Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

Bored for 83 Years

Anne Hathaway at the 81st Academy Awards

Image via Wikipedia

Many of us weren’t born when this nonsense started–meaning, the Academy Awards and the slavish adoration of people with otherwise messed-up lives who have a talent for appearing normal, even heroic, on a silver screen.

This bears saying again: the obsession with celebrity is our  way of re-creating a royalty that was briefly sacrificed by the American Revolution.

Old clips show that Oscar night began with a slow parade of stars to proffer ho-hum thank-you’s to the gods of the Academy, whom you would think are on Olympus, using magic wands and fairy dust to bless a solitary person in each category, to the simmering piss-off of all who come in second. Why the also-rans are so sporting about this deserves a Mystery Award; or as Vince Lombardi so aptly put it: Show me a good loser, and I’ll still show you–a loser. For 20 years, this droning was interspersed with Bob Hope delivering dozens of very un-funny one-liners while Americans cheered.

Nowadays, “progress” means that galling Red Carpet, or what I call the “Perp” Walk by all the usual suspects from the year past, to the background screams of hundreds of sycophants, clueless that some of their current idols will be tomorrow’s Charlie Sheens and Lindsay Lohans, gobbling up our news cycles with their unending perfidies and falls from grace.

So now we’re treated to interviewers who greet each starlet with, “You’re stunning…beautiful…ravishing…”–a clue that they checked a thesaurus beforehand and committed to memory the section on “Beauty.” The objects of their gush are hotties in overpriced dresses that still manage to miss the mark for high fashion.

Some viewers, upset that Joan Rivers and her dah-ling daw-tuh weren’t doing a Carpet show this year, forthwith killed themselves, a tragedy that Variety magazine will write that off as collateral damage.

So what that Jennifer Hudson dropped 80 pounds; she needed to, and helped along by a diet plan that likely cost her more than your annual salary. Natalie Portman is a real talent, so why does she look like a deer-in-headlights? Even when she’s smiling you think she’ll burst into tears the next moment. Anne Hathaway, caught on the Carpet prior to festivities, revealed the biggest eyes and mouth for her size head and, oh, don’t forget her nose, either. But movie cameras like large features and in action she makes you forget about them anyway. We also got to see Sandra Bullock who, for all her beauty, can’t find a decent boyfriend to save her life.

A group of student journalists did a smart take on the winners and losers, allowing that The King’s Speech could have been made fifteen years ago and would have won the prize then too; but that Social Network was cursed with being about the future, which America doesn’t want to hear about right now, and to its peril.

Indeed, while “King’s Speech” got all the hype and praise, “Black Swan” was a tour de force of work and ingenuity, and for its dark exploration of the human psyche. Meaning, who the hell wants to see that, let alone clap for it?

Indeed, Hathaway and James Franco helped lose that very demographic for the night. Being young, they should never go near the Awards, which is for old farts, middle-agers whose lives totally suck, and air-headed twenty-somethings who dream of being discovered by talent agents while working in a malt shop in Tupelo. Hathaway did save the evening from total loss, being at ease and wickedly charming while Franco, riding a wave of popularity from recent successes, did a great job in the role of a lifeless stick-figure.

And it would have been nice to see Mike Douglas again; instead his old man was foisted off on us. Hell, I thought the Kirkster died long ago. There being no such luck, his grossly advanced age and frightening visage, like Hannibal Lector en masque, merely scared the children watching and reminded us all that time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy goddam beautician. I’m sorry, but there is a time to stop going out in public, unless it’s Halloween.

It would be nice if the Oscars died too, or got a radical makeover: e.g., more time and attention to those whose talented writing, cinematography, visual effects, sound and music, costume design, makeup and such, give actors fabulous settings in which it’s hard to fail.

Otherwise, we’re left with those who happen to come up with the best impromptu lines, like Colin Firth’s quip that he now has the feeling his career has just peaked.

Our consolation prize is that we get to wait till next year to be bored to tears again. For the eighty-fourth time.

4 Responses to “Bored for 83 Years”

  1. We also got to see Sandra Bullock who, for all her beauty, can’t find a decent boyfriend to save her life.

    IMHO, it’s because she’s gay and it’s hard to find someone who wants to marry you just to help you stay in the closet.

    • I know of people with less money, celebrity,opportunities–and beauty who do better than Bullock. Someone who has all three, and doesn’t need more, might do much more for the world if out of the closet, I do not know of Bullock’s sexuality, however, and all remarks related to yours may be moot.

  2. I agree with you, in the main. Our culture is obsessed with celebrity, and often those who wish to be famous are more desiring of adulation than being competent at any actual artform. However, I do think some of your vitriol is misplaced. Jennifer Hudson’s weight loss, for example, was a huge personal accomplishment inspired by wanting to be a good mother to her young daughter. She did it through Weight Watchers, which is effective and focuses not just on weight loss, but taking care of yourself as a whole person., and is reasonably priced.
    Frankly, I find so much of the red carpet shenanigans and forced accpetance speeches to be so full of nonsense, that instead of watching and getting angry, bored, or annoyed, we just skip it.

  3. I am a movie lover, and I look forward to the Oscars every year! Granted, while I’m watching them, I’m reminded of how boring they are, so I often go back and watch on recording so I can zip through anything I don’t want to see. But I digress….I love the beautiful gowns and seeing if my favorite picks got the nod. It’s just some innocent fun.

    I hear lots of people complain about how boring they are and how ridiculous they are, and the solution is simple. Don’t watch them. Ah, the beauty of choice. 🙂

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