The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

And the Winner Is ...

Great movies are a wonderful art form. If they include an imaginative plot arc and characters, excellent writing, and outstanding acting, such movies deserve to be recognized. As important, all of the people who sit behind the camera—cinematographers, costume designers, directors, to name only a few, deserve recognition for a job well done. You'd think that tonight's academic awards would be all about that, but it really isn't.

Sure, good (and often, not so good) movies are recognized and excellent writing, acting, and directing are lauded. But the academy awards have devolved into part fashion show, part virtue signaling, and part self-congratulatory rhetoric in which the entertainment industry tells the rest of us how important it really is.

I suspect that the fashion show is as important as the actual awards. It's harmless, of course, but it is amusing that so many actresses who keep telling us that they don't want to be sexualized wear fashion that does nothing if not sexualize the wearer. That's perfectly okay, but it does seem just a wee bit hypocritical.

The ubiquitous political speeches are as predictable as they are tiresome. Yeah, we know, the Hollywood community HATES Donald Trump, but the majority of the "stars" who tell us how bad Trump is are sometimes dumb as rocks, knowing nothing about policy. But because they can act well and have the unique ability to memorize a script, their phony fervor is somehow compelling to a small segment of the Oscar's shrinking audience (viewership was down 19 percent from 2017 to 2018). It's also worth noting that the majority of Hollywood A-listers are hardly moral paragons. It's just a little galling to have a moral low-life try to tell the rest of us that our moral compass should be pointing in tinseltown's direction.

Finally, there's something mildly irritating about the 3 hour long (the show was shortened this year) love fest in which Hollywood types tell other Hollywood types how great they are. Awards are fine, but perspective would be nice. Hollywood didn't find a cure for AIDS, create a technology that saves lives or make major inroads into income inequality (the salary of an A-list star—$20 million, while the salary of a lowly key grip—under $40,000). Yet, at least some of the A-listers shill for Democrats who argue that top corporate salaries should be no more than 15 times the salary of the lowest wage earner. In Hollywood, top salaries are 500 times the average lowest annual salary. Maybe we can get Hollywood's favorite democratic socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on the case.

So tonight, I'll do a little work, read, or maybe watch something on Netflix or HBO, but the Oscars? Not a chance.