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March 3, 2014

Finally the long awards season has come to an end with the Oscar broadcast just ended. Now we look to start over with Cannes coming up in the spring. But with all the warp and weft associated with awarding awards, don’t we need to ask if any of this really matters?

From my left pocket I’ve pulled a piece of paper on which is written, yes it all matters a great deal. In my right pocket I’ve discovered another piece of paper. On it is written, this whole thing doesn’t mean a thing. Nada!

Really? Busted. Yes, I’ve freely borrowed, then riffed on Harold Ramis’ rabbi story about approaching each new day. But the truth, you see, resides where it always has, in ambiguity.

It seems to me all these awards don’t matter much, except that the idea that they do has insinuated its way into our collective unconscious. Oscar stands there beside other cultural markers; Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Harry Houdini, The Palace Theater, The Wizard Of Oz, the movies [motion pictures, talkies, …“you ain’t heard nothing yet).”

I remember my father telling me he saw Harry Houdini make an elephant disappear on the stage of the Palace Theater. I remember seeing Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis live on the stage of the New York Paramount before watching Frank Tashlin’s Artists & Models.

As a kid I worked for guys named Moe, Louie, Ruby, and Chick; now simply shadow memories playing across the walls of my mind in this age of smart phones, iPads & Pods, and Siri too.

I had great aunts and uncles from times long past who called me sonny.

My “sentimental” film education took place first at the Astor and Eighth Street Playhouse, then the New Yorker, the Charles, the Bleecker Street Cinema, the Elgin, MOMA, and the Thalia.

Whatever cultural glue you’re sniffing helps make sense out of an ever more incomprehensible world. Or is it as Bogie put it in Casablanca,”…it doesn’t take much to see that [any of these problems] don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world?”

So wiseguys, what’s your glue of choice?

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7 Comments
  1. jreesnc permalink

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  2. Dean Paton permalink

    You really saw Martin and Lewis as a kid? Wow.

    In 1980 or 1981 I saw Shane at the Thalia. I probably learned more from watching that movie than any other.

    Dean

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  3. barbara permalink

    I completely agree with you on all points and share many of the memories. I’m thankful I’m shallow enough to be able to watch the Oscars for the show/spectacle that it is. Any of the finalists could win and so the “winner” is decided without any empirical “data” — just an accumulation of opinions.

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  4. Accumu/relations… there’s the ticket…Thanks, B-ster…

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  5. Nicely done RayMan.
    My glue of choice? Probably books.
    (And mind you I’m with Babs on gawking at the spectacle…oh the cosmetic surgery…why DO women torture themselves this way???)

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    • Thanks, Heather. The question is whether pro or con, we like to watch (gawk). Gawk Glue, our operators are standing by…

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