Last Sunday evening, as Russian tanks rolled across Crimea, Americans’ eyes were glued to their television sets — watching the Oscars.
In fact, this year’s Academy Awards broadcast was the highest-rated in a decade. In the Atlanta area alone, nearly half of all viewers were tuned in. The other half were probably curled up in a fetal position somewhere, suffering from “Downton Abbey” withdrawal.
Personally, I’ve never understood the attraction of the Oscars. I’ve never watched the show — not even once — and don’t plan to. I love movies, but I just can’t seem to make myself care about the people who direct them or act in them.
Even worse, from what I can tell based on the media coverage, the Oscars in recent years have degenerated into a platform where people who pretend for a living tell the rest of us how we should live or what we should think or whom we should vote for.
Frankly, I’d rather take advice from the lady who cuts my hair. Or the guy down at the dry cleaners. At least they’re normal.
Because, while you might be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful and talented group of people than the Academy Award crowd, you’d be equally hard-pressed to find a larger gathering of degenerates, whackos and pinheads.
Consider: Woody Allen, who has won four Oscars, began a relationship with the adopted daughter of his long-time partner, Mia Farrow, when he was 56 and the girl was 19. The relationship reportedly came to light when Farrow found pornographic pictures of her daughter that Allen had taken.
Sean Penn (Best Actor, “Milk,” 2009) ostentatiously hobnobbed with Venezuelan communist dictator Hugo Chavez, calling him “inspiring” and “one of the most important forces we’ve had on this planet.” At Chavez’s funeral last year, Penn lamented, “I’ve lost a friend.”
Hillary Swank (Best Actress, “Million Dollar Baby,” 2005) attended a birthday party for another brutal despot, Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov, reportedly sitting next to him during the celebration and wishing him “a very happy birthday.” According to Human Rights Watch, Kadyrov “is linked to a litany of horrific human rights abuses.”
Jamie Foxx (Best Actor, “Ray,” 2005) offended Christians around the globe when he opened the 2012 Soul Train Awards by declaring, “First of all, give an honor to our god and our lord and savior, Barack Obama.”
International playboy George Clooney (Best Supporting Actor, “Syriana,” 2006) loves to lecture the rest of us on morality. He also recently pontificated, “I’m disillusioned by people who are disillusioned by Barack Obama.” Interesting, given a new poll showing that 71 percent of Obama voters have buyer’s remorse.
I could go on, but space is limited.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy those actors’ work or admire their talent. I do. I have no problem going to see their movies.
I’ll just skip the annual, sanctimonious propaganda fest known as the Academy Awards.
Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and the author of “Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility,” available at Books for Less and on Amazon. Email Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @FamilyManRob.