I know this new Pope is cool and all but he seems to be swayed by Bill Donahue and the Catholic league in regards to Charlie Hebdo. This week he has suggested that freedom of expression should be limited when it is directed at religion. He stopped short of blaming the victim, as Donahue did, so full credit for avoiding that rhetorical pitfall.
Now I understand there need to be certain limits to freedom of expression. If your idea of freedom of expression is to get pictures of yourself peeing on local sports players in the middle of a game, that shouldn’t be allowed.
If, however, you want to make a cartoon criticizing religion or, as I do, regularly criticize religion in a blog, that freedom should absolutely be allowed and welcomed.
Religion is an institution. Like politics. Nobody argues that we should stop making fun of politicians because we might offend someone who voted for them, do they?
Yet a religion should be afforded a special right? We should limit those who would make fun of religion because…why? God can’t take it? Mohammed can’t take it?
Sorry, Francis. Charlie Hebdo’s satire may not be your cup of tea but freedom of expression means they have as much right to do what they do as you have to criticize it.
I’ve been a fan of R.E.M. since college. They were a college band in the 80’s. I was a college student in the 80’s. It was a match that was simply meant to be.
They are one of the few bands I’ve seen in concert more than once.
What does this have to do with Man on the Moon, you ask?
Because R.E.M. should have an Oscar.
You see, the song “The Great Beyond,” which played over the closing credits of Man on the Moon, was written by the band specifically for the film and was not even nominated for an Oscar.
I bitch about the Oscars a lot but no more than the best song category because it is typically filled with the most idiotic music and at least four out of five years it will recognize a song that nobody will ever listen to again. The year “The Great Beyond” was ignored by the R.E.M. hating academy, they gave an Oscar to a song from “Prince of Persia.”
I presume the award was given because Disney hadn’t released a film with music that year. They had to give it to some animated movie so why not that one, right?
So a song by R.E.M. that was not only a great song but also a perfect song to punctuate the film that had just preceded it was ignored and a song from a crappy animated film got the award instead.
Today the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be handing out the Oscars to the actors, directors, producers and technicians who managed to score the most votes in a variety of categories. At home, non professionals like me will be spending most of the evening trying to figure out the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing and looking up plot synopses for the movies we haven’t heard of (which is pretty much all of them).
Who will win? I don’t really care and neither do you. So I’m not going to predict the winners of this year’s ceremony. Instead, I’m going to make some other, more daring predictions:
At least three jokes will be made about the fact Meryl Streep gets nominated all the time. At least one of those jokes will be structured as follows: “But Hollywood didn’t produce all great films this year. We all know that (some crappy film) failed to connect with audiences this year. That didn’t stop Meryl Streep from getting nominated for her performance as a crippled dog trainer with a crack cocaine addiction.”
After these jokes are made, the camera will cut to Streep laughing approvingly and clapping her hands in order to avoid every other actress in the auditorium mouthing the words “I hate her so much.”
I’ve often stated that the worst category in the Academy Awards is best song because the people voting for the award don’t know the slightest thing about music. The Lion King is the perfect example of my thesis.
Three different songs from the film were nominated for an Oscar. One was “Circle of Life,” which is one of the best songs written for film ever. It is so good, and the animation that accompanies it is so stunning, that the rest of the film can’t quite live up to the promise of the first five minutes.