A night at the Oscars (“Phew. There. I solved racism!”)

Managed to miss this year’s Oscar nominees, and now you’re biting your nails because the big night is coming and you aren’t prepared?! Me, either. But the good people at Jest have us covered in adorable fashion, with Kids Reenact the Oscar Nominees (Part 1 and Part 2).

For instance, if you missed The Help, you can jump straight to 0:46 on the video so little kids can show you what you missed.

KID-AIBILEEN. And that’s our story.

KID-SKEETER. Phew. There. I solved racism!

[KID AIBILEEN and KID-MINNY shake their heads.]

KID-SKEETER. We solved racism?

[Silence.]

KID-SKEETER. I feel better about being a white person and you’ll lose your job?

[Nods.]

KID-MINNY. Mm-hmm. At least I made that white lady eat doo-doo. Mm-hmm.

For those of you who have Oscar parties planned (and I don’t judge), the National Domestic Workers Alliance has assembled a toolkit encouraging viewers to #BeTheHelp. The NDWA has suggestions for activities and resources throughout the show and during commercials to help demystify and un-romanticize the experiences of domestic workers, along with information about pertinent legislation, directions for making donations, and a reminder to stock up on snacks because, after all, it’s a party. (Just be careful with your menu. I mean, seriously, who does this?)

(h/t Colorlines)


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15 comments for “A night at the Oscars (“Phew. There. I solved racism!”)

  1. February 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

    LMAO!

    That was adorable!

  2. LotusBen
    March 5, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Hmmm. . .well I have something that interests me, and it might be a derail, but since this thread never really took off I guess there really isn’t anything to derail. So if anyone ever reads this comment, here’s my question: Does anyone have thoughts on something called the “Bechdel test”?

    For those unfamiliar with it, basically the Bechdel test is a method to determine if a movie or other piece of media contains a minimally realistic depiction of women by seeing if a) there’s at least two female characters; b) they talk to each other; and c) they talk to each other about something other than a man. The YouTube vlogger Anita Sarkeesian (aka “Feminist Frequency”) did a video about the 2012 Oscar nominees and applied the Bechdel test to them. She found that only The Help and The Descendants passed the Bechdel test while the other seven nominees failed. I think that’s pretty fucked up.

    Anyway, I just learned about the Bechdel test a couple of months ago and thinking about it and applying it to different movies really helped me appreciate how totally Hollywood movies, in general, are drenched in sexism and totally invisibilize most aspects of women’s experiences. I’m sure that invisibility is old hat to most of you, but the test helped me see something that previously my male privilege had largely blinded me to. Anyway, any thoughts about the Bechdel test, in general, or in relation to the 2012 Oscar nominees, specifically?

  3. EG
    March 5, 2012 at 2:36 am

    I always like the Bechdel test as a guideline and an awareness tool, but I try not to confuse it with a measure of quality. I mean, Jaws fails, and that is obviously one of the five most awesome movies in the world. So honestly, I think it’s done for you exactly what it should be doing for people.

  4. LotusBen
    March 5, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Yeah, that makes sense EG. I mean, there’s no reason why every particular movie should have even two female characters in it. There are sometimes incidents in the world that chiefly involve men. So to me, it seems like the point of the test is to show how it’s fucked up that there’s such a high percentage of movies that are male-centered, not that it would be bad in an egalitarian world if an occassional movie were male-centered. Like, it’s more of a critique of Hollywood than a critique of any particular film or an indicator of quality of any particular film, as you said.

    I mean, Jaws fails, and that is obviously one of the five most awesome movies in the world.

    I want to understand more about this obsession with sharks you have. They seem to be on your mind a lot lately.

  5. EG
    March 5, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I want to understand more about this obsession with sharks you have. They seem to be on your mind a lot lately.

    Oh, I dunno, I’ve always been fascinated by/terrified of sharks, ever since I was a little girl. There were some ways it was obviously neurotic (I would become terrified in the shower. Not even the bath. The shower. I ask you.), but I’m pretty sure it preceded my first exposure to Jaws, which was when I read the book in third grade. It’s a pretty terrible book, but that scene where Chrissie reaches down and feels for her leg…still makes me shiver. The movie is amazing and consistently scares me, even though I practically know it by heart. Sharks just terrify me in a completely irrational way. But also fascinate me. They’ve been around for so long, in pretty much precisely the same form. We know so little about many of the species. And did you know great white sharks breach? Like whales, they actually breach. And bull sharks, bull sharks can live in both saltwater and freshwater, and have actually been known to swim up the Mississippi river and attack people in Illinois. No joke.

    The joke around my family is that my mother saw Jaws while she was pregnant with me, and that’s the root of all this. I don’t know, I just know that sharks have been on my mind since I was a little girl.

  6. pheenobarbidoll
    March 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I can’t swim alone in a pool because of Jaws (and I agree btw, best movie ever) and I live in West Texas.

    It’s the sudden certainty that there is, in fact, a giant shark just behind you, jaws agape. And you know it as sure as you know your own name.
    And then everyone casually lounging around the pool stares as you launch yourself screaming from the water.

    Terror, then dripping wet shame. Good times good times lol.

  7. March 5, 2012 at 11:46 am

    No. More. Sharks. Jesus Christ.

    (Just toolin’. Shark away.)

  8. March 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Phenobarbidoll, when I first glanced at your comment, I first read something other than “I can’t swim alone in a pool because of Jaws,” and it was an entirely different and inappropriate comment. On second read, it was fine.

    Related to the original post: I realized after I posted this that if people didn’t feel like relying on kids to reenact the movies, the Editing Room has posted an abridged script of The Help, so everyone can act it out themselves.

  9. EG
    March 5, 2012 at 11:51 am

    And then everyone casually lounging around the pool stares as you launch yourself screaming from the water.

    Right? Or, you’re at the beach, and you wade out into the water, just for fun, because hey, it’s the beach. And you’re having a good time, and then all of a sudden you remember Chief Brody saying “Do you know that most shark attacks occur in about three feet of water, about ten feet from shore?” And you freeze, cold sweat pops out all over your body, and you turn around and run back to the beach in terror, and then your mom teases you.

    Except this summer, when I was visiting my grandfather in Delaware, I saw dolphins so close to shore I could have waded out and touched them! It was amazing! Dolphins! Except then I realized that if dolphins could swim that close to shore, so could sharks OH MY GOD.

  10. LotusBen
    March 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    That’s so awesome EG! I wish I had a longstanding fear/fascination like that! Mine have been transient. At ages 3 and 4, it was forklifts, which made going with my mom to Costco interesting but daunting. At ages 5 and 6, after I tried to watch the Wizard of Oz but became absolutely terrified by the Wicked Witch of the West and had to stop watching, I was scared of witches. And I was too smart for my own good. One time I had a nightmare about witches and my mom comforted me by saying that witches like that didn’t actually exist. I replied, “but there’s so many galaxies that haven’t been explored yet. How can you know for sure there aren’t witches that exist on planets in other galaxies?” I don’t remember her reply to that.

    Nowadays I suppose I’m most terrified of cars, which isn’t really irrational, at all, because they are fucking dangerous. Ever since a woman on her cell phone rolled through a stop sign and ran over the tip of my shoe about two years ago, partially crushing my toes, I’ve been fully convinced every time I cross the street a car is going to hit me. And drivers in Texas are fucking maniacs. They will keep making a left turn even if you are in the crosswalk, and as long as they barely miss you, they are like: whatever. Their vehicles routinuely come within like a literal foot of my body. It’s freaky. And it’s a lot of pressure not to slow down your walking pace when you’re crossing the street because otherwise, you know, SPLAT!

    And bull sharks, bull sharks can live in both saltwater and freshwater, and have actually been known to swim up the Mississippi river and attack people in Illinois.

    That is some crazy shit. I did not know that. They should totally make a movie version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that as a suprise twist has sharks capsizing their boat and devouring them.

    OK, one last thing. Does this all mean that if I told you I’d never actually seen the movie Jaws you’d lose all your respect for me? Wait: don’t actually answer that. I just can’t risk hearing a hurtful answer to what was just, you know, a totally hypothetical, silly question that didn’t even have anything to do with me, at all. You know?

  11. EG
    March 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Does this all mean that if I told you I’d never actually seen the movie Jaws you’d lose all your respect for me? Wait: don’t actually answer that. I just can’t risk hearing a hurtful answer to what was just, you know, a totally hypothetical, silly question that didn’t even have anything to do with me, at all. You know?

    Not at all! I would be filled with happiness and delight as I picture you watching it, thrilled with terror, for the first time, coming to it fresh and unspoiled as I never can again!

    The Wicked Witch of the West was also one of my great fear/fascinations. It was a total attraction-repulsion thing–she terrified me, but I dressed up as her for Halloween three times. Four if you count that Halloween part in grad school.

  12. Chiara
    March 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I found Jaws a bit meh.

    I found Eraserhead kinda interesting and stuff. What do you all think that film’s all about?

  13. EG
    March 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I found Jaws a bit meh.

    We are through, I tell you, through! Disagreements about feminism are one thing, but Jaws is sacred!

    I can’t say, because I’ve never seen Eraserhead. I’ve always meant to, though.

  14. librarygoose
    March 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I love/fear the movie Night of the Living Dead. I saw it when I was like 4, and I have been horrified and fascinated by zombies ever since.

  15. LotusBen
    March 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Not at all! I would be filled with happiness and delight as I picture you watching it, thrilled with terror, for the first time, coming to it fresh and unspoiled as I never can again!

    Well, that’s a relief! I’m filled with happiness, too! I was afraid if I said the wrong thing I would run afoul of your extreme scharchist ideology, just as Chiara haplessly did.

    The Wicked Witch of the West was also one of my great fear/fascinations. It was a total attraction-repulsion thing–she terrified me, but I dressed up as her for Halloween three times. Four if you count that Halloween part in grad school.

    Hmmm. . .well good thing I’ve overcome my fear of witches, because otherwise learning that would be incredibly terrifying for me. Yup. Not scared, at all.

    I found Eraserhead kinda interesting and stuff. What do you all think that film’s all about?

    I love David Lynch’s movies; they are seriously twisted. But I couldn’t begin to tell you what Eraserhead is about. Really great movie to watch on drugs though.

    I love/fear the movie Night of the Living Dead. I saw it when I was like 4, and I have been horrified and fascinated by zombies ever since.

    I really love Dawn of the Dead, the 1978 George A. Romero version. I’ve always been fascinated by malls and how evil they are, so it’s like the most perfect movie for me ever. When I was in college it inspired me to make an amateur film for my Persausion, Propaganda, and Mass Media class. In my movie, a guy went Christmas shopping at a mall and lost himself in a consumeristic frenzy complete with “freaky” special effects courtesy of Final Cut Pro. He ultimately learned the real meaning of Christmas: spending time with friends and family and donating money to nonprofit groups providing humanitarian aid to the Third World (that was the propaganda part). That was a really awesome time making that movie.

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