Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Oscars?

 It's been so many years since I watched the Oscars that I'm not sure what year the last time was. I am sure it was on a CRT TV, it might have been in the 1990s. So I'm not one of the millions that have given up recently. But I know why the ratings plummeted. I'd lay it all out if it hadn't already been done, and done better, by a YouTuber I follow called The Critical Drinker.

The Critical Drinker reviews movies. It's harsh, honest, insightful commentary and I recommend him over many of the movies he comments on. Here's his observations on the Oscars and what's gone wrong with moviemaking. Language warning in advance.


Kid said...

Well, the last thing on the face of the Earth that I would be interested in is watching a bunch of A^ patting themselves on the back, especially for being overpaid to do one of the easiest things that can be done in life.

As far as movies, I've watched less than 10 in the last 10 years. 95+% of them suck.

Jonathan H said...

A very good summary of the problem, put better than I could!

Aesop said...

"Easiest things that can be done in life"?


Sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow for the class. Flawlessly. Seventeen times in a row. Then do a medley of dance performances from Top Hat to Puttin' On The Ritz, followed by a step-for-step rendition of Singin' In The Rain. While soaking wet. Then swordfight Inigo Montoya and beat him. Segue into your version of the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V, followed by any 5 minutes of James Cagney's dialogue in One, Two, Three. Then give us Tom Joad's speech about a man's soul from The Grapes Of Wrath, Atticus' Finch's closing summation from To Kill A Mockingbird, the opening speech from Patton, twirl a big-lever carbine to hail a Stagecoach, do it again with your horse's reins in your teeth while shouting "Fill your hand, you sonofabitch!", beat Marsala in a 7-lap race around the Roman Circus Maximus, then top it by tear-assing around San Francisco in a '70 fastback Mustang chasing a couple of mob hitmen to the death. Hold Bubba Blue in your arms as he dies, and break our hearts. Show us - don't tell us - how your life as a poor Jewish Russian milkman would be changed if you were a wealthy man; take us to a pub for drinks with your friend the invisible 6-foot rabbit, and close up by singing us a chocolatier's delight in a land of Pure Imagination.

You'll look about as silly as the mouthy brat cat-calling Babe Ruth for striking out, when the Bambino walks over to him, hands him the bat, and says "Okay, how about you try it then, kid?"

Motion pictures are the quintessentially American art form, and a national treasure, which only makes their descent into madness and lingering demise that much the worse for the entire culture.

The ratings this year deservedly look exactly like the Hindenburg going into the ground at Lakehurst one fateful day, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of jackasses. They've earned the absolute worst box office and worst ratings in history, with exactly the hubris and self-delusion your comment displayed.

But don't, in your haste to condemn their long-standing jackassery and stupidity, ever kid yourself that you or any fifty other people would, even in five lifetimes, amount to a patch on the underpants of the people that make it to the top of that pyramid. It's one of the most brutally unfair backstabbing bloodsport shankfests ever created by mankind, and the people that are and have been the acknowledged masters of that craft, since ever, have more talent for their business in the tip of their pinkies than you or I will ever have in our entire bodies if we lived to 100. The lowest paid actor you ever saw on a screen still beat out 200 people for the job, in a town where you can hit major league talent by swinging a dead cat.

The people running the business for the last couple of decades are most assuredly top-tier world-class @$$holes.
And even the biggest @$$holes in that pack could act rings around you, blindfolded, hog-tied, and falling down drunk.

And the only people who know that are every person who ever bought a movie ticket or popped in a disc to watch one of their performances.

Hate the @$$hollishness of the @$$holes all you want; it's your inalienable right. But please, if only out of self-respect, stop kidding yourself, and quit talking out your other end.

Pachydermis2 said...


All that you say is true. You don't even want to contemplate me singing. But it's not just the acting. Most of the stories they are telling are crap. I do think I could write a better screenplay than most of what is being churned out.

Assuming of course that I did not have to kow tow to the Asian market (dubious) and that the studio cared as little as I do about who might be offended by a story that had some casual linkage to the real world (Not Gonna Happen!). But that's on them, not me.


Old NFO said...

Didn't watch, have no idea who was up for what. Honestly, I don't care anymore. Thankful for TCM and channels that play the 'old' movies (pre 2000) that we can enjoy for the escapism without being clubbed with the message plots...

Kid said...

If I could sing like Judy I would. Now lets see Judy Garland build a fine piece of furniture, something I have the talent for that I don't use to elevate myself above anyone else btw.

Many individuals have unique talents and use them in ways that benefit society while being compensated at rates 1/10000th or less what these people are.

If the world were suddenly without actors and actresses few would notice and society as a whole would not actually suffer as a result since there are literally Millions of people going about the business of making stuff happen. Grow the food, build the houses, provide medical services, etc etc ad infinitum.

My comment stands. If you want to adore actors - hey, doesn't bother me at all. Once again, the last thing you'll see me do is plant myself in front of a screen watching them absurdly elevate themselves above everyone else. Especially while the vast majority of them are dumb A*s

Roy said...

I love it when someone presses Aesop's button. But...

He's right.

Don't kid yourself. Assholes aside, the movie making business is hard work. Just look at the hours those top tier actors put in when they're shooting a picture. And that's not even counting all those other folks you see in the bottom half of the credit roll.

It's a real shame that the assholes have taken over and are driving the industry into the ground. I for one still enjoy a good movie.

Oh, and ASM, thank you for the link. That was one righteous rant. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Roy said...

Kid's second post came in right before mine...

Kid is also correct, but those two opinions are not mutually exclusive. Only the "...one of the easiest things that can be done in life." part.

It just so happens I probably *could* sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" for the class. Flawlessly. Seventeen times in a row. Of course, I wouldn't be as good (or as good looking) as Judy Garland in her prime. Nor would I get paid for it because my base voice doesn't quite match up with the song. That's life. The things I am good at, I got paid quite handsomely for.


Weetabix said...

Sheesh, Aesop. I like you and all, but you can go on a tangent even harder than I can.

I'll bet none of the A-listers or B-listers can design a highway or a storm water system to work as well as mine will. And I can't act like they can.

But they're egregious hypocrites when they lecture us on how much fuel we use or how we don't share enough of our money with dah poor.

My expertise doesn't give me the morally righteous prerogative to tell them how to live their lives and spend their money. And theirs doesn't give them the prerogative to tell me how to live mine or spend mine.

They all need to STFU. Their job is to be pretty and to entertain. After that, they can shut up.

Kid said...

I'll just add that there are those whose work I respect and enjoy. Denzel Washington, John Wayne as a couple examples. Keanu Reeves seriously learned martial arts for Matrix as another. So, I'll back away from 'the easiest things to do' for some of them, but that's a small minority of the group imo. People pay to see them and they get paid for their work. End of story as far as I'm concerned.

How about an awards show for doctors who bring people back from pain and suffering to normal healthy lives. Extend that to all the professions. I'd watch some of that before the Oscars.

But yea, peace. To each their own and all.

Aesop said...

And the point of the exercise, Weet, is that I would be just as full of a crock of a certain well-known substance if I denigrated something equally worthwhile - like designing a highway or storm water system - as "one of the easiest things that can be done in life".

That's a load of horsesh..., er, rose fertilizer, in either direction.

Calling something one cannot do easy, or worthless, is pure and simply crap. That's my entire objection.

Rant on all you like about what monumental @$$holes and pretentious virtue-signalling hypocrites they are, and I'll outdo you at that ten times a week, in my sleep, and I'll give you first-hand illustrations with names you know, after only 25 years in "the Biz". It's like shooting fish in a barrel with a howitzer. I never defended their right to be that way or do that, so knocking that straw man over doesn't impress me much on this topic.

But if what they did for a living were anything like easy, all the loudmouths who think it so would be hauling down $100M/year for doing it better, instead of trying to tell us the grapes they could never get to were probably sour anyways.

And exactly as I said, that's the same hubris and self-delusion those self-righteous Hollywood pricks are guilty of.

Anybody who wants to double down on that should post the link to their next feature film here. I'll wait.

The silence will be deafening, the box office is seldom deceived, and I'll match paychecks with anyone who wants to bet I'm mistaken.

If people on the conservative side of the spectrum would spend or had ever spent as much time beating Hollywood at their own game as they do jaw-jacking and bitching/moaning/whining about how awful the people who run Hollywood are, and running away from the industry in particular and culture in general, they wouldn't all be sitting out there butthurt that they're getting their asses handed to them in the culture war they surrendered fifty years ago.

Politics is downstream from culture.
Arts and entertainment, like education, are culture.
People keep trying to steer the horse by pulling its tail, and are stunned when it doesn't work.

Every swinging Richard can sing the theme from Gilligan's Island, but you couldn't find five kids in an entire university who could quote to you the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. That isn't an accident, and it isn't Hollywood's fault.

When that penny finally drops for the culturally illiterate buffoons on our own side, it will probably be after we're back to doing shadow pictures on cave walls again.

No offense, but put up or shut up.
There are screenwriting software programs available for <$100. Go write better stories, and find someone to make them, and the world will literally beat a path to your door, and you can turn a $10 ream of paper into $1B.

J.K. Rowling was living in her car on welfare when she wrote the Harry Potter series. It's no harder than that.

So the only thing stopping you is you.
Do, or do not. There is no "try".

Pachydermis2 said...


We don't know each other well enough to really offend each other!


5stonegames said...

I've dabbled in screenwriting, acting and comedy. None of them are easy.

That doesn't mean actors and that lot aren't overpaid for the social benefit they provide society. They are.

Its also typical sign of decline in society to revere actors who as Cromwell understood are rogues. He banned the theater BTW

And yes Aesop is correct, stories matter. This is why guy that made the truth about Islam was jailed among other things.

Its also why censorship is the norm in most societies our included and in an interregnum has to stay the norm. If you want to be in charge , only your stories get told till the culture is adult enough to be moral and to handle others.

I suspect that Hollywood would be a lot more moral and a lot less preachy, assuming the entire edifice survives which it may not , if the penalty were forced labor or a noose for degeneracy.

Irish said...

Every once in a while a post like this reminds of this post from 10.5 years ago:

via http://injennifershead.com/?p=1841

Dance, Monkey!

Dear Hollywood celebrities,

You exist for my entertainment. Some of you are great eye candy. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you can scare the crap out of me. Others make me laugh. But you all have one thing in common, you only have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it.

You make your living pretending to be someone else. Playing dress up like a retard*. You live in a make believe world in front of a camera. And often when you are away from one too. Your entire existence depends on my patronage.

I’ll crank the organ grinder; you dance.

I don’t really care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your stance matters far less to me than that of my neighbor. You see, you aren’t real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer and you cease to exist in my world. Once I am done with you, I can put you back in your little box until I want you to entertain me again.

I don’t care that you think the BP executives deserve the death penalty. But I bet you looked cute saying it.

And you? Really? I’m supposed to care what the director of fluffy tripe made for gullible people thinks of those who realize global warming is a scam? Get back into your bubble. I’ll let you know when I’m in the mood for something blue and shiny.

Make me laugh, or cry. Scare me. But realize that the only words of yours that matter are scripted. I might agree with some of you from time to time, but it doesn’t matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment.

So, shut your pie hole and dance, monkey!

*that’s a reference to a quote and not a commentary on the mentally impaired. I’d never use that term for someone who didn’t choose to be mentally impaired. But some people make the choice to not use their mental faculties and are voluntarily slow. For those, the term is appropriate.

–and after all the linky (thanks Ambulance Driver, AEPilotJim, Firehand, LawDog, and Borepatch) I realize there was a glaring lack of comma.

ETA-This originated with me. Other people have been known to publish it as their own, but it is mine. Please feel free to share this post with proper accreditation and a link back to this page. If you see it without, please let me know. Thank you.

Aesop said...

All true, hear, hear; but entirely irrelevant to the point made: denigrating something because one thinks it's easy, when it quite demonstrably is not, is farcical. On the same level of an actor who bagged it after 10th grade pretending to understand geoscience or macroeconomics.

And BTW, Point of Order:

I don't know the Jennifer in question, but I doubt she'll "crank the organ grinder". Unless there's a tape of that on PornHub etc., it generally doesn't work that way.

She might pay the organ grinder to crank their organ, which is a completely separate double entendre not related to her original malaprops.

English is difficult that way.

Back to the free for all already in progress.

The Lab Manager said...

Like the sports industry, the ones suffering the most are the working class who build the sets, run the cameras, cater food, and such to make a movie happen. They are too selfish and self absorbed to see that.