Following the Academy Awards show last Sunday night which ran over four hours, the chorus of media critics blasting entertainment award programs has grown more shrill and persistent. These complaint general take one of the following forms--- “There are too many awards shows”; ‘The programs are too long and boring”; “The concept of a televised media award event is simply an self indulgent, self aggrandizing exercise on the part of overpaid narcissistic stars”. The average viewer, who forced by their spouse or significant other to endure both the pre show interviews with strangely dressed actress and the inarticulate acceptances speeches, in all likelihood found him or herself in agreement with the bashers. After the numbing effects of the award show were counteracted by liberal doses of alcohol and high caloric snacks, I concluded that programs, such as I witnessed last Sunday night, play a vital role in modern society on many different levels. Rather then take cheap shots at media award programs, I urge the thoughtful viewer to consider the positive aspects of programs such as the Academy Awards. For example:
1. The visuals symbols on the award shows reinforce a strong work ethic. The appearance of the numerous overweight, balding middle aged men in the company of much younger and gorgeous women clearly presents a message to younger men and boys that if you work hard and rise to a position of power and influence, that no matter how old and unattractive, you can still have a great looking wife/girl-friend.
2. Support and non-verbal encouragement for a vital part of the American economy---the business of plastic surgery. Even to a casual and inattentive viewer it was obvious that the bodies of most if not all of the actresses and other female personalities were not created solely by nature. As the baby boomer population ages and the effects of both gravity and the 1960’s become noticeable, the images presented by the silicone-enhanced starlets give us hope and a reason to spent our hard earned (or inherited) dollars at the plastic surgeons. Such an inflow into the pockets of the medical community can only have a positive effect on the economy.
3. Annihilation of belief that hypocrisy and whining are undesirable character flaws. Having come of age in a more repressive and moralistic time, I was taught ones words should be consistent with one deeds and that no one likes or respects a complainer. I of course did not always follow that path but when those twin concepts were violated, I just knew that I was acting inappropriately. Apparently my early beliefs were if not wrong are at least now not operative. After the fourth actor/actress, who in all likelihood earns in three days more that then average family does in one year, talked about suffering and repression from not getting the right or enough acting parts, I decided that maybe modern society needs to afford victim status before it is politically correct to honor or respect someone. And to think I attempted to keep most of my complaints to myself for all these years. If only I had whined more, maybe I also could have been considered a victim and think how far I could have then gone in life.
4 A Modern day example of an ancient religious teaching—the concept of purgatory. A near endless wait to enter heaven during which one’s sins were purged is a difficult concept for many young children to grasp without example. A replay of several of the acceptance speeches by award winners who obviously had to drop out of school in eight grades to hone their craft, as actors should serve as a fine example of endless boredom. For the non-Catholics among us, these same acceptances could also be used to demonstrate the modern day physic principle that all time is not relative. How else could a 45 second acceptance speech thanking one mother, agent and dog groomer actually last 20 minutes?
While there were many other life lesson to be explored in the Academy Award setting, my concern for current laws and court decisions on libel prevent me from outlining in writing many of the other politically incorrect or personal comments which I spontaneously uttered while watching the program.