Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


It's only a movie

One of the reasons I occasionally get burned out by surfing the Internet is the asinine opinions. Actually, it's not really the asinine opinions that bug me - I'm certainly aware that I myself probably hold several opinions which might be classified as such - it's the sheer vehemence with which some people on the Internet express and defend such opinions. If you, for instance, think my list of great songs is asinine, so be it - this is America, and I'm not forcing you to like them. But a lot of people think that their opinion is the only one that matters, even if it's stupid.

Case in point: the Academy Awards. I watched the ceremony because I like Jon Stewart. He was fine, but not as funny as he is on The Daily Show, but that's okay, because I didn't expect him to be. I didn't really care one way or the other which movie won or even why they were nominated in the first place. I didn't care if George Clooney, despite a relatively classy (to use Krys's word, which fits) acceptance speech, came off a bit smug about how people in Hollywood are better than everyone else. It just didn't matter to me, and then the moment was gone, and it was over.

Then I read some blogs yesterday - specifically, conservative blogs. Jesus, do some people take the Oscars waaaaaay too seriously. First, Brokeback Mountain. I haven't seen it. Whatever. I read one right-winger claiming that if this had been a "straight" western and Kevin Costner had uttered the dialogue, the critics would have savaged it. Well, maybe. I don't know. I do know that Costner won an Oscar for a western, and that he was also in another (Silverado, a far superior movie to Dances With Wolves) in which he uttered some pretty stupid dialogue, but I didn't care all that much, because, well, it's only a movie. The blogger also points out that Brokeback Mountain isn't about cowboys, it's about shepherds. What the hell does that prove? I guess shepherd is a less "manly" occupation than cowboy, so it's okay if they're gay - but leave my cowboy icon alone!

Then there was Crash. This was the only movie nominated for any of the big awards that I have seen, simply because it's been out long enough for the DVD to be out, and I bought it. It's okay. It's certainly not the greatest movie ever, and I got sick of how every character is racist in some way, but it addressed racism and the differences between races in a way you rarely see in movies and hardly ever in real life, so that was nice. I don't know if it deserved the Best Picture Award, but I don't really care. It's only a movie. It's not going to change a thing, and it's not going to influence anyone. Racists aren't going to see it and say "Hey, people are people, so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully?" Then, of course, I read right-wing blogs, which tore it to shreds. "My Los Angeles looks nothing like the one in Crash!" "Who is this director talking about when he says 'We don't know how to deal with other races'? I'm not part of his 'we'." "I'm a police office in Los Angeles, and everyone I have worked with is super-fantastic to everyone and helps all people, regardless of race!" We'll, that's great for you. I read a conservative blog written by a black woman who implies quite often that racism no longer exists in America. I'm sure you can find a million black people in America who claim racism no longer exists. That doesn't mean it doesn't. I would say to these people who had an issue with Crash: it's only a movie. It's fiction. FICTION! Of course the coincidences are overwhelming. Of course the characters all go through life-altering events in the space of 24 hours. Of course the irony is thick. Paul Haggis was trying to make a point. You can argue that he doesn't make it well, but don't argue the point. That's just stupid. It's the same thing with Munich. You can argue that Spielberg made a bad movie, but I'm sick of people bashing him because he dared suggest that killing someone might make you a little less human. Horrors!

Of course the Academy is political. So what? How much power do they actually have? When have Oscars ever been socially relevant? If George Clooney says something, do the politicians in Washington really jump up and do what he says? I don't know, but I doubt it. And of course the Academy doesn't give out awards to the "best" pictures. So what? They give out awards to movies they think are important and make them feel good about themselves, and that's their prerogative. Why is everyone making such a big deal about the awards? We have to eliminate a good, what, 70% of the movies released every year anyway, not because they're crappy movies, but because they don't fit with what the Academy considers "important." The last time a comedy won the Best Picture Award was Annie Hall in 1977. The last time anything remotely resembling a comedy won was Shakespeare In Love in 1998, and I think we can all agree that it was a mistake. In 1999 Eddie Murphy should have been nominated (and I think he should have won) for his dual role in Bowfinger - he was funny in both roles, in completely different ways. Science fiction is out, too. Some truly great movies have been considered "sci-fi" so they're completely disregarded. In terms of influence and sheer mind-blowingness, The Matrix should have been nominated. The fact that a fantasy movie won a few years ago is pretty stunning, if you ask me. But it won't set a trend.

So who cares about the Oscars? Why make such a big deal about the horrible liberals celebrating evil degenerate movies that teach our kids that fags are human and some people don't like each other based only on race? This is why the Internet bugs me occasionally. It's only a movie, after all.

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Blogger T. said...

With all due respect I think you're exercising a bit of a double standard. If conservatives make a big deal about the Oscars and the movies, it's mostly because liberals do. Most entertainment shows, newspaper and movie buffs, most of them liberal, talk about how great for society all these progressively themed movies are, ad nauseum, it's not surprising that conservatives start responding in kind.

Both sides give the media too much credit and take themes in movies too seriously. George Clooney's speech is a perfect example of that.

7/3/06 11:30 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

No double standard at all, sir! I totally agree that liberals make too big a deal about the awards. And you're right, Clooney's speech is a perfect example of that. Most of us go to the movies to be entertained for a few hours and then we get back to our lives. it doesn't affect us one way or another. I just didn't happen to read a lot of liberal blogs on Monday claiming that Crash was going to change the way we deal with race, although I know those sentiments were out there. That's why I focused on conservatives. As I may have said, they are only movies. They're not really going to change the world one way or another.

8/3/06 7:35 AM  
Blogger Chris Cope said...

Most movies make me sing Depeche Mode lyrics. That's why I've given up on movies.

8/3/06 11:17 AM  

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