I enjoy watching the Academy Awards ceremony every year. I love film, although I didn't get to see too many of the nominated ones this year, and I enjoy seeing the fashion.
One of the benefits of having a Democrat inhabit the highest office in the land is that Hollywood takes a break from unhinged politicization. If the current president were a Republican, every single award winner might have made a snide passing comment about a policy of drone-killing American children. But because that policy is President Obama's, not a single one did!
I made some snarky joke along these lines on Twitter when, not a moment later, Michelle Obama was announced as the surprise treat of a presenter for the Best Picture award.
She didn't actually come to the show and mingle with the folks at the awards. She was instead beamed in from the White House.
It was so weird. Weird in a way it wouldn't have been if she'd been there in person.
Walter Kirn (uniquely situated to understand why this is weird because 1) he wrote the novel on which the Academy Award-nominated movie Up in the Air was based and 2) is a political reporter for The New Republic, tweeted:
#Oscars double shark jump for both the movies and the presidency.
#oscars A Soviet moment. Offends me. Hands off our stupid movie culture, Washington!
#oscars Isn't it in the constitution that occupants of the White House must not insert themselves into the Oscars? Well it should be.
#oscars That climactic link up to the White House had a creepy South American totalitarian lite vibe. Really deserves a spanking.
Now, with the possible exception of a President or First Lady who, say, made their living as an actor or head of the Screen Actors Guild, it just might be better to stay far away from the Oscars. Or, if you're going to go, go. And if you're going to be on stage, maybe give a speech on how you're trying to steal french fries from kids or something -- don't give the big award of the night!
When someone said to Kirn, "I didn't like that bit. Nothing to do with Mrs. Obama, but rather any First Lady. Don't mix entertainment and politics," he replied:
I agree. Something ever so slightly North Korean about it.
Exactly. This isn't about which Democrat happens to inhabit the White House right now (we know that no Republican First Lady would ever be invited) but just about propriety.
We're not mid-20th century Argentina, fictional 1984, Mussolini-era Italy or the Soviet Union. Or I hope we're not. We're better than this. And I earnestly hope that all people, regardless of their political views, would agree to put this mistake behind us and never repeat it.