Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Oscar Predictions This Year

I decided that I won't make Oscar Predictions this year - the first time in Styx history. I've been heading this way for years but what put me over the edge was an article in Entertainment Weekly which described how Supporting Actress nominee Melissa Leo for The Fighter (2010), was hurting her Oscar chances because of self-paid ads she put in Variety. Get that? Not only was I predicting movies even though I had not seen them all, I felt that I could predict based on analyzing the buzz and yearly voting patterns. Yet, as I've complained before, we're not told (a) who the electorate is (who is in the academy? who voted? do they have the same turnout problems as the off-year national elections?) but also how the freakin' voting process even works. Yet I was willing to act the fool and predict my 'winners' despite my massive ignorance.

But along comes EW to say that despite Leo's performance, or the performances of her colleagues, she could lose an artistic award because people don't like how she campaigned.

Not only does this mean that to predict the awards, I would need to know the inside politics of cockamamie 'campaigns,' but that the Academy voters seem to actively admit that the awards have nothing to do with a particular performance or movie. It's insular politics that - quite honestly - insult art.

Yeah, there have been naysayers claiming this in the past, but they seem to base this assertion on the results of the Oscars - that crappy movies and people win over more deserving candidates. But *I'm* basing my nay on the fact that the Academy is de-facto admitting that their decisions are not based on quality whatsoever.

That there are idiot voters in the US electing reprobate Tea-baggers is a problem within the Democratic system. That there are idiot voters who claim to be artists judging aesthetic quality belies the nature of their so-called Academy.

I'll still track the winners, but I wash my hands of the predictions.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Comic: Ben Bailey on New York Smells

This could only be a male comedy thing - but I found this specific routine deeply hilarious. I needed to remove my chewing gum lest I choke from laughter. Yet, my wife did not even crack a smile. It's possibly because I lived in New York and had the exact same reactions he describes.

After watching this dude on Netflix I hoped that he would have been picked up by movies and TV and I see that he has (even winning an Emmy for Cash Cab). Good for him. As a big man comic, he's taken the Patrick Warburton route in his voice and pacing. It works.
Ben Bailey - Different Smells
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