The Oscars is in two days (February 26th, 2017). In case you had any doubt about where this blog stands on the issue, here it is: DO NOT WATCH THE OSCARS! It is hard to find a more blatant issuance of propaganda from the Pop State than the Oscars. It is nothing but rich, famous people who pretend to be artists, getting together to pat each other on the back and tell each other how great they are. The amount of smug, self-satisfaction and hypocrisy is through the roof.
On the Oscars official website, it actually dares to make the statement: “60% of Americans can’t name a Best Picture nominee. Be the 40%”. No, be the 60%. And let’s try to increase that number as much as possible. The way they phrased that claim, it’s as if they are reporting how sad it is that Americans don’t know an important fact. As if it’s akin to: “60% of Americans can’t identify the US on a map”. I just made that statistic up, as an example. But they wrote it as if we are supposed to be aghast that Americans are that clueless that we don’t pay attention to how great they are. Lots of organizations and business have awards programs. Why is Hollywood’s worth paying any attention to? It’s hard to comprehend how they could be that conceited as to assume we need to incorporate their list of nominees into our memory banks.
To be clear, this isn’t about politics. Every celebrity and their mother who gets on stage is certainly going to be drowning us in their smug, self-aggrandizing opinions, political or otherwise. But ultimately, it’s not what they say, but the fact that we are paying attention. Everyone in the world has an opinion. Why does theirs matter more? It matters more because we pay attention. So stop paying attention.
This is a business for them. Their awards program is important to them because it generates so much profit. They need to increase viewership because it has been going down in recent years. The year 2016 saw the lowest number of viewers in 8 years. Even so, it was still seen by over 30 million people. That’s about 10% of the US population. That’s the saddest part; that 10% of our fellow citizens felt the need to watch rich and famous people tell everyone how much better they are than the rest of us. Let’s keep pushing that viewership number down!
In addition to not watching the Oscars, there are a couple other things we can do. We can Refuse to be involved in discussions about it. The following day, if coworkers try to engage you in a discussion about who won and lost, just say “I’m Anti Pop Culture. I don’t pay attention to celebrities.” If that is too much, just say “I don’t watch the Oscars.” It is simple, yet it might be effective. Even a small chance that the other person might think twice about watching it next year makes it worth saying.
And here is my final point about how we can Reject the Oscars. There will no doubt be some outrageous occurrences coming out of the Oscars. Most notably, some celebrities will say some disagreeable things as they take the stage. DO NOT report on what they say, even if you are opposed to it. The saying goes that there is no such thing as bad publicity. So even if you are criticizing a particular celebrity for what they said, did or wore, you are still making them relevant. If you see an article the next day titled something like “Can you believe what **Celebrity** said during their speech?”, DO NOT click on it. Just ignore. It gives them credibility and encouragement when we criticize them, because they know people are talking. By not paying attention, regardless of what is said or what happens, we take their power away.