by James Howard Kunstler, Kunstler:
I like to keep up with the Academy awards to see just how much Hollywood has lost its mind from year to year. And since America is marinated in the juices of Hollywood, it’s a nice Rorschach test for the mysterious tendings of our nation.
By the way, I got in a late screening of Black Panther the night before. It’s about the techno-metropolis of Wakanda hidden deep in the African jungle lo these many centuries. (Who knew?) The elite of that utopia travel the world in flying saucers. When trouble turns up, what weapons do they reach for? Spears. I kid you not. My favorite line in the movie: American white G-man to Nakia, Black Panther’s ex-girlfriend: “Put that spear in the trunk!”
So… I tuned into the last ten minutes of the red carpet pre-game. Side boob as far as the eye could see — from women who will return to anti-rape culture activism when they get over their hangovers. Everybody on the runway was “stunning.” And they appreciated being informed of that, because they hear it so seldom. Glenn Close revealed that her gown contained four million beads and weighed forty pounds. I hope she donates it to the Clinton Foundation for HRC’s 2020 nomination acceptance speech.
Oh, Black Panther just won its first award: costume design. It’s amazing what you can do with vibranium. It drapes beautifully, breathes, and can recharge your Tesla. I confess, the costumes kept me going through that movie because the story was so incomprehensible. LL Bean will be offering field jackets in Vibranium next fall, with a special pocket that charges your cell phone. I want one!
Cut to Marty Scorsese selling Rolex watches. Every American should have one, and when AOC is finally president, every American will have one!
Oh, Black Panther won another statuette-of-color for production design (sets and stuff). Fer sure, I felt that I was transported to another world where absolutely nothing was recognizable, which is also how I feel when I read The New York Times.
Followed by the strangest musical number of the night so far: Jennifer Hudson costumed like an elevator operator in front of a Supreme Court backdrop, belting out a power ballad about women and… well… power (from the documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Well, RBG is getting on in years. She certainly deserves an elevator in her place of business. More power to the ole gal!
Uh-oh, Black Panther just lost in the Sound Editing category. Unfair! Ballot recount, please!
Bunch of white guys won the Sound Mixing award for Bohemian Rhapsody. They all look the same. Same tuxedo. Same plain vanilla speech. Boring. I cannot tell you exactly how sound mixing differs from sound editing. Probably doesn’t. Fake award! Investigation perhaps?
Saved by another musical number: From Mary Poppins Reboot. Ole Bette Midler in an outfit that said Waitress-in-a-donut-shop. I think the song was composed in eleven minutes in the parking lot of the Shake Shack on Sunset off NW Knollwood.
Here comes Pharrell Williams in a camo tuxedo, soon to be worn by US Army Rangers in the forthcoming invasion of the Hamptons. Followed by some chick in a jogging outfit (best animated short). Followed by an hysterical babe “fighting for menstruel equality!” Empowerment, yes! Hear us roar! (Grrrowww!)
Commercials coming hot and heavy now, like the flak over Saarbrucken, 1942. A kind of battle fatigue settling over the auditorium. If it was me out there, I’d be hitting that half-pint of rock’n-rye in my back pocket.
More boring white guys picking up their awards for visual effects. Space movie. Does make you kinda wonder if we actually went up there in 1969, or was that a visual effect too? British accents. (Fake?) The odor of colonialism wafting out over the audience. Thank Gawd that’s over with.
Awards for short films nobody will ever see. (Yawn.)