Monday, February 25, 2008

The Hollywood Prom
The ratings are in and this year's Oscars viewing audience was abysmal. Did Americans tune out when the foreign actors began racking up awards? Did the thought of yet another year of Jack Nicholson sitting there in the front row, sun-glassed and hipped-out, encourage further tune out? Do people just not care about award shows?

Clearly Hollywood no longer occupies a revered position in the broader culture. Hollywood used to typify the utmost of American style and glamour. But then again decades ago the general culture never ventured outdoors unless adorned in coat/tie or dress. Hollywood stars and starlets merely exemplified the very heights of class and style. It wasn't that Cary Grant looked good in a suit, it was that he looked better than all suit wearers. He was the gold standard that suit wearers wished to achieve. Compare this with the stars of today. With so many Star Magazine covers showing Hollywood stars in all their cellulitic and unshaven loveliness, can't the public be forgiven for not essentially "buying" the faux glamour of seeing stars all Versace'd up on the red carpet? Seeing all these guys on the stage wearing tuxes while we know they'd much rather be in jeans and t-shirt is the reason that Tinseltown no longer matters. With these stars up on the stage giving their high-and-mighty acceptance speeches blovating on the importance of their craft seems just a tad too much fakery worth paying attention to.

The Oscars has essentially become Hollywood's high school prom - where everyone gets together all dressed up under the pretenses of style and class - only that we the audience know that the tux and dress charade doesn't cover up for the essential vulgarity of the participants. Hollywood glamour a la The Oscars comes but once a year. In comparison you are more apt to see Star Magazine's less than flattering covers each week when buying the groceries. The whole Oscars exercise has grown all too anachronistic to an audience democratized by casual fashions and used to seeing stars more human than human. With no change in these trends in sight, expect Hollywood to continue its decline in the culture into the future.


At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just felt like all of Stewart's jokes were inside jokes. I didn't understand most of them, but the audience was laughing. Or maybe they just were not funny?


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