Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Fox And The Grapes, And The Oscars

h/t ASM @ Borepatch

The award if We ran the Oscars any time in recent memory.


For those unfamiliar with the origin of "sour grapes", a certain parable from my namesake might be in order.

Are actors self-righteous virtue-signalling hypocritical lackwits with delusions of grandeur and egos the size of Africa? Yes.

Should people with no experience at a conventional job, struggling to make ends meet on an eight-figure salary, with four trips to rehab, three failed marriages, two arrests, and a viral sex tape (in every sense of that phrase) available on the internet probably STFU, mind their own business, and not try to run everyone else's life? O hell yes.

Is their job easy? Hell no!

And BTW: Anyone who thinks actors (or anyone else) is overpaid, is quite simply a communist. And I mean that, literally. Pop off, and dare me to prove it using your economic ignorance as a negative example, at your own risk of ridicule.

I am second to none in my epicaricacy at the well-deserved tanking of ratings for the uber-woke Oscars of late. But it's possible to go beyond the solid ground of opprobrium for foolishness, and leap headfirst into the Swamp of Foolishness oneself.

Case in point:

"Well, the last thing on the face of the Earth that I would be interested in is watching a bunch of A^ patting themselves on the back, especially for being overpaid to do one of the easiest things that can be done in life."

"easiest things that can be done in life"...??

Let's see if that idea holds water...

Sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow for the class. Flawlessly. Seventeen times in a row. Then do a medley of dance performances from Top Hat to Puttin' On The Ritz, followed by a step-for-step rendition of Singin' In the Rain. While soaking wet. Then swordfight Inigo Montoya and beat him. Segue into your version of the St. Crispin's Day Speech from Henry V , followed by any 5 minutes of James Cagney's dialogue from One, Two, Three. Then give us Tom Joad's speech about a man's soul from Grapes Of Wrath, Atticus Finch's closing summation from To Kill A Mockingbird, the opening speech from Patton , twirl a big lever carbine to hail a Stagecoach, do it again while holding your horse's reins in your teeth after shouting "Fill your hand, you sonofabitch!", beat Marsala in a 7-lap race around the Roman Circus Maximus, then top it by tear-assing around San Francisco in a '70 fastback Mustang chasing a couple of mob hitmen to the death. Hold Bubba Blue in your arms as he dies, and break our hearts. Tell us about your most memorable ocean cruiseShow us - don't tell us - how your life as a poor Jewish Russian milkman would be changed if you were a wealthy man; take us to a pub for drinks with your friend the invisible 6-foot rabbit, and close up by singing a chocolatier's delight in a land of Pure Imagination.

You'll look about as silly as the mouthy brat cat-calling Babe Ruth for striking out, when the Bambino walks over to him, hands him the bat, and says "Okay, how about you try it then, kid?"

Motion pictures are the quintessentially American art form, and a national treasure, which only makes their descent into madness and lingering demise that much the worse for the entire culture.

The ratings this year deservedly look exactly like the Hindenburg going into the ground at Lakehurst one fateful day, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of jackasses. They earned the worst box office and worst ratings in history, with exactly the hubris and self-delusion your comment displayed.

But don't, in your haste to condemn their long-standing jackassery and stupidity, ever kid yourself that you or any fifty other people would, even in five lifetimes, amount to a patch on the underpants of the people that make it to the top of that pyramid. It's one of the most brutally unfair backstabbing bloodsport shankfests ever created by mankind, and the people that are and have been acknowledged masters of that craft, since ever, have more talent in the tip of their pinkies than you or I will ever have in our entire bodies if we lived to 100. The lowest paid actor you ever saw on a screen still beat out 200 people for the job, in a town where you can hit major league talent by swinging a dead cat.

The people running the business for the last couple of decades are most assuredly top-tier world-class @$$holes. And even the biggest @$$holes in that pack could act rings around you, blindfolded, hog-tied, and falling down drunk.

And the only people that know that are every person who every bought a movie ticket or popped in a disc to watch one of their performances.

Hate the @$$holishness of the @$$holes all you want; it's your inalienable right. But please, if only out of self-respect, stop kidding yourself, and quit talking out your other end.

And another thing...


5stonegames said...

I've dabbled in acting. Its not easy.

That said where you and I disagree I simply as I see it either we'll move on to new art forms like video games or a new entrants will fill the gap.

Hollywood itself can vanish from this country and we won't be worse for it. Its too far beyond repair.

John said...

Very, very well said.

And I'm becoming psychic - I knew what I'd see when I clicked on "Ritz"

This quote of yours is especially true:

"If people on the conservative side of the spectrum would spend or had ever spent as much time beating Hollywood at their own game as they do jaw-jacking and bitching/moaning/whining about how awful the people who run Hollywood are, and running away from the industry in particular and culture in general, they wouldn't all be sitting out there butthurt that they're getting their asses handed to them in the culture war they surrendered fifty years ago."

Hmmm, gotta write about something for next Monday . . . :)

Nick Flandrey said...

I wasn't usually around when the 'talent' was on set, but I did have the good fortune to work with some of the best in other places. Buddy Ebsen comes to mind. He was old, at the time, but OLD SCHOOL too. He was doing a star turn (figuratively) at our regional theatre, and fell coming in. Split his eyebrow open on the curb. 80 something years old at the time, iirc. Insisted that the runner take him to the ER for some stitches, then came back, taped over the stitches, put on his makeup, and did the freaking show. Without missing a beat or a line.

At the end of the run he gave everyone in the cast a signed lithograph of a little comic he drew, and everyone on the crew a t shirt with that same little picture.

One heck of a guy, with a career that spanned decades and every media.


Robin Datta said...

I don't watch movies. Haven't since I got back from Desert Storm. When they want me to watch them, they will pay me for doing so - and then I may.

Mark said...

I have this discussion with my wife often, in our case about pro athletes, whom she contends are over-paid. I remind her that only a tiny minority of people are capable of playing ANY sport at the pro level, and their paid based upon what people will pay to watch them. My contrast, while I make a decent living as a computer programmer, no one will pay to watch me do it.

I think where we get wrapped around the axle is in believing that because someone has a talent in one arena (acting, sports), they have some insight into other aspects of society (politics, economics). If I want to understand quantum mechanics or relativistic motion I'll look up Albert Einstein, fashion and hair-style not so much. Ultimately, actors, athletes, musicians etc are entertainers, paid for the enjoyment they provide us. Outside that realm they're no smarter (or dumber) than the rest of us.

Mark D

ruralcounsel said...

Acting, singing, ... yawn. Take it or leave it. Lots of people willing to do it for free. It isn't a question of is it hard or not, whether everyone has the same talent for it or not. Lot's of things are hard. Doesn't make them useful, doesn't make them needed, doesn't mean a thing for its intrinsic value. It's a circus, and we're only there to see the freaks. Doesn't mean we want to hear their opinions any more than we want to hear the opinions of the homeless guy down on the corner screaming at the trash cans.

Dance, monkeys, dance.

Aesop said...

Those of you yakking about their opinions miss the entire point.
Their opinions are not at issue. If you're not gullible enough to think them worth listening to, you're probably correct. (Mayim Bialik has a science Ph.D., and natalie Portman has a Masters in languages, and speaks six or so, IIRC. Most of them are bums who dropped out of high school or college. So is Bill Gates. You pays your nickel, and takes your chances.)
The entire discussion is whether what they do is "one of the easiest things in life".

It's demonstrably not, and denigrating them on that basis is quite simply recockulous.

And anything, including what one does, is worth precisely what someone else is willing to pay you for it. No more, and no less.
This is why the market for snow sales to Eskimos stays pretty flat year in and year out.
Communists think all labor is equally valuable.
Capitalists think labor is valued by the person paying for it, not the person doing it.
If fans and corporations are willing to shell out $10M to someone for playing a part, that's what it's worth.

In simple terms, no one is overpaid. Ever.

How many people are overvalued (to include any number of one's own co-workers, for example) is always the open question.

That's why my blog, and everyone's comments, are all unpaid: to keep this relatively friendly.
In my favor, it's been going on for a dozen years, and the viewership increases month over month.

Nick Flandrey said...

You better believe that the health of "Hollywood" and the US entertainment/media industry is important to the US. No need to take my word for it though.

"Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 25, 1998; Page A1

(By Michael Williamson – The Washington Post)

America's biggest export is no longer the fruit of its fields or the output of its factories, but the mass-produced products of its popular culture – movies, TV programs, music, books and computer software.

Entertainment around the world is dominated by American-made products.


International sales of software and entertainment products totaled $60.2 billion in 1996, more than any other U.S. industry,"

Or another source--- https://www.selectusa.gov/media-entertainment-industry-united-states

The U.S. media and entertainment (M&E) industry is the largest in the world. At $717 billion, it represents a third of the global M&E industry, and it includes motion pictures, television programs and commercials, streaming content, music and audio recordings, broadcast, radio, book publishing, video games, and ancillary services and products. The U.S. industry is expected to reach more than $825 billion by 2023

--or this statement

“The broader copyright intensive sectors, which includes software, constitute an exporting powerhouse, with overseas sales of $177 billion in 2015, far higher than the next leading U.S. export sectors of chemicals ($135.8 billion) and aerospace ($134.6 billion),” the report said.

--in other words, you can hate or despise the people, and the product, but their output is more valuable to the US than ANYTHING else.


With apologies for the dated material, because there is significant lag in the reporting and analysis, and noting that historically the numbers have only increased and are likely much higher currently (covid effects excepted)


Trumpeter said...

I am with you on the pay thing, in theory. But since we dont live in a capitalist society, your free market explanations won't hold water.

But Jack Nicholson CAN'T act. He just plays himself in every movie.