In Defense of Ellen

Here's a snarky review of her performance as Oscar host last night. The general point is: she got out of the way. I didn't watch the entire thing - I wandered in and out while working - but isn't that a good thing? In an endless festival of egos, who wants the host to be throwing shade? I'm in awe of Ellen - and not for being an out lesbian. (Being out is simply a matter of basic human integrity; it's not an achievement of some kind, worthy of celebration. It's a matter of self-respect.)  Ellen has something much more valuable and it's as mysterious as the sources of Hillary's irritation. She is simply likable, what we used to call "agreeable." She brings people together. Her edge is no edge. God knows I couldn't be less like her. I'm more like Hillary. But I know charm and skill when I see it. If she had nerves last night, they were invisible. Whatever Adam Buckman says, Ellen wasn't.