Basement Films: In which a rant is given

Sean Strain

I have to admit, unlike almost every person in America, I did not watch nor care about the Academy Awards. The only parts I saw were the beginning sketch (which my mother called me in to her room just to see) and Natalie Portman’s acceptance speech (which she deserved for Black Swan). Besides these snippets, I don’t know who won anything and I really can’t find a reason to care. It is a great honor for the actors/actresses, screen writers, directors, and etc. to get recognition for their hard work, but I find it disturbing that the award results are plastered over every news outlet when Nobel Peace Prize winners are lucky to get a mention.

This reminds me of a lovely quote in a recent blog, “Crises continue to rage in the Middle East, but here at Brand X HQ, we’re only concerned with the serious news of the day; Justin Bieber’s haircut.” If you think about that quote too much, you’ll have to prevent yourself from retching in disgust.

This comment, while highly ignorant, would only be mildly offensive if the attitude expressed in it was simply held by pseudo-news organizations such as TMZ and E! News, but many news networks will devolve into trite stories for the sake of an audience. Which really, you can’t entirely blame on a news organization because, when it comes down to it, it is essentially a business that needs money to operate. To get money, it has to attract viewers to watch the ads of their sponsors for the latest shampoo, car insurance, candy bar, fast food chain, and so on. So of course they give us what we want: Justin Bieber’s hair cut and a cute squirrel water skiing in a pool. This is serious journalism.

It’s probably contradictory for a blog about movies to rant about a culture obsessed with celebrity and ephemeral topics. Yet, I find this blog to be simply something amusing to past the time (although it more often goes off into rants like this all the time, which probably explains its non-existent readership), but the news is not something amusing, but it’s not something awful either. It is not something we can hide from with stories about who won best supporting actress or who the tabloids thinks is gay. The news is simply reality.