Communiqués from Geezerville: Will and Chris at the Oscars
Corie Skolnick’s latest Communiqués From Geezerville “Will and Chris at the Oscars” reflects on current events and the recent Oscars ceremony brouhaha.
So, I’m talking to a couple of thirty-somethings and they are genuinely curious as to my take on these wild times we’re all living in. “You lived through the sixties! You’ve been around a while. Have you ever seen things this crazy?” Their question gave me some true pause.
“What crazy are we talking about? Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine crazy? The now two-year-old, no-end-in-sight, worldwide pandemic crazy? The we here in the United States just this week—in 2022—made lynching illegal crazy? The continuing rollback on a woman’s right to control her own reproductive life crazy? The asinine racist and misogynistic shenanigans of multiple U.S. Senators during live TV coverage of the confirmation hearings for the first Black female supreme court justice crazy? Whatcha talking about? Be specific, please.”
“Nah,” they said. “None of that. What do you think about Will and Chris?”
Okay. Fair enough question, given that every single adult human I know, including some luminaries I don’t actually “know” but follow on Twitter—like the Dalai Lama*—has expressed some sort of opinion about Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock during Sunday night’s Academy Awards. More than a few people I really admire and respect have weighed in on “the slap heard ’round the world” on social media. So, this is what I have to say about this year’s Oscars.
More than a few people I really admire and respect have weighed in on “the slap heard ’round the world” on social media. So, this is what I have to say about this year’s Oscars.
When my age mate and solidly credentialed geezer Youn Yuh-jung (Best Supporting Actress in the 2020 film Minari) announced Troy Kotsur’s win for Best Supporting Actor (Coda), she did it first in American Sign Language, and then in English. Oh, my lord, I swear a tear slipped out of my old eye. When Mr. Kotsur took that little gold statue from her trembling hands and then she yanked it back, just like a mom, because she realized before he did that he would want to have the use of both of his hands to sign his acceptance speech, oh, my god! I thought my heart would break. How adorable was she, standing there next to him, knowing what it will mean to his career, beaming with pride, gesturing most endearingly how very precious it was to her, the first Korean Oscar recipient, to be able to present that award to the first hearing impaired actor in Oscar history? THAT was a moment!
And then! Oh, wow! Gaga and Liza! Now if you Google Liza Minelli under the prompt, “People also ask …” one of the top four questions is, “Is Liza Minelli still alive?” Jesus. How rude. Liza’s only seventy-six, people. FFS, seventy-six is apparently adjacent to dead according to Google. Whatever. Here in Geezerville, seventy-six is middle old age. So, I’m rightfully offended now. Not the first time Google has offended me, so I’ll just move on with my other judgments. I think Liza and Lady Gaga stole the show and if the unmentionable, unfortunate, and wholly unacceptable other dyadic encounter hadn’t occurred, today, we’d all still be talking about the sincere kindness and affection shown by a young woman at the pinnacle of her own stardom to another woman more than twice her age, and let’s just say with some due charity, a little bit past her performing prime.
And this wasn’t a one-off for Gaga either. Did you catch the 60 Minutes episode a few weeks ago about Gaga’s relationship with Tony Bennett? Google it. (As of today, at 4:00 p.m., Tony’s not dead either.) If you for a minute think it isn’t professionally risky for Gaga to be besties with the people Google suspects of being so old they’re already dead, think again. Especially in Hollywood. The entertainment industry is obsessed with youth. You know this. Everybody knows this. Getting chummy with the oldies has never been a career booster in show biz. It’s really not advisable in any industry.
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- Train to Nowhere: An Exercise in People Watching
So, kudos to Gaga and THAT’s what I’m choosing to dwell on as the rest of the world spends the fifth day now proclaiming their judgments on “Chris vs. Will.” No less celebrated thinker and wit than Fran Lebowitz, no spring chicken herself, today, in the online ’zine Cult MTL, was quoted extravagantly about the assault on Rock as a tease for her upcoming full-length interview in that publication later this month. Can you stand it? Someone with Lebowitz’s credibility as a “renowned social critic” is dissecting the Rock vs. Smith debacle. A. Full. Five. Days. Later. Christ on a cracker, we are all doomed, I tell you!
Somewhat to her credit, old Frannie calls for the nuclear option on the academy awards. She wants them put out of their misery. Ours, too. Without a scintilla of irony, she points out how tired and senseless these celebrations of the celebrated have become. Personally, I think we’re just so weary of the show business for ugly people (politics) that’s broadcast on multiple sources day in and day out every single f-ing day that we simply no longer have the bandwidth for movie stars. Even the young and beautiful ones. I know I don’t. (Give me some indictments or stop announcing, “Breaking News!”)
Allow me also, please, to point out that it seems rather shitty to excoriate the academy and hope for its demise just as a teensy tiny bit of diversity has reared its widely broadcast head. This was after all the very first time a Black man (Will Packer) produced the Oscars. The first time an out and proud Black lesbian won an Oscar, and the first time a deaf actor nabbed the “Best” of almost anything anywhere anytime. Oh, hey, that only took ninety-four years. But I’m sure that everybody’s pissed-offedness is a total coincidence there. Sure, now the Oscars suck. And it’s all the fault of those two bad Black men! Boo! They ruined it for everyone.
That’s all I gotta say about the 94th Academy Awards show, but while I have you …
- Putin’s a dirty rotten scumbag.
- Get vaccinated. Trump, et al., murdered a shit ton of human beings when they politicized the COVID vaccine, and you’re a dope if you fell for his bullshit. I really hope you don’t have to learn this the hard way.
- I can’t even comment on how long it took the United States of America to make lynching a federal crime. I’ll have a stroke if you make me think about it.
- It’s nobody’s business what you do with your body, and your reproductive life is yours and yours alone to manage. Abortion should be legal on demand without restriction as it is in over 50 other countries. (Some of them surprising. Look it up.)
- Ketanji Brown Jackson is a saint for putting up with the Senate Republicans without losing her shit. If I was her, I would have made Will Smith’s stunt at the Oscars look like a curtsy at a royal tea party.
*The Dalai Lama isn’t really on Twitter, that I know of, and thus he certainly hasn’t tweeted about “the incident,” but if he had I’m 99.9% certain that he’d agree with all of the above.