Light/Breezes

Light/Breezes
SUNRISE AT DEATH VALLEY-Photo by Tom Cochrun

Thursday, January 21, 2016

IS OSCAR COLOR BLIND OR BLIND?

AVOIDING BEING WASHED UP
    Something is amiss in Hollywood and friction over the Oscar nominations is the smoke signal.
     The make-believe world of the film industry cannot use special effects to escape a few painful realities. Debate over to or not to boycott this years Academy Award presentation is  one plot turn. Another is will the Academy do something about its award deciding process?
      The Academy is made up of Branches, relating to the various skills and crafts of film making; directing, acting, cinematography, writing, design, editing, and etc. Membership comes only through a sponsor and though the Academy is private about who belongs, an LA Times investigation revealed statistics that show it is a predominately white male organization. Some say the representation of male and female membership is roughly equivalent to the percentage of people working in film, but there's no way to be sure. Even that however does not speak to a couple of other story lines.
       The film industry itself is a largely white enclave notably in the film studios and leadership, and mostly male as well. As George Clooney noted recently the current debate about the whiteness of this year's nominees goes mostly to the lack of African American talent but says little about Hispanic under representation that Clooney says is another problem.
       Close to the core of this friction is a legitimate debate-Many believe the Oscars should recognize achievement and not be about pushing for diversity. It is an award, not social engineering. That's touchy in this age of racial sensitivity and lingering racism. It's even touchier when one consider the majority of Academy voters are white and male. True, the Academy is the private club of an already self indulgent professional culture so in a theory, one can argue, they can run the club house however they wish. But this is the 21st Century and we know about colonialism, imperialism, feudalism, racism and bias. And after all who makes the industry important? Movie goers! The fans are the ultimate power here. 
         Though we are marketed to, hyped, pitched and hustled we decide fates and fortunes by deciding to watch or not. If we are more than white males, it would follow what we get should be about more than white males. And that is true, but the disconnects exists.
        Personally, I can't understand why Will Smith did not get a nomination for his courageous role in Concussion-based on  a real character who too was brave and historic. As I watched Straight Outta Compton I wondered why Oshea Jackson, Jason Mitchell or Corey Hawkins were not considered for supporting actor roles. I have yet to see Beasts of No Nation, but people whom I respect say Idris Elba was excellent in his role.
         Nothing against those who have been nominated. I've seen most of the nominees and indeed there has been masterful work. But I have to wonder if there were more women, more men and women of color in the process of selecting and eventually electing the winners, would we see more diversity.  I think so.
        The end of this drama is to be written. Will we see a large scale boycott? Will Chris Rock emcee or boycott? If he works, how will he handle the issue? Will a presenter or a recipient do a Marlon Brando?  Will viewers shun the telecast?  Will commercial sponsors show guts?  Could an ad agency advise a big sponsors to tailor a special message respecting the quality of the nominees but lamenting the lack of diversity? Perhaps the biggest mystery is what will the Academy do about fixing what is clearly a problem in a system that bears a lot of resemblance to a plantation?
A MOMENT OF PERSONAL PRIVILEGE 
    We pause here under our blooming Jade, a sign of good luck, prosperity and friendship to congratulate our eldest on the birth of her daughter, our first grandchild. Congratulations also to our other daughter, an RN who was part of the delivery process. Everyone is doing well, including grandmother who can't stop smiling. Grandad got the news on the tennis court and had to wipe away a few tears before he got back to playing. 
     God bless that little darling and all of her generation. It gives this boomer more incentive to care about justice, fairness, peace and planetary health.

      See you down the trail.

16 comments:

  1. Those granddaughters grow up quickly, but they continue to make an old duffer to tear up from time to time.

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    1. I understand what you say. Feel free to share advice.

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  2. Wonderful. Now the Grandparents' gene is activated. As you told me when our daughter was born "Your life will never be the same." And that's the good news.Enjoy

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  3. I shared that with her today and said time adopts a new standard as well.

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  4. Being a Grandparent can't be described. It has to be experienced. But I will tell you this, it can break you down to tears of joy. Sometimes I just shake my head when I'm with my grandkids. These are my little girl's children. I won't go on but love every second you have to spend with her. It's unlike anything else, but has to be experinced to understand... Just one grandpa's opinion!

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    1. I understand the tears part already. Looking forward to this new world.

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  5. Congratulations, Grandpa. I couldn't be happier for you, and my best to your daughter.

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    1. Thanks Stephen. We are all on top of the world.

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  6. Well, well, well, another Gramps in the crowd. Congratulations to you and your very young bride. Judy's mother was Granny. Judy chose to be called Nana. Whatever you two are called, I'm happy for you. And my very best to the new mother. Now does this baby have a name yet?

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  7. Tom. Jim Chill is spot on in his post. The only thing I can add is that the times spent doing simple things such as reading together or sitting and watching bugs etch memories that bond us to our next generation that I never expected or can I explain. sit back and love the ride its great.

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    1. Dean-
      Looking forward to the adventure. You guys "sell" it very well. We are ready.

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  8. I think Lana is going to be Nana. I may wait to see what she wants to call me. Though my friend Mark suggests I follow what his grands call him-Chief.
    We are waiting for the official decision on the name.

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  9. From all of us who stop and turn around when some kid yells, "Grampa!", welcome to the club.

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