01 March 2016

Sausages Vaguely Resembling Thüringerwurst

Not "Mayer" — the other "Oscar" in American culture.

  • And so the Oscars are over. At least two months too early. After allowing the diversity conversation to yet again focus on the "magician's assistant" — the "talent" — instead of the overwhelmingly nondiverse "money"'s refusal to provide opportunities to succeed (or, as the case may be, fail) on an even moderately diverse basis.

    And in the end, a basketball player has it right. OK, so he's got an actual undergraduate liberal-arts education. But his point is still valid, if somewhat too narrow. One simply does not enhance diversity of opportunity by substituting in another disfavored group for ridicule (or worse). Life isn't a bloody fraternity hazing ritual, with today's freshman pledges looking forward to their near-future opportunity to be in charge of pledge classes of their very own. Or, at least, we should strive to do better than that: We all win when we visit neither the sins of the parents nor the virtues, neither the ethnicity nor the finances, upon either sons or daughters. That is especially so in the arts, and indeed in anything even peripherally related to the First Amendment. (Intentional irony alert: This atheist's paralleling not just a biblical statement, but one from that particular translation, in this context.)

  • But what about the awards themselves? I did not see enough new film this year to judge. I liked some of the performances/pieces honored, and disliked others, and have utter disdain for allowing artistically/critically-unsophisticated beancounters the majority say in both nominations and voting. I greatly approve of the Academy not turning Best Supporting Actor into a career award for a man whose oeuvre leaves me utterly unimpressed, and most especially whose "seminal" works make me think the side of beef made better hamburgers (or cheesesteaks) than film. On the other hand, it did exactly the opposite with Best Actor, and it continues the logic-hole of not providing a group award for "Best Ensemble Cast," so...
  • <SARCASM> The Heffalump Governor of New Jersey has just thrown the election to the Jackasses by endorsing Donald Drumpf. Even the most populist Americans will pause at the second-biggest bully on today's political stage endorsing the biggest one. I hope. </SARCASM>
  • The appropriate running mate (or, perhaps, opponent!) for Donald Drumpf has seldom been more obvious, particularly when he/it has a story in the Grauniad extolling his/its... virtues.