NELSON: Give him 4 hours of pure escapism

Lay off awards shows, Andy. I like awards shows. I’m not particularly proud of it, but there it is.

It’s not a topic that warrants consequential debate, especially since this weekend’s awards show, the Grammys, leave me cold. I can’t keep up with the latest, happenin’ pyrotechnical recording artists.

But when it comes to the Academy Awards — Best Picture, Best Actors and Best Director — even the most blasé of us pause our drab lives long enough for a quick peek at who wins.

The Oscars, the Golden Globes and the Emmys are four hours of Cinderella fantasy. We suspend disbelief and live vicariously through the glitzy, decadent lives of established big-screen stars and the newly famous.

We’ve seen some of the nominated movies. We have our favourite performances and nominees. We listen to the pre-Oscar hype. We eagerly anticipate the politically incorrect opening monologue. Can it ever possibly stack up to Billy Crystal’s genius?

Yes, I like awards evenings. A glass of wine, perhaps a small snack. The too often male-dominated remote control clutched firmly in someone else’s hand. Together we watch beautiful people traipse down the red carpet, magnanimously pausing to chat with fawning interviewers about gowns and designers.

I know, the messages of awards shows are all wrong. Beautiful people representing an American dream supposedly available to all — an opiate of the masses. Not good.

And, yes, it’s unfettered competition, rife with politics and lobbying, with obscene amounts of money spent to bribe victory for one and defeat for everyone else. It sounds far too much like the economic system my neocon colleague espouses. Not good at all.

I accept that there are too many awards shows and that they are as irrelevant and silly as Survivor or The Amazing Race.

I briefly and unsuccessfully tried to join those who watch only PBS or Masterpiece Theatre, when not tending their organic gardens, but like all of us, I still needed a good dose of escapism, whether it’s reading The Hobbit, watching Downton Abbey or worshipping Meryl Streep.

I will continue to enjoy sharing four-hour awards evenings with my lovely wife and two wonderful children. They are my soul, my rocks, without whose unqualified support none of this harmless escapism would be possible.


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