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Oscar has a new name - trash

Strappado Wrack

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We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself.
For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal.
Carl Bernstein

Oscar has a new name - trash


Soon you will hear; the envelope please, and the Oscar goes to? Since we will be protected from the embarrassment of another Janet Jackson flashing a body part, maybe the academy will demonstrate their gratitude with awarding a lifetime achievement to her embattled brother. For dedication and contributions to the betterment of America’s youth and their education from the archives of the magic one gloved maladjusted molester. It’s all show biz . . . all that counts is the take at the close of the performance.
The proud legacy of the cinema was not always this way. Assuredly, the trophy for best actor doesn’t guarantee that it goes to the best accomplishment. Over decades the celebrities rotate, the lights have brightened and the media coverage has gone global. But one course remains constant, the quality of entertainment reflects the current demands of the popular culture.

Deceased Actors
Oscar Movie
Living Actors
Best Performance
Henry Fonda
On Golden Pond
Marlon Brando
On the Waterfront
Gregory Peck
To Kill a Mockingbird
Charlton Heston

Burt Lancaster

Elmer Gantry
Gene Hackman
The French Connection
Alec Guinness
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Jack Nicholson
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
William Holden
Stalag 17
Robert Di Nero
Raging Bull
Gary Cooper

High Noon

Robert Duvall
Tender Mercies
Humphrey Bogart

The African Queen

Paul Newman
The Color of Money

Laurence Olivier


Dustin Hoffman
Rain Man
James Cagney

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Anthony Hopkins
The Silence of the Lambs
James Stewart

The Philadelphia Story

Al Pacino
Scent of a Woman
Spencer Tracy

Boys Town

Tom Hanks
Forrest Gump
Clark Gable
It Happened One Night
Denzel Washington
Training Days

Examine the ascent of quality and then the decline of substance. Don’t just blame the actors, the producers only want to print money and the directors want to push the envelope. The quality of entertainment drifts towards the pursuit of cash at the expense of story telling. Hemingway has given way for Hefner.
The business of Hollywood is to sell illusions. Once the Louis B. Mayer’s and Jack Warner’s created dreams, now the product that comes off the screen requires the movie goers to take a quick shower to wash off the slime. Despite the culture of sleaze, the real descent into garbage usually starts with a defective script.
Rebuke the entertainment industry - they will never censure themselves. The themes and topics for a pitch, means that only a real player gets to green light a project. What kind of amusement are we left with?

Who Never Won Best Actor
Recent Celebrated Actors
Money Makers Stars
Kirk Douglas
Michael Douglas
Orlando Bloom
Peter O'Toole
Harrison Ford
Mike Myers
Sean Connery
John Malkovich
Tom Cruise
Mel Gibson
Pierce Brosnan
Jim Carrey
Anthony Quinn
Tommy Lee Jones
Leonardo DiCaprio
Robert Mitchum
Kevin Spacey
Bruce Willis
Richard Burton
Liam Neeson
John Travolta
Cary Grant

Will Smith

Brad Pitt
Orson Wells
Samuel L. Jackson
Ben Affleck

Consider the trend over time. There are gifted actors in every generation. The examples used attempt to highlight confirmed and solid talent; however, as each movie season ends, the scripts fall short of an Oscar performance. Roberto Benigni’s comedic antics don’t hold a candle to Cary Grant’s timing. Sorry, Nicolas Cage doesn’t even qualify to carry Sean Connery’s luggage. And if you want cool - no one can place - Hugh Jackman in the same room with Steve McQueen.

Real tough guys will take Lee Marvin over Vin Diesel and George C. Scott will out command Russell Crowe. Adrien Brody is no David Niven and Geoffrey Rush doesn’t compare to a Rod Steiger. Sidney Poitier has style, Danny Glover just lacks class. You won’t find a Wayne or a Sinatra among the crop of Colin Farrell’s or Ewan McGregor’s . . .

If you think Robin Williams is the best, you never watched Bob Hope. The mere idea that Tim Allen, Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler have an audience, speaks to the lack of real humor in today’s society. The joke is on us, if you pay to watch!

Not much needs to be said about actresses, Kate Hepburn is dead and Nicole Kidman is no replacement. The images are still the vision of the male viewpoint, when the production is bankrolled and the wager is gambled. The Drew Barrymore production company would exhibit better acting if the family patriarch was still alive.

The final judge in the worth of a flick, is the willingness to buy a ticket, rent a tape or purchase a DVD. If you subscribe to premium movies, your cable or satellite provider runs a pipeline of finance for additional masterpieces. Any social critics that want to tout most of the projects of the skilled Johnny Depp? Imagine his talent if he had a concrete screenplay. But what do we get most of the time - more Alec Baldwin dribble.

No question; the tacky financiers that push trash are contributing to the continued declivity of the culture. Yet, the less discriminating among the viewership keep feeding this scum machine. What do you think the prospects will be for Mel Gibson being nominated, much less winning, next years award for best picture? Doubt that even Steve Martin or Dan Aykroyd could write a parody that could make a plausible play for that honor.

Movies were once an inspiration. Now they are an inducement to bunk with the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. Now that’s Entertainment! Reality is changeable, and more important reversible. The present path leads to tragedy. Our society needs more wholesome comedy, and less cutting edge psychodrama. The NYT proclaims: “In 2003, Sean Penn and Charlize Theron provided the most striking evidence that we are living in an extraordinary period, one we will eventually look back upon as a golden age of screen acting.” If this is the new golden age in acting, no doubt refusing to read the “Gray Lady” is just as important as watching TCM . . . about the only positive contribution of another media mogul, Ted Turner.

SARTRE - February 15, 2004

Our culture has become something that is completely and utterly in love with its parent. It's become a notion of boredom that is bought and sold, where nothing will happen except that people will become more and more terrified of tomorrow, because the new continues to look old, and the old will always look cute.

Malcolm Mclaren

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