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Oscar night

Okay, I watched the last eleven hours or so of the Academy Awards, but I flipped through the other channels first.

What the hell was Fox thinking, showing Independence Day tonight? I consider myself reasonable enough to think that, at some point, an intelligent film that displays nationwide tragedy will be entirely appropriate. But ID4 and its absolutely un-ironic celebration of the digital destruction of New York and Washington is not that movie. Sure, they needed an action blockbuster to compete with Sidney Poitier's dignity and eloquence, but who rubber-stamped this scheduling, and where were they when God was handing out integrity?

Who could have expected this from the makers of Glutton Bowl?

Apparently believing the waters to be safe for such displays, CBS was not to be outdone, chosing to air Executive Decision, a film about ... extremist middle eastern terrorists hijacking an airliner and threatening the East Coast with chemical destruction. WTF.

Are all these decisions simply redeemed because, in the end of both movies, it's the U. S. of friggin' A that kicks alien and terrorist ass? That seems a pretty sorry criteria to me, and I cannot imagine that it ameliorates the ID4 images of fire trucks, propelled by the explosion of the Empire State Building, cartwheeling through the air. I don't consider myself particularly easy to offend, and I won't argue with the networks' privilege to broadcast what they choose. And like I said, at some point it will be absolutely right and necessary to cut back to business as usual and refrain from referring to "these times" in each and every moment. I don't know how long what that point will be; indeed, it might very well be upon us, but I would have liked it to be a little more thoughtful, for a little bit longer.

Oscar comments...

Heather and I watched much of the show, after I finally stopped channel surfing. What's with the 70s-80s style Farrah Fawcett hairdos all over the place? What's with the fringe tuxedo? What's with Glenn Close and Donald Southerland reading the sponsor cards for Budweiser? I think they weren't wearing pants, sitting at that booth backstage. What's with making fun of the nominees, such as for art direction? Where has all of Ron Howard's hair gone? It's charming, but pointless and stupid, to hear Britney Spears note that Pretty Woman is her favorite movie, because Julia Roberts is just a girl on the streets, living with a dream. We were unclear if she understood the fact/fiction distinction to be made, and that Roberts is, in fact, an actress. She ought to understand this, as she acts at singing.

Okay, that's enough. Some of the show was fun, including the absolutely spectacular Cirque du Soleil performance which made Gwyneth Paltrow's dress almost bearable.