Ill-focused award show does more to promote political agenda than it does to entertain its viewers

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March 2, 2007

4:23 PM

I’m sick of the Oscars. They’ve come to epitomize everything I hate about Hollywood. Sure, I enjoy a good flick as much as the next moviegoer, but I would just like to say that the golden age of Hollywood is gone. I miss the innocence, patriotism and comparatively humble jocularity of old-time Hollywood. In its stead, we have now a mass of narcissistic elites who possess an inflated sense of self-importance, an impressive dose of hypocrisy and who often fail even to entertain us.

p. Let’s explore why the Oscars offer a microcosmic illustration of all that has contributed to my disaffection with the industry.
On a superficial level, this event has become over-hyped and dull. My high hopes for Ellen DeGeneres quickly plummeted as she meandered unimpressively through the show. She had great delivery, but her material simply wasn’t clever or amusing. Though it’s the host’s job to weave the event into a tapestry of wit, humor, and celebration, she should not have to bear the burden of this year’s underwhelming program alone. I asked my friend how she’d describe the 79th Annual Academy Awards, and she said, “They were just — well, they were ‘blah.’” They were too “blah” and too unimportant to go so far over schedule.

p. What was with the shadow people? Perhaps making up for the chuckles not afforded by Ellen, these shadow-playing interpretive dancers were more comedic than impressive. Similarly bizarre were the people modeling the outfits for ‘Best Costume.’ They displayed the clothes that earned the films their nominations and moved mechanically back and forth like electric mannequins. And the sound effects chorus? Interesting, sure, but these cheap, sideshow exhibitions did not seem appropriate at a function like the Academy Awards. I’m not sure if they were trying too hard, or just not trying at all.

p. It could also be that I’m just sick of seeing the same faces over and over again and have stopped caring who’s going to walk away with that golden statuette in his/her hot little hands. Plus, I’ve come to see that it’s all politics anyway. By the way, if in his affectation, Jack Nicholson wears those obnoxious sunglasses next year (which he will), I think I might scream. Why can’t we get more fresh faces? Jennifer Hudson’s “Best Supporting Actress” win definitely offered a rare, but amazing, breath of fresh air.

p. On the other hand, may I blasphemously assert that Dame Judi Dench would be nominated for any semi-serious role she deigned to accept? (Please tell me why entertainers are knighted. It’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. What parody.) The awards vacillate between extreme predictability and extreme lunacy — sometimes sharing both at once. I loved “The Departed,” but was totally shocked when I found out that Mark Wahlberg had been nominated for perhaps the only weak link in a fantastic cat-and-mouse story.

p. His character (or caricature) was goofy, shallow and unimpressive. And Meryl Streep again? For “The Devil Wears Prada”? I don’t think so. Sure, she’s a great actress, but come on now — nothing about that film (except the costumes) was Oscar-worthy. The Academy is willing to stretch for stars that it favors, but will tenaciously ignore other talented performers (Richard Burton, anyone?) — this smacks of Mafioso-type corruption.

p. Finally, I’ll jump for joy the day the stage of the Kodak Theater ceases to be a political platform. I’m not going to grace the Michael Moore incident with a comment of irritation, but let’s keep that in the back of our minds. Hollywood has long played whore to the Far Left, assuming a patronizing superiority to which it has no claim. They’re talkative, but they’re not politicians, and their opinions shouldn’t be given more credence than anyone else’s. But alas, they cling tightly to their face-time monopoly and milk it for all it’s worth.

p. Which brings me to Al Gore and the sickening display of subservient reverence that was the Oscars. Leonardo DiCaprio, Melissa Ethridge and various other minions would have me believe both that the world will end if I don’t take the bus and that Al Gore is some sort of saint. I buy neither, but the justification of said opinion would require another article. Rather, let’s take a peek into those shamelessly expensive goodie bags the Academy hands out at the event — you know, the ones that got the Academy and its patrons in trouble with the IRS for the goodie bags’ $100,000 contents.

p. This year, to escape tax problems, the goodie bags were filled with a different gift; every goodie bag contained a gift certificate for 100,000 lbs of greenhouse gas carbon offsets from TerraPass. What does this mean? Well, for all of their high rhetoric and self-righteous fatalism, these fat cats refuse to cut back on their greenhouse gluttony. Basically, they (Mr. Gore included) purchase the right to make use of the energy which other people have sacrificed. So Mr. Gore gets to keep his private plane, four homes, limousines, and other such luxuries.

p. We should never forget that, when it comes down to it, Hollywood is just a bunch of people pretending. For great good or great evil, it’s as simple as that.

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