Oscar Fever. Oh, Wait. That's An Infected Vein.
I’m not sure when exactly it was that I feel asleep. Probably, it was somewhere in between Jon Stewart’s proudly mediocre opening monologue and realizing that the Academy was treating the Oscar statues like loot bags, giving one out to everyone who came to the party. Normally, I’m a big Jon Stewart fan, because I have the smug sense of moral superiority that festers right between graduating from art school and killing myself and three others in a telemarketing office after three years of trying to sell business directories over the phone while desperately applying for grant funding. But I couldn’t take his tame, wiffle-bat swings at conservatives and rehashed Seinfeld stand-up bits. And the acceptance speeches, oh, the acceptance speeches. Clooney, patting Hollywood on the back for being socially progressive? Yeah, for every bigot whose prejudice was erased by Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, there’s a thousand shit-heads with Marine Corps tattoos who learned cultural sensitivity by watching Stallone kick turbaned ass in Rambo 3. And don’t forget that every third ticket to Passion of the Christ came with a swastika cell-phone charm. Between Philip Seymore Hoffman preening and Robert Altman apparently confessing to eating a woman’s heart, the best speech of the night ended up being a pile of gibberish from the Three 6 Mafia guys.
But what was it that really puzzled me to the point of unconsciousness? It was that the best picture of the year apparently didn’t have a good director or cast, or that Brokeback Mountain¸ though exquisitely written and directed, was apparently not a very good movie. It’s not that I have a problem with splitting up the awards; it tends to make things more interesting for those of us who still care about watching Hollywood give itself a hand-job on national television. But it seems like this year they were trying to cover all their bases in regards to the Brokeback backlash, showing that they weren’t pushing the homosexual agenda, merely recognizing its existence. And in the process, they accidentally end up giving an award to Reese Witherspoon, who is clearly not an actress but some variety of giant forehead, like those brain bugs from Starship Troopers. I kept hoping the forehead would burst, spewing forth a host of space spiders to consume the audience, and end my boredom addiction. Sadly, I had to settle for the bugs crawling under my skin as I jonesed for another hit of The Two Towers.