Bury These Nostaligias

What Is Beneath Our Nostalgia?

Is there a better way to demonstrate the absolute vacuity of America and its “gifts” to the world than the Academy Awards?

This morning I read a critique of the telecast on Salon by their movie critic Andrew O’Hehir.  He said it stunk.  This was not a surprise.  When we applaud the “meta” career of the massively fraudulent James Franco as if it were one of wit and intelligence (he’s a poet, an entrepreneur, a student…a sham), well…he’s a bright light after all.  But the return of Billy Crystal makes clear the actual confusion we’re all feeling.

Franco is a shell and a self-shill; Crystal is Father Time on a very wobbly cane.  (Hey, your audience doesn’t know what a “Borsht Belt” schtick is even as represented by Dirty Dancing which is itself dusty in our cultural attic.)

Is there an authentic reality in-between?  No.

It’s a silly question to ask when considering actors and an industry devoted to wasting your life at massive expense delivering soulless fictions.  The glamor is all that remains and that is wearing to holes in its glittered gossamer.

  • The US War Machine is amping up once again and we will soon murder more folks in Iran.
  • We’ve already murdered by the hundreds of thousands people who were responsible for no aggression against us.
  • Drones are being bought and deployed in our cities by local police departments.
  • Some folks refuse to be taxed for jimmy-use while insisting its “public” to pay for their religious education.
  • A presidential candidate, making clear that “presidential” can no longer be a positive adjective, insists that while he was bilking the public education system using “online” education he was really “home schooling.”  The same man is a horror of bigotry pretending to be representative of the righteous among us.  SOP.
  • Schools are being forced to spend millions in daily test prep and standardized assessments to be able to offer state departments of education evidence that they should be “failed” and defunded.
  • We’re hurtling toward climate catastrophe.
  • We murder as second nature in our “secret services.”
  • We are awash in rabid, divisive words of Rovian hate as “political speech” protected by the condescending progressive academics.  It is for your own good we do all this.

I could go on.  And on.

What are you thinking about today?  Angelina Jolie’s right leg?

That our best picture is silent and foreign and widely unseen?

That Streep winning in mimicry of Thatcher is instructive in this dark time–instructive of the machinery of industrial entertainment, almost on a par with every war-praising movie ever made?  That in this same space desegregation is disintegrating, or perhaps like an American vinaigrette it is simply settling back into its repellent parts.  (I am reminded here of the racist joke tied to that miracle of “scientific observation” in childhood–the pepper repulsed in the bowl of water by dish-soap.)

Or maybe you’re thinking that your kids are hungry.

Or sick and uninsured.  That a broken arm is bankruptcy.

Or that they are foreclosed from their shelter.

That we build our castles on philanthropic misanthropy.

Are these your nostaligias, America?  Are these you better days?

Photo Credit: ExperienceLA

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