Shohreh-aghdashloo (1) What do Oscar winners think when they lay down to sleep?  In a world that's fickle and filled with critics, they might well think:  

"They can never take this away from me."

Well, that turns out to be wrong. Apparently, they can take your Oscar away from you. There is a story in the present issue of Entertainment Weekly that dares to second guess Oscar choices.

It strips Renee Zellweger, Roberto Benigni, Tommy Lee Jones, and Geena Davis and gives their Oscars to Shohreh Aghdashloo (shown), Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, and Frances McDormand.  

I am filing this under new and worrying developments in popular culture.  I thought popular culture didn't ever scrutinize itself.  That's Henry Jenkins job. Popular culture embraced that modernist convention, once done, done for.  As Faulkner might have said, in popular culture, not only is the past dead, dude, who remembers?
Is this wise?  Is it healthy?  Certainly, it opens up vast new journalist territory.  We could now second guess pretty much everything: elections, playoffs, the Booker, wars, the stock market.  And certainly it plays to the multiplicity theme we like so much these days.  But it seems a little stingy.  And, yes, impertinent.  Just who do we think we are?  

That's it, isn't it?  It's all about who we think we are.  There was a time when we worshipped celebrities as if they were Gods.  Did anyone think about taking away Katherine Hepburn's Oscars?  (Just try it, buster.)  I bet the thought never occurred to anyone.  But these days, celebrities, they exist at our sufferance, they serve at our pleasure.  The imperial actor has been eclipsed by the imperial fan.  


Anonmyous.  2009.  And the Oscar Should Have Gone to…  Entertainment Weekly.  January 16, 2009.  pp. 28-38 

3 thoughts on “OSCAR AWOL!

  1. Rick Liebling

    Doesn’t VH1 make a living by scrutinizing pop culture?

    But you make an interesting point regarding the relationship between celebs, the media and fans. Did any questions Kate or Bogey or The Duke? No, because they kept a distance between themselves and fans. When you sell your babie’s pictures to US, go on Oprah to tell the world you were molested as a child and star in a train wreck / reality show about your life, you’ve given us the right to question you.

    The Imperial actor, as you put it, wasn’t knocked off by fans or even by the media. The Imperial actor willingly gave away the keys to the kingdom in a deal with the Devil to cash in on the quick buck.

  2. peter spear

    it would seem to me that it’s only the empire that bemoans the shift of authority away from the establishment to the masses. if celebrity is the power of attention, it seems a wise move on Entertainment Weekly’s part to turn their reflective gaze away from the Academy or the Foreign Press Service and towards the celebrity creators?

    And, isn’t the reality that these ceremonies are simply indulgences thrown by the clueless elders whose true purpose is the ransacking by gangs of stars & fans? to be sure, there are those stars who radiate towards the center of the traditional community (kate winslet in her acceptance speech seemed a little too overwhelmed by the honor in a honor-soaked environment).

    but aren’t there more that begrudgingly participate, earning affection from fans for their disinterest?

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