It makes me sad, because I am a huge fan of the art of movie-making, but the more I have found out about the Academy and the whole Oscar process the more offended I get. I love the idea of having an Academy rewarding the best at the art of making movies, but I just don't think this Academy is doing a good enough job of it for me to care what they think the best movies are.
I've been looking into how it all works (which is often a bad idea, right?) and it turns out a movie making person can become a candidate for membership by being nominated for an Oscar, by applying and being recommended by two members, or by being endorsed by the membership committee or academy staff. Then the membership committee votes on who should receive an invitation to join. A few years ago the Academy began publishing a list of invitees, although they have kept the membership list a secret.
Last year, the invitees were 90% white and 70% male. WTF, right? Just to put that in perspective, according to the US Census, 72% of the American population is white, and 12% is black, and exactly 50% female.
The L.A. Times did an investigation of the "secret" membership list of voting members of the Academy. They confirmed the identity of 5,100 members, which is 81% of the 5,765 total number of active members. Of that 81%, they found that 94% are white, and 77% are male. Of that 6% of non-white members, 2% are black. Only 14% of Oscar voters are younger than 50.
This year, ALL of the nominated directors are white men, and ALL of the 21 producers of the best picture nominees are white.
In the 84-year history of the Oscars, only four women have been nominated for best director, and only Kathryn Bigelow has won (for the Hurt Locker).
That's a lot of numbers and percentages that all boil down to one truth: The Academy is filled with old white men. And it looks like they aim to keep it that way.
So I am officially breaking up with Oscar. I'm not watching, and I don't care who those old white guys pick as winners. I am still excited about seeing new movies and seeking out wonderful artistic gems, but I'll rely on my friends and my own instinct to find them.
Yesterday at work I was walking back from the restroom and I met a co-woker chickie in the hallway. She's one of those co-workers that I really don't know well, but I like her, and we sometimes chat a while when she has to call my department for something. She appeared to be just arriving, she was carrying her purse and holding a Starbucks cup out in front of her like it was a lifeline pulling her along.
I held the hallway door open for her.
"Hi! Happy Friday!" I smiled at her.
"No, it's not," Chickie said.
"Aw, why not?"
Chickie heaved a big breath and said, "I ran out of gas on the interstate."
"I had to walk to a gas station, and carry back one of those things full of gas, and I was trying to put it in my tank on the side of the road, and people were honking at me." She made a sad face.
I held open the door to the call center for her. "Oh man, that's awful. Well... at least it's Friday, right?"
She stopped walking and looked at me. "I have to work tomorrow."
I know how that is, you really can't be all Yay Friday when you have to work on the weekend.
"Oh." I said. "Boy, you need a hug."
I was kind of kidding, really, but then she held out her arms, so I gave her a squeezy hug, being careful not to hit her coffee. I hope her day got better.
My days at work have all sucked since we got even more bad news this week. Nobody at work has hugged me either, although Greg told me that he's been trying to be extra nice to me at home because I'm so sad and stressy about work. Which made me tear up a little.
Oh well, it's Saturday morning now, and unlike sad Chickie, I do have the weekend off. Yay for that!
I am a fan of Valentine's day, despite the rampant hateration.
At work last week I heard a lot of complaining, mostly from men saying that it's a fake Hallmark holiday where they have to spend money for no good reason, and it would mean more to give a present/flowers/a card/whatever to their significant other just because they want to, not because the calendar tells them they are supposed to.
WTF is up with the hate? I like having a day to celebrate love, just as I like having a day to celebrate being thankful. I don't hear those guys complaining about the unfairness of being forced to eat a turkey just because the calendar tells them they are supposed to.
I also heard people complaining about being single, and how Valentine's day makes them feel bad. I do remember going through plenty (plenty!) of Valentine's days when I was single, and sure, it's one of those times where I would stop and really feel single and wonder if and when I was ever going to find somebody to love. But it never made me feel angry or bitter, sometimes lonely, but I still had hope of finding someone someday.
Greg loves me, and I know that. He tells me every day, sometimes he does surprise me with little presents and things, and I don't need a fake Hallmark holiday to be reminded of it. But dammit, I LIKE having a holiday to celebrate love! And so does he.
The roses are colorful and smell wonderful and look beautiful. Despite the "helpful" florist who pointed out that he was paying exactly double the amount he would have paid any other day of the year.