I’ve been watching the Academy Awards since I was a kid on black and white television, with Bob Hope hosting. I was always in awe of the glamour and good humor. After we were married, my wife and I made it an annual ritual and I tried not to travel on that Sunday.
Last night’s Oscar ceremony was a self-congratulatory excess of self-importance. It starts with the absurd Red Carpet and lasts for about seven hours. Women in loaned dresses and jewels parade by in heels they can’t stand in for more than 30 minutes, done up like donuts by hair and makeup specialists working feverishly. (And some of them look like they were dressed in a bad storm.) The awards themselves seem to feature an auditorium full of millionaires basically whining between drinks because not everything in the country has exactly gone their preferred way. Meanwhile, they receive “gift bags” worth tens of thousands that they don’t need and ought to donate to the homeless immediately, but that’s what happens. Talk is cheap when it’s about telling us what we can do. Wearing a ribbon doesn’t make you a good person.
Meanwhile, like pronoun-counters reading an article for gender equality, someone is counting how many minorities and whites were nominated for each category and won. Last year it was “too white.” Apparently, this is a diversity operation that happens to bestow move awards.
It’s always droll that a movie “star” (I actually prefer that to the current, inflated and inaccurate, “artist”) can’t say more than his or her name without extensive notes or a teleprompter (including saying “thank you”). And, unfortunately, you can’t yell, “Cut, let’s shoot that scene again” when the wrong winner is announced for, oh yeah, best picture!
Self-indulgence and self-absorption are not attractive traits, and the Oscars have morphed into a grand display of people rewarded for being anything but themselves and who can’t seem to separate out that fact.
© Alan Weiss 2017