An Oscar Primer

Every once in a while, I meet someone who still thinks the Oscars are fully for real, so I thought I’d present a little primer. Reading this post may cause disillusionment, and this site will not be held responsible if it ruins your evening.

(1) The people who vote do not carefully watch each film they’re voting on. They probably don’t even see any of them. They vote like you and I do for governmental elections, with such methods as the tried-and-true: ask friends “Who are you going to vote for?” and then randomly pull a lever according for whichever idiot sounds like he’d make a better drinking buddy, or is cuter, or slept with someone you know, or whatever.

(2) The “Academy” consists of any fool who belongs to a Guild and asks to become a member. Melanie Griffith, the woman who thought the Holocaust was a myth when she was cast in a movie about it, could be an academy member.

(3) They recognizeable actresses don’t own those dresses, and the jewelry is just costume replicants of the real stuff. Most of you probably know this. What you may not know is, the unfamiliar people you see in the audience are called “seat-fillers” – they are extras paid minimum wage to sit in empty seats. They do have to pay for their own dresses and jewelry. That’s America: if you’re important enough to be able to afford luxuries and healthcare and stuff, you’re important enough to get it for free. I think this is the entertainment industry version of trickle-down economics, but my silly little female head gets confused by all that logical stuff.

(4) The Oscars are being held two blocks from a shitty apartment I used to live in. It takes Oscars security about three days to run off all the crack dealers and prostitutes who work that neighborhood every night of the year so the stars (and you) won’t be exposed to life in the actual district of Hollywood. The American Dream: Best Viewed through Squinty Vision.

(5) Roughly 80% of the breasts you see tonight will actually be bags of saline lodged under a thin layer of human flesh.

(6) Some of the actresses you see tonight will have needed emergency back liposuction in order to get squeezed into their clothes without having weird bulges near their armpits. (Didn’t we used to tailor the dresses instead of the actresses?)
(7) 90% of the people you see tonight are stoned in some manner because they can’t deal with reality. That’s why they’re in film. And that’s why film loves them: neurotics are so easily manipulated.


  1. sbg says

    Well, yeah, but George Clooney still gave a great speech.

    Michelle Williams should have won this, and the Golden Globe.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    Yes, I only Clooney’s speech was more true. Sure, they gave an Oscar to Hattie McDaniel in the 1930’s. But this is still the indistry that puts white straight men at the center of every film in the name of demographics. When it comes to arguments about why you just have to promote white men above everyone else, Hollywood doesn’t sound any different than racist companies early in the days of Affirmative Action.

    Jon Stewart stole the whole show. But my next article is probably going to be about the faux liberalism of Hollywood.

  3. scarletts-legacy says

    I remember a conversation I had a with a mate a few years ago, he said he’d love to be famous. And I was like, who with any amount of self-esteem/sense of reality WANTS to be famous? People trying to screw you over, people stucking up to you/stabbing you in the back, the papparazzi everywhere. Only something intensely neurotic with no self esteem would WANT that kind of attention, let alone get off on it.

    Mind you, the guy had pretty low self-esteem himself, but so that may have had something to do with it.

  4. Jennifer Kesler says

    Mind you, the guy had pretty low self-esteem himself, but so that may have had something to do with it.

    A lot of major stars are very insecure. They’re so afraid of not being cast again, and of not being all the things that lead to getting cast again. It’s their validation, and maybe also acting is the only way they can express themselves. Early on, Hollywood took all personality types, and the ones who stood up for themselves got viciously trashed in the press, or weren’t allowed to work, etc. By the 80’s, Hollywood had worked out that it was easier to just employ people who wouldn’t stand up for themselves.

    Now they’re realizing low self-esteem is also something to look for in the audience. People with low self-esteem will buy anything, which makes them the audience sponsors want. And what’s the audience sponsors want? Young men.

    Which is why my description of this site asks, what does the lack of good female roles really say about the men making and watching our movies and TV?

  5. scarlett says

    Yeah, that’s something that gets discussed a lot in mass com units. The most desirable audience an adevrtiser wants are young urban males, preferably young urban males with crappy self esteem. Hence, most television is aimed to young urban males with crappy self-esteem.

    I wonder what would happen to TV if there were no people with crappy self-esteem left. television mostly relies on advertising, and my hope is we end up with a pay-TV system that’s actually pay-TV; you pay your money and you get your product, no ads. I imagine there’s a huge marget of women with healthy self-esteem who would be happy to pay for shows like Buffy, Xena and AbFab, or people who live in the country, or elderly people. There are plenty of people in these groups who have the money to pay for the product they want; unfortunately, television operates in a very roundabout way, with advertisers paying for it and targeting the most susceptible audience, so we’re inundated with crap like NCIS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *