Oscar night host Jimmy Kimmel opened the evening with a description of the coveted statue for which Hollywood actors and actresses yearn:
"Oscar is still number one. No question about it Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood. And there's a very good reason why. Just look at him. Keeps his hands where you can see them. Never said a rude word. And most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations!"
Okay, it was just a joke. Or was it?
The underlying theme of course is that masculinity is by nature "toxic masculinity."
Men cannot be expected to control themselves and be gentlemen and thus must be emasculated.
As the Canadian philosopher Jordan Peterson observed on Tucker Carlson, too many people "smear the idea of masculinity by confusing competence with tyranny." Peterson called this "a pathological way of looking at the world."
I didn't watch the Oscars much beyond Kimmel's penis joke, but Tyler O'Neill of PJ Media makes me think I made a good choice to turn off the TV:
Kimmel went on to deliver a few more cringe-worthy political "jokes" as the Oscars opened. He even suggested that Hollywood makes movies like "Call Me By Your Name" to "piss off Mike Pence," and he said President Donald Trump was thrilled to see black people psychologically tortured in "Get Out."
What President Trump is thrilled to see is black unemployment at a historically low level. But I digress.
I used to look forward to the Oscars and had movies for which I rooted, but in recent years I've been content in reading morning after commentary. If you, too, opted to watch paint dry instead of having your values assaulted, you, too, must rely on news reports.
Apparently, those of us who did not watch made the better choice. Sara Stewart of the New York Post found the evening boring and tepid:
“This is so much better than the Oscars!” said “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot as she left the glittery ceremony, alongside host Jimmy Kimmel and a handful of other celebs, to hand out candy to a roomful of moviegoers across the street.
Kimmel’s stunt — interrupting an advance screening of “A Wrinkle in Time” to “thank” regular people for going to the movies — was lame, but Gadot had it right.
Almost anything would have been better: The 90th Annual Academy Awards was the most tepid, predictable one in recent memory, devoid of anything resembling a spontaneous or dramatic moment until it was nearly time to wrap it all up.
Thanks, at least, for a fiendishly giggling Best Actress winner Frances McDormand, who in her speech urged all the female nominees in every category to stand up and represent the future of the industry.
Two things: Kimmel's gimmick acknowledged something important: Hollywood actors and actresses intuitively know that they are different from regular people. Unfortunately, they don't know how to relate to regular people–handing out candy? Give me a break. Hollywood's detachment from regular people may be why the movie industry isn't as robust as it once was. It simply doesn't know the hopes and dreams of people who live in more normal circumstances and don't devote every waking hour to hating Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
Second, yes, women do represent the future of Hollywood–they always have. Hollywood has always had great actresses–and actors.
But in the past it wasn't considered necessary to emasculate men.