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View Diary: Twelve Thoughts about That “We Saw Your Boobs” Song from the Oscars (115 comments)

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  •  "Boobs" song now being repeated at school (11+ / 0-)

    according to my second and third grade boys.

    Lots of kids watch the Oscars.

    Guess you'd probably have to ask the parents of second and third grade girls whether they'd call it "permissible satire."

    •  If my youngest daughter were still that young (7+ / 0-)

      I don't think I've had let her watch Sean MacFarlane -- or many other comedians -- host the Oscars in real time.  If I had -- and then if the Shatner warning had shown up -- she'd definitely have stayed out of the room if she wasn't gone already.

      So is the moral that we have to reduce our public offerings down to what won't set off second- and third-grade boys?  We'll have to bring back test patterns!

      Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
      -- Saul Alinsky

      by Seneca Doane on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:08:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't know who Seth McFarlane was (5+ / 0-)

        Before last night.  Never seen him, never heard of him.  Pop culture just doesn't crash on my beach, apparently.  I did watch half of an episode of Family Guy once, decided it was worthless and offensive and never watched it again.  But I never made the connection between that show and this guy.  I was pretty much cringing while my boys were watching this.

        I don't think McFarlane's "humor" is particularly deserving of extensive analysis. I agree it's permissible free speech.  But so is Tarantino and I find him and his work offensive and utterly worthless as well.  I put him and McFarlane in the same general space.   I get into the same type of debates with Tarantino fans, my point being that simply because your brain tells you you can say something doesn't necessarily mean you should. That's not an argument against freedom of speech, though some misinterpret it as as that. I prefer to chaacterize it as freedom not to be exposed to assholes.

        I didn't notice a "warning" from Shatner. I would have trusted other comedians not to be so crass so I would have let my kids watch them, probably.

      •  My two kids giggled alot (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dufffbeer, Seneca Doane

        and said their elementary school peers laughed about the song today.

        The song hit on various levels and Seth does that on purpose: often vulgar, but with a larger meaning if you can deal with the dirt thrown in your face.  It's certainly a challenging form of humor and made all the more complex by his usually decent song arrangements.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:35:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, kurt

          It's elementary school humor. What do you imagine is the larger meaning?

          •  Presentation doesn't necessarily equal content (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seneca Doane

            It hit quite squarely on the "only bare breasts for sake of the art, if at all" type of rational we often hear espoused or generally implied for even the more talented actresses, noting quite clearly that it's often about just getting their bare breasts onto a screen more than enhancing the film's storyline.  It's most often female bosoms on display when it comes to nudity in films and there's certainly a marketable reason for that.

            At the same time, we have actresses who have been quoted as saying they would never agree to nude scenes . . . yet, they've already done so or eventually agree to do so.  As if it's expected that most professional actresses will do a topless scene at some point in their careers.

            This tune bit at that clear reality and sent it up in silly fashion at the same time, I feel.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:05:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, but I don't MacFarlane (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus, kurt, Laura G

              was trying to make that kind of "deeper statement." And if he was, he failed, in my opinion.

              Calling out actresses names and saying "we saw your boobs" is not a condemnation of gratuitous nudity in films. What the song does is play into the fetishizing of boobs in this culture, in a very dumb way. You're welcome to imagine Seth had some deeper intelligence at work, but it doesn't scan that way to me. And to a lot of women. His humor just isn't very smart.

              We see men's naked chests too. What we don't usually see is below the belt nudity, unless it's the butt, which we see both men and women doing. It's hard to film a love scene in which the people are supposed to be naked without showing the naked chests of men and women. It's how the shots are framed that make it art or not. I write screenplays, btw. And study them.

              There are interesting ways of shooting sex scenes that don't show nudity. One of the best is in The Big Easy, the first sex scene between Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin.

              Which actresses are saying they wouldn't agree to nude scenes, but have already done them?

              •  Equating naked men's chest to women's breasts (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane

                in our culture is a poor argument, here.

                Seth uses lowbrow lyrics to poke fun at highbrow establishments while making a subset of viewers ponder why they are highbrow in the first place, and this was one such example.  Whether or no your enjoyed his style of humor is irrelevant to the messages he is sending up, or to the obvious fact that he's providing fan service to the gut humor crowd without reservation, while also tapping into a point about how so many actresses find themselves at least partially nude during their careers - not always for sentimental scenes, of course, but certainly to create both impact and something memorable to different types of viewers.

                There's no need to poke fun at naked men's chest on film - those are not selling tickets, purchases or rentals, nor are actors typically remembered (or idolized) for such moments, IMHO.  Seth was going after the types of things we see women flaunting in their runway dresses during the red carpet pre-show, etc.: their cleavage, in large part.  It's part of the entertainment on display, so why avoid it?  Turn it into a larger piece and make everyone uncomfortable while they laugh (or recoil, whatever reaction occurs).

                Showing women's chests gains viewers of the films - as a writer, you should understand the economics at play in any profit-oriented production.   I can name on the fingers of one hand where female nudity actually made a reasonable impact at the moment in the plot that may not have been as strong without nudity.  For, as you say, all else could be cleverly implied from indirect views, body movements or other clues.

                As your odd question, I figure the examples would be obvious: Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, etc. have each done nude scenes (some more than once) and expressed regret + lack of desire to ever do so again, at various points.  That's from memory - I can look up more easily enough.

                "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                by wader on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:30:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)
                  Seth uses lowbrow lyrics to poke fun at highbrow establishments while making a subset of viewers ponder why they are highbrow in the first place, and this was one such example.  Whether or no your enjoyed his style of humor is irrelevant to the messages he is sending up, or to the obvious fact that he's providing fan service to the gut humor crowd without reservation, while also tapping into a point about how so many actresses find themselves at least partially nude during their careers - not always for sentimental scenes, of course, but certainly to create both impact and something memorable to different types of viewers.
                  There is no evidence in Seth's career that shows him as the kind of comedian that crafts his jokes on a deeper kind of thinking. You are stretching hard to find an intelligent motive in his humor. It's just not there. What he does is make crass jokes which intentionally go against what he sees as PC. He's like the worst of the shock jocks which used pubescent humor thinking they are "going against the establishment.

                  If it were just the boob song, I might say, well, okay. Maybe I didn't get it. But his none of his other jokes showed any more intelligence . . . the domestic violence joke, the Lincoln assassination joke (especially when the first black president has received so many death threats), the stupid Ted jokes about the after Oscars sex parties . . . joke after joke that was pubescent humor. Sorry, your argument just doesn't add up for me.

                  •  As I mentioned, if you're predisposed against his (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Seneca Doane

                    styles of entertainment, I think you can easily be prejudiced against the various perspectives being conveyed therein - especially those implied and kept somewhat subdued.

                    If I am picking up the social commentary, obviously there's no absolute on whether or not his attempts at entertainment are rising above the low-brow lyrics.  He certainly doesn't need to emulate George Carlin and act unlike his gut-level stylings in sardonically and incisively poking the eyes of societal and cultural mores without much restraint in order to still operate on more than one level, I feel.

                    Indeed, my film studies of old encouraged an understanding of pieces from the perspective of its own narrative before judging it personally and critiquing more objectively, and I find my discomfort with Family Guy, the "boobies song", etc. stems from my own calcification of expectations rather than Seth's ability to throw shite around the room and still make it entertaining.

                    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                    by wader on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:11:28 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The perspective of its own narrative (0+ / 0-)

                      I am, in my opinion, critiquing Seth from the perspective of his own narrative. It is, indeed, that narrative that I find pubescent and unfunny. The premises upon which his jokes rest aren't funny or in any way modern. And if he is trying to illuminate some deeper cultural malaise, he is not successful.

                      Personally, I find my discomfort with Seth comes not from any calcification of expectations, but rather to evolution of expectations from the fart/booby jokes of my high school years to comedians like, yes, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Monty Python. If I seem "predisposed" to you, it is because my tastes have evolved to a different place than yours have. Not saying my evolution is superior to yours.

                      I do find it disconcerting that instead of sticking with the issues of the argument, you find it necessary to attempt to invalidate my argument as coming from a "predisposition" or "calcified expectations". This kind of deflection from the issues of the argument is not the best form of debate. It's name calling in disguise. Translation: "Your ideas are stupid old fart ideas and you don't get modern humor."

                      However, I applaud you for the tasteful way of executing name calling, and really, tasteful name calling is an honored skill in civilized debate. So I'm not chiding you for it, just pointing out that it really doesn't move the debate forward in any interesting way.

                      I didn't find Seth's shite throwing entertaining. In fact, in made me wince. If his aim was to use low-brow humor to deconstruct or illuminate cultural infirmity, he succeeding not in deconstructing or illuminating any of that, in my opinion, but of reinforcing it instead. If you look at the old Catskills Comedians (not all of them, but a lot), you will find the same level of pubescent humor. They certainly had no deeper cultural intentions.

                      Aside from his insipid humor, the worst thing about his humor is that it's LAZY humor. He just doesn't exhibit the skill of our best comedians.

      •  Test patterns.....whoaaaaaaaaaaa! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, HeyMikey, Odysseus

        We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

        by bmcphail on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:44:38 PM PST

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      •  There was at least one very young girl, (0+ / 0-)

        Quvenzhané Wallis, who was in the audience as a nominee for that performance. Does that make a difference?  My reaction to MacFarlane's material was mixed, but one of my questions was who is the audience for the Oscars?  Should a show that starts early on a Sunday evening be appropriate viewing for children?  I think that there is a time and a place for edgy humor, but I am not convinced that the Oscars are that time or that place.

    •  It beats "Milk, Milk, Lemonade..." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, Johnny Nucleo, HeyMikey

      which is what 2nd grade boys were going with until the evil Seth MacFarlane corrupted their innocent minds.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:18:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does anything truly beat that classic, Jesse? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, JesseCW, HeyMikey

        (Note: intended as a mild facetious joke.)

        Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
        -- Saul Alinsky

        by Seneca Doane on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:38:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you are under two or over seventeen, (9+ / 0-)

      it is okay to see and touch boobs. It's only those intervening yers where society deems them taboo.

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