Posts Tagged ‘Academy Awards
[ NOTE: If you do want to watch the Oscars, but don't have a tee-vee...then EW.com is a good place for coverage. If you follow this link, they have a really well-put-together "dashboard" that has a live commenting feature and a little video screen that I think will show the awards ceremony. Right now they are just showing the pre-show stuff...and maybe ABC won't let them show a live feed of the telecast itself, but if they don't then EW will have a running play by play and screenshots of the event. I've never seen a "dashboard" like this before and really like what they put together. ]
So, tonight is “Oscars Night”….which is technically one of the “High Drinking Holidays” here in Boystown; these are either lesser-known or essentially gay-specific “holidays” that straight people almost entirely ignore, but gays relish as excuses to get dressed up funny and then drink like crazy. There will no doubt be buff twenty-somethings painted gold and dancing on tables in shiny Speedos…meant to represent Oscar itself. The more talented drag queens in town will channel the ghosts of the great stars of the past, so Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Gloria Swanson, and others could walk the Earth yet again tonight…albeit with an extra part or two tucked away somewhere that they never had in life. A handful of bars will show the entire four hour telecast, which is technically illegal and against ABC’s broadcasting rules…but the day the entertainment industry will ever sue a gay bar for copyright violations is probably the day after I personally win an Oscar for something myself.
I have absolutely no interest at all in watching the Academy Awards this year…just as I haven’t cared about the awards or the ceremony itself in a good number of years. That’s not how it always was for me, and in fact when I first moved to Chicago I participated in “Oscars Night’ along with a lot of other guys in Boystown. I even went to a few of the fundraising events where we had to dress up as a characters from movies…and enjoyed being Kevin Costner to my friend Althea’s Whitney Houston in our The Bodyguard tribute…or Marty McFly in the year 2015 for a Back to the Future group outing I was part of, back in 2005 or so.
I don’t think my lost interest in the Oscars is all that attributable to getting older or a “been there, done that” jade towards life…because I’m still as psyched for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, other holidays as I am every year. It’s just that movies are no longer as big a part of my life as they used to be, and I just don’t think Hollywood itself is all that relevant to my world.
My boyfriend Justin’s down in Arkansas visiting his parents this weekend and it’s one of those blue sky days here in Chicago with the sun shining brightly, melting all the snow, so it would be nice to get out of the apartment and watch the Oscars somewhere, I suppose…but I just don’t want to sit through it and would rather spend the evening catching up on books I’ve been meaning to read and trying another attempt to perfect my recipe for kung pao chicken (so it’s actually not-too-spicy-for-Justins). Whenever Justin’s out of town I make things for myself that he either doesn’t like or that are too-spicy-for-Justins (as he calls it), and I try to tame things down so that in time they can be Justin-approved favorites.
If he was here, he’d be scoffing at the Oscars because this is a tradition that he and his mom have…where they have a pressing need to pee all over a lot of things. The two of them very much enjoy going on for hours about how much they don’t like something, but they never of course realize how much power they give these things over them…or how wallowing in negative energy is just plain bad for their souls. His mother, CarolAnne, calls here at least three times a day (morning, noon, and night!) to go on about how terrible this or that is…and so I picture the two of them huddled by a flickering tee-vee in Eureka Springs, Arkansas tonight jeering at the screen…and maybe tossing handfuls of popcorn at the set as the two of them watch all four hours of the thing they supposedly both hate.
I’ve talked about this before, but one of the things that I really find dangerous about the Internet is the way it brings out real nastiness and negativity in a lot of people…particularly those who are anonymous and hide behind screen names. If you bop around to various conservative sites today, you’ll find a lot of angry and sometimes near-apoplectic people going on about how much they hate Hollywood or how they just despise actors and actresses and the political views these people have. It’s exhausting to even read this…and so cliche, too, because it’s the same things they go on about year after year; really, it’s like picking up the phone and hearing CarolAnne on the other end and wondering what day it is because a recorded message would be less repetitious and reliable.
While I do believe the Left has won the Culture War and that conservatives are foolish not to appreciate the ongoing role that Hollywood plays in Democrats’ hold on power, I just think being hateful and nasty towards anything or anyone is just wasted energy. There are plenty of things out there that I don’t especially like…but instead of hating them I just mock them relentlessly. Ridicule, and the act of getting others to laugh at a particular entity, is a far more effective strategy than just repeating the same screed you used the last time opportunity afforded you a chance to “vent” about how terrible this or that really is.
So, the Oscars mean nothing to me anymore…but I don’t hate them…and I don’t hate the people who hand out these awards or who receive them. I just think the whole thing is ridiculous at this point and whatever magic the ceremony had for me was lost long ago. I realized this morning that I had never properly charted out the WHY of all this…or bothered to think about at what point the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lost me as a fan and viewer. I love absurdity and enjoy terrible singing and dancing and shows that go on and on without edits or endings…so the Oscar telecast used to be right up my alley, down to the post-telecast shower I’d take before heading to bed where the bottle of shampoo would no doubt become a makeshift award while I thought for a moment or two about what I’d say to a billion people if I ever had the chance to be up on that stage.
I realize today that there are Five Reasons why the Oscars mean nothing to me anymore…and also that I’ve come to see the Oscars as one of the most virulently racist events on our national calendar.
It’s a busy day here in Boystown.
Last night, we all went to the Chicago Takes Off benefit for TPAN, The Test Positive Awareness Network, an organization that raises awareness of the risks of HIV/AIDS and helps those living with the virus cope and fight their battles as best they can. It’s a very worthy cause we want to become more involved in going forward. One of our good friends in Philadelphia is Positive, and we’ve been volunteering the last year or so doing whatever we can to help people with HIV we know on a personal level. But, we want to do more, so expect to hear more about TPAN and other charities here in Chicago in the future. We knew several of the dancers who donated their time and talent to dance in Chicago Takes Off last night, which was themed “TV Outside the Box”.
Here are some photos via ChicagoPride.
We’re working on a full recap of the night, for those of you who’ve never been to a big, high-production quality, extravaganza of a fundraiser in the LGBTQ community…let alone a burlesque show like Broadway Bares or Chicago Takes Off. Since we know many of the people who staged, coreographed, managed, and danced in the event, we hope it will be a fun tale for you to read…as soon as we can get together, sit down, and write up our notes from last night.
Which is hard today because it’s Oscar Night, which is another of the High Gay Holidays here in Boystown. We’re going to an Oscar-themed costume party, where no doubt absolutely no one will get what we’re dressed as, which is always the case. Everyone will, of course, adore what Panda is wearing and will “get” his costume immediately, no matter how obscure it ends up being. ”Oooooh, I get it, you are Key Grip #2 from the set of “The Hurt Locker”. Verrrrrrrry clever, Mr. Panda!”. That sort of praise, and instant applause, for holding a key in his hand (gripping it, really), with a Band-Aid on his finger, carrying a little combination lock.
We’re exaggerating slightly, and have no idea what Panda’s going to wear tonight, but it really is amazing how well he can pull off just about any outfit and totally sell it to a crowd. You should have seen him as Mr. Belvedere last night at Chicago Takes Off. But, more on that later.
As for the Oscars, we’re rooting for Sandra Bullock for Best Actress, Monique for Best Supporting Actress, and we hope Avatar doesn’t win Best Picture. We’re wondering what the crowd’s response will be to Michael Jackson when clips of him are aired during the “Dead Celebrities” montage, which will be the last of the “Michael Jackson Tributes” we’ll see for a while. Will the audience go nuts and cheer, or will it be as muted as the rest of the applause for those who passed since the last Academy Awards? Panda’s still wearing his black arm band in memory of “MJ”, but some of us think he’s just hiding a wart or something on that elbow. It wouldn’t be the first time.
We really don’t care about the Best Actor awards, and dread the political speeches many of the winners will no doubt make…but wonder just how political anyone will get seeing everyone in attendance, for the most part, at the Kodak Theater voted for Dr. Utopia and should be thrilled with the Golden Age of Hope and Change in which we are living. If they aren’t, then we doubt they will say anything about it on TV, the way they used their once-in-a-lifetime chance to speak directly to billions to criticize President Bush repeatedly through eight years.
If we had a chance to speak to that large of an audience for 45 seconds, there’s no way we’d say anything bad about anyone, no matter how terrible they are. We wouldn’t read a list of names on the air either. Instead, we’d ask all the people watching what they do after they leave a movie theater in which they sat quietly with strangers for two hours in the dark. Do you ever try to meet any of those people you shared that experience with? Do you go out into the world and interact with those around you and try to be as excellent to one another as you can? Do you find the things you share in common and embrace them, instead of focusing on the things that divide you, or the minor disagreements on certain issues the MSM exploits to keep us forever engaged in culture wars, never accomplishing anything because we’re so divided all the time.
Movies are great. Sometimes. Getting involved in your community, meeting your neighbors, organizing like-minded people to stand up to government encroachment in our lives and the radical Leftist takeover of the country is more important. Always.
We try to communicate this here on our little site every day. If we had 45 seconds to talk directly to the world, we guarantee we wouldn’t squander that chance to pump people up as much as we could to hit the ground running the next day to do some good. Volunteer with the USO. Start helping TPAN or another charity you like in your home town. Knock on the neighbors’ doors and meet them and see if they need any help with anything. DO SOMETHING. It’s fun to sit in the dark and watch movies once in a while. Movies are part of the pop culture that unites us, as they’re things all of us will typically see no matter who we are, or what we think about other things.
Just imagine if we could somehow use a love of watching movies to form a bridge to discover what else we all have in common, instead of falling into the MSM trap of focusing on what sets us apart.
What would you say if you had the chance to speak at something as huge as the Academy Awards, with 45 seconds of live speech before billions?
What would you want to communicate, how would you put it, and how would you best use your time?
Last night, volunteers from the Center on Halsted were out in Boystown trying to sell tickets to their big Oscar party ($75 a pop, held not at the Center but at a downtown hotel). There weren’t many takers, mainly because few have $75 to blow for the pleasure of watching a free TV event on random screens in a ballroom.
For us, and we take a lot of heat for saying this in the LGBTQ community, but we also don’t especially like supporting the fundraising efforts of the Center on Halsted. Until that place gets new management, we feel about them the same way we feel about the Human Rights Campaign. These are two LGBTQ organizations that on paper seem wonderful, but in practice their directors are too drunk on the PC Kool-Aid and Leftist agenda to successfully focus on their true missions. The Center on Halsted, more than anything, is a place for young criminals to hang out, use as a base of operations, and terrorize Boystown, robbing and beating people late at night whenever there’s good weather (they take a break in the winter, and whenever it rains). The Human Rights Campaign turned over every cent it raised from June-November 2008 to the Obama campaign…every cent…and what does the LGBTQ community have to show for it?
So, in our minds, both the Center on Halsted and the Human Rights Campaign are, combined, like an Orwellian “Ministry of Gay”, which succeeds in doing none of things it purports to do. The Center was supposed to foster a sense of community in Boystown and make the neighborhood better: instead, it creates crime and enables criminals to terrorize neighborhood residents. The Human Rights Campaign was supposed to raise money to help LGBTQ causes, and instead it forked everything over to an administration that has a worse record on Gay Rights than its Republican predecessor.
As we watched the Center volunteers trying to drum up support last night, we thought of a dozen different things they could have done to sell the event out in a single night. For starters, drag queens in Boystown are hurting right now. Big time. None of the clubs are paying entertainers what they used to, and private parties are few and far between these days. Normally, drag performers would be booked left and right, but most are all dressed up with nowhere to go these days. Why doesn’t the Center hire the drag queens of Boystown to dress up like old movie stars and sell tickets for the Oscar event? It seems like a no-brainer. Nobody can work a crowd like a queen, especially when she’s dressed up as Bette Davis or Joan Crawford.
And these queens should be booked for the event, too, working the crowd like it’s really Oscar Night in Hollywood, staying in character, and making some of the dumber guests guess who each “star” is. If you can’t ID Davis and La Crawford, your gay card should be revoked at the door…but more obscure silent and Golden Age movie stars could require a bit of thought. Is that a second Bette Davis, or is it Talulah Bankhead? Is that supposed to be Constance or JOAN Bennett? Is that Marion Davies or Mary Pickford? Veronica Lake or Jayne Mansfield?
Drag kings should be used, too, for the male stars. Particularly the more slight and feminine-featured ones, like Valentino, James Dean, Montgomery Clift (pre-accident), etc.
That’s how we’d make the Oscar event a hit, if we were helping these people.
But, honestly, we just can’t do anything to help the Center as long as it continues to contribute to the crime and violence in Boystown, by turning a purposefully blind eye towards the young criminals who congregate there all spring, summer, and fall. The Liberal mindset is to ignore problems like this because the criminals are black, from the Southside, coming to Boystown to mug gay guys…and Liberals don’t want to admit (1) that blacks are hunting gays as prey, pitting two core Democrat constituencies against one another and (2) that blacks are doing anything wrong period, because calling a black person out on bad or criminal behavior is RAAACIST!, always.
We also just can’t get ourselves to care about the Oscars anymore, either.
We still like movies. We love the glamour of past Oscar nights. But, we just stopped caring about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences the year Brokeback Mountain lost Best Picture, to Crash (a movie hardly anyone remembers, let alone talks about, anymore).
We remember that Oscar night, because we were at a charity Oscar party. Half the crowd was dressed like cowboys. There was such excitement in everyone’s eyes as the nominees were announced, with guys holding hands and waiting for the signal to start cheering and hugging, like it was New Year’s and we were all waiting for the ball to drop.
And then, disappointment set in as it was announced Crash had won. The Liberals chose the story about race over the gay story. Just as Liberals always choose the black community over the LGBTQ community. No one in Boystown wants to admit or talk about that, but it’s true.
We just haven’t cared about the Oscars since Brokeback lost.
This year, we want Sandra Bullock to win for The Blind Side, because it was the best movie we saw in a while, and we’ve met Bullock and she is one of the nicest famous people we’ve ever run into. We’d also like Monique to win Best Supporting Actress, because we saw Precious and it’s still haunting and beyond memorable, with Monique playing one of the worst mothers we’ve ever seen on film (still nowhere near Louella, but that woman’s not been in a movie yet).
Aside from that, meh.
None of the male performances were terribly interesting. We still don’t get the fuss about Avatar, even though we like 3-D movies, and we love both Smurfs and cats, so you’d think a 3-D movie about Smurf-cats would be up our alley, but we just didn’t like it.
It’s great the Academy isn’t allowing the nominated songs’ performers to take up a combined hour playing music that’s mostly terrible. We’re sure they’ll find something else awful to kill time instead, because it seems the intent to rarely make this telecast the least bit entertaining.
It’s doubtful we’ll even watch the Oscars this year.
Are you planning to?
Here’s something interesting to think about today, in relation to the ratings for last night’s Academy Awards. According to Nielsen’s ratings, the top 5 highest-rated markets were: New York (34.1/49), Chicago (31.2/46), Los Angeles (28.1/44), Boston (27.4/42) and Kansas City (27.1/41).
The top 4 on that list are no-brainers…but, Kansas City?
The Oscars telecast draws its largest audience from women and gay men, so New York (Chelsea and The Village), Chicago (Boystown), Los Angeles (WeHo), and Boston (South End), were expected to be big centers for Academy Awards viewing (and fabulous viewing parties).
But, Kansas City?
Just a little note as we’re relaxing with friends here at Buzzquarters watching the Academy Awards.
If you had one moment in your life to stand before an audience of millions and say something from your heart, would you give that up to whip out an index card and read the equivalent of a large chunk of the phone book off in your 30 seconds at the mic?
Say something inspiring.
Read a little poetry.
Encourage people to believe in themselves so they can get where you are too.
Be sappy. Sappy plays incredibly well at awards shows.
There is a time and a place for a long list of people you want to thank: it would be an ad in Variety, or some other arrangement through the Academy. If you want to thank 50 people publicly, that way they get to frame it and put it on their wall too.
Every year, we start to wonder around Oscar time why we don’t especially enjoy watching this show. And then, we tune into the broadcast, and the name rattling begins, and we’re reminded of why this program drags on and on.
If you are going to thank an individual, pick one or two, and tell us WHY that person inspired you and how she or he helped you reach your dream. That could be a wonderful story to tell, one that we’d remember the next day, and maybe long after, depending on the story.
But, enough with the shopping lists of names.
If ever we had 30 seconds to speak to the world, you can guarantee we wouldn’t waste it rattling off names.
We’d thank our grandparents and moms, actually, for raising us, and for teaching us to never give up and never back down, if what we’re doing is right and we believe in ourselves. We’d thank all of our teachers for making us take pride in all our work, whatever we did, and our friends for standing by us through thick and then. And then, we’d wish everyone in the world a chance to have a moment like that — getting such applause and reward — because if they all work hard enough at whatever they love, that’s possible for anyone to have in their own small way.
What would you say if you had the chance to speak to millions at something like the Academy Awards?
30 seconds, live broadcast, with the expectation you’d say something memorable?
UPDATE: Despite some of the more ridiculous things Tom Hanks has said and done lately, THIS IS WHAT AN ACCEPTANCE SPEECH SHOULD BE.
And we liked this one too, from Morgan Freeman, that was so short and sweet, and yet worked in “Heavens to Murgatroyd” slightly under his breathe as well:
We realize the actors and actresses are performers, and the costume designers and technical people are not, but at least the writers — the WRITERS – who win awards should be able to cobble together something meaningful to say, and not a laundry list of everyone they’ve ever met, including the kid who ate all the glue in kindergarten.
Morgan Freeman’s approach was wonderful: just a big blanket statement of thanks to everyone who was ever involved in the movie, then thanks to Director Eastwood and his costar Swank, and finally a very personal and sedate thanks looking above to “You”, to be taken however you like it, but meaning something particular and personal to Freeman and Freeman alone.
Why can’t all the speeches be required to be of that caliber?
If they were, more people would surely watch this broadcast year after year.