Like any annual celebration, the Oscars come with a few traditions: the bitter, media-fueled rivalry between two Best Picture contenders, minor political controversies blown way out of proportion, Armond White insulting someone at the New York Film Critics Circle dinner, think pieces contemplating how the Academy has lost touch with the public and/or reality, and so on. But perhaps the most obnoxious of these rituals is the inevitable surfacing of awards misanthropes – you know, those people who proudly proclaim (usually via the Internet) that the Oscars are meaningless and self-congratulatory and they don’t care, so anyone who does is clearly an idiot. Isn’t it just another excuse for a bunch of rich celebrities to pat themselves on the back?
It’s not like the Super Bowl is some earth-shattering event, yet you never hear football fans derided for their choice in entertainment.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the Oscars. On one hand, it can be frustrating and disillusioning to know that the whole thing basically amounts to an expensive, over-hyped P.R. stunt that stretches from one February to the next, and with all the speculation preceding the actual awards, the winners are rarely all that surprising. But every year, I still find myself getting genuinely excited to watch the tacky-glamorous ceremony, to see who gives the best speech, who accidentally lets loose an F-bomb on network TV, who wears the dress I most wish I could afford, etc.