Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Jackass of the Year (thus far) goes to....

Annie Proulx, for her bitter, pathetic, whining, off-based and delusional rant about Brokeback Mountain not getting Best Picture that you can read here. It was one of those times where you read something by someone that reflects so unbelievably poorly on them that you lose all respect for them on any level. She starts off by asserting that the Independent Spirit awards are the only place to go for "smart judging based on merit." She decries the academy voters as "conservative heffalump" voters, which is ridiculous given that it's a very liberal group by and large, and the winner of the award was a very strong critique of racism among the citizens of the very city that the voters mostly live in. She says all the academy voters live in gated communities and are out of touch with reality. That's an opinion a lot of people have, and I can see the merit of that, except Brokeback Mountain was hardly the "movie of the people." It got advance buzz months and months in advance and was groomed for best picture by the closed off people from the very beginning, while it was Crash that became a surprise box office smash and rode its much more legitimate underdog status and greater popularity to an award. Who is out of touch here? Particularly given the whole stereotype of the closed-off out-of-touch voter is just how delusional and self-important they are, which fits Proulx to a t. She continues that they are "out of touch with their own segregated city," another odd claim given they gave an award to the film that was basically making that statement. She further belittles the film as "Trash," resorting to blatant name-calling. She continues by saying next year we can look at controversial themes such as "the punishment of adulterers"..."runaway slaves" and "the debate over free silver." This is perhaps the most insidious of her claims. Essentially she's saying that racism is yesterday's news, not a reality any more, and that homophobia is the only current issue of discrimination. As if. It's the ultimate prioritizing of discrimination, an endeavor that is completely counterproductive to people who truly care about progress. She continues by mocking everyone drinking their champagne and dresses. If you hate that culture so much, Annie, why did you even show up? There have been plenty of people that have avoided the Academy Awards for those reasons. You were happy to show, and then mocked everyone on the way out because you didn't get your way. She criticizes the "insufferable self-importance," further demonstrating an incredible hypocrisy and nerve. That's exactly your problem! She calls the LA crowd "dim," continuing the theme of just blatant name-calling. And then transitions that into a bitter recap of the night from what comes across as a girl in fourth grade angry that she lost the election for vice president of her class and lashing out at everyone for it.

The irony of the whole thing, is that Brokeback's taking on of homophobia gave it an advantage, not a disadvantage. If that movie was a heterosexual romance, I don't think it would have gotten a nomination. The story just wasn't crafted well enough, or sufficiently emotionally poignant. It was a good film, but definitely not the best of the year. Crash was a better crafted film, putting aside politics and "messages." And ultimately that's what should be rewarded when giving out awards for films. They should be films first and statements second. The voters got it right not because they can't go out on a limb when it comes to homosexuality, but because they voted for the better film. And any possible sentiment against the decision will likely quickly evaporate with members of the loser presenting themselves in a way they ought to be ashamed of.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

Agreed. The general consensus among the few critics I looked at (Ebert, Roeper and a couple of others) was that Brokeback was quite good but not Best Picture good. If the academy voters are out-of-touch, then I'd shudder to think what that makes her.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Swain said...

What's really sad is that both of these films (actually all five Best Picture nominees) were addressing important social issues. But instead of embracing the fact that five important films received some recognition, thereby giving the issues some attention, this woman is upset that she didn't get her pretty statue.
I guess she only wrote Brokeback Mountain because she thought it would get her some attention, and by extension, some cash. Because if she really cared about social justice, she'd be happy for all involved.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous phil said...

Off-topic, Todd. Are you doing any kind of a TV report on SNME for wrestlingobserver.com?

4:38 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

No. If Dave had asked, I would have, but I figured he was going to cover it. Oh well. It let me switch between that and Rahman-Toney for the first 15 minutes without worries.

10:43 AM  

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