinced of whatever point I was trying to make.
    Saying something against the wishes of your host is nothing commendable, it’s rude even if you agree with what the person says.

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