Posted by: gdevi | February 27, 2012

2012 Oscars – “Vulgar Electricity”

You know how certain dishes taste better the second day? That is why I waited till today to comment on the Oscars which was broadcast yesterday. I wanted to wait till today and see if I was still sticking by my decision to stop watching the Oscars. And it is a full 24 hours later and I can confidently say that I have no desire to watch the Oscars anymore. It is actually quite reassuring how quickly vulgarity makes itself condemned and cast away in matters of aesthetics. I will tell you what did it for me. Seeing Jennifer Lopez’s nipple through the side of her gown was a bit too much. And this was not like Cher’s funky haute couture or anything; just a vulgar display of one’s nipple, that was all. I called both K and D to check and see if it was indeed the shadow of JLo’s nipple that we were seeing, and we looked closely and they also confirmed that it was JLo’s nipple. She must have spent so much time making sure that the nipple was visible, just so. Amazing. And then Angelina Jolie, for apparently no reason, thrust her thigh out in a rather vulgar way. We have seen almost all of these actresses naked on screen; why do they have to show their nipples, breasts and thighs at the Oscars? I don’t get it. It is fairly obvious to everyone that most movies in Hollywood are made for teenage boys, but why would you turn the Oscars into something along the same lines?

You know Joni Mitchell has those lines

Is this just vulgar electricity?

Is this the edifying fire?

Does your smile’s covert complicity

Debase as it admires?

Well, it is quite clear that the Oscars have become vulgar electricity, and not the edifying fire. If I ever write a book about the popular culture of this generation–I am particularly thinking of the Grammys, the Disney produced trash, the tonka-truck and fill me-with-your-poison songs, and now the Oscars with the boobs — I will call it Vulgar Electricity, with Joni Mitchell’s permission, of course. Boy, what a scintillating thought! Don’t steal my title; I said it first, that is, after Joni Mitchell. Andy Warhol was right when he observed that people don’t die; they just go to department stores.

I think the best thing about the Oscars is really Billy Crystal; he was genuinely funny. I like him. I think that is really the only reason I persisted in watching the show till the end. He had a running little dig going throughout the show on the pretentiousness of it all. I don’t think we can anymore talk about the “magic” of movies or anything; we live in a very corrupted decade. And Billy Crystal had that in view at all times. Good work, Billy Crystal.

Lisette tells me that The Artist is a great film though, so I am going to watch it. I was glad Hugo won the awards; Scorcese really is a wonderful director.And I am glad Meryl Streep won; finally, an actress who won an award without showing her nipple! I also want to watch My Week with Marilyn; I like Michelle Williams. She is a wonderful young actress.

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