The Incredibly Shrinking Oscars

J. Robert Smith
One of the wire services reported that the Oscars show Sunday night was aiming to be younger and hipper.  The producers succeeded - which was what made the Oscars stink.  Actually, "younger and hipper" has been arresting the Oscars for more than a few years - just as it's been retarding American popular culture since the 1960s.

Watching last night's Oscars, one is reminded a bit of Anthony Burgess' classical novel, A Clockwork Orange.  It begs the question: "Where have all the adults gone?"        

Viewers were treated to a long train of twenty-something and thirty-something actors and actresses making sophomoric jokes, using some profanity, and - predictably - making political points to pander to liberal causes or unions, which seemed to be last night's cause célèbre.Sex was also standard fare, which one would expect adolescents to want.  That none of these young and hip performers snapped gum on stage was a little surprising.     

Once upon a time, Hollywood was populated by actors and actresses of stature.  Men like Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, John Wayne, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen.  Women like Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert, and Faye Dunaway. 

Don't know who these performers are?  Checkout Turner Classic Movies.  It's a good place to start.  Take a look at Hollywood before Zeke and Luther came to town and took over things. 

Viewers did get to see 94-year-old Kirk Douglas ogle Anne Hathaway for yucks.  So much for having a Hollywood legend treated with respect.  But, then, aren't leering old men cool?    

Will adults ever take back American popular culture?  Good question.  Don't know.  At least "The King's Speech" won for Best Picture, along with three other Oscars.  So, maybe, there's hope after all.  Maybe there are adults crying to be freed from Hollywood's adolescent prison. 

Grownups taking back American culture - high and low - would be a very healthy thing for the nation. 

One of the wire services reported that the Oscars show Sunday night was aiming to be younger and hipper.  The producers succeeded - which was what made the Oscars stink.  Actually, "younger and hipper" has been arresting the Oscars for more than a few years - just as it's been retarding American popular culture since the 1960s.

Watching last night's Oscars, one is reminded a bit of Anthony Burgess' classical novel, A Clockwork Orange.  It begs the question: "Where have all the adults gone?"        

Viewers were treated to a long train of twenty-something and thirty-something actors and actresses making sophomoric jokes, using some profanity, and - predictably - making political points to pander to liberal causes or unions, which seemed to be last night's cause célèbre.Sex was also standard fare, which one would expect adolescents to want.  That none of these young and hip performers snapped gum on stage was a little surprising.     

Once upon a time, Hollywood was populated by actors and actresses of stature.  Men like Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, John Wayne, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen.  Women like Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert, and Faye Dunaway. 

Don't know who these performers are?  Checkout Turner Classic Movies.  It's a good place to start.  Take a look at Hollywood before Zeke and Luther came to town and took over things. 

Viewers did get to see 94-year-old Kirk Douglas ogle Anne Hathaway for yucks.  So much for having a Hollywood legend treated with respect.  But, then, aren't leering old men cool?    

Will adults ever take back American popular culture?  Good question.  Don't know.  At least "The King's Speech" won for Best Picture, along with three other Oscars.  So, maybe, there's hope after all.  Maybe there are adults crying to be freed from Hollywood's adolescent prison. 

Grownups taking back American culture - high and low - would be a very healthy thing for the nation.