Oscars: Sit down and shut up! - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Oscars: Sit down and shut up!

When I was in eighth grade, my soccer coaches selected me as the team’s Most Valuable Player. The award, and a few other team awards, were handed out at a team party my head coach hosted just an hour or so after we lost the league title game in an overtime for the ages, two scoreless ten minute periods followed by two sudden death periods, in which we gave up a goal with less than a minute to play. The loss still hurts to think about.

So does the award. Why? Another kid on the team, our leading scorer, and his parents, seemed to think he deserved the award. In their eyes, scoring goals was all that mattered and he was darn good at doing it. However, my coaches thought I was a more complete player, and if I may say so myself, I was. What I didn’t like about the award was it became a controversy and meant nothing to me because we did not win the championship game. That’s all I wanted.

Some of us like to celebrate with a group over achieving a great accomplishment, others feel a need for individual attention. It is for this reason I do not care about the Academy Awards or any other award show that heaps attention on the individual, especially those who seem to get enough of it just by being a celebrity.

Mahershala Ali and Shariff Earp in “Moonlight”

As for their acceptance speeches, all I can say is “shut up.” No, really, shut up after simply saying thank you. You apparently made a statement with the work you are being recognized for, leave it at that and just go backstage and blabber all you want to an adoring press about whatever political views you hold. I Don’t need to hear you tell me how crappy our president is. Artists, for the most part, hate Republicans and they especially hate the current guy in charge. We know it.

We also know you love your family, spouse, agent, co-stars, personal trainer, dietician, butler, driver, caddy, and plumber so there is no need to share it with us. You can tell them in private and just say thank you and sit down. How hard it is to do?

OK, so you are actors and you are known for being all dramatic, who gives a flying Oscar? You are also wearing a $10,000 dress, a couple of hundred thousand dollars in jewelry, and receiving a damn swag bag loaded with stuff that is worth more in value than the average American earns in a year so quit trying to tell us you are like one of us and you feel our pain. You are full of it if you think you are. In fact, many of you make enough money to pay others to feel your pain for you.

Your words of protest do nothing. I mean it, they do nothing. They do not change minds or policy and they just suck the life out of something regular Americans turn to for a break from the painfulness of the real world they live in, the one you hide from in Malibu or Beverly Hills.

Can you imagine a 4th grader receiving an award for being the outstanding student of the year and upon accepting it complain about how horrible school lunches are? That’s kind of how you come across when you open your mouths and attempt to become difference makers with your time rather than simply, and enthusiastically saying thank you.

It is amazing to see how some actors and actresses can go to such great lengths to transform themselves into the characters they portray in film; gaining or losing weight for a role, hours upon hours sitting in a makeup chair, countless hours of research and study before even an inch of film is shot are all part of your dedication to your craft. And then you get an award and suddenly you choose to transform into a political activist instead of a grateful person. Just sit down and shut up.

Ben Foster and Chris Pine in “Hell or High Water”

I think it would be great if each winner were really held to the 45 seconds the academy says it will give him or her. At the 30-second mark, they get a yellow warning light telling them it is time to wrap it up. If they continue to blab, at the 45-second mark, they get dumped on by a bucket of pigs blood like we saw in Carrie. I’m thinking this might be just what is needed to get these overly dramatic, self important, and out of touch clowns off the stage and back in their seats.

Perhaps then we will see more people do like Marlon Brando and not show up and in your place have someone else, maybe someone who is actually a regular person like a secretary, store clerk, electrician, or mechanic, accept their award. Better yet, maybe you winners could just stand up in front of your peers, look out at them for half a minute and not say a word before very calmly telling the world thank you.

I know, I am still bitter over that fall afternoon in 1972 because I was not praised enough for the award I received. I really didn’t care if we won the title, it has more to do with a certain teammate who tried to pull a Kanye on me before Kanye was ever born. He ruined my moment and now I do not want to see anyone else have theirs. I am angry and I want the world to pay for my slight.

Then again, maybe I am just one of those regular guys who has long stopped watching a bunch of over paid artists who are in the midst of being showered with even more attention and riches than anyone really needs, turn their moment into a political statement instead of one of thanks. If you can be thankful and humble for your award, on behalf of a bitter America, I thank you. However, if you can’t, let me tell you what we all scream if we have decided to tune in to your moment of glory, “Sit down and shut up!”


About the author

James Moore

James Moore is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching and currently runs his own personal training business, In Home Jim, in Hemet, CA. Jim's writings are often the end result of his thoughts mulled over while riding his bike for hours on end. Contact the author.
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