Tag Archives: “Inside Job”

Worst. Oscars. Ever?

Oscars Live Report

Melissa Leo accepts the Oscar for best actress ...

AFP and Associated Press photos

The writers of this year’s Oscars ceremony couldn’t even make Anne Hathaway and James Franco in drag funny, and Melissa Leo’s accidental use of the f-word while accepting her best supporting actress Oscar was the biggest surprise of the evening.

I like James Franco and Anne Hathaway, and I had thought that they might actually make pretty decent Oscar hosts. I was wrong.

Much of it wasn’t their fault. The writing of the Oscars ceremony was for shit. Franco was unusually wooden, and Hathaway wasn’t as bouncy as I’d thought she might be. If she isn’t careful, the role that she played in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” — that of the rather empty-headed White Queen — might come to define her.

But again, most of it was the writing. There were too many self-referential (and unfunny) lines about trying to capture the youthful audience with this year’s show and too few funny lines, period.

That “The King’s Speech” would win the most number of awards was a given, so there were few surprises.

When the most talked-about element of the show is that the best supporting actress winner accidentally uttered the f-word on live television (which was bleeped out due to a few seconds’ time delay, apparently), you know that there’s a problem.

I like Colin Firth — he was great in “A Single Man” — but his performance in “The King’s Speech” wasn’t the best performance of the year. Javier Bardem did a much better job in “Biutiful.”

I like Natalie Portman enough, but her Oscar win for best actress for “Black Swan” wasn’t the best performance of the year. Jennifer Lawrence did a better job in “Winter’s Bone.”

“The King’s Speech,” to me, suffered mostly from weak subject matter. That a former king of England overcame a stutter isn’t very compelling material, which one of the film’s producers seemed to admit himself in his acceptance speech for the Oscar for best picture — he indicated that he’d been concerned that no one would find the material worthy enough to back its production and distribution, if memory serves.

“The King’s Speech” is well made — well directed, well written, well acted, well designed, etc. (indeed, virtually every moment of the film screams out “Give me an Oscar already!” [and this screaming worked]) — but do those things matter when the storyline itself is so ho-hum? Just as “truthiness” has replaced the truth, is “Oscariness” going to replace actual Oscar-worthiness?

Admittedly, I have yet to see “The Social Network” or “Toy Story 3,” but that these two highly commercial films, along with the highly commercial “Inception” (which I did see), won so many nominations, including for best picture (for all three), makes me wonder in what direction the Oscars are headed. That a film is a commercial success doesn’t automatically mean that it isn’t Oscar-worthy, but it seems as though the Oscars are becoming more like the People’s Choice Awards.

And the tech-emphasis-heavy Oscars, including not just so many nods to “The Social Network” and “Inception,” but even a mildly-funny-at-best Auto-tune segment, tried way too hard to be hip.  

And do we really need 10 films nominated for best picture when in the other major categories (actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress and director) there are only five nominees? I’d like to see it reduced to no more than seven or eight nominees for best picture.

Finally, while I have no problem with Brits and Australians, the Brits and Australians on this year’s Oscars seemed to have outnumbered the Americans. Are we Americans this devoid of filmmaking excellence?

If we are, then maybe we should move the Oscars from Los Angeles to London or Sydney.

Just sayin’.

I consider the Oscars to be the “Gay Super Bowl,” and this year’s Gay Super Bowl was dismal.

P.S. Oprah Winfrey’s appearance on the Oscars was a little creepy — I once read someone refer to her as a corporation, and that’s fairly accurate — and ABC’s little corporate plug was offensive, but I do recommend that you see “Inside Job,” the winner for best documentary, the award that Winfrey announced.

“Inside Job,” about the Wall Street criminals who put our nation into economic collapse (um, yeah, it wasn’t the members of public-sector labor unions who did that), is a must-see, and I love the fact that the filmmaker, in his acceptance speech, pulled a mild Michael Moore and noted that not one of the Wall Street crooks has yet to see the inside of a jail cell for his or her crimes (which, in my book, amount to treason).

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Time for revolution in Kabuki Nation

There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — [pauses] — shame on you. Fool me — [pauses] — You can’t get fooled again!

George W. Bush

It’s unsettling to know that you are unrepresented, that your “representative” “democracy” is a fucking sham, but after you see the same patterns over and over again (most notably, the endless back-and-forth between the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Party, which primarily seems to consist of examples of history repeating itself), there is no other conclusion that you can draw.

The us-vs.-them (red-vs.-blue, blue-vs.-red) drama can keep you enthralled for a while, perhaps even for your entire lifetime, but some of us eventually come to realize that under the status quo there never is going to be a winner, that the struggle — which apparently was fabricated, or at least is perpetually stoked, in order to keep us distracted from all of the brazenly treasonous looting and consolidation of power that’s been going on — never was meant to end.

The game is (almost) up, though.

Enough Americans are giving up on both of the two major parties*, as increasingly the members of the two major parties serve themselves and their cronies instead of the American people, and even the left is starting to talk about violent revolution (which the right has been talking about for some time — against the wrong people, though, of course).

Ironically, the left and the right have common enemies, but, being too wrapped up in throwing punches at each other, the left and the right don’t see the instigators who stand at the sidelines, raking in the billions and billions of dollars that they’ve stolen from us on the left and on the right.

This is not to say that I agree with the right. Way too many on the right have a “vision” of the United States of America being under theocratic, “Christo”fascist rule, in which misogyny, patriarchy, racism and white supremacism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc., predominate.

Over my dead body.

But the “tea baggers” and I do have common enemies, and no, they’re not Muslims or “illegals.” Our worst enemies are from within; most of them were born and raised here and (would) claim to be staunch patriots.

The documentary “Inside Job,” about the wholly preventable financial meltdown of 2008, makes this clear. For years those in the financial industry have created for themselves — through lobbying politicians to pass laws that benefit themselves, through political campaign contributions, through the revolving door between governmental oversight jobs and financial-industry (and other corporate) jobs, through pro-plutocratic mass media like Faux “News,” etc. — an environment in which they can steal hundreds of billions of dollars yet never see the inside of a prison cell.

These are the traitors who have destroyed the nation — and to their treasonous ranks we must add the traitors of the military-industrial complex, who also rob us blind of billions and billions and billions of our dollars while lying to us that it’s all about “national security” and “defense” when, in fact, it’s all about war profiteering.**

I’m talking about individuals who know that their incredibly selfish actions are harming their own nation — but they don’t give a shit.

If this isn’t treason, then what is?

These traitors throw some of their millions (which to them is chump change) into enough right-wing media operations to ensure that the perpetually battered masses blame the wrong groups for the nation’s ills: “illegals,” Muslims (Osama bin Laden only wishes that he could have done as much damage to the United States of America as the members of BushCheneyCorp and their ilk have done), same-sex couples who wish to marry, et. al.

Because if the masses correctly identified the enemy, they might do something about it. (Now might be a good time to buy stock in pitchforks and torches…)

Fact is, our system is so corrupt, is so rotten to the bone (as “Inside Job” demonstrates perfectly), that the only thing to do now to prevent the total collapse of the nation is to scrap the system and start over. This means that the corrupt old players, all of them, must be forcibly removed from the playing field and put in prison for their treason. (I’d prefer execution for the worst of the mass-murdering traitors, such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but I’d probably settle for life imprisonment, which is quite just for the amount of pain, suffering and damage that these traitors have caused millions of other people.)

As Ted Rall points out in his excellent new book The Anti-American Manifesto, those who have accumulated an insane amount of political power most likely won’t part with it voluntarily, which makes revolution the only viable course of action. Whether or not such a revolution is bloody is (mostly) up to those who have accumulated an insane amount of power and money at the expense of the rest of us.

Work within the system, you say? Uh, we tried that with Barack Obama, whose only real accomplishment, history could record, is that after having pissed off enough Americans with his promises of “hope” and “change” but only having delivered more of the same, he finally spurred the long-overdue revolution against the plutocracy that saved the nation from complete collapse.

*Ironically, it seems as though the “tea party” is leading this charge, even though I disagree diametrically with the majority of the “tea party’s” platform, and, of course, the Repugnican Party appears to be attempting to co-opt the “tea party” as much as it can, with at least some degree of success.

**The one thing that I have in agreement with libertarians Ron Paul and Rand Paul is that the insanely bloated U.S. military budget has to be reduced. It’s insane — as well as treasonous — to tell the American people that they have to settle for even less in Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements while the war profiteers get more and more each year in what is not “defense,” but in what is thievery.

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