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"Racism is dead in America." ~ Anne Coulter.
By now you should know how I feel about Awards shows in general. Admittedly, I'll watch the Oscars this year, just to see NPH (loved his lunacy on "American Horror Story" this season). Like most Americans, I have seen very few of the nominated movies. I've seen Boyhood (which I didn't care for enough to even bother reviewing) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (which I did review and honestly wanted to like more than I did). With the exception of Birdman, I honestly have no interested in seeing the other nominated films. Not that you shouldn't see them or that they shouldn't be seen. And while I guess if was a professional critic, I would have seen them all, but probably grumbled about seeing more than one. Oddly, the rest of the nominees are all biopics... American Sniper; The Imitation Game; The Theory of Everything; Whiplash and Selma are all real-life stories. Fictionalized, of course, for dramatic interest.
But it is Selma in particular, which seems to have generated the most controversy. First, it was reported that the movie was historically inaccurate and portrays Lyndon Johnson as opposed Dr. King's march in Alabama and the Voting Rights Act. And then the Oscar nominations came out. And while Selma is nominated for Best Picture, not one of its cast were nominated. In fact, not a single person of color was nominated in any performance category. Not a single Black, Latino, Asian or multiracial person on the list! No Inuit; Pacific Islanders; Native Americans; Maori or Aboriginals, either. That's just... I mean, how does a film get nominated for Best Picture, without a single nomination for any actor that's in it or the director who made it? One might also ask how The Color Purple didn't win a single one of its 11 nominations. Or why Brokeback Mountain lost to Crash. Oh, wait, wasn't Crash about racism? Sure, but in a really awful, hit-you-over-the-head way that went way out it's way to prove a point. Plus, it didn't have any icky man-on-man kissing.
Hollywood, that supposed bastion of liberal hedonism, is racist, sexist and homophobic. Now, I know I'm not saying anything new here. But the Oakland Tribune headline up on the right just put it so succinctly and hilariously, that I had to comment, especially when the country is about to enjoy a three-day weekend in celebration of Dr. King's birthday. It's like the Academy voters are saying "We like the idea of civil rights; we just don't like the people who are asking for them."
Selma doesn't have a chance of winning Best Picture on February 22nd. Because the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same.
For what it's worth, here are the trailers for this year's Best Picture nominees:
So, I guess... Yay, White People!? Ugh! Oh, and by the way... F*ck You, Anne Coulter!
Uncle P used to participate in a charitable event every MLK weekend as my Day of Service, but they and I parted ways a while ago and I focused my volunteering on the JTMF. Of course, JTMF is all but dead (only our Facebook page remains), though a last gasp may be at hand with a project I'll be talking about (and directing again!) soon.
If you are lucky enough to be off, enjoy your holiday. Don't feel obligated to do a Day of Service because it's MLK Day. You should always fee obligated to do service whenever you can. But if you need a special day for it, so be it.