So is the Academy trolling us or what?

Dear Internet,

Are we being trolled by the Academy, ABC and Seth MacFarlane? Before I get into that, let me do some housekeeping: I agree with the general consensus that he was a terrible host, mostly unfunny and very offensive. He managed to be sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-semitic and a lot more while mostly not being very funny. So yeah, let the floodgates be opened and the valid criticism be unleashed upon all who deserve it. It’s real, it’s fair and we should be having conversations about why all these things continue to stubbornly persist in society.

But okay, this is Seth MacFarlane, creator of the most offensive show on television that is nonetheless so popular that the Fox network brought it back on the air after cancellation because of its cult following (cough, but not Firefly?!?!?!, cough). Did we, the Academy, ABC and everyone else really expect him to not be offensive? Was it worse because it was a human being, not animations this time?

Or…was that the idea all along? Remember the Oscar’s intro where Captain Kirk shows MacFarlane the newspaper articles from the day after as he changes his performance? Look at the comment numbers on the articles as his performance goes from bad to good (sharing also appears to follow the pattern, but it’s hard to tell).

  • ‘Seth MacFarlane, Worst Oscar Host Ever’ – 2236 comments
  • ‘Seth MacFarlane, pretty bad Oscar host’ – 1256 comments
  • ‘Seth MacFarlane proves to be mediocre host’ – 893 comments

Now reflect on the media storm his terrible performance generated. How many of you tuned in because your friends were whining about his jokes on Twitter? Did any of you, like me, at one point even feel bad for advertisers who were being associated with this stuff without knowing it ahead of time?

There’s a lot of backwards thinking in Hollywood when it comes to technology, but they still know how to get eyeballs in front of things. Someone may have left an easter egg to that effect right in the middle of the show.

Dear Internet: Has someone written this piece on drones?

I need to read a news article that asks: are drones logical as a replacement for troops, are they really cost-effective and (how) do they work as both deterrents and killing tools. The problem with everything I’ve read, on all sides of the issue, is that they’re filled with emotion and innuendo, name-calling and drama.

What I want is a data-driven article that examines the assumptions the military is making that drone warfare is cheaper and more effective than ground warfare. It should also look at the effects drones have on people – economical, sociological, psychological – in targeted areas vs. the effects of ground combat. It would be nice if this article also touched on drone-based warfare in the broader context of technological disruption.

The problem I have with the articles I’ve read so far is that they don’t seem grounded in reality. Drone opponents largely ignore the fact that we’re a society that tolerates some violence and death in exchange for security and that, broadly speaking, air power is probably the best asymmetric deterrent the US has right now. Drone proponents tend to overstate the “surgical” nature of strikes, ignoring the side effects of reigning terror down from the sky on populations and to dismiss the fact that the permanent, global war on terror has been extremely inefficient, only partially successful and has dangerously altered civil rights in this country.

Has someone written this article? If so, link me. If not, someone get on that. I’ve had enough demagoguery from everyone.