A remarkable human accomplishment was recently achieved. In a field of very tough competition, last night’s Oscar ceremony (to inappropriately use a word) was the easy winner of most tedious, worst conceived and executed, and just plain bad shows. My roommate went to bed halfway through the opening monologue (another inappropriate use of language – it wasn’t a monologue, it was a mash up of bad ideas).
The question that screams for an answer is, “Why?”
I think the problem is the Academy itself. It doesn’t understand so many things. Let’s make a list:
Youth: they equate youth with stupidity and vulgarity. If I were I a young person, I would find this hugely insulting. Young people probably do find it hugely insulting and this is probably why they avoid watching the annual train wreck except for the opportunity it affords to make smartass comments about it on Twitter. (And that assumes anyone young is even on Twitter.)
Sexuality: they think gay means annoyingly flamboyant and an exasperating obsession with show tunes. Mind you, Hollywood is famous for trading in social stereotypes so this isn’t entirely unexpected, just very tiresome. They also think straight men have the sexual maturity of thirteen year olds and women, either lesbian or straight, are very cranky with all things male and … well, everything else too. But that’s okay because, hey there’s cleavage and ya gotta put up with the gals’ crabbiness if you want to have the cleavage. Only the desperate attempts of the Academy to be relevant could manage to be insulting to gays, straights, men, women, and everyone in between – while at the same time pretending to embrace them all.
The Academy: some things aren’t meant to be hip and it is always embarrassing when those things that aren’t meant to be, try to be. Simply put, you cannot be the lofty “Academy” you aspire to be and be hip at the same time. It doesn’t work that way. Sometimes the world wants old and boring because, as much as a yawn as it may be, it is what we expect of respected institutions. You want to be a respected institution? Don’t sing denigrating and childish songs about boobs. And if you do, don’t put the First Lady in the same show. (By the way … what the hell was that about? I wanted to see Jack!)
Far from being the celebration it was intended to be, last night’s Academy Awards were simply dispiritingly wrong-headed and sad.