COMMENT

Cultural learnings for make benefit bootlickers

SCOTT FESCHUK January 29 2007
COMMENT

Cultural learnings for make benefit bootlickers

SCOTT FESCHUK January 29 2007

Cultural learnings for make benefit bootlickers

COMMENT

SCOTT FESCHUK

“It is intense here on the red carpet right now!” Mary Hart declared intensely. In truth, the Entertainment Tonight co-host’s words had been taped way before the SCOTT Golden Globes and nobody FESCHUK was actually on the red carpet, but okay, we get it. It’s Hollywood’s biggest night!* Commence the thawing of Joan Rivers!

In a time of entertainment war, pointlessness is the mother of invention. Hence the debut ofET’s “first-ever turntable”—a rotating disc on which celebrities along the red carpet were invited to stand. The disc then executed “a full 360-degree spin,” allowing cameras to capture the designer elegance and counterfeit bosoms without the celebrity having to engage in the demanding pursuit commonly known as “turning around.” Top ET scientists are already working on the schematics for next year’s technological breakthrough—the Entertainment Tonight FondleMatic 3000, a device that will relieve Colin Farrell of the burden of having to personally feel up all his groupies.

The self-proclaimed “mission” of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, arbiters of the Golden Globes, is to “establish favourable relations and cultural ties between foreign countries and the United States by the dissemination of information concerning American culture and traditions.” This sounds like a program that Borat could get with. Indeed, as one member of the HFPA wrote of organizing the Globes: “It’s a daunting job—one that requires a Hollywood veteran’s knowledge of the pecking order in Tinseltown, who’s who, and even the distaff side.” Yes, that’s right, one must invite even females. Wawaweewa !

The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards: Cultural Learnings for Make Benefit Parasitic Group of Minibar-SwillingJunket Monkeys took place in the familiar confines of the “star-filled International Ballroom” of the Beverly Hilton. It’s always described that way because “star-filled” sounds more glamorous than “cleavage-infested.” But something was different about this year’s ceremony. The Golden Globes used to be highly dubious and relentlessly mocked. But this time they were even worse. This time they were boring.

The Golden Globes long operated at the intersection of sycophancy and kitsch—the handiwork of an adorable bunch of foreigners known for smothering the famous with praise (and hugs). The ceremonies were pageants to the most ornate plaudits, sentences burdened with more flattering adjectives than even the most robust clause could hope to hold.

The Globes had two redeeming features: first, Hollywood celebrities—for whom no award is too meaningless to covet— were obliged to start sucking up to people they might otherwise mistake for the pool boy; and second, the telecasts were usually quirky and eccentric enough to qualify as fun.

The Globes’ hosts are puffball-asking toadies whose prose ranks among man’s worst crimes

But this charm has been eroded as the Globes have grown in what passes for importance in Hollywood. Most HFPA members are still puffball-asking, autographseeking toadies whose prose ranks among mankind’s greatest crimes. (Of Leonardo DiCaprio, HFPA “journalist” Dagmar Dunlevy wrote, possibly into her diary while snuggled under the covers, that “Leo’s eyes are extraordinarily bright and seem to change

from grey to blue to green, just like the colours of the seas in times of storm or calmness.” Meanwhile, Ruben V. Nepales demonstrated a willingness to ask the tough questions: “How do we prove how charming George Clooney is in person? He [once] kissed my wife Janet on the right cheek. Since then, Janet has not washed her right cheek.”)

But take people seriously for long enough— and the media and industry have in this case done just that—and they start to take themselves seriously. There was no monologue or even introduction this year—the show actually began with the words, “Okay, here we go, let’s get started,” uttered by George Clooney. No music, no comedy, not even some mildly amusing or cringe-inducing banter between presenters. Nothing. The evening was so tedious that it is widely rumoured Jack Nicholson didn’t even bother to impregnate anyone during the ceremony.

The old-time Hollywood foreign press knew how to put on a show. They gave awards to people like Ricky Schroder and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Hogan. They understood that the easiest path to surefire entertainment is to nominate Alec Baldwin and then deny him the award. Baldwin, in turn, would dutifully rise in a feral rage, strain mightily to turn over his table and then stick one of the pretty boys from Grey’s Anatomy with a butter knife. But the new “serious” HFPA goes and gives Baldwin the Golden

Globe instead and in his speech he tells us all about his hernia and thanks approximately 473 different people we couldn’t care less about. Meanwhile, the pretty boys from Grey’s Anatomy sit there completely unstabbed!

The old criticism is that Pia Zadora won a Golden Globe, and that makes the awards a joke. Pia Zadora could never win a Golden Globe today, and that makes them a yawn. M

* of the week

ON THE WEB: For Scott Feschuk’s take on the news of the day, visit his blog www.macleans.ca/feschuk scott.feschuk@macleans.rogers.com