Monday, February 28, 2011

notes from the outer edge of the galaxy

real beauty
i have a bad habit of drinking too many caffeinated beverages during the day and into the evening. if i keep the coffee confined to before about 4 p.m. and only drink one cup of tea in the evening, i can sleep. but often, i do not abide by my own rules and so i'm up late. and i actually like it that way, what can i say? last night was oscar night, so it meant i could stay awake for a bit of the red carpet (the show didn't start til 3 a.m. here, and it wasn't THAT bad).

there was a time in my life when i'd always seen all of the films nominated for best picture. i could recognize the stars on the red carpet and i had opinions about who should win (i was almost never right about who actually did win). i'm no longer that person. i had heard of black swan but not seen it. and hadn't even heard of many of the other films, let alone the actors and actresses involved. (slight digression here: why is the word actress still ok but we can't use seamstress?)

so i watched the red carpet coverage on TV2 film (they apparently had a live feed from what i think was ABC - i was a little sad not to see joan rivers' catty assessment, but those rights apparently weren't bought in denmark). since i knew so little, it was a bit like watching from another planet. or at the very least like being from another planet.

and from that perspective, it's a strange spectacle. rail thin women with tightly stretched faces and plumped up lips in beautiful but ultimately unwearable-looking uncomfortable dresses walking down a red bit of cloth, cameras snapping away. stopped here and there by mannequin-like presenters who ask vapid, empty questions about how they're feeing and how their peers might be feeling. aside from being somewhat pleasing to the eye (that red archival valentino anne hathaway wore was stunning), it all seemed like much ado about nothing. peacocks on parade, empty of meaning and genuineness and well, reality.

i do realize it's not meant to be real and it is on another level entirely, somewhere up in the clouds, where mere mortals never tread. but the whole spectacle of it is odd - especially the "reporters" there on the scene, grabbing the stars for a quick but formulaic chat - try to make "news" out of something that is, as yet, in its pre-ceremony state, not news. pretending to care about feelings, but mostly caring about who designed the dress and jewelry and in many instances, clearly more about the "reporter" getting to pose for the cameras with someone they'd otherwise never even get close to.

what is with the obsession reporters have with feelings? "how do you feel? "how do the best actress nominees feel?" "how does your dog feel?" "is your dog wearing versace?" "what were you thinking getting an orange dress?" "don't you have a stylist?" "does your stylist hate you?" ok, granted, those last few questions were the ones i asked in my head.

i blame CNN for this. or rather the whole concept of 24 hour news. it gives us this odd pantomime that we must be subjected to before the news actually happens. the build up, the feelings, the empty interviews - because you can't have content when nothing has actually happened yet. but you still have to fill air time. and apparently they take "air" seriously and fill it with a whole lot of hot air.

it all leaves me feeling quite fortunate to be residing on a remote planet these days.


Lost Aussie said...

Yes, the Red Carpet divas all seemed rather "lettuce" thin and it's a tragedy that ABC's appalling 2nd rate reporters now have the gig for years to come but I cannot deny the "King's Speech" it's accolades. It has to be one of the best movies of the decade and Natalie Portman's performance in Black Swan was nothing short of stellar.

poet said...

I've never watched the Oscars but from what pictures I've seen on the internet I have to say I agree!

Sammi said...

They are like another species being super anorexia thin and everything...

but.... I love it!

I love the dresses, and the hair, and sod how they 'feel' and whether or not they've dropped the f-bomb! I just adore the whole checking out the beautiful dresses, like Anne Hathaway's red Valentino dress :D

spudballoo said...

I absolutely cannot ABIDE that non stop, jabbering 'time filling' style of 'journalism'. I can't stand watching 24 hour news channels for that reason and it's just as bad on the BBC etc when there is some big event, breaking news etc etc. All that 'lets go back live to xyz' and then rehash the main points that were made 5 minutes ago, then back to the studio for whichever poor soul has been wheeled out to give an 'expert comment'.

News once an hour on the hour, on the radio, is perfect. With occasional forays on to the BBC news site. That's my news diet.

The Oscars are a kind of parody of themselves. It's all about celebrity and nothing to do with film making, as far as I can tell.

I drink too much tea. Oddly I need to drink it in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, even though I know it's the worst thing I can do. But those lonely wakeful hours need a friend, and what is finer than a cup of tea?

Anonymous said...

It's all so much noise and images, with no depth or content. I'm glad I'm able to perceive the absurdity of it all. (I spent a lovely evening with Dava Sobel's Longitude and the baroque music channel.)

will said...

Really now, the only Oscar that counts is the one making baloney and assorted cut meats. Otherwise the sandwich industry would crash.

Besides, Oscar's wiener whistle is a big deal.

Deb said...

Loved your out of this world analogy! The real beauty tulip was very clever too! I didn't catch the red-carpet pre-show, but did watch the main event. What struck me this year was how often mom's were thanked! Without exception all of the winners wanted to mention their families and the support they need to do what they do. I find that touching.

Char said...

i think once we let these entertainment placeholders do "news" instead of journalist we have this new blather of nonsense. i think kevin spacey tried to put together a decent answer and ryan seacrest shot him down...mostly becuase ryan couldn't recognize what the answer was about. on the other hand, i love bullock's and paltrow's dresses.

Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

I am stunned at the hoopla around the F-bomb. So fucking what?

Helen said...

I arrived at work on the morning after the Oscars and looked at the pictures, read the people who attended etc and thought, well I barely know any of these....I used to know all the actors and actresses.....and then I went into my google reader, read your blog and laughed. Thank heavens I'm not the only one!