End of an Era
Oliver Del Signore and I have exchanged movie reviews for somewhere between 15 and 17 years. The first Saturday of every month (or as soon after as we could manage), we’ve emailed reviews and ratings to each other, along with General Observations on Life.
This weekend was the last. The end of an era.
Over the past several months, we’ve both found ourselves increasingly disenchanted with the films we’ve seen and the people who make them. The idea of supporting, even in a small way, elitists who’d rather see We the Peasants dead than armed, bigots who increasingly believe that free speech (ours, not theirs) must be curbed, and Ancien Régime aristocrats who believe that we are evil — and disposable! — if our values don’t match their whims … it’s all become too much.
Oliver has found himself reading more and turning off many movies after 15 minutes. I still think there are marvelous movies, and even better streaming/DVD series out there, but too much vulgar, mediocre, increasingly politicized crap and too many vulgar, mediocre, increasingly politicized, self-righteous twits responsible for it.
Though our reasons differ slightly, we both found ourselves sliding into the same Slough of Despond at the same time and groping toward the same solution.
Oddly, at the very time we were mutually turning away from movies, we both came to cherish the ritual of exchanging movie reviews more than ever. So the decision to end the monthly sharing is both a relief and a sadness.
We’ve promised to drop occasional notes if we happen to see something outstanding — a Crazy Rich Asians or an Isle of Dogs. I’m still getting a few films from the library; he and his wife still keep streaming service on hand for the grandkids. But movies and discussion of films as a regular part of life? All done.
And Hollywood deserves it
I’m amused as heck to hear that the august Academy Awards still hasn’t found a host for this year’s Oscars following Kevin Hart’s walkaway.
That linked article is four days old, but last I heard the situation was the same — and with the broadcast coming up in just a few weeks.
I’m no big fan of Kevin Hart’s comedy (Central Intelligence was funny, but because of the goofy dynamic between him and Dwayne Johnson), but I think he may have given Hollywood a sound wake-up slap by ditching the hosting job.
If his “sin” (making homophobic jokes 10 years ago, for which he has already repeatedly apologized) was so unforgivable to Hollywoodians that they still demand, all these years later, that he grovel, repent, reform, and become an ally of his least-forgiving critics, then there’s no winning. Not for anybody who takes the job he spurned, but also not for the many gays who just want to live and let live and are as sick of SJW persecution as the rest of us.
The only winner might have been Kevin Hart himself, who whatever his history and whatever his comic style, now looks like the only adult in the room — and one of the few people attacked by the Red Guard PC squads to refuse to grovel. (Some of the accusations and demands for groveling have gone beyond the absurd. There is literally nothing one can say or do in public any more that won’t offend somebody, somewhere — provided the somebody enjoys the publicity garnered by picking out and magnifying the most petty possible offenses.)
Oscars hosting is reportedly a low-paid ($15,000) job anyhow, for which hosts have to write or hire writers to produce a lot of their material. Then they get up there and get savaged for every misstep — and there are always missteps. It’s become a bad gig — and anybody approached now knows they’ll not only be under PC scrutiny for every stray pronoun, but also that they’re a sloppy second choice after Kevin Hart.
Pretty ironic that Hollywood, never exactly an exemplar of shining conduct, can’t find anyone “pure” enough to suit them. The Oscars deserve this. Those pecksniffs deserve exactly what they’re getting.
Any chance they’ll learn from this and back off the PC snottery any time soon?
Dunno. Doubt it.
Crawling out of the cultural sewer
And I have to tell you, Faithful Readers: I love you dearly, but I’m not sure how much longer I can slog through the cultural and political sewer that the Internet has become.