Hollywood's Big Night

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The early returns are in and it's estimated that the TV ratings for last night's Oscar presentations were the lowest ever.

Now, I know those of you who have bothered to make it to this second sentence are most likely saying to yourself, "So what?" and you know what? You're right. This is Hollywood's big night. It is not America's big night.

That is not intended as a slam at Hollywood or the movie-making business. While there are a lot of movie makers who hate America, there are some who don't. But the Oscars are not about (maybe they once were, but they aren't now) which movies pleased the most people. The Oscars are about which movies and movie-performances were thought to have been done the best by other movie people.

Now's when you can say, "So what?"

If I were a member of the American Association of Car Restoration (I don't know if there is such a group and don't feel like researching the topic) we would probably have an award ceremony. We'd give out awards to the person or persons who "Most Effectively Restored a Convertible" or “The Abe Fenstermacher Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence in Beatin’ the Dents out of a HubCap”. The city where we held the award (Amarillo, TX, I’d think) would probably have a story about our awards program on the news but I wouldn’t expect any other outlets to give us any mention unless one of their locals won one of the more prestigious offerings (“Best Explanation for the Existence of the Pacer”).

The only other people who would take any notice of this would be the car-restorers from across the country who didn’t make it to the show. Everyone else in the country would let it pass without notice and that would be fine with both those who cared about the awards and those who didn’t.

In a sane world, Hollywood would hold its Oscar ceremony and no one outside the business would watch it. (Well, yes, that’s pretty much what happened last night, but the morning news shows were inundated with recapping the “festivities” for those who “didn’t see them” which was pretty much every viewer of the morning news shows.) See, I don’t mind if the Hollywoodites hold their ceremonies. I guess I don’t care if the TV and print media publish details about the shindig. I just resent the implication that I should care.

Why should I care which narcissist gets which award? It’s not going to affect my viewing habits or my appreciation habits of those bits I do view.

The Oscar ratings will continue to decline (you and I both know Hollywood’s going to continue to award what they appreciate, not what we appreciate) and one of these days the ceremony will probably follow The Miss America Pageant and the Tony Awards and the NHL onto cable. Those who care can still see it and the rest of us will probably be several years down the road before we realize we haven’t seen … haven’t seen … what was the name of that thing again?