Tuesday, March 1

...i'm gonna live forever...

This morning, in Stephen Elliot’s The Daily Rumpus e-mail (what do you mean you aren’t a subscriber? WTF? Hint: top right of the home page...), he talked about success, fame, and the inner sanctum of literary circles. He said (to everyone, not just the elites), “This will sound dramatic and cliché but the glass ceiling is beneath you. Try to break it.

I didn’t watch the Oscars, haven’t had any interest in doing so since they finally gave Jackson a statue for LOTR. It has a bit to do with not having TV in our home, but that would have been an easy obstacle to overcome. It has more to do with my adverse reaction to fame, how I think that we’re a bit addicted to lifting them up and hoping they’ll fall for our amusement.

Jion Ghomeshi was talking with a panel of entertainment pundits on Q last night as I drove home from the climbing gym. They were lamenting how bad the Oscars were this year; How the show is so controlled and scripted that nothing magical happens anymore. They celebrated the actress (?) that dropped the F-bomb as an unscripted moment, and then turned around and suggested that it was the most scripted moment of the show, only the actress in question was the only one with that well-rehearsed version of it.

I love the movies, don’t get me wrong. Like all art, there’s the good and the bad, but when it’s good, it’s so very, very good. I wish movies were longer. LOTR is best watched back to back to back for the full effect.

I don’t enjoy celebrity train wrecks though. It’s sad that Charlie Sheen’s implosion is such heady fodder right now. Charlie’s story, whether you like him or not, is a tragedy, not a comedy byline. Talent and success shouldn’t be the keys to the fame locker. Talent plus success so often equal car crashes. I wish we could protect more people from it.

That’s not the fault of movies though. That’s a by-product of the industry that makes movies. It’s a symptom of a culture that wants so many of the wrong things.

Jion and company panned James Franco’s performance as host, went so far as to say he’d torpedoed his career to some extent. I have no idea if they’re right, or what Mr. Franco’s thoughts were, but I look at his body of work, the counter-intuitive choices he’s made, and can’t help but wonder if the joke’s on Jion.

I can’t help but hope that James was lampooning the whole paper maché farce that is the awards season. 

And then they said that the best, most sincere speeches were made by the writers. They said that they couldn’t understand how all these great actors could blow their lines and yet the writers could slip into the spotlight for their thirty seconds and nail it so purely. And I smiled.

I have a hard time imagining anyone, in a writerly sense, being under a glass ceiling that I’m standing on. But I am committed to stomping more now, just in case. At the very worst (or perhaps best?), I’ll end up in the basement.

All the good shit happens in the basement anyway.