Sunday, January 13, 2013

Can it Be Oscar Time Again Already?

Well, I guess the Academy Awards (yawn) nominations have been announced again. And we all know what that means. That’s right, a barrage of news stories about how the movies and actors nominated aren’t sufficiently diverse (yawn, yawn, big bear yawn). Same old cut and paste template from every year. But I was thinking about it, and I think they’ve got it all backwards. I think the news stories making these claims themselves are the real racists. They seem to be based upon the premise that a diverse audience automatically expects diversity in their movies. They seem predicated upon the claim that I can’t like a Tyler Perry movie because I’m white. (Actually, I can’t like a Tyler Perry movie, but it has nothing to do with my race and everything to do with the fact that Tyler Perry movies suck. I mean, where are all the attractive and interesting Caucasian characters that make movies great?) They seem to claim that a black man can’t enjoy Les Miserables because it has a lot of white folk in it. Or a redneck or an Italian can’t enjoy The Black Swan because the ballerinas aren’t hairy and have all of their teeth. Or Seth Green and Matt Damon can’t enjoy Toy Story 3 because they're not animated enough. The whole premise is just permeated with racism/sexism/every-ism.

But, until someone does something to make the Academy Awards nominations more diverse, these people will keep on complaining. This sounds like a job for Government (is there nothing Government can’t make all better)? I propose that Obama creates a new Cabinet-level Hollywood Diversity Czar who is responsible to ensure that no actor is discriminated against for any role on the basis of race, gender, creed, age, sexual orientation, body mass index, physical attractiveness, ect. This has actually been a long time coming. If Tropic Thunder taught us anything, it taught us that a white man can play a convincing black man. If Shakespearean theater taught us anything, it is that men can convincingly play the roles of women. If White Chicks taught us anything, well, White Chicks actually didn't teach us anything. But anyway. Regardless of the requirements for the role, any actor worth his chops ought to be able to transcend these petty differences and convince us that he is exactly who he is pretending to be.

I have a dream of a world where True Grit is better because Rooster Cogburn was played by Jackie Chan, who’s already proven himself in a couple of westerns, and little Mattie was played by Morgan Freeman in braids. I have a dream of a world where Jonah Hill and Queen Latifah play the lesbian ballerina leads in the Black Swan, and I leave the theater thinking that Jonah looked absolutely stunning, graceful and sexy. I have a dream of a world where Woody is no longer a white cowboy, but an undocumented latino gangbanger from East LA, and Buzz Lightyear is an Indian women straight from the Bangladeshi space corps, voiced, of course, by Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen Degeneres, who bring a believable and magical chemistry to the blatantly heterosexual leads and their forbidden love that ensues. I have a dream of a remake of The Blindside that casts Anne Hathaway and Megan Fox combined as the hulking football linebacker, and I, of course, would be debuting as their hot cheerleader girlfriend. I have a dream where a movie is judged not by the quality of its script, but by the diversity of its cast. I have a dream…. No wait, I was just thinking about Inception again. Never mind.
This was a brief excerpt from the cinematography segment of Uncle Sid's Guide to Homeschool Your Hellions, available at Amazon for kindle.  If you enjoyed it, give it a look.  All the proceeds go to charity.

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