[Marxism] Once more on the Oscars

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Mar 2 14:38:44 MST 2012

I’m concerned that TV reporters parade their “intimacy” with the 
stars by calling them by their “close-friend-only” names. We all 
know about “Sly” Stallone, “Bob” Redford, and “Bobby” Duvall. The 
media called Elizabeth Taylor “Liz,” possibly because they had 
trouble pronouncing a four-syllable word; Taylor hated to be 
called Liz, but that made little difference. Maybe some of the 
stars should call reporters by their nicknames. Maybe we’ll learn 
about “Speed Bump,” “Jerkface,” and “Cuddles.”

The pre-Oscar runway special focuses not upon the art and craft of 
acting or movie making, but upon fashion. This year, ABC-TV sent 
five co-anchors (three of them fashion experts) onto the red 
carpet to interview the A-list. There was so much they could ask, 
and so much that the stars would have preferred to have been 
asked, but most of the questions revolved around, “Who are you 
wearing?” Clad in $10,000 one-of-a-kind dresses donated by 
designers in exchange for the free publicity, the stars gave names 
and tried to look excited rather than incredulous when asked, “So 
are you excited?” When not asking about the who, the co-anchors 
asked questions that focused upon looks. Frankly, it was 
nauseating to hear Tim Gunn twice tell Melissa Rivers that she had 
buns of steel, and Rivers saying that women who don’t squeeze 
their own buns won’t attract men who will squeeze them.

Finally, a few days after the ceremony there aren’t many who 
remember the dresses or the winners, especially who won the Oscars 
for writing the Best Original Screenplay and the Best Adapted 
Screenplay. But, probably everyone remembers Angelina Jolie’s 
right leg. Jolie, who announced the award, wore a split dress, and 
brazenly showed her right leg. By the end of the awards show, 
there was a Twitter account (@angiesrightleg). Within two days, 
the leg had more than 35,000 followers, and was the subject of 
thousands of stories, parodies, and comedy monologues. For awhile, 
the skinny knock-kneed leg on one of the most beautiful actors and 
humanitarians allowed people to temporarily forget rising gas 
prices, layoffs, and a vicious presidential political campaign. It 
did for the people what movies and the other mass media do—it 
provided an enjoyable and temporary escape from reality.


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