Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dear Abby & the Academy

I don't get much into the Academy Awards.  If we are invited to a party, we watch them.  If we are home, I might flip through but mostly I don't care.  & I don't care because I don't understand.  & I don't understand because I cannot be bothered to understand.

This is not unique to the Oscars, I don't really understand awards shows in general.  I don't even understand most athletic awards.  Take the Stanley Cup: doesn't EVERY TEAM make the playoffs?  As for the Super Bowl, isn't it unusual for the game itself to be worth watching?  How are either of these things meaningful?  What do they measure?

So.  I think we can all agree I just don't get it. This is not to say I don't like movies, I DO like movies.  I am sorry to see most movie theaters in the state they are in (then again, I don't much want to pay to sit in a darkened room with people who don't know how to turn their cell phones off, either).  Which brings me to another thing I don't understand & I don't know what it means:  Dear Abby.

I agree with Abby maybe 1/2 the time.  & 1/2 the time I agree with her, I don't agree with how she got there.  Abby recommends therapy A LOT.  I don't think most people need therapy, I think most people need to grow the f*ck up & get off their lazy slacker asses.  This applies to me too, by the way:  when my in-laws make me crazy I need to grow the f*ck-up & not take it so personally, after all they treat everyone like crap, & get off my lazy slacker ass & make other plans when I spot a potential last-minute invitation on the horizon.  See how that works? 

//little side bar here: in the past 18 months or so I have adopted a policy of showing the same interest in their interests as they show in mine.  I especially enjoy how much they don't care for it.  Last time they were here we had to sit through a slideshow of the resort they went to in December, pictures of the hotel's pools from every angle, the restaurant staff whose names they could not remember (if they ever knew them), etc.  For next time, I am planning a catalog of my quilt fabric & how I like to sort it first by theme (floral, stripe) or subject (I have a lot of novelty fabrics) & then by color scale, ignoring actual color all together.  Even if this does not get my message across it will occupy 30+ minutes of our time together which is 30 fewer minutes wondering how to fake a sudden injury.

All this is fine you say, but what does Dear Abby have to do with the Academy Awards?  Well, here is the connection & I admit it is tenuous.  For months I have been whiling away the minutes between my getting up in the night to pee & actually falling back to sleep pondering one particular letter to Dear Abby.  The gist of the letter is how a mother cannot afford to take her children to the movies & pay those out-of-control rates for snacks & so she smuggles food in.  Naturally Abby had a reply & then there was some follow-up & so on & so forth.  Being Abby, she published responses that agree with her & that don't.  She is so even handed, giving equal space to every point of view; personally I think that's how crackpots get to thinking they are in the majority, or at least not a small small minority but whatever.

One letter in particular sticks with me.  One sentence from one letter actually:

My children want the whole theater experience, which includes a snack. 
Kim in California goes on to say that the snacks are overpriced, etc. & the whole tone is she is just not going to foot the bill for those high-living theater-owner lifestyles.   Well, that is her opinion & Abby would say she is entitled to it.  But I am stuck at the "whole theater experience" line.  Apparently, in her world paying the bill is not part of the experience.

At night, for a moment, I get quite hung up on this.  Is this the problem with our country, our culture, our species?  We forget that paying the bill IS part of the total picture?  Or am I wrong here & the parameters of any experience are what you say they are?  Am I paying more for popcorn because she doesn't pay at all?  Will I ever voluntarily go to the theater with a family with multiple children who all bring extra food?  What if they bring sauerkraut? 

As for the Academy Awards, I have a vague idea who was nominated.  I did see The Girl Who Whatever Whatever at an actual theater (A wanted to see it & then S**** called & so we all three went & I sat in the middle, sheltered from the rabble) & I thought was actually better than the book; in fairness, I would think having my teeth cleaned was better than the book, but that is because after my teeth are cleaned I do have nice clean teeth, whereas after reading those books all I had was a much reduced opinion of virtually everyone who said they were good.  I have The Invention of Hugo Cabret on hold at the library.  I will certainly read the red-carpet follow-up with the Fug Girls, if only because last year Amanda Palmer was the only thing worth watching & no one else showed it...that I know of...because I didn't watch it.  & because I don't really keep track of these things, it turns out APalmer pulled her stunt at the Golden Globes.

I guess that sums it up nicely. Now I think I just might pop some popcorn & go watch Oasis, it's been a while since I have done that.  Happy Academy Awards Show Day for anyone who cares.  May your theaters be full of people who do not bring their own sauerkraut.

1 comment:

  1. I am off to sort my fabrics for a photo shoot to exact revenge when needed. Thanks for the idea.