The Oscars Are Irrelevant (And Have Been For A Long Time)


“You won an Oscar, and I was kind of almost nominated for an Oscar.” ~Wikus to Charlize Theron, “Wikus and Charlize.”

“You hate me! You really hate me!” ~Me

Having not even been nominated for Best Actor, Wikus goes postal

Confession time yet again. The Oscars, like any story relating to baby names, are irresistable to me. I just have to know who won Best Sound Editing, whose dress looked like an origami crane, and which Hollywood muckety-muck(s) decided to run off at the mouth this year.When I go in to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned, and after I’ve read all the copies of Sports Illustrated, the first magazine I usually pick up is the Oscars issue. Like Medusa with her stony gaze, I can’t look away.

That’s not to say I actually enjoy watching the shows. What, I ask myself, could possibly be more boring than celebrities patting one another on the back for three hours? Flaunting their $3m couture when the rest of us consider ourselves lucky to hold $12 hourly jobs? Giving vapid interviews on a red carpet? There are conceivably such things that would be more boring. The Pan-American Games preliminary heats. Cooking shows featuring British cuisine. Professional lawn bowling. (See, I thought of some.)

The way Oscars should be

Before you claim that I’m jealous of this artifically created royal class (there’s a reason they love movies about royalty, you know), I’m not. I could never be jealous of a bunch of self-serving, drug-addicted, pompous twits as exists in Hollywood today. Besides, I don’t have to worry about starving myself to maintain my image, or paparazzi stalking me and/or my family. The less you have, the less people demand of you. I wouldn’t trade my life for a celebrity’s. In fact, one reason I’ve hesitated to submit my work anywhere? I fear becoming famous.

I can recall the exact moment when I fell out of love with the Oscars, and possibly with awards shows/spectacle shows as a whole. It was 1989, hair bands were still popular, VHS was the medium of choice, and I was all of ten years old.

Rob Lowe was singing “Proud Mary” with an animated Snow White on stage. This was one of the first genuine WTH moments in my life. Ol’ Rob looked like he’d rather be anywhere, including getting a cod liver oil enema, than up on that stage.

Now, I always knew that Hollywood was about flim-flam, fakiness, and foppery. When I was a tiny tot, I remember telling my parents how phony I thought the special effects in The Empire Strikes Back were, and I didn’t even mention Carrie Fisher’s acting. I nitpicked Tron, Willow, Labyrinth and all the other special effects showcases of the 80s. Like Holden Caulfield, I have zero tolerance for phoniness.

I want my fokkin' Academy Award!

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I stopped watching the Oscars every year, and every other awards show, because they’re celebrations of everything faux. People dressing in ways they normally wouldn’t, saying things they might not say otherwise, giving awards to movies that no one outside arthouse aficionados might ever watch. I won’t give ratings, or advertising dollars, that wants to shake me upside down for the “privilege” of seeing a first-run movie in a theatre. The real purpose of this “privelege” is of course to fund the actors’ lavish lifestyles.

So, at the tender age of ten, I stopped watching awards shows as a whole. Now, if I want to relive the glory of an interpretive dance number or a slurry acceptance speech, there’s always the divine gift of YouTube. Before the advent of the Internet, this wasn’t the case. People had to watch, just like they had to watch the Rose Bowl parade, the Grammys, and the Emmys. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve missed much in those 22 years in the Hollywood-free wilderness.

As for the phoniness, feel free to call me out on my double standard. I can deal with phoniness as long as it doesn’t cloak itself in the mantle of anything else. The A-Team doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a fun, balls-to-the-wall parody of the action genre. The Hurt Locker and Avatar have to toss in silly political commentary along with the storytelling. Not for me, thanks, and certainly not at $10.75 for a matinee.

Besides, none of my favorite movies ever win Academy Awards. If they did, I might just have to tune in. (I’m also considering writing the Academy and petitioning for Sharlto Copley as next year’s MC.)

Sure, I’m selfish. I’m just selfish in my own way, and I don’t need a limo or a private jet to cart around my colossal ego.

Hollywood, you’ve been warned.

My kind of fakery

Enjoyed this special, post-Oscars edition of P&Q? Click the “Like” button and check us out on Facebook!

 

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on February 28, 2011.

One Response to “The Oscars Are Irrelevant (And Have Been For A Long Time)”

  1. I thought of you when I realized that A-Team was completely snubbed. Did you read my running timeline on said awards? Also enjoyed having your say in the FB thread!

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