Sunday, February 22, 2009

All That Glitters ...

“In these challenging economic times … “
-- Everybody

To whom should I attribute the above quote – or pre-quote?

It has been used at least a thousand times this year to explain, warn, castigate, impel, compel, and excuse all manner of dire conditions. We can’t do X, because “in these challenging economic conditions …” We must do Y now, because “in these challenging economic conditions …” The economy, politics, international relations, health conditions, murder rates, porn, missing honey bees – OK, maybe not the last yet, but the list of things we must accommodate runs long. It seems the market is the turtle on which the planet rests. As goes the money goes the world.

And, tonight we anticipated one more accommodation. Tonight the Academy Awards visited the world on millions of screens. That lasting American icon and supposed wind-vane for the temper of America, that entertainment version of the mood ring, that televised allegory for skirt lengths swung by, and we wondered what she would be wearing. All week, “they” have been telling “us” that the Oscars would be having a dress-down day to honor the national mood in “these challenging economic times.” Who wants to see a bunch of toasties swilling down champagne in designer duds, and grabbing ten thousand dollar goodie bags when the flat-screen will be repossessed tomorrow, when the sheriff is driving down the street, when the shop where Grandpop, Dad, Uncles Ernie and Ted, and Mom had worked for, well forever?

Yet, there seems to have been a slight difference of opinion in the avocado-chomping backrooms of Hollywood. Some other voice, possessing the proper amount of muscle determined that toned-down fiscal responsibility is best managed from the Capitol and the boardroom. Tonight, the bling shone, Armani and Valentino made quite the respectable showing, and smiling humility was the favored accessory. The message: “Have hope. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and we have the juice to get there.”

And, you know what? Fine. Would it truly help our national disposition if Ally from Athens sympathized with Angelina in sack cloth? If Micky wore a button-down from Macy’s would we believe we are finally on the right track? Nonsense. I want to see Washington, Wall Street, Main Street, you and me thinking about the right things, deciding on the right things, and doing the right things. Leave Hollywood to keep spinning us illusions. After a hard day of harsh reality, we need a little respite.

Oh - and Slumdog Millionaire's Kung Fu is strong.


Janie said...

I didn't see the Oscars, but I kind of figured the bling wouldn't be toned down much.
"in these challenging..." etc. has certainly been overused as an excuse for just about every inaction one can imagine.

rebecca said...

Glad Heath won and cried along with everybody else; knew Winslet would win, tho Hathaway was excellent as well; knew Penn would, of course!, altho I would've loved to see M.Rourke up there; surprised by Penelope's win, tho I haven't seen film yet and was sure Viola Davis would take it (she looked beautiful in that gold dress!).

Went to see the Wrestler yesterday. Tough film to watch because it's so violent and sad, but it's good. Rooting for the comeback of Mickey, however long that lasts because the man is his own worst enemy.

That's it. And, re. economy, you know what, I want some fantasy for a break and I want to see glamour.

And knew Slumdog would take the majority of the awards home. Fell in love with those kids; too adorable.

CoyoteFe said...

Hallloo Janie!

I have to say I was surprised that they did not follow the road most travelled. Yes, what seems to sell is inaction, wait-and-see, let's all be prudent here. While slow and steady wins the race, if that's all it every took, if that's all that ever mattered, life would be quite sane - and, OK, maybe quite boring. :-)

CoyoteFe said...


I was glad Heath won as well, and was also glad that his sister thought to mention his daughter. I was a bit put off by his family, and cannot quite put my finger on why. Winslet was charming, Jackman was quite courageous through that medley, Rourke (?) egad ... maybe I'll write hims a screenplay one day - if he survives that long. Slumdog - was so glad to see that they bothered to bring everyone they could get their hands on, and I though it wonderful that they all came up on stage ofr best picture. If we're going to call film a collaborateive art, then we should walk the walk.

rebecca said...

I know what you mean about the family. The thing that most struck me is that they never mentioned Michelle Williams. I know they were separated at the time of his death but I thought a mention would have been decent - "we, Michelle, and most of all Matilda miss you..." somewhere along those lines. But that's just me, I know others would probably disagree.

CoyoteFe said...

Rebecca-san -
Had the same reaction when no one mentioned Michele. And, that Sean Penn. His wife had to grab his face to give him a congrats kiss. Ha! Men!

San said...

I agree with you, Fe. Watching the Oscars has always been one of my guilty pleasures. The clothes are amazing and it's just plain fun to watch celebrities break down and cry and thank their mothers.

CoyoteFe said...

Or, when celebrities break down and thank Micky Rourke and forget their wives! Ha!