With regard to the Academy Awards, I feel like I'm experiencing what Dorothy experienced in The Wizard of Oz when she got a peek behind the curtain and saw the old man running everything with buttons and levers. There used to be a kind of glamour to the show. It was an illusion that had me wishing that I could be among those who got invited to this kind of event. But after watching the show that aired on Sunday evening (it was not fun or entertaining), I'm wondering if I'll ever watch another one again.
My love of film goes way back. I took a course in college where I studied film seriously for a whole semester, and I saw the kind of work that went into it. There was an art and a magic to it that invoked a kind of awe. And you got all of these wonderful and talented people together to use their skills and create something beautiful and timeless: a story that was entertaining and managed to sweep you away from the doldrum of your life. But I haven't felt that kind of awe for movies in some time, and I wonder if it is just because I've gotten older, and I now see how "human" all of these supposedly glamorous people are (if I can even say that). They all appear so normal to me now that I wonder where all the class went?
By any stretch, this year's Academy Awards ceremony was an unentertaining shit show that seems to be a sign of the times. Everything these days is riddled with incompetency, anger, and incivility. The "In Memoriam" segment this year was a musical number with a dancing choir that really distracted from seeing the names on the screen. Like...what? They also made a decision to cut "boring" awards like sound editing. Then they did this "Most Cheer-Worthy Moment" thing that had clips from comic book movies like Avengers and Zack Snyder's Justice League and then right after a moving acceptance speech from a deaf actor, Chris Evans popped up on the screen to congratulate him and air an advertisement for his new film Buzz Lightyear. Look...I get that ABC is owned by Disney and wants some marketing, but this just seemed so flagrantly in your face that it felt awkward. However, I already decided some time ago that I was going to see Buzz Lightyear. So...in retrospect...I may have been more pissed that there wasn't additional footage or that it was an old trailer.
There was a ton of crypto ads and people talking about NFT's and crypto. Look...I think this stuff about crypto, the blockchain, and NFT's is scammy as hell. It feels fake. But I also saw on CBS that the $140,000 swag bags that 23 of the people got were filled with things that feel fake. Half the supposed value of the swag bag was in plastic surgery treatments. Like...really? I know someone that got a facelift, and it was one of the expensive ones with a very reputable surgeon. Their face looked like they'd been in a car accident for nearly three weeks, all bandaged up with drainage tubes, etc., to drain all the blood and fluid off from the swollen tissues. However, they got the results they wanted eventually when everything healed but not without a cost. I guess one small nerve got knicked by accident, which can happen when even the most practiced surgeons start cutting up your face. This resulted in a kind of lifelong diminishment of hearing in one ear. And I'm like...what the hell? Imagine getting that as a gift in your swag bag...it's an invitation to get all cut up and bloody and possibly lose your hearing or something else. I think that would be the worst gift in the world, and it just shows how much of a dystopia our world actually is.
Let's also not forget about Ukraine. How could you? It was literally splashed over anything from acceptance speeches to advertisements, as if we don't hear enough about the horrible things going on over there. It's literally been on the front page of The New York Times for a month. Everyone wants people to do more, but everyone is also afraid of nuclear war. It's just another sign that we are living in a dystopia, because violence cannot solve an issue because world-ending violence is right there to ensure that you just sit on your palms and shut your mouth. So...I guess that the Oscars just became a platform for people to scream (helplessly) "That's not right..." and you know...they're correct. All of them. It's not right...but there's nothing you can do about it...and here is your swag bag. Privilege is never more glaring than when horrible things are happening and you cannot do anything about them accept be thankful that it isn't happening to you. And also, you've just been given coupons for excellent plastic surgery options in Beverly Hills.
And then of course there was the F-Bomb laced tirade from Will Smith against Chris Rock for telling a joke about Will's wife. I'm so over Jada and Will Smith. The slap/punch just shows that the death of comedy is real. Comedians cannot tell jokes anymore, because everyone is offended. I like comedy, and I like Chris Rock. I feel sorry for comedians who now have to wonder if (after a joke is told) someone from the audience will assault them for "crossing a line."
Everything is just too real these days. It's like you have "smell-o-vision" and you smell how rotten things are across the spectrum. The Oscars are just a reflecting pool for the dystopian landscape of 2022. Someone really needs to weed this garden.