Every year since I was old enough to stay up late, I've watched the Academy Awards.
So, since he was 19, one assumes.
This year, however, I have absolutely zero desire to watch the Oscars. In recent years, lack of quality from Hollywood has turned the Academy Awards into a special-interest-group get-together. If you're crazy, gay, have a disability or are a member of a minority race, you'll likely be nominated for an Oscar; if your film tackles a "deep social issue" (normally an issue dear to the hearts of Hollywood's liberal glitterati), you'll have an excellent shot at grabbing a gold statuette.
To no one's surprise, whingeing adult acne sufferer Ben is denying the Academy Awards his pair of eyes because far too little praise is being heaped on white people. He would clearly be far happier if "minority race" actors went forever unrecognized for their inferior efforts. (As an aside, it's pretty indisputable that lots of disease/disability roles are meant as pandering Oscar-bait. But you can handle it like Extras does, with nasty good humor and a show-stopping performance by Kate Winslet, or you can handle it like Ben does, by cementing his reputation as a joyless ass.)
The Virgin Ben goes on to complain that everything has gone to Hell in a complimentary muffin basket since 1994, when Liam Neeson lost the best actor statuette to Tom Hanks pretending to be a homo. He explains:
"Philadelphia" is, clinically speaking, a maudlin, ham-handed attempt at social commentary.
Uh...clinically? There's a clinical definition of "ham-handed" that doesn't involve having actual ham for hands? I think Ben got so goosed up for his economics classes at UCLA that he slept through freshman comp.
The remaining 1990s were filled with weak movies and weak performances. On average, high-school audio-visual clubs make better movies than Hollywood put together in the late 1990s.
Well, he's got me there. Goodfellas, Fargo, Being John Malkovich, Pulp Fiction, Lone Star, Dead Man, Malcolm X, The Silence of the Lambs, Unforgiven...what a bunch of dreck Hollywood spewed out in the barren nineties. But according to Ben, the 2000s have been even worse, bringing us such anti-American fare as American Beauty ("repulsive" and "pro-homosexuality"), Boys Don't Cry (Oscar voters "disturbingly" handed Hilary Swank the Best Actress award for her role as a he-female), Training Day and Monster's Ball ("overrated" films which won "African-American honorary Oscars"), The Hours and Frida ("homosexual agenda films"), Million Dollar Baby (a "forgettable pro-euthanasia film"), and Monster (where Charlize Theron played an "ugly lesbian").
But this year is even worse, and there's one reason why:
"Brokeback Mountain," the stomach-churning story of two 1963 cowboys who get cozy while bunking down in Wyoming and then carry on their affair over the course of decades, is likely to grab Best Picture honors. The critics love it, mostly because critics love anything that pushes homosexuality as normal behavior.
I'm going to forego a discursus about why conservatives seem to be falling all over themselves to manfully assert their intention of not seeing Brokeback Mountain, largely because the inimitable James Wolcott has already done such a good job of it.
The New York Times raves about it, mostly because the Times has always wanted to carry a ridiculous story proclaiming that "there has always lurked a suspicion that the fastidious Eastern dude of Owen Wister's 'The Virginian' harbored stronger than proper feelings for his rough Western compadres, and that the Red River crowd may have gotten up to more than yarning by the campfire whenever Joanne Dru was not around." Maybe that's what Pinch Sulzberger thinks about when he watches John Wayne on screen, but the Times should be more careful when speaking for the rest of us.
Of course, no one other than Arthur Sulzberger has ever, ever detected elements of homoeroticism in a Western movie before. Remember, though, that Ben here cautions the liberal media not to speak on behalf of "the rest of us". There'll be a quiz at the end.
By the way, don't believe the "hit movie" hype -- this supposed blockbuster has netted a grand total of $8 million. "Hostel," last week's No. 1 movie, a cheap horror film, has already netted almost $15 million.
Ben, of course, is lying. Hostel (which cost $5 million; I'm not box-office-savvy enough to know if that's considered "cheap" in today's Hollywood) has, in fact, made $19.6 million so far; but Brokeback Mountain has made $22.4 million, more than triple what the Virgin Ben claims for it.
Aside from pimping for GLAAD, the Oscars will provide a platform for other leftist talking points. "Good Night, and Good Luck," George Clooney's blatant attempt to bash the Bush administration through the mouth of Edward R. Murrow, and "Munich," Steven Spielberg's attempt to equate Arab terrorism with Israeli self-defense, will likely garner nominations. And to top it off, Comedy Central partisan hack Jon Stewart (who is less and less funny each day) hosts this self-congratulatory leftist feting.
That partisan hack! I'm sure he'll do nothing but tell jokes about what a clown Tucker Carlson is, because that's really all he knows how to do.
I won't be watching. Neither will most Americans.
"The Times should be more careful when speaking for the rest of us." (Ben Shapiro, two paragraphs ago)