‘It’s the same old story…’

Apologies in advance as this post is likely to be somewhat all over the place.  I’m a little medicated- I think I’m fighting a sinus infection.  This polar vortex/never-ending winter nonsense is kicking my ass.

Since I’ve already discussed the deeply-held conviction I have- the one which states that we are increasingly (and willingly) falling victim to organized and concerted attempts to keep us insulated from/ignorant of the important shit going down in the world- I won’t reiterate my discouragement yet again.  It’s clearly posted any number of times for those who choose to have a look.

But.  The Oscars.

I do appreciate finely crafted films- and the artistry that is involved with the entirety of the process.  The writing of the story, the vision behind the scenery and cinematography.  The costumes, the make-up.  And, of course, the performances that serve to bring the stories alive.

I like movies.  I do.

And they don’t have to be super-serious, story-heavy films to get my seal of approval.

I’m still reeling from the loss of Dr. Egon Spengler, earlier this week.  While I know that the great Harold Ramis left us a wonderful collection of time-tested comedic brilliance, Ghostbusters remains up near the top of my all-time favourites list.  I can quote that movie pretty much word-for-word.  I’ve used it in classes.  Every time I visit NYC and come across one of the landmark buildings from the film I am ridiculously happy.

Egon’s serious, scientific mien was the perfect foil for Ray’s innocence and Peter’s smarmy used-car salesman schtick.  Which is why his one-liners had so much impact.

I appreciate film-making as both an art form and as pure entertainment, and there is no doubt at all that each year some very important films are rightfully nominated for these awards as a representation and validation of their place in our cultural canon.

12 Years a Slave is my choice for must see viewing this particular year (and I say this despite the fact that Brad Pitt is in it- generally speaking you can’t pay me to see anything with that guy).  Solomon Northrup’s 1853 memoir remains one of the most affecting reads I’ve ever experienced.  It should be required reading- and now viewing- in schools everywhere.

I have to admit that none of the rest of the films piqued my interest enough to see them when they were in theatres, but I will check out Dallas Buyers Club, Philomena, and Captain Phillips, eventually.

Still, I just can’t bring myself to care about the pageantry that is the Academy Awards.

In addition to the ever-ostentatious red carpet and the tired jokes and digs at fellow celebrities (not that I don’t think Ellen will be a great host), the pomp and self-aggrandizing glad-handing and masturbatory back-patting kind of ruffles my feathers.

It’s a matter of priorities.  And I don’t think that we are able- or willing- to adequately prioritize our time, at all, anymore.

Especially not this year when the ‘local’ twist is that Mayor McCheese will be attending.  Jimmy Kimmel is involved, somehow.  I’m not sure if he invited RoFo to be his guest or what.  I don’t really care.  I’m sick to death of anything that serves to validate this guy in any way.  Or that gives him any sort of platform to further his self-serving re-election campaign.

If the fact of his presence at an event that is broadcast to the world isn’t a clear demonstration that the drawn-out awards season has become completely irrelevant as anything except personal glory-seeking and attention-whoring…

Sigh.

Especially during a week that saw the situation in Ukraine escalate, and the Russians making moves that might result in war, and American assertions that Putin’s actions might end with his nation’s removal from the G8.

These are world changing events.  We’re in a whole mighty-big-Twinkie load of trouble.

Yet many of us will be spending five or more hours witnessing and then talking about the outrageous fashions/jewellery/hairstyles of the Hollywood A-listers.  And the irresponsible and clueless elected leader of this city- as he attends the elite event (belying his claims to be against all things ‘elite’- here at home, anyway) seemingly oblivious to the fact that those who invited him are laughing at him, rather than with him.

So he will continue his posturing and campaigning.  Endearing himself to those who attracted to the bright and shiny things that lay outside their reach while yet applauding his ‘man-of-the-people-ness.’  Those same people who will never see the mutual-exclusivity of those two extremes and who will vote for him again come October.

We need to stop giving this guy a stage and an audience.  But, like awards season as a whole, it’s truly ‘the same old song and dance’.

‘Get yourself cooler, lay yourself low
coincidental murder, with nothing to show
with the judge, constipation will go to his head
and his wife’s aggravation, you’re soon enough dead

it’s the same old story, same old song and dance, my friend
it’s the same old story, same old song and dance, my friend

gotcha with the cocaine they found with your gun
no smoothy face laywer to getcha undone
say love ain’t the same on the south side of town
you could look, but you ain’t gonna find it around

it’s the same old story, same old song and dance, my friend
it’s the same old story, same old story
same old song and dance

fate comes a-knockin’, doors start lockin’
your old time connection, change your direction
ain’t gonna change it, can’t rearrange it
can’t stand the pain when it’s all the same to you, my friend

when you’re low down and dirty, from walkin’ the street
with your old hurdy-gurdy, no one to meet
say love ain’t the same, on the south side of town’

Steven Tyler and Joe Perry could have been writing about RoFo.

‘I’m worried, Ray. It’s getting crowded in there and all my data points to something big on the horizon.’

And we’re down a Ghostbuster to help get us through.

Go gently, Mr. Ramis.  Thank you for the laughter.

PS.  On a FAR more optimistic note, a couple of wonderful bloggers have seen fit to nominate me for a couple more awards.  Kim, at Let me Reach with Kim Saeed, offers valuable insights and information for those dealing with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Madeline, at Madeline Scribes, is a source for diverse discussions based in her experience as a professional social researcher.  They offer valuable perspectives on many of the things that I am wont to discuss hereabouts and are truly Voices of Inspiration.  Please do go and visit with them- I have no doubt you’ll learn something. 

Thank you both sincerely for the nominations!  I very much appreciate the recognition.


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19 comments on “‘It’s the same old story…’

  1. Who are we going to call now?

  2. Love this post! You are an original and a treasure in prose!

  3. bethbyrnes says:

    I cannot understand the fascination with Ford. I can contribute nothing on that subject but dismay at his continuing celebrity and tenure in office.

    Thank you for reminding me about Northrup’s memoir. I am sending it to my Kindle pronto.

    The Oscars: I rarely watch them but did last night. I don’t like how Ellen handled her role, particularly, and I don’t enjoy people being ridiculed. If people fell, in the past, we simply hugged them and moved on. When someone loses and clearly cares about it (the Wolf of Wall Street supporting actor), I wouldn’t needle him. He is young and the loss was the first of the night. I don’t care what outfits these people wear when there are 49 million Americans barely eking out an existence and we are on the brink of a catastrophe in Ukraine and Syria, as you point out. I love movies — good ones and so I wait until all of it arrives on DirecTV and I can screen it. I never attend loud, dirty, crowded over-priced theaters.

    But what really disappointed me last night, was the predictable positioning of Philip Seymour Hoffman at the end of the tribute (too cursory, and why didn’t Midler sing while the photographs were displayed?), just because he is the latest (highly talented and to be missed, no question) actor to needlessly kill himself with drugs and/or alcohol? Shirley Temple or Joan Fontaine should have been last, not Hoffman, as much as I liked and will miss his talent.

    I will not be watching any of these next year. We only live an average of 85 years – that is just enough time to do and read all the important things in life and maybe paint a painting or sing a song or help someone ourselves. [Imho — and sorry to be so wordy.]

    • colemining says:

      Beth- he will be on Jimmy Kimmel tonight. One more reason not to watch that guy. RoFo seriously doesn’t understand the reality of his life- that he is a laughing stock with zero credibility. Which would be fine, except that he is still managing to persuade a whole lot of people- who are too lazy to actually examine the situation- that he is looking out for ‘them’ and has ‘their’ best interests at heart. It makes me sick to my stomach.

      No need to apologize- I’m totally with you on this. The attention to all the glitter and substance-less sparkle is really wearing on my last nerve. Which isn’t to say that movies don’t help us to tell our important stories. 12 Years a Slave is the best, recent example of this. It is a story/history that needs to be told, and for those who won’t read the memoir, the film is now there to act as witness.

      And there is value in entertainment and innovation in film- for its own sake. I just don’t get the constant celebration of celebrity that overtakes us at this time of year. Or any time of year, really. But it seems exponentially worse ’round about now.

      Thanks for reading.

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    The classiest thing within last night’s Oscar telecast was Bill Murray’s mention of Harold Ramis when announcing the nominees for Cinematography. One fantastic 12 second clip out of a 3.5 hour telecast. The Oscars were better this year.

    • colemining says:

      I saw that clip on a friend’s fb page- I agree. Nicely done, Dr. Venkman. Overall I really don’t feel like I missed much. Thanks for reading, John.

  5. As Paul Weller once wrote: “The public wants what the public gets.” True then, more so now.

  6. potholesahead says:

    As usual, an excellent and enjoyable post. Your nominations are well deserved.

    I heard you were hit hard with what is ailing you. I wish you a speedy recovery with your sinus infection and hope someone is pampering you, as they should.

    • colemining says:

      Thanks Kim! Sorry we missed you this weekend. Hope everyone is feeling somewhat better in your neck o’ the woods. This winter has GOT to end! xo

      • potholesahead says:

        Thanks. It is a very long winter indeed. I try not to complain about our Canadian winters, but this one is making very difficult not to.
        There will be more trips back to your little area of the universe and getting together will be high priority. 🙂

      • colemining says:

        Look forward to it!

  7. Ste J says:

    I’m not an Oscars man myself, I have also never heard of Jimmy kimmel either. I live in the 80’s the greatest era for films, especially of the cheesy variety. Most of today’s showbiz is abhorrently hypocritical and I’m always amazed by the people who seem to thrive on the gossip and other such trivialities.

    World affairs have there own showbiz quality to them as well, witness North Korea last year which was comical to say the least. In fact it’s like a soap opera, national and world affairs just with more unrealistic plot twists.

    • colemining says:

      Me too, Ste. J. Me too.
      I think that in order to get any sort of viewing on the ‘News’, international situations HAVE to be sensational. People won’t give them passing notice, otherwise.
      Thanks for reading.

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