Oscar Night: Winners And Losers

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So, its Oscar night. I just got rid of a houseful of weekend guests and even though I agree with George C. Scott who famously called the Oscars a “goddamn meat parade” I need an excuse to just sit down, relax and not clean up my house because having guests all weekend exhausts me. So here I sit in my messy home watching the Oscars instead. I had to look up that quote of George C. Scott by the way. I remembered there were a couple actors who snubbed the Oscars and Marlon Brando was the other one. And HEY! …he protested in the name of American Indian rights, so I gotta love him! Anyway, he was pretty good in the Godfather which was the role he won the Oscar for in 1972. The one he turned down. I have my boyfriend to thank for indoctrinating me in the Godfather trilogy. Guys are such Godfather freaks! Every guy I know! What’s up with that?

So what’s on my mind as I watch the Oscars? Winners and losers. The nominees? Pffffttt! C’mon… they’re ALL winners. They’re at the Oscars, so they’re all fabulously successful and most of them are fabulously wealthy to boot. By any measure of the human condition they’re all winners. Hollywood’s royalty. But the billion people watching the ceremony at home? They’re mostly losers. In a worldwide recession with millions of people out of work and struggling along in poverty they’re sitting in front of a TV watching all the swells whoop it up in their designer clothes. This has been going on for over two thousand years. Not the Oscars of course (even when it runs late)… but bread and circuses as the ancient Romans called it, the big distraction, a showy spectacle to keep us entertained while our own personal lives are pretty dismal. I can’t complain. Life’s been pretty good to me, but I’m a liberal so you know my heart bleeds a lot.

We frequently get distracted by things like this but for most people in the world life has been getting worse over the past few years, not better, and its going to get even worse in the future. Through globalization, computerization, and class-warfare, income inequality has never been greater, especially in America where the greatest middle-class in history has now been reduced to the biggest losers. It languishes under the onslaught of a Republican vision of the world where only a few winners at the top use their wealth and political power to cut off opportunity and resources to the working-class, robbing them of wealth at every level of the economy which has now become a playing field tilted absurdly against them. Workers have been cheated out of their job-security, their wage-scales, their union rights, their benefits, their dignity, and often their jobs in an ever-accelerating race to the bottom. Those of us who are doing well or at least getting by often forget the members of our society who have fallen through the cracks of the new world economy. The Republicans vilify them as the 47% and would deny them any compassion while they strive to take away what little they have left. The party of Christian values!

Congratulations to all the winners tonight. But let’s not forget about the losers. They make up most of your audience.

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One thought on “Oscar Night: Winners And Losers

  1. Panem et circenses – “bread and games” – were what the people wanted, even the ancient Romans in 100 A.D. said! So nothing changed.

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