Monday, January 8, 2018

A few quick thoughts on last night's Golden Globes awards show

There was nothing that really stood out as worthy of an extended conversation, no new terrain opened up. Just the same old indulgence in self-congratulation, moral preening and conspicuous absence of acknowledged culpability.
Twitter is full of expressions of that last point. They all knew. This is a crowd that readily heaped accolades on Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and even Roman Polanski in recent years. So the fact that no names were named isn't a surprise.
Seth Myers was his usual insufferable self, and he couldn't resist breaking his pledged not to indulge in Trump digs.
Connie Britton's deliberately frumpy outfit featured the slogan "Poverty is Sexist" emblazoned on her shirt. I wonder if we'll ever get a fleshed-out explanation of that bit of drive-by sociological observation.
It fell to Debra Messing to trot out the hoary cliche "stand in solidarity." And she delivered it with requisite smugness.
The centerpiece, of course, was Oprah's review of race and gender injustices that, if she were to be believed, are the principle characteristic of life in America. Meryl Streep was so impressed that she proclaimed that O now has now choice but to run for president.
It's interesting that at the same time this orgy of self-importance was being broadcast, over on FNC, there was a great panel discussion going on. The participants included Bill Bennett, Ari Fleischer, Alan Dershowitz, Oliver North and Steve Wynn. The basic topic was cultivation of character and virtue. Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts, made the excellent point that our society has jettisoned the notion of seeking divine guidance and replaced it with conferring primacy on the idea of "being the best you that you can be."
The end product of that approach to life was on display as soon as one switched back over to NBC. These are people who have concocted their own set of aspiration-worthy "virtues" unconnected from revealed guidance and absolute standards.
And we have permitted these people to be the arbiters of how our culture is shaped.
It's encouraging that elections generally show that there's a hefty dollop of delusion in their assumptions, but, given the ubiquity of their presence in the  venues - televised, online and print - from which we all obtain our information, their influence can't be denied.
The problem is that, having handed the culture over to such types, there's not much in the way of aesthetic vitality to be found if one shuts them out.
That's a challenge that gets addressed on a day-by-day basis, I suppose. No one is stopping anyone from making a film, album, play or piece of visual art reflecting any worldview. Those embracing certain worldviews, however, shouldn't expect to reap rewards that will make the designer gowns, and even tawdry yet outlandishly expensive tee shirts, one sees at west-coast awards shows affordable.
Maybe that's just as well. The "look-at-me" aesthetic isn't what the red half of post-America is after, anyway.


  1. Awfully glad there is neither "requisite smugness", "moral preening", nor a "conspicuous absence of acknowledged culpability" behind your observations...

  2. If bloggie weren't so square there would be no need for freaks.

  3. Being familiar with your affection for Clarence Thomas in spite of his intellectual deficiencies, you believe Anita Hill?
    Glass houses, Barn.

    1. Dang. I hate being unable to fix errors in grammar, but you can follow my meaning.