Saturday, January 12, 2008

Golden Garbage

My love/hate ratio with awards (the Golden Globes and especially the Oscars) breaks down like this: 75:25. I love the Golden Globes and the Oscars 75% of the time. I know, I know, the Oscars matter more, but the Golden Globes are the most fun. They combine movies and TV, so it's awesome to see all those people together in one room. Plus, the attendees are seated informally at round tables and get to drink, so it's a big party. I love the Oscars and how much they matter (even though they really don't in the long run). I love the anticipation and the hoopla and even the fashions. The Oscars are not as fun as the Globes. They get some huge awards out of the way at the beginning, and then you spend two hours watching them give out boring awards until you get to the really exciting ones. Not that the boring ones are any less important. Having slaved away at making films, I appreciate production design, editing, sound design, and everything else immensely, so much more than I used to.

Now, the hate factor. I hate these ceremonies about 25% of the time. As far as the Globes, I hate the two different categories: Drama and Musical/Comedy. What is that? That's great to separate drama from comedy, but what's this musical business? If it's a serious musical, it should be in the drama category (Walk the Line, Ray - I'd even argue these aren't musicals any more than any other film - La Vie En Rose, although they'd stick that in foreign), and funny musicals should go in comedy (Hairspray, Walk Hard). Lumping musicals with comedies gives some actors unfair advantages over people more deserving for comedy (ahem, Jamie Foxx). I hate the ambiguity and inconsistency with the separation of lead from supporting roles. Forrest Whitaker? Not the lead - should have been in the supporting category. Julie Christie? Not the lead either - hers should be a supporting nomination if she gets one. What are the guidelines? What kind of criteria do they use to determine which is which? It's all so arbitrary and stupid. Of course, my biggest complaint is when the wrong person wins. They get it wrong all the time, but more so at the Oscars. I can't believe Hitchcock never won an Oscar (although I love how he stuck it to them during his lifetime achievement acceptance speech). I can't believe Paul Giamatti didn't even get nominated for American Splendor or, most egregiously, Sideways. Back-to-back snubs. Not even nominated! He should have WON both of those years.

Then, they occasionally get it right. And it's thrilling. Like I said, I love them 75% of the time. I love predicting the winners. I even enjoy complaining about how dreadfully wrong they get it. It's just a joyous, nail-biting, adrenaline rush of a season.

I've watched the Golden Globes for as long as I can remember. I love how fast-paced and light-hearted and entertaining the show always is. I've never had a bad time watching the Globes. It's always been an event, just like the Oscars. I always watch it with someone and have a little party. I can't believe the Golden Globes aren't happening this year. It's so depressing.

This Writers' Strike has gotten out of hand. Clearly, when it affects something of this magnitude from happening, it's gone too far. This is the first time the ceremony won't be held in 65 years. It's insanity. I totally respect the writers and their situation. I know I'm not as informed about it as I should be, but I'm sure they've been mistreated. I'm sure they're justified in their striking. That being said, I doubt the writers are being paid in peanuts. That's if it's about money, and it always is. I think it's gone beyond justice and is now about greed and self-importance. I know the writers are more in the right here, but I think both sides are being idiotic. The producers and the big corporations have vats of money. The CEOs probably all have a vault like Scrooge McDuck. Give them what they want, for crying out loud. It's gone on for so long now that it seems like the writers are losing sight of what it was about in the first place. Freaking wars have been ended in less time. Treaties have been drafted and signed faster. What is the problem? Why can't they negotiate? Isn't the cancellation of such an important ceremony enough to galvanize them into action? Both sides should be ashamed.

The Golden Globes are run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. What a joke that name is. Hollywood AND foreign in the same breath? This is ALL about Hollywood and America, once again. I'm so sick of American arrogance. The Golden Globes are meant to bring the world together. It's broadcast all over the planet. Yet the Writers' Strike in America puts a halt to it. What a shock. America has never been one of the world's best friends. We're denying millions and millions of people from enjoying this celebration of the arts because of a ridiculous quibble. Babies in a sandbox work out problems better than this. Both sides are being so stubborn. It's like they're playing a game of chicken, seeing who will go farther before turning around. Well, I guess the writers win. I hope they celebrate their hollow victory. But why did the other side let it get this bad? Isn't this enough to call a truce? Are they really going to let the Oscars fall next?

Of course actors are jumping on the bandwagon. They've never met a cause they didn't like. You know the majority of actors want the strike to end - they want to work! The ones who are protesting are the ones who don't need to work, the ones with clout. They're the ones who threatened to boycott the ceremony. I'm not going to be petty like everyone else in Hollywood and name names, but you all know who the bigshots are. And for the most part, they have no chance of winning. Coincidence?

They reached interim agreements for other shows, like the SAG awards and the Independent Spirit Awards, so they could go on as usual. Why not the Globes? That's what pisses me off the most. Why are they being selective? Why are some ceremonies okay and others not? I know why the SAG Awards get special treatment - because the Screen Actors Guild is the group that decided to boycott the Globes. Hooray for them. All the parties involved are being selfish. The Golden Globes are meant to unify people. It's in the title of the damn award - GLOBE. Leave it to America to turn unification into divisiveness.

The Globes are about celebrating artistic achievements. All the nominees, but especially the first-timers, deserve to be honored properly. They deserve to get recognition and give their speeches. They're the real losers in this - it's unfair to deprive them of their moments. Some of them might not get another chance. How depressing to have a press conference to robotically announce the winners. That's about as unceremonious as it gets.

What's so tragic is that this has been one of the greatest years for cinema in recent history. I know the Globes honor movies and television, but let's be real, the movies are what people care about the most. People in other countries are more likely to have seen the movies than the TV shows. And what about the fans? What about the people who pay the money to see the films? Why do we have to be deprived of seeing our favorites celebrated? I look forward to the Golden Globes every year, and I'm just in shock. I'm really, deeply saddened by it. I can't believe it isn't happening. This is bigger than America. One stupid fracture in America has caused a global earthquake. Why should the rest of the world suffer? Sure, maybe suffer is an extreme word, but it's apt. The people involved in the strike know all about extremes. People all over the world watch this ceremony. I live in America, so I'm used to its nonsense, but I'm not any less angry. It's just not fair.

The Golden Globes were started in 1944. Let's partake in a little history lesson, shall we? What has happened since 1944? Well, there was World War II, the Holocaust, the Korean War, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, Watergate, apartheid, genocide in Rwanda, the fall of communism, 9/11, the war in Iraq, and on and on. Compared to all that, of course awards mean nothing. But if none of THAT could stop the Golden Globes, how can this comparatively petty, asinine, and frankly inconsequential Writers' Strike do it? What bloated egos. What stubborn, self-righteous fools. All of them. Enough is enough. Not holding the Golden Globes is a huge deal. Don't let this happen to the Oscars. Figure it out. NOW.

Of course, Americans are not known for their problem-solving abilities. Hey, what the hell, let's give the world another reason to hate us. We can all toast to that.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you didn't get to watch them, because I know you enjoy the spectacle. But the lessened importance of the Globes is probably the best thing to come out of this strike. I mean, it's voted on by people like Yola.

The influence it's had is ass backwards.

I know you know this already, but it's a pet peeve of mine, darn it. Enjoy the show, hate the award.

Keep up all the other good work. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that second link got cut off.