Greg Stacy’s FAT LOT OF GOOD

November 25, 2006

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar: Of starlets and Super Bowls

Filed under: Humor,Movies,OC Weekly,TV — gregstacy @ 11:32 am

(Originally printed in OC WEEKLY, March 21, 2002)

I once heard Howard Stern refer to the annual Oscar telecast as “the Super Bowl for women and gay guys.” I haven’t been a gay guy or a woman recently, so perhaps that explains why I’m powerless to understand the appeal of the Oscars. (Then again, I can’t abide the Super Bowl either.)

I’m a movie geek. I watch films for a living. I plow through silly magazines about movies; I watch silly TV shows about movies; I have a bookcase threatening to implode from the weight of the DVDs packed onto its shelves. I hold strong opinions about movies I’ve never seen. So why would I rather eat a live skunk than sit through Sunday’s big telecast?

I’d like to ask you a question: Why do you want to watch? Do you really believe that if the Academy declares anything “best,” that makes it so? If so, I have five words for you: Titanic, best picture of 1997.

I suppose if you were actively employed in the film industry, if you were nominated for an Oscar yourself or one of your friends was, then it would make sense that this show would interest you. But otherwise, unless you have some personal stake in it, why would you willingly subject yourself to a show that plays like a three-hour-long, hugely expensive high school assembly? Few among us would have the patience to sit through the entire Nobel Prize ceremony, a genuine celebration of the best humanity has to offer, so what is the appeal of watching a bunch of millionaires presenting each other with little golden trophies to celebrate their ability to cry on cue? For Christ’s sake, people, what’s in it for you?

The more I think about it, the more Stern’s football comparison makes sense. There’s a commercial making the rounds just now where a guy opens up his morning paper, sees the sports page headline, and mutters to himself, “How are we going to win the game on Sunday?” I always get stuck on that word we. On a fundamental level, I can’t understand how this little schlub would think of some football team’s victory as his own, any more than I can understand why some checkout girl in Des Moines gives a damn if Jennifer Connelly wins an Oscar. Are we all so alienated, so desperate to belong to something that we’ll whip ourselves into a frenzy of identification over shows that could not be more boring if they were broadcast backwards and in slow motion?

If the Super Bowl is a celebration of the ghastliest aspects of conventional masculinity, a day when the people of the nation are expected to sit around in dark caves, drinking themselves into a collective stupor and bellowing like apes while they watch big men break each other’s bones, the Oscars could indeed be said to represent the worst aspects of conventional femininity run amok, a license for people to gather in little covens and make bitchy remarks about who has gotten fat and who is wearing what. Both of these extremes are simultaneously horrifying and tedious, and I just wish we could achieve some sort of middle ground. Wouldn’t the Super Bowl be infinitely more compelling if it were played by glamorous folk in fancy evening wear? What if when a starlet’s name was announced at the Oscars, she had to make a daring end run up to the podium, dodging other contenders as they tried to tackle her? Then we could all gather – women and men, gay and straight – and enjoy a spectacle that would be truly worth our heartiest bellowing and our bitchiest remarks.

But until then, you can count me the hell out.

4 Comments »

  1. You are the first blog that I came across that was similar to mine. Not in content as we are two different people and from different places, but in concept. It’s great that you are the seventh fastest growing blog today. Congratulations. I have never got on any of those lists though I know my blog is good. I won an award though. But hits, well, I just hope that I get them slowly.

    Comment by Nita — November 26, 2006 @ 9:11 am | Reply

  2. You are the first blog that I came across that was similar to mine. Not in content as we are two different people and from different places, but in concept. It’s great that you are the seventh fastest growing blog today. Congratulations. I have never got on any of those lists though I know my blog is good. I won an award though. But hits, well, I just hope that I get them slowly.
    btw, I too started with this theme but have now switched to Andreas because of the convinience of two side bars.

    Comment by Nita — November 26, 2006 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  3. Thanks, Nita. Until you reminded me to check my site stats, I had no idea people were actually reading this thing, or that it was growing in popularity. I posted something like 15 entries yesterday, so that’s bound to cause a hiccup!

    I think your blog is quite interesting and it gives me a peek into a culture I’m not all that familiar with… but I’m not really sure how our concepts are similar. Your writing generally seems much more serious and analytical than the silly, American pop culture stuff I usually write.

    The theme I use is incredibly basic, but it gets the job done. Maybe I’ll switch to something more interesting once I’m more familiar with WordPress.

    Comment by gregstacy — November 26, 2006 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  4. quite enjoyed your work .

    Comment by southern — January 17, 2007 @ 12:49 pm | Reply


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