Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Like Junior High, Only More So

I didn't bother with the Oscars this last Sunday night.
OK, you caught me. I watched a little of the entrance on the red carpet in the event of a fashion disaster, but nothing stood out. One bit of trivia from the commontators caught my attention: there are two lanes for traffic on the red carpet. One is for the writers, directors, composers and so on not considered A-list. They get trundled into the theater at a quick pace. That way, the A-listers get their photos snapped without the risk of commoners contaminating the glamor.
Why do we support these people? I wondered to myself. As much as I would love to say that I have disengaged the buttons about popularity and prettiness installed during my overweight (thanks to much later diagnosed adrenal and thyroid issues), awkward adolescense, my inner thirteen year old cringed. Why do we give money to an industry that has developed ridiculous standards of beauty and wealth? It would be cheaper to hire a dominatrix to abuse us for an hour or so at a time rather than deal with the in your faceness of it all in mainstream media.
Some years ago, I found out that I wasn't the only one who felt this way. In a writer's group that I used to belong to, I met a survivor of the Hollywood scene. Over post-meeting coffee one night, he was asked what working out there was like. "Oh, my god; it's like junior high, only more so," he said, rolling his eyes.
Aha. It wasn't just me. I mulled this as The Spouse and I spent the evening watching a detective film from Sweden.
In the morning, we flipped on the news to see the results. "Slumdog Millionaire's" welcomed but anticlimactic victory for best picture warmed my heart, as did "Juno" winning best screenplay last year. Maybe the Academy will take the hint and start making pictures that will help us all grow up.

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