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Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscars and the Invasion of Our Everyday Lives

This mass culture--global, immediate, accessible, buoyant, with shared heroes, models, and goals--is immensely intoxicating. Ayatollahs fulminate against it; dictators censor it; mandarins try to slam the door on it.
-- Lawrence M. Friedman, The Horizontal Society, in Dictionary.Com

From Salon:

>Bigelow and "Hurt Locker" win big at Oscars


"I'd just like to dedicate this to the women and men in the military who risk their lives on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world," Bigelow said. "And may they come home safe."

Our bit:

Hats off to Kathryn Bigelow for shattering an 82-year testosterone glass ceiling and "winning big" with Hurt Locker for best picture. That is very telling.

It is telling for a number of reasons. Chiefly, being a woman-director and "nabbing" the prize of the prizes is a very tall order. Also, it sends a message. Actually, all sorts of messages if you read between the lines.

All there. It's Hollywood at its best. Minarets and everything.

A film which portrays the raw realities of life in the front is to be commended especially because it draws our attention to the untold facts of war.

The Iraqi war, or any other battles being fought in the name of "freedom", has not gone down well, we all know, with the rest of the world. It has not gone down well with the natives of that age-old country. Or countries. We all remember the shoe-thrower incident. All in HD.

That said, we are all reminded of the prerogatives of battle and what they entail and the lives that are reaped on both sides of the trenches.

Those who make it back, back to life sometimes, are left to make do with whatever is left of their bodies. War is a body thing. You win or lose battles by interposing your body between the ideology and the outcome. Depending on the day, either one or the other wins.

And pardon the sarcasm, those who "risk their lives on a daily basis" make it safely home and are free of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), are few and far between. When they don't, they are either wrapped in a flag or fitted with spare parts. A sad sight either way.

Needless to say, we are just rambling on about a sad fact of life - sad in oh so many levels.

However, Hollywood is an industry - imperfect though - and as such it commands a great deal of respect. Thousands, if not millions, depend on it for their livelihood. If we take issue at some of the propaganda inherent in its products, it is chiefly because we think said propaganda would perhaps be best served when in the service of others.

It may not always be so. That too is a sad fact of life.

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