I love movies, but the Academy Awards program is prolonged, tedious, and redundant. There is about as much surprise in an Oscars broadcast as there is in handing a bottle of whiskey to an alcoholic grandparent suffering from incontinence then plopping him on reupholstered couch just to see if the inevitable happens.
In contrast, the Grammy broadcast is like a couple of healthy teenagers who, upon discovering sex, try out every position at least once. It’s wild, silly, unpredictable, energetic, and messy.
The Golden Globes broadcast resembles a European soirée where, in the beginning, everyone is on their very best behavior; by the end all are drunk, rude, pawing at each other’s spouses, and ready to attack the Balkans.
Yet as boring as I find the Oscar ceremonies, every year I faithfully watch them...
Tonight is Oscar night and as I do with every other jumbo cultural event broadcast in America, I will be seeking shelter elsewhere. The guy below me has a 50-inch plasma screen with a volume setting that ranges from Michael Bay to Michael Bay IMAX 3D. He and his girlfriend are both mixed martial artists, bodybuilders, and bow hunters of small game. I think Ted Nugent visits them in their dreams. I don’t talk knuckle dragger so I have no reference point of communication with them.
A young couple recently moved in next to me. Their entertainment unit is even larger than Punch and Judy’s downstairs. It radiates so much light I can see the screen through my wall; this is fine because I never got around to ordering the full sports satellite package. I contemplate talking to them about the noise coming from their apartment, but I just don't have the heart. They are newly-weds who speak to each other coquettishly while making love. I don’t know whether they are writing a “How To” manual for the Pilates set, but their nocturnal and early morning sounds apparently have scared away any reason to tent this building for termites.
Every Sunday evening, the Iranians across the courtyard broadcast Farsi versions of South American telenovelas. So really, where's my starting off point there?
So I am off to look for an Oscar party I can crash. Everyone I know puts on the same sort of Academy Awards night get-together: a lot of cold cuts, beer, big charts with all the nominees, and gambling pools. While the food is upscale, all the talk remains somber and the subject is usuall about the business of downscaling expectations. These parties are no longer fun; they end up as extended therapy sessions for those running out of Cobra insurance. And I am tired of cold cuts.
For the last several weeks, I’ve been calling up coffee shops, sports bars, hotels, and restaurants to see whether any of them will be blending Oscar parties with America’s newest craze: open carry. I’m looking to attend an event where strapped on pig iron competes with dainty, bite-sized finger foods before the real fingers get blown off.
Open carry is tough guy street lingo for openly carrying a firearm in public, usually a handgun strapped inside a very fancy-looking holster. Each state’s laws vary on public swaggering around like you're Wyatt Earp or Bat Masterson traipsing down the streets of Laredo, but then who has the time to read statutes, pilgrim? Proponents argue that the Second Amendment allows the normal law abiding citizenry to twirl weapons in public and show off their own peace makers anywhere they damn well please. Fat, thin, manicured, young, old arthritic, and twitchy. All fingers need apply.
I want that party where coke flows, liquor is available in wide abundance, no one knows anything, and everyone packs enough firepower to make John Wayne look like the leader of a Quaker movement. I want to witness a face-off between a guy who bets he can outdraw anyone in the room who knows the difference between sound mixing and sound editing. Perhaps I'll be lucky enough to witness a firefight over the merits of The Cove vs The Most Dangerous Man in America for best long form documentary.
Does it sound like I will do anything to be part of a Academy Awards party that has some buzz?
The only heat I will be carrying on me will be the body heat generated by driving around with both an expired license and fake DMV tags. If I’m going to listen to an opening monologue as humorous as a Joe Biden speech or award’s presenter chitchat more canned than Del Monte, then like Alicia Bridges, “I got to go where the people dance. I want some action …I want to live!
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