Warning: This post is real long, anything in italics are transcripts of speeches which have the videos linked so you can watch them instead of read them, or read instead of watch. Your call.
Happy Day After the Oscars Day! While I thought most of the fashion was a total snooze fest (could there be any more nude/tan/cream beaded dresses in one place ever? Probably not, but a close second would be the “Misses” department at Lord & Taylor. I vote P!nk, Amy Adams, Charlize Theron, and Lupita Nyong’o (sans the headband) as best dressed. Honorary mention to Jlaw and Kate Hudson also.
Not surprisingly, Ellen was incredible- I mean the woman got pizza delivered. You automatically win my vote if you get pizza involved in the situation.
speeches hair speeches were Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey. Both of which have been criticized.
Which leads me to my whole shebang here (brace yourselves- I just jump right in).
We blame Hollywood for so much. For being fake, cynical, shallow and scandalous. And we love it (no matter how much we say we don’t we do- that’s why it is a multi-billion dollar industry). We subscribe to fashion magazines, follow our favorite celebrities on any and all social media outlets, and watch every second of footage on them- be it the in films, on the news, etc. Hollywood ends up as our scape-goat for our low self-esteem, our poor body image, for giving us false expectations about just about every aspect of life. For dehumanizing people, for manipulating situations or ideas, and working away at our moral fiber as a society.
But does art imitate life or vice versa (Oscar Wilde said:”Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”- I like that). As grown adults can we honestly say that a stranger, which is just merely playing a role, and doing their job has affected us and our behavior? That someone we have never met has put such a mark on our lives that we will conduct ourselves differently from that moment forward?
I think the answer, whether we’d like to admit it or not is- yes.
We pick up trends- habits even, we start saying phrases (i.e. Yolo, “That’s what she said…” for example), and every once in a while our opinions can be swayed by a celebrity in or out of character. They sneak in ever so subtly and eventually shape a part of our sense of humor, turn of phase, and the way we respond to things.
Do I think this is all bad? No. I think art saves us, shapes us, and refreshes us. I think we desire to see other human experiences brought to life by strangers to know we aren’t alone. I think we liked to be moved by things that are outside of ourselves, and yet still so close.
And this is where I want to talk about Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech from last night. It.was.awesome. Here’s the video and below is the text of it.
“Thank you. Thank you to the academy for this — all 6000 members. Thank you to the other nominees. All these performances were impeccable, in my opinion; I didn’t see a false note anywhere. I want to thank ['Dallas Buyers Club' director] Jean-Marc Vallee, [co-stars] Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, who I worked with daily.”There are three things that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase. Now, first off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, ‘When you got God, you got a friend, and that friend is you.’”To my family, that’s who I look forward to, to my father, who I know is up there with a big pot of gumbo, and a lemon meringue pie, and he’s probably in his underwear, and he’s got a cold can of Miller Lite and he’s dancing. To you, dad, you taught me what it means to be a man. To my mother, who is here tonight, who taught me and my two brothers, demanded that we respect ourselves, and what we in turn learned is then we were better able to respect others. To my wife, Camilla, and my kids, Levi, Vita, and Mr. Stone, the courage and significance you give me every day I go out the door is unparalleled. You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud.”And to my hero, that’s who I chase. When I was 15 years old I had a very important person in my life ask me who was my hero, and I said ‘I don’t know. I gotta think about that, give me a few weeks.’ And I come back two weeks later, and they said ‘Who’s your hero?’ and I said, ‘You know, I thought about it. It’s me in 10 years. So I turn 25 ten years later, and that same person asked me ‘Are you your hero?’ and I was like, ‘Not even close.’ And she said ‘Why not?’ and I said, ‘My hero is me at 35.’ So every day, every week, every month, every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to attain that, I know I’m not. That keeps me the somebody to keep on chasing.
“So to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasin’, to that I say Amen. To that I say, all right, all right, all right. To that I say just keep livin’.”
I literally jumped off my couch with the “Alright, alright, alright”. And I loved this speech. I love the genuineness, the candor, and the humility he demonstrated. I’ve read a few articles criticizing him, saying his speech was rambling, confusing, self-centered, or arrogant. A number of people were angry he “brought God into it”. And to this I say- “I think you watched a different speech” or “You’re nuts”. Some people criticized how he “called himself is own hero”. I think there was an immense amount of wisdom to that sentiment- aren’t we all striving to be a better version of who we are?
ONCE in a while, when the veneer of Hollywood’s glamour and glitz starts to crack it is incredibly refreshing to see the humanness below the surface. If Mr. McSexy McConaughey wants to thank/mention God, his family, and his deceased father in his speech- well I’ll be damned, have at it. Because everyone- even Celebs are allowed to be, and should be much more welcomed to be human for a minute. If at the pinnacle of his career- he wants to spend three minutes thanking those who have got him where he is, I think he should. A la Richard Sherman and his championship post-game freak out- which everyone heavily criticized (including myself, until I read up on it a little more).
Overall, I think we spend so long idolizing these people as “stars” and rob them of the humanness they deserve (PS- this is not a “I feel sorry for famous people” post, just hear me out). Like all the people who criticized J-Law’s [second] Oscars fall as a publicity stunt or play to get attention. And to those people I say- “Why so cynical?”. So what she has two left feet? I.love.it.
I love Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the Teen Choice Awards from late last year.
“Um, First of all, um, I don’t have a career without you guys. I don’t getta do any of the things I getta do without you. Um you know, I thought that uh, it might be interesting.. You know In Hollywood and in the industry and the stuff we do, there’s a lot of like insider secrets to keeping your career going, and a lot of insider secrets to making things tick. And I feel like a fraud.
(PS- why is he saying “getta”- must be an Iowa thing)
My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. It always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor, but there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today. So, it’s really 3 things. The first thing is about opportunity. The second thing is about being sexy. And the third thing is about living life.
So first opportunity. I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13 I had my first job with my Dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.
Number two. Being sexy. The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less, so don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.
The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs. And Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family, but life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities, and always be sexy. I love you guys.”
Thank God for a man in Hollywood addressing sex appeal (and it has nothing to do with appearance), hard work, and humility.
I love Seth Rogen for his speech at a Congressional Hearing earlier last week about Alzheimers- which is incredibly personal and hilarious.
“SETH ROGEN: “Thank you very much for having me, Mr. Chairman, ranking member [Jerry] Moran and the members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and for the opportunity for me to be called an expert in something, ’cause that’s cool. I don’t know if you know who I am at all — you told me you never saw ‘Knocked Up,’ Chairman, so [spectators laugh] it’s a little insulting.”
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “I want the record to know …”
SETH ROGEN: “It’s very important, guys.”
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “I want the record to know, this is the first time, I will wager, this is the first time in any Congressional hearing in history that the words ‘Knocked Up’ have ever been used.”
SETH ROGEN: [Laughs] “Oy. You’re not gonna like the rest of this, then. [Senators laugh] First, I should answer the question I assume many of you are asking — yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana. In fact, if you can believe it, this concerns something that I find even more important.”
“I started dating my wife Lauren nine years ago when her mother was almost 54 years old. The first time I met her parents, being the mensch (Yiddish word for “person of integrity) that I am, I was excited to spend time with them and make Lauren thing I was the type of guy she should continue dating. It was this trip, the first time I met my now-mother-in-law, that Lauren first admitted to herself and then to me that something was off with her mother.”
“I guess the clues were, unfortunately, easy to spot since both of Lauren’s mother’s parents had Alzheimer’s disease. Soon after this trip, at 55 years old, Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.”
“Now, at this point, my impression of Alzheimer’s was probably was I assume most people’s impression is — I thought it was something only, like, really, really old people got and I thought the way the disease primarily showed itself was in the form of forgotten keys, wearing mismatched shoes and being asked the same question over and over. This period, which was the only way I’d seen Alzheimer’s displayed in movies or television, lasted a few years for Lauren’s mom. After that, however, is when I saw the real, ugly truth of the disease.”
“After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher for 35 years, then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself — all by the age of 60. Lauren’s father and a team of caregivers dedicate their lives to letting my mother-in-law be as comfortable as she can be. They would love to do more but can’t because, as you’ve heard, unlike any of the other top 10 causes of death in America, there’s no way to prevent, cure or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Another thing I didn’t realize until I was personally affected was the shame and stigma associated with the disease. It was before I was born, but I’m told of a time when cancer had a stigma that people were ashamed by. Celebrities and other public figures that were stricken would hide, rather than be voices of hope for people in similar situations, and although it’s turning, this is currently where we are largely at with Alzheimer’s disease, it seems like.”
“And it’s because of this lack of hope and shameful stigma that my wife, some friends and myself decided to actually try and do something to change the situation.”
“We started Hilarity For Charity. Hilarity For Charity is a fund we have, as a part of the Alzheimer’s Association, to raise money to help families struggling with Alzheimer’s and support cutting-edge research. That’s right, the situation is so dire that it caused me — a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child — to start an entire charity organization.”
“It was through this that we felt we weren’t just complaining there was nothing to be done, but actively taking steps to do something. Instead of being disappointed that young people were so misinformed about the reality of the disease, we’ve started to educate them. We recently started a college program that allows university students to hold their own Hilary For Charity events, and in the months since it started, 18 schools nationwide had signed up to hold events.”
“The fact that we actually got college students to stop playing video games and volunteer their time is a huge accomplishment, especially considering both Xbox One and Playstation 4 came out this year — I’m sure these people know what I’m talking about [laughs].”
“I came here today for a few reasons. One, I’m a huge ‘House of Cards’ fan. [Senators laugh] Just marathoned the whole thing. Had to be here. Two, is to say people need more help. I’ve personally seen the massive amount of financial strain this disease causes and if the American people ever decide to reject genitalia-driven comedy, I will no longer be able to afford it. Please don’t.”
“Therefore, I can’t begin to imagine how people with more limited incomes are dealing with this. As you’ve also heard, studies show that Alzheimer’s and related dementia is the most costly condition in the United States. Yes, it’s more costly than heart disease in a country where, for $1.29, you can get a taco made out of Doritos. They’re delicious but they’re not healthy.”
“While deaths from other major diseases, like heart disease, HIV and strokes continue to decline, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased almost 70 percent in the last 15 years. Over five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and at this rate, in 35 years, as many as 16 million will have the disease.”
“The third reason I’m here, simply, is to show people that they’re not alone. So few people share their personal story, so few people have something to relate to. I know that if me and my wife saw someone like me talking about this, it would probably make us feel a little less alone.”
“Americans whisper the word ‘Alzheimer’s’ because their government whispers the word ‘Alzheimer’s,’ and although a whisper is better than silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”
“I dream of a day when my charity is no longer necessary and I can go back to being the lazy, self-involved man-child I was meant to be. People look to their government for hope and I ask that when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, you continue to take more steps to provide some more. I would like to thank the committee again for the opportunity to share my story and to voice my whole-hearted support for the continuing work that pursues a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Thank you very much.” [Applause]
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): [Clapping] “Thank you Mr. Rogen, that was great. That was very, very good. Thank you, thank you.”
And while I know there are so many celebs that do great humanitarian things- I love watching them in the limelight taking those moments to be human, to show support for causes, and to call people/organizations onto the red carpet.
And to answer your questions- no, I do not like Angelina Jolie- I don’t care how many starving babies she adopts. #homewrecker
And Bono gets on my nerves too. #takeyoursunglassesoff #youreinside
All of this to say- cheers to the shreds of beauty we find in Hollywood, celebrity, and fame.
And the award goes to…. calling it like it is.