I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Yet another pat on their backs. Isn't money enough?

Mr. Zelda thinks that I am snob. I don’t watch award shows, not the Grammies, the Emmys, the MTV awards, and certainly not the Oscars. He thinks it goes against Mom and apple pie.

In my defense, those people, actors, script writers, producers, and all the rest, get paid way too much money. They are awarded for marginal talent every time they turn around. It makes me ill to see those people wear dresses that cost more than some folk’s yearly wages. In addition, the food, the drink, the little gift bags, please. Some of these guys make millions to for each film. Millions and they need a gift bag, they need donated clothes, loaned jewelry?

I think it’s morally wrong to place more value on a talent than on other people’s health care, their living expenses, or their educational opportunities. So I don’t watch these award shows. The few times that I have watched a segment or two, and the camera flashes the audience, all done up and ready to show off, well it just makes me sick. Makes me sick that they can celebrate what they have and want more of while I know graduate students who need shoes, undergraduate students who are eating macaroni and cheese every day, and children who need health care. There are other places that money could be spent, namely the humane society, the women’s shelters, after school programs and on and on. Yet, they, Hollywood folks, put their too skinny asses in too expensive clothes, and with too much makeup on they walk down a red carpet and smile for their fans. Fans, by the way, they don’t give a shit about unless it has to do with going to see their movies.

Okay, just wanted you guys to know, I’m no fan of the OSCARS!!


Blogger Diane said...

Let me start by saying I have little interest in the Oscars because they have so little to do with film (although this year, they did a little better than usual in that category). Also, there is built-in sexism regarding the Best Supporting Actress category, but I assume you are familiar with that.

Having said that, I am here to defend the film industry. Though there are a lot of greedy and untalented hacks in it, there are also a lot of artists. If you saw people like George Clooney or Felicity Huffman or the great Meryl Streep on the Broadway stage, I wonder if you would call them no-talents. The medium of film attracts as many artists as any other medium. It also attracts those with no talent at all, which makes film "the people's" art medium, for better and for worse.

Yes, some of those attendintg the Oscars spend tons of money on gowns (and the few I saw last night actually paid for good gowns, for a change) and parties and limousines. No, it isn't fair in the great scheme of things, just as it isn't fair in the great scheme of things that professional athletes make more money by age 21 than I will in my lifetime. But because film is an industry involving very big money (and please note that a low-budget indie film won Best Picture), that does not take away from its entertainment value or from the wing of film that is great art.

1:11 PM  
Blogger zelda1 said...

It isn't so much that they pay for said gowns, most of the actors and actresses get their gowns free, just because it is advertisement. They get goody bags that are worth thousands of dollars. Why give someone who makes millions free stuff, take that money and donate it to a shelter. That's what I think they should say, don't give us freebies, give the money to such and such place, don't give me your gown, let me buy my own or I will donate the worth to some chairty. I know a lot of stars spend a great deal of money and time on charities, but in the scheme of a sixty million a year income, what is a hundred thousand dollars?

You're right, some do act and act well, and some films are great, but for the most part, and I'm sure you will agree, most of the women and men who are in acting are in in because of their great genetics or their great surgeons. It's true Meryl Streep and George Clooney and Jack Nicholson and many others are great and should be compensated for their talent, but when a nobody gets in a film because she has assets other than acting and they reward her or him, I mean really. Sometimes the Oscars are not about the talent, most of the time it isn't about the talent, it's about the look.

I can't even think about the athletes. It makes me crazy. And the coaches, I can't imagine why a university wants to pay a coach millions and their English professors thousands and not many thousands. It's uneven distribution, it's anti-Marxism, Capitalism at its finest. It's creating a new bourgosis class of people, who are young and irresponsiblie and who throw temper tantrums and treat the prolitariat like crap, by throwing phones at them, by pushing the little folks out of the way. I don't know, I think it's unfair, it's not right, and why create a harsher seperation of class by rewarding those who know they are good and giving awards to those who suck, which only reinforces that spoiled rotten personality that has been created by the film industry. And truthfully, my complaint is the excess. The oscar goes to so and so for best actor or actress and suddenly they are making how many more millions a year.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Dr. Lisa said...

While I respect the distinction between the Oscars and the "film industry" that you are making in general, I have to say that I'm with Zelda here. Think about how many more people would have access to "the people's art" as more than just consumers if the money that went into the baroque excesses of this award show went to K-12 art and film programs, for example.

There are undoubtedly professionals in Hollywood. And then there are the rest. But the Oscars aren't about professionalism; it's about rampaging consumption, and I don't blame Zelda for getting sick of it. I heard a media scholar the other day argue that the reason why reality TV became such a phenomenon is related to the constant over-hype associated with celebrity actors. Because you can't go anywhere without celebrity-ism smacking you in the eye, people just got tired of it. Reality TV at least invovled different people. I thought that was interesting.

Finally, I'd take issue with the characterization of "Lion's Gate" film as strictly an "independent" film company per se. Crash is a very good movie (and Lion's Gate has released some extremely good movies the past few years, but Lion's Gate has heavy-duty resources behind it (Tom Cruise, for example, has produced through this outlet). LG hardly qualifies as a heavily disadvantaged film company--it's more along the lines of United Artists or Miramax, which have gotten more and more influential selling to a mid-Indie audience with such movies as "Ameilie."

5:25 AM  
Blogger zelda1 said...

That would be great, that is to spend the money on schools, provide these students, some who might not ever have the opportunity to take an acting class, or see a film, instead of an overpriced awards show. What would it hurt to experiment, get rid of the award shows and give that money for one year to the public and private school systems and distribute the money, just see what it produced. Was it Locke who said that we all start out together and then some get ahead and some fall behind? I say why does the race have to be lost so early. Give all children the oppourtunity to experience the good life, even if it is only in school. What a better way to fund it than with the money for those over priced and over rated award nights.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

As someone who loathes the Academy Awards, I would be fine with giving all that money to help people. But we shouldn't forget that the people attending the Oscar ceremony have, as a group, probably raised more millions to help people than any other group in America.

And the real problem isn't Hollywood: The real problem is that our government has decided it isn't supposed to help people.

7:42 AM  
Blogger zelda1 said...

I know they raise a lot of money, and some, give a lot of money in comparison to what they make; no like others who make millions, give a concert or some put their clothes up for sale or whatever, and give those items and their worth to people who bid on them, or who pay to go to the concerts. What I mean is this, someone makes millions, they give a concert, average Joe pays twenty bucks a pop, the money goes to chairty, really what has the celebrity given, besides a little time and with their busy lifestyle with working and rushing the children and here and there and making all these appointments and so forth, well, they don't have much time, unlike you and I who, well we just don't have that much going on. I am, of course being sarcastic, we don't have Nannies or publicists or secretaries or housekeepers or drivers or any of those things that make life good. My point, until those who make millions give compartable to what they make, are they really giving. I give ten dollars and I have given above and beyond what I can afford, while let's say George Clooney gives thousands and it still won't hurt his economics because the man has millions maybe billions. Unfair distribution as well as unfair expectations of chairty. They expect when they do these chairty things for the average person to participate. Sometimes, they should just give. I am not knocking what they do give or how much money they have raised, or even their time. I'm just saying they are not doing that much in the grand scheme of their over indulged lives. That's all.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Mouse said...

We can always go back to blaming the government. They haven't done this; they won't do that. Yes, our government is going to hell in a handbasket, but that's because we let it. Remember, democracy is "for the people, by the people" and is "the government you deserve." The government is the people, people as the government are not funding education properly in anyway, people as the government are not feeding the poor. So when we go blaming everything on the government we have to look at our fuck ups; these actors add to our society a form of entertainment, but do they save lives through surgery,do they teach reading, writing, or math? No not really. Sure, they give to charities, but we, as a government, still let millions of dollars become pretty little pictures to our tv screens instead of turning off the cable and sending that money to charity, instead of forcing, and we can, OUR government to bust the monopoly that is entertainment.

8:41 AM  
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5:08 AM  

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