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The Culture Current: Why I Will NOT Boycott The Oscars

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 1:08 am   /   by

Mind you, I’m all too aware my position on this is apparently controversial.  The en masse online Conservative attitudes towards the Oscars coming up this Sunday are, perhaps, best summed up in the opening of a piece on The Weekly Standard, like so:

“Are you going to watch the Academy Awards this Sunday? Please don’t.  You’ll only drive yourself crazy.  If you love Donald Trump, you’ll be outraged at all of the idiotic, self-important protests.  If you hate Donald Trump you’ll be exasperated that the idiots in Hollywood somehow managed to find the most annoying and counter-productive ways to oppose the Orange Menace. It’s a lose-lose proposition.

“Plus, La La Land is going to win everything.  All the statistical models show that it has a 95.3 percent chance.  So it’s a lock.  Those things are never wrong.

“Though, in all seriousness, La La Land really is going to win everything.  This is the least suspenseful Oscar night since 1997.*

“So do yourself a favor: Instead of sitting through the Oscar telecast, watch a movie!”

Well…perhaps not exactly.  For many, “watch a movie” is out—unless maybe it’s an older film.  Assuming they’re not bloviating; but I digress.

Now…I get it, of course.  After all, practically every dang awards show this season has had some obligatory moment of bashing Trump—at least.  I myself have not exactly oriented my schedule around any of them, myself, only watching videos after-the-fact.  But let’s be perfectly honest, dear readers: How many of you would have seen the Oscars anyway?

How many of you saw the ceremony last year?  Especially considering how it was the Left giving the Academy grief—remember #OscarsSoWhite?  One would think, just to spite the Left, there’d be quite a few of us who’d take a chance on it.  Chris Rock gave a great monologue, by the way—shooting down the SJW “Everything’s racist/sexist!” nonsense.

No, most of us didn’t tune in.  The Oscars just haven’t been too highly rated for a while, politics or no politics.

To be honest, here’s a pet theory of mine, about the militant Online Conservatives who raise holy heck about “Hollywierd”—as I’ve often noted, many of them brag that “I haven’t gone to the movies in years!”  As such, their threats to Boycott It All are…essentially moot.  So, because they’re the ones screaming the most about not seeing the Oscars, all I can say is, “I’m sure they’ll miss you all.”

But it isn’t just them, of course.  After all, pretty much the only ones watching this are True Cinephiles.  Some of them are Conservatives, though…and I’m reasonably sure many of them (myself included) have struggled over this.  Can we say Hollywood’s wasted their goodwill, this season?  Are we just setting ourselves up for more insults?

Well, I’m not sure.  One thing I am sure about: To quote Tom Shillue of Redeye, “I’m boycotting boycotts.”

Not that I’m going to go see any film or TV show I’m pretty sure is going to insult me, period.  But that’s the point: I wouldn’t see them anyway.  In order for a boycott to actually be, well…a boycott—it’d have to be a good or service that I otherwise would have bought.

As for the “good stuff”…well, A, it’s not worth it, to me.

“But Eric, on principle, we have to teach them a lesson—”

B, it doesn’t work.  Like I said, the ratings of the awards shows haven’t been too high in a long while.  So…again: “I won’t watch the Oscars!”  “Yeah…okay, we’ll miss you.  Not.  See ya.”

C, Jimmy Fallon, who’s hosting, says he’s not planning on going political for his presentations.  Mind you, he did add that that could change, depending on whatever events happen before the ceremonies.  Maybe he’ll say something about the transgenders-in-the-bathroom thing.  If he’s smart, he won’t do anything to make already-tense Conservatives flick off the switch.

D, proclaiming it from the mountaintops essentially goes against everything I’ve said about the “Boycott Hollywierd” movement: It’s counter-productive, if you don’t couple it up with supporting the good guys in Tinseltown, and proclaiming that, too.  And, um…right now, we…don’t seem to make a habit of that.  Not “proclaiming”, anyway.

Speaking of the good guys…

E, and most importantly: We have Hacksaw Ridge up for Best Picture, and Mel Gibson up for Best Director.  Now…yes, it certainly looks like La La Land will clean up, with all those nominations.  But…flashback a few years ago, when American Hustle was in that exact position, nominated for practically everything.  And…didn’t happen.

Shame about that one, really—Amy Adams’s performance in that film is one of the greatest gems in her tiara.  On that note, what almost made me go “heck with it” and join the boycott was the fact that our princess wasn’t even nominated, this year, even though Arrival—which she carried, frankly—gets a Best Picture nod.  Even the director’s the first to agree!  While we’re at it, the fact that they’re having her present an award is either insult-to-injury, or an awkward attempt at “No hard feelings, Amy?”  Well, she’s a class act to accept the role, regardless.  Maybe that’s another reason for why I’m watching anyway?  Ah-hem.  Anyways, I digress.

The point is, anything can happen.  The great Andrew Klavan’s bracing himself for Moonlight—a character-based “Oscar Bait” flick about a young gay black man—to possibly snatch the big prize.  The great John Campea of Collider is nursing a small hope for Hacksaw Ridge, with Mel for Best Director…and so am I.

Be honest, fellow Conservatives.  A sudden surge of redemption for Mel—who, remember, is on our side—thereby cementing the official end to his exile.  It would be so deeply perfect.  And it would be, let’s be honest, a nice moment of redemption for Hollywood, after a season full of political insults.

It could happen.  So I strongly disagree with The Weekly Standard on this.  Anything could happen in the race for Best Picture—and Best Director before it.  Just imagine, dear readers…Mel giving two speeches to close out that night, curing the taste in our mouths left by whatever anti-Trump nonsense went on before—and not just that night.

It would be worth sitting the ceremony through…wouldn’t it?

Stay film-friendly, my friends.

 

*(For the non-Cinephiles among you: The ’97 Oscars had The English Patient beat Jerry McGuire and Fargo—both of which are better remembered, of course.  So…I’m not too sure his comparison’s too valid, here.)

 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons / Greg In Hollywood

License: CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

Eric Blake

Eric Blake

Team Writer at Western Free Press
Eric M. Blake is a recent graduate of the University of South Florida, with a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Master's in Film Studies.  As that implies, he is very passionate about political theory and filmmaking--and the connections between the two.  Inspired by Andrew Breitbart's axiom that "Politics is downstream from culture", he is deeply fascinated by the great influence that popular culture has on public opinion, and is a firm believer in the power of storytelling.  He proudly owns his second copy of Ben Shapiro's Primetime Propaganda...his first copy having been worn out though intense re-reading.

Eric was raised by Conservative Christian parents, but first became especially passionate about politics in high school, through reading up on economic theory.  He also first read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged around this time, for the ARI's essay contests.  He now owns a great deal of Ayn Rand's work.  Also included in his library are the collected works of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, etc.

Eric is no stranger to writing commentary, as the writer of the Conservative Considerations column on CampCampaign.com, and as a film critic and commentator on FlickRev.com.  He has also carried on the Conservative tradition of talk radio commentary, as the host of "Avengers of America" for the USF student radio station, Bulls Radio.  In the meantime, he is practicing what he preaches: Striving to enter the professional realm of Hollywood, he has already written and directed short films for the Campus MovieFest, which can be found on his YouTube channel, Hard Boiled Entertainment.
Eric Blake

The Culture Current: Why I Will NOT Boycott The Oscars