So the Oscars and the NBA All-Star Game were held Sunday night. Yes, Sunday. As in two days ago. Nobody covers old news like TVFury (especially when Fury is globe-trotting). And nobody does shameless self-congratulations like the American entertainment industry.
On one coast, Hollywood, a city built on pretending, was taking itself way too seriously; on the other, pro athletes were participating in a farce of a competition.
Actually, that might be too harsh. I don’t genuinely care about either event beyond using the game as a bit of background noise while I tip off the busiest two weeks of my work year; it’s tofu. But a lot of other people do.
My red-headed aunt, for example, often attends the Oscars in a business capacity, and generally picks up overpriced swag that she ships back to her family in the Upper Midwest. My grandparents love that.
Meanwhile, my boss – a male – holds an annual Oscars party at his home. It’s a big to-do replete with fancy costumes and food and bets and prizes. Or so I’m told. I think I’ve only attended once, and didn’t arrive until the show was finished. (Sigh.) It’s not like I purposely avoid it – I just usually have other stuff going on. In fact, I totally forgot about this year’s event until the afternoon before when I received a reminder text from a co-worker. I’d probably be more into it – that is, into it at all – if I’d seen any of the nominated movies. But I don’t think that I have … unless Disney Channel Original Movie, “Frenemies” was in the mix?
The NBA is more naturally on my radar. Not only did the lockout not kill my interest in the league, the shortened-season angle has added to it. Sometimes ragged or not, it’s shaping up to be an interesting second-half because of all the extra strategy that’s in play. Coaches have to go deeper on their benches due to the condensed schedule and just generally be more creative. Dig that.
Aside from the predictably hideous uniforms, the All-Star Game does not offend me. But, again, that’s hardly the nationwide consensus. Well before tipoff, my Twitter timeline featured several comments from folks, many of them basketball people, ripping the exhibition for its lack of defense and fundamentals. I’m not saying that’s wrong. However, isn’t that the nature of any all-star event in any sport? And why do people get their feelings hurt by that idea of a game that’s a little different than the other games?
This year’s edition featured at least one file-away-for-later moment: Dwyane Wade dishing out a hard foul – and a bloody nose – on Kobe Bryant with no sign of remorse. All the more reason to like Wade more than LeBron James, who once again deferred with a chance to take the game-tying shot in the final seconds. Plus, Pitbull wasn’t terrible as the halftime act. At the very least, he was educational; counted to four in English and Spanish at least a dozen times. He probably was better than Madonna at the Super Bowl, but I can’t be sure since I’m hardly a music expert. No, didn’t watch the Grammy’s, either.
I’m getting off track now …
The point is that both the Oscars and the All-Star Game are manufactured events even by entertainment standards. Eliminate them and nothing would be different in terms of the final product in their arena. Yet millions (?) of people carve out time in their busy lives to host parties and create opinions and have feelings about them. And some of us who are too busy (or too boring) to get involved, end up feeling something, too – left out.
If you think about it, that’s a considerable endorsement for the parallel galas – fake or not they have become noteworthy events in our culture, even when being held at the same time on the same night.
Yeah, let’s go with that. It’s a lot less heavy handed than calling superficial Sunday an indictment of America’s askew priorities. I do too much blogging and drink too much dangerously caffeinated swill to be able to go there.