An angsty young Obama supporter – our old friend James “The Obama Guy” (Listen to all Obama Guy’s appearances here) – is pretty displeased at the way that President Obama is being portrayed right now. James explains to me that Obama capped the oil well, nominated a wonderful woman to the nation’s highest court, and is really looking out for all of our interests. And how did we thank him? Tanking poll numbers…
Lastly, Obama Guy explains the real story behind Lindsay Lohan’s substance abuse issues… You don’t want to miss the return of entertainment, information, and a general sense of well being.
1776 is generally regarded as a pretty big year for America. There were several folks hanging out in Philadelphia that declared the far-flung colonies were no longer part of the British Empire that July. Leaving any empire is often considered a big deal, but when the price for such a declaration is invasion, probable defeat, whereupon you’ll most likely be drawn and quartered, well then it takes things to a whole different level. History tells us that these revolutionaries were peeved at excessive taxation without fair representation and various stamp related injustices.
King George III
We all know the outcome of their squabble. There were guys in red coats shooting at colonists, there was a brave Virginian with wooden teeth, and after five years the French eventually showed up and helped win the war (there’s no real way to explain that part of things, but I read somewhere that it happened so it must be true). And all of a sudden, you had a new and independent country.
Although most of the folks who’d fought for independence were ticked off that they weren’t being treated as Englishmen should be, what’s fascinating to note is that they didn’t carry over some of the most ingrained aspects of British-ness. In America, there would be no king. There would be no nobles – lords to rule over the rest. This fair minded sort of equality wasn’t really the goal of the revolutionaries. In fact, many of them had a really tough time turning against King George, who they’d been brought up to see as their rightful king and sovereign. But while it wasn’t what they set out to do, the class-less society they created would come to characterize much of what being an American is all about. How many times have you read in a book or seen on the moving picture box an iconic American character telling a foreigner that the good old USA is all about people being whatever they want despite where they born or who’s child they were? This whole freedom business has worked well.
Incidentally, I think the whole thing has now come full circle. *As the great NBA play Jason Kidd once said – “We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees’* Now, we are voluntarily setting up a new class system. We are intentionally declaring that there are a class of people better and more suited to awesomeness than we regular folks. Who are these chosen ones? Celebrities.
Think I’m losing it? Well… that’s… Just think about this for a moment. Do you know what three of the most popular websites are on the internets (as George Dubya Bush [good gravy we miss you] once said in a debate with AlGore) today? TMZ, Radar Online, and People Magazine. All that happens on these pages is reports on what is currently going on in the romantic relationships of Hollywood stars. Millions of people visit these sites relentlessly to catch the latest info on Lindsay Lohan’s latest breakdown or Paris Hilton’s most recent indiscretion.
TV is the same story. There are myriad ‘news’ shows dedicated to providing the latest and greatest info on the private lives of the stars and then offering up expert analysis on what this new information will mean for the famous person’s image in the future. TV advertising also offers a glimpse into the phenomenon. Companies have realized we will buy their product if they show us a picture of an actress eating, shaving with, or applying said product to her hair (hopefully not the same product and hopefully not at the same time, but you get the picture). They do this stuff because it works! There are whole multi-million dollar industries built on following around famous folks.
The question I most often ponder when I have moments of clarity and look at this phenomenon: why the Dickens does anyone care? Really?! It turns out this is actually quite a profound question and the answers aren’t as simple as I might like. And I really like simplicity. Bisquick.
On the one hand people like watching trainwrecks. That’s not to imply people want trainwrecks to happen, but when they do it’s awfully difficult not to watch with rapt attention. So when you have a group of people so public and oh so prone to personal fireworks of epic proportions, people are going to be interested. That part of it makes some sense.
But what doesn’t make sense to me is what I believe is the chief reason America is so obsessed with the Hollywood elite. We want to be like them. They have fame, fortune, good looks and oh so wonderful fashion sense. We have come to believe they are better than we are, and so we now seek to be like them. You’ll note here the parallel to pre-1776 America, where there was in fact a group of folks who were considered to be better and more important than the rest. Today’s America has voluntarily replaced the British aristocracy with the Hollywood / New York gaggle of stars. We’ve substituted Paris Hilton for King George.
You’d think if we had to set up a new upper class we could have made a better choice?
After a bewildering attempt at understanding pubescent psyche during the Teen Choice Awards back in August, I decided to move down the ladder to writing about inebriated adults. So what better place to start than Hollywood’s own kegger, the Golden Globes! I’ll be going moment-by-moment, trying my best to figure out what makes Tinseltown tick.
That is, until Goose removes me for a more popular Alex Whitworth post; have to reach the over-60 crowd.
6:30 p.m. – It’s raining on the red carpet. Kathy Griffin just melted.
6:32 – This news is a few days old now, but several Weight Watchers members fell through a floor in Sweden while waiting for weigh-in. Seeing the cast of Precious reminded me of this.
6:47 – Quentin Tarantino is wearing a black duster on the red carpet. Is it too soon for a Columbine joke?
6:52 – They just came back from commercial too soon, so there was 30 seconds of dead air. Or as I like to call it, a Jay Leno promo. (By the way, if you can’t tell already, this is a Team Conan entry. Be prepared for the onslaught – it will make things easier on all of us).
7:00 – And away we go. Ricky Gervais is hosting tonight, reinforcing stereotypes about British dentistry, British dieting, and British humor, which is tasteless and hilarious. I’m betting he makes at least two Haiti-related jokes, one of which I laugh at against my will.
7:02 – Gervais, creator of The Office and Extras, usually makes for edgy TV, but even he seems blase after NBC broadcast someone getting screwed all week.
7:07 – In the first presentation of the night, best supporting actress in a motion picture goes to Monique for Precious. This movie could be a big winner tonight; it’s about a girl who is impregnated by her father. A real upper.
7:10 – Stop the presses: Tina Fey just lost an award. Toni Collette ends up taking home the Globe for best actress in a TV series. Now how will 30 Rock be honored for belittling Middle America?
7:16 – Ooh, there was a Lindsay Lohan sighting in the crowd. She came dressed as a waitress.
7:18 – John Lithgow can’t find his way to the stage to accept the award for best supporting actor in a TV series. I feel like COPS should do an episode full of stars stumbling out of awards shows and having to walk the line.
7:21 – Sir Paul McCartney: “Animation is not just for kids, it’s also for adults… who take drugs.” It’s easier to get knighted than it used to be.
7:22 – Up wins for best animated motion picture. Well deserved.
7:24 – The camera pans across the audience: I couldn’t tell if it was the Golden Globes or a DNC national fundraiser! But seriously, folks, moving back to 11:35 is going to be great…
7:28 – I went to grab a snack, so I could only hear this part. The presenter has been drinking heavily, evidently. Or the teleprompter went dead. So it’s either Billy Joel or Barack Obama.
7:32 – Jane Krakowski and Neal Patrick Harris are presenting an award. Did I switch to the GLAAD Awards?
7:35 – Julianna Margulies just wished her son a happy birthday during her acceptance speech. He was at home. You watching this, Child Services?
7:42 – Harrison Ford is presenting best picture nominee Up In The Air. I went to watch it earlier this year, but accidentally ended up seeing a movie called The Mile High Club. Not the same film, but George Clooney was in both.
7:42 – Harrison’s talking like his mouth is still frozen in carbonite.
7:44 – Gervais insults McCartney, then goes for his first Haiti joke.
7:44 – I laughed.
7:45 – Christina Aguilera and Cher announce the winner for best original song in a motion picture. Judging by its mother, Chaz Bono didn’t need surgery, he/she just needed to wait for time to take its course.
7:52 – Amy Adams and Josh Brolin announce the nominees for best mini-series. The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien has to be the front-runner.
8:00 – Big surprise. Meryl Streep just won best actress in a motion picture for Julie and Julia. How many rooms in her home are devoted to holding trophies? She puts things in perspective, describing how she’s conflicted about accepting an award while there is suffering in Haiti.
8:05 – Does Microsoft staff their commercials exclusively from the Jewish Polo League?
8:10 – The Globe for best actor in a mini-series is announced by an actor and actress from Avatar, the movie that made us believe liberalism doesn’t have to just be 2-D.
8:14 – Drew Barrymore is rambling, and she might have a sea urchine on her shoulder.
8:14 – Oh, shoot, it’s wrapped around her back now. She might be a coral reef by the end of the night.
8:17 – I’m not going to say that NBC doesn’t want Conan mentioned tonight, but they just escorted Teri Hatcher out of the building for wearing orange.
8:23 – Gervais is dying up there, a condemnation of the audience more than the speaker.
8:26 – Though he didn’t win for best actor in a comedy series (Alec Baldwin did), Steve Carell is still my favorite. Although the more I see of Michael Scott on The Office, the more I’m convinced Carell’s just playing a white Michael Steele.
8:29 – It’s getting a little ridiculous with the Alec Baldwin love, by the way. I mean, he’s good as Jack Donaghy, but he’s no Stephen.
8:32 – Samuel L. Jackson introduces Inglorious Bas****s for best picture. He’s so much cooler than I could ever hope to be. To be fair, though, I’m white.
8:38 – The best TV series drama goes to Mad Men. Jon Hamm is bursting with joy. Christina Hendricks is just bursting.
8:45 – Wow, first major upset of the night. Chloe Sevigny of Big Love beats Jane Lynch of Glee for best supporting actress in a TV series. I don’t understand the decision: Lynch was hilarious all season in Glee. Not that I watch Glee.
8:45 – I mean, my girlfriend makes me watch Glee. But I’m comfortable about it.
8:50 – Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Bas****s) deserves the win he just got for best supporting actor in a motion picture. I haven’t seen a German this talented since, uh, Johannes Guttenberg? Johann Sebastian Bach?
8:50 – Were all German men in the Middle Ages required to start their names with Johan? Does this make Johan Santana German? I’m confused.
8:52 – If you think any of these lines are cheesy, just check out Waltz’ speech. You’ll never believe this, but he said his globe was now golden. I think you’re supposed to call your doctor if that happens.
8:55 – Generally, I’m on the computer while she watches Glee. It’s just background noise.
8:57 – Martin Scorsese represented Italian culture in the 1970s and ’80s in the same way Jersey Shore does now.
9:05 – In his lifetime achievement award acceptance speech, Scorsese just quoted Faulkner, “The past is not dead. It is not even past.” These are the people telling us who to vote for in elections.
9:14 – Gervais just spouted the best Mel Gibson joke I have ever heard. In terms of Jewish revenge, it was the Inglorious Bas****s of jokes. Mel seems to take it well as he announces the winner for best director, James Cameron.
9:16 – The presenters aren’t the only thing breaking seals tonight. Cameron says he’s keeping his acceptance speech short because “he has to pee something fierce.” Well then.
9:19 – Glee wins for best comedy!
9:20 – I love pickup trucks, grilled steaks and watching sports.
9:25 – The cast of The Hangover is announcing the preview for The Hangover – BUT ZACH GALIFIANAKIS ISN’T UP THERE. That’s like setting the dinner table and not eating.
9:27 – The Hangover wins for best comedy in a motion picture! Now I can justify seeing it five times. It’s art.
9:33 – The Governator says the only way to make more money than “Ahvadar” is to “be hired by NBC, or fired by NBC!” That joke came in under budget!
9:36 – In a surprise, Sandra Bullock wins best actress in a motion picture drama for The Blind Side. Coincidentally, Mickey Rourke boxed under that name.
9:36 – At some point, I think the plastic surgeons are going to switch Mickey Rourke and Nancy Pelosi’s faces and see if anyone notices.
9:40 – Awkward moment as Robert Downey Jr. tries to freebase the Globe (That joke was in memory of the year 2000, a great year for jokes and celebrities screwing up in ways we may never see again).
9:47 – The Dude just won a Golden Globe. Jeff Bridges takes home the win for best actor in a motion picture drama. It really tied the ceremony together.
9:51 – Julia Roberts, who has looked sloshed for three hours now, is about to present the award for best drama. The anticipation is thick here in Fargo.
9:57 – Roberts was a slurry letdown, and Avatar wins for best drama.
And so it ends. I’d give the show a blood alcohol content of .006, tipsy but not legally drunk. There were some self-congratulatory moments, some stepping over the line, some drama, some tears and one great British comic. Your move, Academy Awards.