The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Academy Awards controversy

I feel that I should take this opportunity to protest the clear lack of diversity that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has demonstrated in its nominations in the acting categories this year.  I do not believe that I have to point out—indeed, tens of thousands of people have already pointed out—that of all the artists nominated in the acting categories only one is a French woman.  I find it hard to believe that the Academy could only find one French woman to nominate for anything when France invented cinema as an art form and has one of the oldest motion picture industries in the world, an industry that routinely produces hundreds of film annually. Such a brutal snub displays, I think, more than a little Francophobia and poses some very pointed questions about the Academy’s commitment to diversity.

As a corollary to the facts enumerated above, I should also point out that none of the nominees, even the French woman, is a member of a municipal fire department. In fact, I believe that I can say with a fair degree of certainty that none of the nominees is a member of a volunteer fire department, either. This, I think, is nothing short of despicable. I believe that all right-thinking people can agree that our nation’s fire departments, both career and volunteer, perform important, indeed vital, work in protecting the American movie-going public from danger every day and that the Academy’s refusal to nominate a fire fighter in any category is nothing short of churlish.

So, what are we to make of the Academy’s actions?  First, that the Academy is clearly biased against French women and fire departments is a fact so demonstrable in this year’s nominations as to be beyond the ability of any amount of face-saving p.r. to refute. Second, it is clear that the Academy will not reform its bigoted mindset unless compelled to do so. The many attempts by the French Embassy and the International Associations of Fire Chiefs to rectify the situation by behind the scenes persuasion have obviously been for naught. Therefore, I am calling on the Motion Picture Association of America, the body that rates the movies for language, violence, and sexual content, in begin issuing new ratings that will inform the public about the number of French women and fire fighters in any given motion picture and I am calling on the American public itself to boycott any motion picture in which an appropriate number of French women and fire fighters do not appear. In addition to these measures, the Academy should set aside a certain number of nominations every year for French women and fire fighters, in order to ensure fairness, and then set up a fund to encourage underprivileged French women and fire fighters to enter the motion picture field. In this way the American movie-going public can rest assured that a corrupt and venal Academy will not assault its sensibilities in such a brutal fashion and the sort of blatant bias we have all seen this year will not repeat itself.  Thank you and I will see you at the movies!

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  • At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    -"Why bicyclists?" - "Why Jews?"

  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger Dick Stanley said…

    You won't see me at the movies, the palaces of the sticky floors as I think of them.

    Recently saw a good comparison of the Oscars and the SOTU: the Oscars are where people who hate each other pretend to like each other and the SOTU is where people who like each other pretend to hate each other. In both cases it's about keeping the public fooled.


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