FILM

Nobody Asked for Eminem's Surprise Oscars Performance

The rapper performed his hit "Lose Yourself," which won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2003.

Considering what many considered to be an overwhelmingly white and male nominee pool, the 92nd Annual Academy Awards ended up being...not that bad?

Korean thriller Parasite made history by becoming the first foreign language film to take home an Oscar for Best Picture, and its director Bong Joon Ho was adorable on numerous occasions. Joaquin Phoenix, after being named Best Lead Actor, continued his streak of spicy acceptance speeches with a condemnation of the animal agriculture industry. Janelle Monáe's opening number saluted snubbed films like Us and Midsommar. Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph were, well, just as funny as you'd expect.

But there was one appearance at the Oscars that had many attendees and viewers perplexed. At the end of a montage celebrating iconic songs made famous by movies, clips of 8 Mile were projected on the screen as the instantly recognizable chug of "Lose Yourself" played along. And then—for reasons widely unbeknownst to the audience—Eminem himself appeared onstage to perform the 2002 No. 1 hit.

While some audience members in the Dolby Theatre happily rapped along, many seemed dumbfounded by Eminem's seemingly random appearance.

"Lose Yourself" became the first rap number to win the Oscar for Best Original Song back in 2003, but Eminem didn't attend that year because he didn't think he had a chance of winning. Although the reason for his delayed appearance is unclear, it seems Eminem just figured he was better late than never: "Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity... Thanks for having me @TheAcademy," he tweeted. "Sorry it took me 18 years to get here."

We're glad Slim Shady finally got his second shot, but why 18 years late? At this point, it feels like a pathetic and haphazard promotion of his eleventh studio album, Music to Be Murdered By, which received backlash for its audacious reference to the bombing at Ariana Grande's 2017 Manchester concert. A clip of old audio also recently resurfaced in which Eminem claimed he'd "side with Chris Brown" on the issue of Brown's infamous assault of Rihanna. Why are we continuing to bait Eminem's constant hunger for relevancy?

These audience reactions say it best:


CULTURE

Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.

OF COURSE. i.imgur.com

That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.

Implications

So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.

TV

SNL 2020 DNC Election Impressions RANKED

Voters need to think about which person they'd prefer to see consistently parodied on Saturday Night Live.

NBC/Saturday Night Live

When deciding who to vote for in the 2020 Democratic primary, there's more to consider than the candidates' policies and whether or not they'll push to prosecute Trump for treason.

Voters also need to think about which person they'd prefer to see consistently parodied on Saturday Night Live.

In their Season 45 premiere, SNL debuted their full slate of 2020 DNC characters, including one major surprise celebrity appearance. We've gone to the trouble of ranking the impressions so you know which candidates you can safely vote for (assuming you base your entire vote on a sketch comedy show):

DNC Town Hall - SNL www.youtube.com

9. Colin Jost as Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

This one is probably more on the writers than on Colin Jost. Buttigieg barely got any screen time or any jokes, and Jost didn't look much like him either.

8. Chris Redd as Cory Booker

Cory Booker SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

Again, this ranking falls on the writers. Obviously Cory Booker isn't a relevant candidate, so it's hard to fault SNL for writing him out immediately, but Redd's wild-eyed impression is funny for the five seconds it lasts.

7. Chloe Fineman as Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

It's nearly impossible to parody Marianne Williamson when she's already a living parody of herself. SNL newcomer Chloe Fineman definitely put herself out there in her role, but unfortunately falls short of Williamson's real-life lunacy.

6. Bowen Yang as Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

While only onscreen for a single shot, Bowen Yang's stiff-shouldered, almost robotic performance is a pretty spot-on impression of the real Andrew Yang. Andrew Yang seemed to enjoy it, too, tweeting praise for Bowen Yang alongside a note for the writers: "Tip to the @nbcsnl writers - you should work on some new lines for @bowenyang because I'll be here all through 2020."

5. Alex Moffat as Beto O'Rourke

Beto Orourke SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

Possibly SNL's most under-rated cast member, Alex Moffat kills just about every character role he gets (especially Eric Trump, who he portrays as a barely functional idiot). In the small bit of screen time he gets here, Moffat aces O'Rourke, too, honing in on the totally not self-aware, wannabe-cool-guy vibe that lead a losing Senate candidate to run for president.

4. Larry David as Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

Larry David basically is Bernie Sanders. He captures the angry New England grandpa so well that Bernie Sanders might as well be portraying himself. At this point, the rankings come down to writing, and unfortunately, the Bernie Sanders jokes don't land as well as the top three.

3. Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

While all the other candidates' jokes seem to come at the expense of their real-world counterparts, every Elizabeth Warren joke is designed to kind-of, maybe, possibly be usable as taglines for Warren if she wanted. Elizabeth Warren really does have "the energy of a mother of five boys who all play a different sport," and Kate McKinnon nails that energy perfectly. It's clear that the SNL staff are mostly behind Warren (as everyone should be), but that also means that the jokes have a little less bite.

2. Woody Harrelson as Joe Biden

Joe Biden SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

Definitely the biggest casting surprise, Woody Harrelson plays Joe Biden as toothy and off-putting, prone to constant racial messaging and Obama name-drops. He does an excellent job, perfectly landing Biden's confusion about why people suddenly dislike him: "I'm like plastic straws. I've been around forever, I've always worked, but now you're mad at me?"

1. Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris SNL NBC/Saturday Night Live

Maya Rudolph absolutely slays as Kamala Harris. While the jokes are solid (they really hone in on the "That girl was me" line), Maya Rudolph's performance is next-level. Rudolph is an absolute master of facial expressions, saying more with pursed lips or a pointed smirk than any script could convey. Kamala Harris probably isn't too many people's first choice for president, but if she won, the biggest upside (aside from getting rid of Trump, obviously), would be more Maya Rudolph on SNL.

Oh, and the real Kamala Harris had an awesome exchange with Maya Rudolph on Twitter, too. Talk about earning those likeability points.