Oscar’s Night; Who Gives a Fuck?
For many years I used to watch the Academy Awards without giving the least bit of thought or consideration to what utter, ugly horseshit they are and have always been. Damn, they are stupid and bad, fuckin’ painful.
To be nominated was a big deal, meant you were gonna be able to find work and make a living as an actor, probably, for a few years after. And if you actually “won” the award, it pretty much meant the same fucking thing.
Awards are a big deal if you win them and a bigger deal if you don’t, as you compare how much better your best shit, or worse, your weaker shit is to everybody you are treating as pals but secretly hoping to crush in both recognition and earnings.
Award . . . Uuuuu I’m gettin’ all tingly lookin’ at it.
I started this piece in an already foul mood because I have to go to a friend’s house for an Oscar party I don’t wish to attend.
Fuck man, I’m 74 fuckin’ years old and I have finally discovered the true meaning of freedom and success; to wit, freedom is getting to do what you wanna do and not having to do shit you don’t wanna do. That’s all there is to it.
But the ugly, horrifying truth is that there’s always gonna be shit you don’t wanna do that you have to do, b/c that’s just life; like awards shows, like having scam offers from crooked scammers to purchase your beloved car that just waste yer fuckin’ time, like feeling the second hand, minute hand, hour hand of a clock racing you towards 75 years of age...or maybe not? That’s a finish line too far ahead to see.
So, until my next big award, I gotta admit, I’m all in on Power of the Dog tonight because I’ve seen it four times and not seen any of the other best pic nominees even once, and because I like dogs and stories about toxic homophobia, and because...I dunno...who gives a fuck right?
Here’s me before and me right now and me always —
Note to the pic above, the redhead in the background had to dis-invite me to our TBF thing a few years back and two weeks after doing so, she killed herself. My novel Stuck in Neutral was her fav, book, EVER.
Writing is all I got.
Writing is all I need or want.
If you’re dumb enough to enjoy the Red Carpet tonight, you’re a lucky idiot, useless, but lucky.
Meaninglessness, Celebrity Vapid Incandescence
Although the Academy Awards represent a special place in hell for those performers lucky, blessed, cursed, and doomed enough to be nominated much less to win one, the ceremony, the red-carpet parade of inelegant and ridiculous fashion offenses, the pure and perfect balance of vulgarity and garishness is not unique in ‘Merican culture. Not by a long shot.
Arby’s has “the meats,” Subaru means “love,” just because you have HIV infection doesn’t mean you’re necessarily in any big trouble because, for a mere $50,000 a year, you can take medicine and live pretty much normally, like all the people on the big pharma commercials we meet in between spots for psoriasis or big time weight loss programs required because, remember, only about forty-five seconds ago you were informed for the kazillinth time that Arby has “the meats”, slathered by the way, in butter and fat and sugar and salt. Welcome to the red carpet.
This ranting rumination against the obscene abuses of cultural excess so well represented by Oscar night etc., was just interrupted by my wife Patti who reminded me that last evening we watched, for about the fifth time (no, seriously, at least five times) Master and Commander on the Far Side of the World.
M & C was and is a brilliant period piece that captures Russel Crowe the once amazingly talented, height weight proportionate leading man as the Captain of a British Frigate in 1805, sailing around the world fighting Napoleon on the high seas (don’t ask, just suspend disbelief and accept this premise without too many historically relevant questions). This was Russell before he got large enough to make John Goodwin look like Twiggy .
You can look up and read about what happened to this film easily enough and a very abbreviated version of the story is that it was nominated for 10 Oscars but only two of them and was beaten out in its first weekend of theatrical release by the towering fuckin’ genius of Elf and more longitudinally by the franchise of Johnny Depp’s Pirates movies, one after another after another. The fate of M & C has been much like any of Shakespeare's plays would have fared had they been put up, head-to-head in competition with episodes of How I Met Your Mother or Jeopardy, woulda been smashed into nothing.
The credits at the end of M&C run about a thousand names long, including the caterers and the Best Boy Assistant Grip to Mr. Crowe’s Hair Stylist, but if you’ve watched the film closely you realize that every single name in those credits deserves mention.
Ten Oscars, or two, or none at all, the film is a masterpiece of art: performances, writing, cinematography all of it is flawless and should, like other great works of cinematic art, have a long life, to be loved and beloved over and over by anyone smart enough to understand it.
Which brings us to art. Movies are art. Sometimes, indeed, they are very bad art, My Mother the Car. Just plain old bad art, like a series of photos or drawings of your cat, dressed up like famous royals from British History: Henry the 8th kitty in crown and jewels, Queen Elizabeth tabby looking dowdy carrying a big purse on her right front leg, paw, arm, whatever—you get the picture.
But some art is amazing: the Beatles albums Rubber Soul and Revolver set the stage for Sargent Pepper and these three albums changed and permanently altered the course of popular music. Add to this those previously mentioned Shakespearian plays, and the paintings of Jackson Pollock, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman—the list goes on and on, especially if you are able and willing to critically evaluate every creative effort produced in the name of art. Judging for yourself, based on your taste and sensibilities what’s good and what isn’t.
Movies, still called “motion pictures” whether shot on film or H.D., and the stories told in cinema and television are our generation’s art form of choice.
The hilarious and brilliant For Your Consideration directed by Christopher Guest lambasts the whole Academy Awards scene and crucifies the utter incongruity of tying considerations of the overwhelming commercial value of art and leaving it in a smoldering pile of putrid, festering dog shit as an act of self-destruction and self-immolation.
I mentioned Jackson Pollock, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare a couple of times, and several films that are amazing works of art, and none of these or this depend upon Joan Rivers or her daughter's replacement mouthpieces ranting hysterically about who made my gown and whose trillion-dollar jewelry I’m wearing as people crawl all over one another to catch a glimpse of some celebrity who, in a year or two years will be completely forgotten. Forgotten unless his or her name is Meryl Streep who gets nominated EVERY FUCKIN’ YEAR for multiple decades for an Oscar and has even won one or two.
Great art lives a long time.
Shitty art far less.
Oscar is a tiny statue coated in fake gold, representing the art of trying to make money—period.