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THE OSCARS: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

For most people, the annual OSCAR’s telecast is entertainment … 

Another chance to see narcissistic actors (no more actors and actresses now, they are all politically correct genderless “actors”) and the people who create their fantasy lives involved in a real-life soap opera.

For some, a chance to worship celebrity, the so-called “American royalty where name and face recognition is more important than the acts that propelled them to the stage. An intersection between the sane and insane, the famous and the infamous.

Another chance for social interaction where people discuss the odds of this or that person (or film) winning the prize. To see how people looked on the red carpet. Waiting in anticipation for the faux pas or gaffe – and perhaps a full meltdown or wardrobe malfunction.

And some actually believe that the night is not just another Hollywood self-celebratory congratulatory “see and be seen” affair and is about rewarding actual achievement.

But the truth is far different.

First and foremost, this is a money-spinning venture that helps to fund the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The worldwide television rights to this event are expensive – and do not, as many believe, flow to fund charities.

Second and even more important, this is a mass-marketing event; a chance to further publicize the wares of those who inhabit the “fictional” Hollywood. To create additional buzz. To drive people who would not normally patronize the movies to see films which are hardly worth the $100 or so it takes to go to the movies today. (With the cost of tickets, parking, popcorn, dinner, baby-sitter, etc.)

Why else would studios, production companies and the performers themselves spend great sums of money promoting their performance and product? Answer: for commercial advantage, of course. Just another night of worldwide publicity to hawk their wares. 

But it is all Hollywood smoke and mirrors …

Hollywood is a mythical place. Where smoke and mirrors create bankable illusions. Where you are what you say you are and personal and professional re-invention and rehabilitation after a major stumble is de rigueur. Where your house, car, clothes and accessories are only props to move your personal story forward to capturing more money, sex and power.

Hollywood is a state of mind that really does not exist. Twentieth Century Fox is in West Los Angeles. MGM is in Culver City. Disney is in Burbank. Only Paramount and Universal actually are in and around the old Hollywood. In actuality, Hollywood was a dirty, grimy place where streetwalkers openly plied their trade and tourists came to marvel at the facade the was said to be famous. Now, through the help of your tax dollars, Hollywood is making a comeback, it is being re-vitalized into another money-making tourist trap for those who want to believe. But the famed studios themselves are controlled by large conglomerates and filming takes place far away from the fabled studio lots of yore.

But it is even worse than you might imagine …

Hollywood represents the home of the politically correct. The multi-millionaire limousine liberals who own multiple mansions, cars, yachts and planes and who want to tell you how to live in order to preserve the planet. The people who need to dictate how we live to give their own lives relevance and meaning – perhaps to convince themselves that they are actually worth the millions they are paid for whatever talents they need to mouth the words of others with enough sincerity to make them believable. And, for the more cynical among you, another chance at self-promotion – to be seen doing “good works” and becoming a beloved ambassador to the world’s potential audiences. These are the far-left, liberal democrats who fund the causes that are moving American life beyond the bounds of main street America. Unless you have grown up in this atmosphere, it is unlikely that you will see reality in exactly the same way that people from Manhattan to Malibu see it: special privileges for those who are wealthy, famous or simply powerful because of their current position as the head of this or that studio.

An assault on our freedoms …

Truth be told, Hollywood is not as much about preserving our freedoms, as it is about converting our freedoms into their own special privileges. In the guise of fighting content piracy, Hollywood has pursued draconian laws which now impact almost every citizen in the United States.

How many people realize that recording and motion pictures are internally coded with identifying information? And that your computer and electronic devices which read and/or reproduce this content are forced, by law, to have circuitry and software which recognizes this coding and responds accordingly – tagging each copy you make with your identifying information along with the original source of the content?

For many years, you could not purchase a digital recorder in this country – until these recorders contained the requisite safeguards against content counterfeiting.

How many people realized that each blank CD contained a hidden royalty that was paid into a fund that was to compensate artists for purloined content and which was divided up among the big record producers and others who could exert a claim on these funds in proportion to the creative product they produced?

How many people realized that Hollywood, more than any other party, sought to nullify the original copyright compact that was made by the American people: a monopoly on profiting from your content in exchange for putting the work into the public domain after a specific period of time?  With Hollywood pushing the time for monopolistic exploitation further and further out – primarily to keep commercially profitable works from falling into the public domain.

And when that was not enough, to institute the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which criminalized the breaking of the electronic wrapper protecting any content – even that content which was already in the public domain.

How many people realize that Hollywood attempted to subvert the Justice Department into becoming its investigatory and prosecution arm to ferret out and punish content piracy – shifting the burden of these commercial and civil costs to the American people?

I, for one, am not willing to exchange a few moments of diversion or pleasure for a reduction in my freedoms.

As a content creator, I have seen my work reproduced and handed out by people in the government who should have known better. It is a fact of life that there will be those who want to use your product or services without payment. In some instances, personal use, not mass sharing or commercial distribution, some exchange of materials is to be permitted and even encouraged.

Think of buying a book and loaning it to your friend. Perfectly acceptable. Especially considering that I donate my unwanted books, CDs and DVDs to my local library.

Now consider re-printing the digital version of the book and distributing it to all your friends: definitely not cool. And if you do it for some form of profit – you should be prosecuted.

But, that is not to say that I am willing to allow big brother to monitor my actions and invade my privacy just to prevent this from happening. In this regard, I support the closure of mass file-sharing systems and the protection of digital content. All with due process. And, hopefully under an international law which supports my ownership claims. But I draw the line at the invasion of my privacy – just to prevent a “potential occurrence of copyright infringement.”

Bottom line ..

So before you worship that character and/or the actor who might play a cool part – consider that it is all smoke and mirrors. The actor is not the person they are portraying. Minus the script, many of these actors are unbelievably stupid or naive. Others are downright self-absorbed and narcissistic while others are self-loathing, paranoid or extremely fragile in terms of self-esteem. Not exactly your everyday, hard-working, tax-paying citizen whose collective services are crucial to the survival of the world -- the unsung heroes who defend our country and keep the wheels of commerce moving.

So, should you want to maintain the proper perspective on Hollywood and its denizens, just remember the answer to a simple riddle.

When is a star not a star?

The answer says it all: when there is a bigger star in the room.

Take care of yourself and your family first. Be safe and be well.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS


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