The Oscars: Best & Worst


(Photo courtesy of The New York Times)

OK, you can thank me for watching The Academy Awards (with TalkLeft) so you didn’t have to. Here are my thoughts on what happened last night:

1. May we now just refer to 2008 as “The Year of Slumdog Millionaire“? I mean it. Barack Obama was elected President in “The Year of Slumdog Millionaire”. The Olympics were held in Beijing in “The Year of Slumdog Millionaire”. Orange County had a wild year during “The Year of Slumdog Millionaire”.

2. Fortunately, The Academy did give some love to “Milk”. It’s really about time Hollywood recognizes that LGBT people are more than just stage props. Queer history is American history, too.

3. Why the hell was “Frost/Nixon” denied any award? This is also an important part of American history. And hey, this may be the best movie Ron Howard has ever directed. So why are they going home empty handed?

4. Is Hugh Jackman hot or is Hugh Jackman hot?

5. While he didn’t completely fall on his face last night,’s famous Nate Silver was just a little “pwned”. Sometimes, computer simulations can’t accurately foretell what can be very emotional decisions.

So what were your favorite moments from Oscar? What didn’t you like? Let’s talk Oscar this morning. 😉

  13 comments for “The Oscars: Best & Worst

  1. RHackett
    February 23, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Mickey Rourke looked like a train wreck.

  2. February 24, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Sean Penn really let the conservatives have it blasting anyone who voting in favor of Prop 8 and the shame it would bring their future grandchildren.

    While that point of future shame is debatable there is no debate how shameful it was to glorify a crude politician who bolstered, admired and defended America’s most notorious and largest mass murder, self avoid communist Jim Jones. The deaths of over 900 Americans are literally on Milk’s hands.

    Jones was a key player in Milk’s political machine turning out votes and bodies to mobilizes rallies and GOTV efforts. Milk spoke often at his church and said that “my blood is written on your temple wall.”

    After reports of Jones theft, mental as well as physical abuse were made known Milk stood by Jones. Due to exposure of his crimes Jones fled to Guyana. Months prior to the mass suicide killings Milk wrote to President Carter emploring him not to send the feds to investigate Jonestown, writing that that Jones was known “as a man of the highest character.”

    Even after the killings Milk refused to condemn Jones musing that he tried and possibly achieved in creating a socialists utopia. When it came to opposing real human rights abuses Milk was willing to defend a sadistic murderer for campaign support and the fact that he admired Jones for being an in your face communist agitator.

    Shame on Penn and the producers of Milk for white washing history without even a mention of his relationship to Jim Jones.

  3. February 24, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Sour Milk-

    Got evidence? Or is this just another Rushbo-BillO-Hannity talking point meant to p**s all over the legacy of Harvey Milk, which actually was a legacy of civil rights & human rights? “O, those eevol GAAAAAYZZZZ r KKKOMMYS, too!!1111111!!!!!11111”

    Or is this the supposed new reason why Dan White had to assassinate Milk & Mayor Moscone? To save America from the commies?

  4. February 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

    The reason Democrat Dan White only killed Moscone and Milk was that he failed to follow threw with his mission to killing all four sups with Carol Ruth Silver being his number one target. It had nothing to do with gay rights.

    The murders came 9 days after the Jonestown masacare (that Moscone and Milk downplayed) when the Assassinations were first made known it was widely speculated that the killings were from Jim Jones hit squads.

    Your comment about “pissing of a legacy of civil rights” was the exact word for word apolgies given by S.F Dems who didn’t want to condem the Jim Jones after the murders.

    Your question – “Got evidence?” Tons, black and white -I can post an original copy of Milk’s letter to Carter pleadign with him not to send Feds to investigate Jonestown and more gut wrenching items that I didn’t bother to list in my first post.

    This is going to be one of those times when you have to say “WOW, I had no idea – there’s no excuse for his actions, they are so bad it eclipes any good he may have done.”

    There is nothing on the conservative side that is comparable to the relationship of Jones and Milk.

    I will be happy to send you links to evidence on Milk and Jones provided after you see them you man-up and rethink your unfliching admeration for a politician who went to the mat promoting and defending an American comunist mass murderer. ( As opposed to all the non American communist mass murderers Milk admired)

  5. February 24, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Pony up, pal.

  6. February 24, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Mr. Bill-

    Don’t count on it. “Sour” just showed his “true colors” by saying Milk’s & Moscone’s assassinations had “noting to do with gay rights”. Really? Maybe I need to eavesdrop on Comedian Rush Limbaugh more often to keep up with these batsh*t crazy rumors? 😉

  7. February 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Here is your pony –

    This is the letter to Carter where Milk slanders the victims of Jim Jones’ abuse, praises Jones, says that the Jones should have custody of the child who he latter murders*, and tells Carter that an investigation would harm US relations with Guyana.

    *John Stoen, is the son of Tim and Grace Stoen whom Milk specifically attacked in his letter to Carter as they were attempting to extricate their son and others from Jonestown. Months later, 6 year old John Stoen was found poisoned in Jim Jones’ cabin.

    This is what was going on in Jonestown at the time of Milk’s letter to Carter –
    Tracy Parks, a 10 year-old survivor of the Port Kaituma airstrip shootings, recalled that “Children who said they were not happy and wanted to go away were severely beaten.” It was also reported that one 12 year-old girl was “kept imprisoned for weeks in a plywood box three feet wide, four feet high and six feet long.”

    The move of Peoples Temple headquarters to San Francisco in 1975 invigorated Jones’ political career. After the Temple served an important role in the mayoral election victory of George Moscone in 1975, Moscone appointed Jones as the Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission.[42]
    Unlike most other figures deemed as cult leaders, Jones was able to gain public support and contact with prominent local and national United States politicians. For example, Jones and Moscone met privately with vice presidential candidate Walter Mondale on his campaign plane days before the 1976 election and Mondale publicly praised the Temple.[43][44] First Lady Rosalynn Carter also personally met with Jones on multiple occasions, corresponded with him about Cuba, and spoke with him at the grand opening of the San Francisco Democratic Party Headquarters where Jones garnered louder applause than Mrs. Carter.[43][45][46]
    In September 1976, Willie Brown served as master of ceremonies at a large testimonial dinner for Jones attended by Governor Jerry Brown and Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally and other political figures.[47] At that dinner, while introducing Jones, Willie Brown stated “Let me present to you what you should see every day when you look in the mirror in the early morning hours … Let me present to you a combination of Martin King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein … Chairman Mao.”[48] Harvey Milk, who spoke at political rallies at the Temple,[49] and wrote to Jones after a visit to the Temple: “Rev Jim, It may take me many a day to come back down from the high that I reach today. I found something dear today. I found a sense of being that makes up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight. I found what you wanted me to find. I shall be back. For I can never leave.”[50][51]
    Amidst growing pressure in the United States to investigate the Temple, on February 19, 1978, Harvey Milk wrote a letter of support for the Peoples Temple to President Jimmy Carter.[75][76][77] Therein, Milk wrote that Jones was known “as a man of the highest character.”[77] Regarding the leader of those attempting to extricate relatives from Jonestown, Milk wrote he was “attempting to damage Rev. Jones reputation” with “apparent bold-faced lies.

    Milk was a supporter of controversial political figure Jim Jones, who had been appointed Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Commission after the participation of the Peoples Temple (headed by Jones) was instrumental in the 1975 Mayoral election victory of George Moscone.[1] Milk was not a member of the Temple, but supported effective remedies the Temple had taken addressing various social problems.[2] As well, Jones himself was bisexual[3] and had supported politicians under attack for LGBT-related issues.[4] Like Moscone, Milk received help from Peoples Temple member volunteers in his campaigns.[5] After Jones came under fire, Milk wrote Jones a handwritten note stating “my name is cut into stone in support of you – and your people.”[5] Milk spoke at political rallies at the Peoples Temple.[6] Following a visit to the Peoples Temple, Milk wrote to Jones stating that he there found a sense of being, making up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight, and that he can never leave.[7] After Jones fled to Guyana in August of 1977 following accusations of criminal wrongdoing, Milk attended a rally for the Peoples Temple with Art Agnos.[8]
    Willie Brown stated “he has not regrets” over his past association with Jones and the People’s Temple. Brown also mentioned he would not try to dissociate himself like so many other politicians were. “They all like to say, ‘Forgive me, I was wrong’, but that’s bulls–t. It doesn’t mean a thing now, it just isn’t relevant.”
    Famed civil rights activist Jesse Jackson also defended Jones, stating that “until all the facts are in, he would regard Jones as a man who ‘worked for the people’…I would hope that all of the good he did will not be discounted because of this tremendous tragedy.”

    The best and non biased Gay source is from A Lavender Look at the Temple.

    Harvey Milk irrefutably supported Peoples Temple.

    It may be understandable why in November 1978 the supporters of Milk would attempt to distance the newly martyred supervisor from the still-unfolding horrors of Jonestown. However, we as witnesses, historians, researchers and writers have an obligation to tell future generations the whole truth, as we understand it, to record as much documentation as possible and let the biases and subsequent interpretations transform over time. As Dr. Susan Stryker states in the curator’s statement of the Milk exhibit, “While I wanted to respect Harvey Milk’s legacy, I also wanted to suggest that in venerating him, we risk obscuring a great deal of other equally compelling gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history.”

    If Milk supported Peoples Temple, now is the pivotal time for us to unveil the truth. What we cannot do is let our animosity toward Jim Jones and our horror of Jonestown taint our understanding of the individuals who made up Peoples Temple, including their incredible community based work as well as their relationships with prominent people like Harvey Milk. We should challenge the image of Temple members as mindless, uneducated zombies, and instead, portray them as the passionate, loyal and committed people who inspired Harvey Milk. It is most important that we not participate in or settle for the revisionism and obfuscation that has passed for the historical account of this relationship to date.

    The extent of Milk’s relationship with Peoples Temple may never be fully known. Certainly his murder, along with that of Mayor Moscone, was yet another blow to Temple survivors. Milk and Moscone were the two most powerful San Francisco politicians who maintained close ties to Jim Jones and Peoples Temple; they could have demanded an investigation into the murder of Leo Ryan and the Jonestown tragedy. When Jones tells the residents of Jonestown in the community’s last hours that the “folks in San Francisco won’t be idle over this,” he could have been referring, in part, to Milk and Moscone. Indeed, recently-uncovered research refutes the supposition that Jones ordered Dan White to execute Milk and Moscone; to the contrary, if there were any connection between the City Hall murders and Peoples Temple, it would clearly have been because Milk and Moscone were too closely tied to Jones and the Temple.

    A Lavender Look at the Temple, scheduled to be published in early 2004, examines the connections between Harvey Milk and Peoples Temple as part of its consideration of the church’s internal and external relationship with gay men and lesbians. Reviewing letters from Milk, news clippings and first hand accounts, A Lavender Look not only pieces together this complex and obscured relationship, it also includes accounts from gay and lesbian Temple members and Jonestown survivors.

  8. February 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    [This post has been removed by the author. Please follow the guidelines set by the terms of use.]

  9. February 24, 2009 at 1:21 pm


    This is ridiculous. First off, gay rights WAS part of the progressive agenda that Dan White opposed. Secondly, hardly anyone outside of People’s Temple knew anything of what was happening inside until the Jonestown killings. And if I follow your logic, I’m sure this means that you want Donald Rumsfeld & Dick Cheney tried as accomplices to murder for supporting Saddam Hussein’s regime in the 1980s. And can every other foreign policy official in the Ronald Reagan White House be tried for war crimes for supporting the Contras’ brutal war against the elected government in Nicaragua?

    Please cease & desist in posting further exaggerations & rumors. There’s a place for open discussion on this web site, but not outright slander.

  10. February 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Wow – down the memory hole it goes.

    I ponyed up with hard facts / original documents and its taken down.

    [This post has been removed by the author. Please follow the guidelines set by the terms of use.]

    What part of my post or documents that I provided to support my claim violated the guidelines in the terms of use? I sited a Gay Site that said the gay community needed to fully address Milk and Jones’ relationship.

    A copy of the letter Milk wrote to Jimmy Carter.

    YOU put the challege to me to “pony up” I did and you didn’t like the facts so you removed them.

    I guess you win the battle of supressing facts but we both know who won the argument.

    You made a point that I was exagerating and making up rummors and making slander. Why don’t you repost what I had and pick it apart fact by fact and really show me up as a boob? I’m sure your readers would like to see you give me a good beat down on the rumors I put forth.

    Exactly how do human rights flurish when we cannot review the past or examin facts or have open discussion? You’re right Reagan / Bush supported Saddam during his war with Iran but at least we get to know the facts to make our own judgments. We shouldn’t know ANYTHING about the relationship between Milk and Jones?

    • February 24, 2009 at 8:40 pm


      I found some of your coments in our spam filter. It is my understanding that your assertions are a matter of open debate. I would also remind you theat the topic of the post was the Oscars and not really the movie about Milk, or the alleged relationships between Jim Jones and dozens of politicians while he was in San Francisco. I am unaware of any evidence, presented or alleged, that demonstrates that Milk or Moscone supported or condoned the mass murder of hundreds in Guyana by Jones.

      There are also plenty of conspiracy theories that claim that Jones was a CIA opperative and that Milk and Moscone were murderd by Dan White to keep them from telling what they may have known. History does reflect upon assasinated figures with rose colored glasses. But the history of Harvey Milk, George Moscone, Dan White, and Jim Jones is not the topic of the original post.

      If you want to stray off on to another one, this comment thread isn’t the forum for that.

  11. Chris
    February 24, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    The Great Actor(my favorite of his was a tie between Spicoli and The Snowman) Penn ruined the evening with his spurious and bigoted slam on the majority of Californians.

    Sure the movie was political..duh…..and of course he and the rest of Hollywood can rant and hurl epithets to the non PC to cheering wealthy taxes for thee and not for me fellow Hollywood denizens…but..

    The utter obliviousness to the reality of the political chicanery and callousness in San Francisco politics with the socialist revolutionary megalomaniac Jones and the socialist(CUT THE CRAP OF “PROGRESSIVE”!) rabblerouser Milk in an unhealthy and irresponsbilble relationship/symbiosis that IS/WAS NOT A SECRET..I can Google can you.

    Murders in a City Buiiding are/were terrible…so was the MURDER OF HUNDREDS in Guyana…including lots of homosexuals that went to that “paradise”…..

    Pretty awful…just who could defend THAT monstrocity???

    Other than Mr. Milk, after the horrors unfolded on our TV sets, probably not very many.

    go ahead and dismiss this and/or hit that block button..but if you really do care about information then attempt to try to leave this up and look into it.

    Chris Bieber
    fmr 20 yr resident and Democrat behind the Orange Curtain…dont like visiting much anymore…

    • February 24, 2009 at 8:43 pm


      You started off good, talking about the Oscars and all. But the topic is not Harvey Milk.

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