Monday, February 26, 2007

And the Winner Is

February 26, 2007

It was the most boring Academy Awards ceremony in recent memory, with Ellen Degeneres looking tacky in a beat-up looking red velvet pantsuit, making lame jokes and presenting a rather predictable slate of nominees, all expecting the worst and delivering prepared and unremarkable speeches. I have to eat crow for predicting that The Queen would win Best Picture and Best Director, and actually not building in the off-chance that the real best picture, The Departed, might win. I let myself off that particular hook when I realized that the award was not for that picture, but for all the times Martin Scorcese didn't win when everybody felt he should have. I can't learn to think like that; and besides, I may be the only person in America who thought The Departed was the best film olast year, with The Queen a close second. The critics say I'm wrong about that; maybe I am. But I was glad it went that way.

The whole thing put me to sleep early, and I didn't get the word until I woke up this morning.

Then I got the real news: That the big winner in this contest may end up in yet another contest. An Inconvenient Truth, which I've not seen, has put Al Gore back in the running, this time as a viable Presidential candidate in what may be history's most ironic twist. The man who was seen as a clunky, out-of-touch loser (who actually won -- figure that one out), emerges as most appealing in a field of inept Democratic candidates who cancel each other out.
The success of this film presents him as a Hollywood winner, which is just about as big a winner as you can be in this country, and he is a known quantity which most of the country knows got a bad deal the last time out, saddling us with a sorry world for somebody with special skills to begin to straighten out.

This just may be the start of something big. Or maybe not. At least Little Miss Sunshine did win something.

23 comments:

sinjap said...

"The success of this film presents him as a Hollywood winner, which is just about as big a winner as you can be in this country"

unfortunately, i think this is true, and it is a very sad testimony to the decline of this nation...i don't want to get into a political debate (oh, why not?!) but i think the title of the film should have been "a convenient lie"...to believe that global warming is caused solely by mankind's use of fossil fuels is the most arrogant and factually unsupported of idealistic bandwagons...come on people, we just don't have that kind of power over mother earth...no matter what your political leanings, please do some real research into the matter before you blindly hitch yourself to al gore's ridiculous global warming bandwagon

and as far as the oscars are concerned, seriously who cares?
they've long since lost the glitz and glamour of the past...24 hour in-your-face news gets us up close and way too personal with all the hollywood debauchery and makes rubble of the once exaulted pedestal we used to put those stars on...there are plenty of other worthy role models i'm sure i can find for my daughter in the 3000 miles between here and l.a.

another cichlid said...

Kinda sour reporting. Could it be that Dame Kidman, starting the affair off in her long red dress, put you off? I looked for any report of Gore announcing after the soiree that he was running for pres, and all I found was this. Where are you getting this info if you fell asleep? I watched the whole thing and it was used as a running gag, I thought. Maybe if I google this rumour later today, your blog will appear. Verrry cagey, you.

Finding Fair Hope said...

I hope nobody cares about the Oscars, but it seems to mean something to somebody, and because I like movies I do sometimes watch the awards...this time I caught most of it on the morning news broadcasts. I wasn't crazy about Nicole Kidman's red dress nor the one on Cameron Diaz, but apparently there was not much protest-dressing either.

They haven't found the perfect host for the event since Johnnie Carson, but I did used to like Billy Crystal (though no one ever came up to Bob Hope all those years).

As for role models for your daughter, for heaven's sake I hope you're not looking to Hollywood or the Oscars for that. It's just a yearly exercise in, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, nothing -- like Mardi Gras is in this region, but at least with some industry behind it, if not art.

I like the passion of Sinjap against the theory of global warming; however, I think the jury is still out on that one and it wouldn't hurt to open our minds a bit. I'm not a fan of Al Gore, and I haven't seen the movie, but there are clearly so many worse people in the Presidential race that I'd kinda like to see this open the door back for him.

Now to click on "another cichlid's" link and see whatever this person is talking about. Hope it's not more sour reporting.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Sorry, chiclid. Your link doesn't work. Did you try the one I so cleverly snuck into my blogpost? Sometimes I get up early in the morning.

another cichlid said...

Sorry, Ms. Fairhope. Try this one.

Finding Fair Hope said...

GREAT link, Cichlid! No doubt Sinjap will hate it, as will any devoutly ungreen tree-non-hugger. But Gore's forces are already out there, beating the bushes and shaking the trees for support.

I'm ready to do some real research...not a bandwagon jumper, but an old-school idealistic Utopian. How about the rest of yall?

mellow drama said...

I had a different Oscar-watching experience.I was really impressed with the creativity of the overall
presentation, from Ellen's quirky skits to the splendid shadow play. I loved Will & Jack & Whozit's comedic lament...wouldn't have worked if it wasn't really good.

The whole show is a thing to behold late at night in high def on a
ten-foot screen. I could see Jessica Biel's nipples (or at least their shadow) during her entire time on stage. Peter O'toole looked terrible. Clint looks pretty good. Jack Nicholson looked bald. Melissa Etheridge looked hirsute. Leo DiCap and Mark W'berg looked like young turks.

James Taylor has the most enduring voice in pop history, and looks
bald. Al Gore was in his element. His face looks fat. Helen Mirren made a gutsy, debatable choice with that low-cut dress among all those
endowed ingenues. I was really looking forward to seeing the rest of the production, to skipping through the rest of the commercials, to jumping past all the boring speeches by folks I could care less about to seeing the climax of a particularly cohesive and warm Academy Presentation -- but my T-Vo ran out before it was all over.

Finding Fair Hope said...

I hear that Nicholson's bald pate was for his next movie. Not to worry, next time out he'll augment what he has as best he can.

sinjap said...

green treehugging idealist here! i don't believe that climate change is caused by humans, its just cyclic...but i still think the earth needs to be respected and not trashed...and i just can't stand the hollywood hypocrisy of wearing an organic bamboo dress to the oscars and then driving home in your gas-guzzling hummer!

Benedict S. said...

There are natural cycles of warming that are no doubt partly responsible for the recent increases and predicted future increases. But even though humanity's part in CO2 volume is relatively small, it is enough to assure that the levels are now higher than ever before in history. If the data Gore used in his film are correct, and if offsetting steps are not taken, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere will skyrocket in the next century. The opposition has only one tack to take, if they wish to be taken seriously, that correlations are not necessarily causative. That's probably a loser, too, but as they say, any port in a storm.

isadora2 said...

I've pulled the following off the Act for Change network.

"Gore's documentary follows closely the recent report from the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicts a very dangerous warming of several degrees Fahrenheit in coming decades if we do not change our present course.

Climate change caused by global warming does not mean that all areas of the earth will get a little warmer. Instead, the consequences can best be thought of as "climate destabilization" -- stronger storms, longer droughts, deeper freezes, and more extreme heat waves -- with catastrophic results for human life all over the planet.

The United States is responsible for approximately 25% of worldwide
greenhouse gas emissions."

My thoughts are: We can assume this is all hype and do nothing and and
perhaps be responsible for global warming, or we can acknowledge that
there is a more than 50 % chance that this is true and do everything we can now and in the future to "green up" this planet to prevent it from happening.

Grammie said...

In my opinion the real winner last night was the actual existence of some personality emanating from Al Gore. His ability to laugh at himself showed a vulnerability that I hadn't seen before and it was becoming on him. I wasn't ever a really big fan of his before, but I do respect his passion and intelligence after viewing "An Inconvenient Truth".

I have to agree with Mellow Drama (love that name!) in that I did enjoy the Oscar's last night. Ellen was witty and relaxed...and the dancers whose shadows became objects were incredible. If we could just take out the long, boring speeches it might actually be an entertaining show.

sinjap said...

like any statistics, it all depends on whose side you're on as to how you decipher them...it also matters who came up with the statistics in the first place and whose payroll they are on...i just want to know, why should we believe a bunch of glorified weather men about how the climate's gonna be in 100 years or so when most of them can't even predict the weather accurately for this weekend?

Daniel Spiro said...

I like Gore. He seems to be so much more comfortable in his own skin than he was in 2000. And if he were to get the nomination, I wouldn't cry for a second.

I'm not a scientist, so I can't say whether he's full of it when it comes to climate change. But since the vast majority of scientists tend to agree that we're overheating ourselves due to fossil fuels, I'd say that yes, we should take steps to stop it.

Did Gore exaggerate the extent of the horrors in the relatively near term if we sit back and do nothing? On that issue, I think the answer is yes. And it's a bit ironic, because were it not for some petty exaggerations on his part during the 2000 campaign, we'd probably be talking about President Gore right now and not President Bush.

Finally, as for the idea that Gore should be drafted to run due to a relatively crappy Democratic field, I'm against it. We already have a brilliant, charismatic candidate in the field who I believe to be a highly ethical human being. I'm talking about Barack Obama. Sure, he could be a bit more seasoned, but that has its drawbacks too, now doesn't it?

Let Al continue to make his case about global warming and let us rally behind Obama. As for Hillary, she and her co-President have had two terms already. This being a democracy, not a monarchy, that's plenty.

Finding Fair Hope said...

I just saw George Stephanopolis on Don Imus' program say that what Gore is doing is waiting to be drafted for the nomination. According to him Gore won't run against Hillary for the nomination. I still think he would be the best candidate -- but since he isn't a candidate, I think Dan Spiro's right, the best candidate is Barack Obama, and it's time to let the Clintons know that.

As far as her having eight years' experience in the White House, yes, she lived there, but she hasn't been President and hasn't demonstrated that she could handle the job. Let's give someone new a chance.

Benedict S. said...

Sinjap: The data I referred to (from "An Inconvenient Truth") were not forecasts made by weathermen. They are data developed by analysis of ice core samples, and they reflect strong correlations between CO2 levels and temperature rises over a 450,000 year period. I cannot attest to the accuracy of the data, and that's why I say, "If the data is correct . . . "

Daniel: Please give details of the "petty exaggerations" you think Gore made during the 2000 campaign. If you're referring to the Love Canal, thing, or the "Love Story" thing, or his involvement in the development of the Internet . . . those were not exaggerations, petty or otherwise. They were facts. In the expert hands of Karl Rove they became lies. And the rest is history.

Bert said...

What are the anti-climate heaters themselves doing to cool things down?

Burning fossil fuels is, from my limited perspective, all we can do to slow down the overheating. Which suggests the facetious possibility that once the earth warms enough, no one will need to burn fossil fuels to avoid being cold.

And then once John Galt's static electric motor is perfected, we won't have to refine oil into gas and can save the oil for the plastics we all love.

And what about the notion that abortion is a wonderful tool for battling global climate change?

Finding Fair Hope said...

If there's one thing politicians hate -- particularly Republicans, it seems -- it is hypocrisy. How dare people like Al Gore, whose 20-room home uses 20 times more energy in a year than that of the average American household, tell us to conserve for the greater good of mankind. The answer has to do with the carbon footprint of his property, as described in An Inconvenient Truth.

As I have suggested, let us learn a little more about all this before we assume that everybody else is being hypocritical. Check on the link; see the movie.

another cichlid said...

Isn't it a bit fatuous to compare Gore's 20-room digs to an average american household? What goes on in the 10-room home of an average american versus what goes on in Al Gore's home? It's a rhetorical question which I can't answer, but I'll put my vote behind the idea that Al, with his deep carbon footprint and the planning, dreaming, and entertaining conducted therein (dija see the way he schmoozed with those stars?), does more to soften the effect of CO2 emissions than does that average american you'd have Gore measure up to. Let him burn up a little extra CO2 in getting across his 2 cents worth. We should all be so lavish with our resources, be them ethically or petroleum based.

Daniel Spiro said...

Benedict,

You can google "Gore's exaggerations" and "2000 campaign" and find all sorts of examples of . what I was talking about. Whatever the truth happened to be in each individual case, the fact is that the media nailed Gore for one supposed petty exaggeration after another and that was a factor that hurt him significantly in an election with a razor thin margin.

midas said...

Well, your old cynic here drives a gas hoggin' big V-8 suv and runs the house ac at 60 while burning the fire palce in July enjoying financial deference to most Americans and all the illegals.
Any narrow margin , especially negative sided ones, can be overcome with enough money if you've got a mind to buy it. The
show of ostentation and back patting for it is what awards are all about. There is no accountability for the rich and priviledged and never has been as far back as recorded time, save an occasional assasination. I am here still. Money IS the green stuff. Viewers of awards emote to the event itself unless viewing as a participant welcoming others to the green club, political or not. Politicians are the Houdinis of the green. I got mine, mine, mine.

Nagarjuna said...

Do you consider Obama to be an "inept Democratic candidate"? I think he may be the most promising and exhilarating Democratic candidate in decades.

Finding Fair Hope said...

That "inept" may have been too harsh a word, Nagar, especially for Obama...but I was speaking in the subjunctive mood anyway: "may be." I'm quite partial to Obama too, but it remains to see how he conducts the rest of him campaign after the Clinton people go after him.f