I can remember when I USED to consider these awards shows useful. But, that was also when I thought the movies they were honoring were actually worth seeing. The most recent version was 2004 when Best Picture was between Million Dollar Baby, Ray, Finding Neverland, The Aviator and some other movie about wine and sex.
Honestly, I thought those were the four best movies of the year. So, while I would have voted for Finding Neverland, I was perfectly happy when Million Dollar Baby took the prize.
2003 wasn't half-bad either. You had Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Master and Commander, Seabiscuit and two other immoral movies. And, that year, Lord of the Rings clearly deserved the nod.
And, the last time U2 put out an album... that was the last time I cared about the Grammys. Before that... things are kinda hazy...
So, what happend. This year, the entertainment industry finally reached the event horizon of self-gratification.
Let's start with the Oscars. Actually, I don't know why I even care, but I'm going to rant about it anyway.
An Inconvenient Truth. Suddenly Hollywood has accepted Al Gore's silly excuse for a documentary as actual "science." Never mind the fact that the scientific community (unless subject to political influences) is less-than-equally divided AGAINST Global Warming. Never mind that this was the coldest winter on record for most of the United States. Never mind that the polar ice caps are GROWING. The only thing inconvenient about Al's lauded documentary is its loose relationship with truth and science.
Global Warming is a FAD, ladies and gentlemen. It is Hollywood's newest attempt to do something "moral" and save the planet. As Ann Coulter said yesterday, if Global Warming is a moral not a scientific issue, what about abortion? But, I'll rant on that subject later (I apologize for invoking Ann Coulter... but it was a funny line).
But, really, I was resigned to accept Al Gore receiving an Oscar. Of COURSE Hollywood was going to give him the gold statue. And, they had to put icing on the cake by giving Melissa Etheridge the "Best Original Song" Oscar. Of course, she had to make comments about how great it was to be gay. She kissed her partner passionately in front of the camera, then made a stupid comment about how the naked gold statue would be the only naked man in her bedroom. Madame, I didn't want to know that.
Please, don't get me wrong. I am all in favor of reducing pollutants in the air and finding alternative fuels. But, I will not have such agendas thrust on me like the end of the world is coming. Tell me to reduce Carbon in the air simply to improve the quality of living in urban areas. I'm all for it! Let's find more efficient and clean ways of producing energy. But, I refuse to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to reduce "greenhouse gasses" just because Hollywood says it's good. After all, to make any real difference in greenhouse gasses, we'd have to get cows to stop digesting food and releasing their gaseous byproduct into the air. STOP THE METHANE!!!
But, the award that REALLY made me mad was "Best Animated Feature". The nominees were Cars, Monster House, and a propaganda movie about environmental activism vaguely disguised as a children's film. WIthout a doubt, Cars should have won. Once again, Pixar (now fully owned by Disney) revolutionized animated films and computer animation. The entire piece was a work of art. And, even if the Academy passed it over on the basis of mediocre story line, Monster House was innovative in its own right.
But, the winner was.... Happy Feet. EXCUSE ME?????? That was the last straw. My tolerance for the Oscars and Hollywood idiot-politics just broke completely. Yes, this film was made by an Australian company, but it was nothing but an environmental message. The Penguins spent the entire movie wondering why there was trash in the water or commenting on the other great farce in environmental activism: the ozone hole.
Then there was the Grammy Awards. If you are looking for an awards show that makes the Oscars look semi-legitimate and socially redeemable, it is the Grammy Awards. Of course, in relative terms, that isn't saying much.
Remember the Dixie Chicks? Yeah, they were cool back in the day. But, after the Primal Chick made a comment disparaging President Bush, they got one of the greatest lessons any musician should ever learn: YOUR FANS MAKE YOU POPULAR. THEY CAN MAKE YOU UN-POPULAR TOO. Only former Governor of California Gray Davis has ever gotten a lesson in democracy like this. People boycotted the Dixie Chicks for their anti-American and anti-Bush remarks. In a simple show of popular rage (thought: doesn't the liberal side usually thrive on popular rage?) the fans of the Dixie Chicks rebelled. They called on radio stations to ban their music, and held demonstrations inviting people to destroy their Dixie Chicks albums in protest.
Dear Chicks, you forgot who makes you popular. You forgot your fan base. You forgot that you do have a responsibility to the people who buy your CDs. Why? Because when you bite the hand that feeds you, you get slapped.
Fast Forward to 2007. The Dixie Chicks made a pity-documentary called "Shut up and Sing" in late 2006. It was Rated R and came out with a stunning wide release of 84 theaters nationwide. The sad part, it put a million dollars into the Dixie Chicks' pocket. It was their pity party story of how the Bush Administration was responsible for their fall from Country Music grace. It was all George W's fault that their music wasn't good enough to drown out their politics. HUH?
Yet, somehow, they got out an album. And, somehow that album won FIVE GRAMMY AWARDS. And, that is no the worst part! Somehow, the Dixie Chicks are convinced that Five Grammy Awards vindicates them against Bush and their fans.
She had the audacity to say: "To quote the Simpsons: 'heh-heh'"
To quote the Simpsons again:
Homer: Oh, why won't anyone give me an award?
Lisa: You won a Grammy.
Homer: I mean an award that's worth winning.
In fact, I'd have to guess that the Grammys have been mocked on the Simpsons more than even other award shows. And THAT is saying something.
Maybe I'm getting bitter in my old age (I mean... I just turned 26 after all) but I'm really annoyed at people who are worth NOTHING sitting around and patting themselves on the back. We watch with apt attention as people who never grow up--yet have more money than any of us--make complete fools of themselves. And we BUY this crap! We pay for Britney Spears to go crazy and shave her head (and you know she's really gone nuts when Kevin Federline has a valid case for sole custody of their offspring). We PAY for these people to pat themselves on the back.
For me, the nominees for Best Picture of the Year should have followed box office lines:
1) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
3) Night at the Museum
4) X-Men: The Last Stand
5) The Da Vinci Code
Those were the movies we paid to see. Shouldn't they get recognized by the Academy? After all, they are what REALLY pay the bills. There were great movies this past year, even among the non-blockbuster category. Unfortunately, none of them won awards.
America is about so much more than what Hollywood and the entertainment industry claim. Now, we just need to figure out how to promote the REAL America. Sadly, politics is offering little hope of that either.
That is all.