Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Self Absorbed Grins And Bad Tantrums

It's the weekend of the Oscars. Now, I think I've established on previous occasions that I'd rather have dental surgery than watch this sort of nonsense. That said, it has been my habit in recent years to do my own prediction of how the evening will unfold. Thus we have this. And since I've established my own warped sort of continuity about it, there are references to previous years here, in case you're wondering about the rather famous preserved corpse who's turning up within...

At noon, outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, legions of fans, having had camped out for days on end, will be at attention, hours before the ceremony is even due to start, hoping to get a glimpse or even a selfie with their favourite star. There will be much buzz among them. Some of it will be about the nominees. Some of it will be about which movie the fans loved most. Others will be prattling on about who’s going to be wearing what. Entertainment journalists will be at their posts, chatting in a vacant way (which is typical for that subset of humanity) about the evening to come, which they’ve already been doing for days.

Host Jimmy Kimmel, having had spent a substantial amount of time preparing for the big night, will be at home, getting ready, wondering why men wear tuxedos to this thing as he curses his inability to tie a bow tie. He’ll also be wondering how many times the Orange Temper Tantrum will end up tweeting rage at him over the hours after the ceremony for his monologue.

Studio executives will be making bets as to if this year’s broadcast goes even longer than last year’s version.

An Academy spokesperson will address the controversies of previous years. “First, let us assure you that Barbra Streisand is nowhere near California tonight,” Denise Larroca will say while cameras record her words. “Given her misbehaviour in previous years, we had her dropped in the Sahara desert, a full day’s march away from the nearest settlement. Second, there was a rather glaring mistake last year in which Michael Fassbender won the Best Actor award, when it was actually meant for Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a very long story, but when it comes down to it, the reason for all of this was that Steve Harvey was involved and misplaced the proper envelope. Mr. Fassbender was quite polite and understanding and gave up the Oscar shortly thereafter- needless to say, we owe Michael big time, but he’s a gentleman about this. Mr. DiCaprio, who as we all know had something of a temper tantrum last year when he thought he lost, will be given a chance to give an acceptance speech this evening. We hope he will be graceful, but there’s a betting pool going on that he’ll be pissed off.”

Somewhere in the desolation of the Sahara Desert, Barbra Streisand will be ranting and roaring, infuriated at the tactical team of mercenaries that dropped her and three days rations into the middle of nowhere. “I’m not supposed to lug this water around!” she’ll yell at no one. “I have lowly servants who do that for me! I’m supposed to go to the Oscars and let everyone bask in the greatness that is Barbra!”

Hyenas will watch the grouchy faded star trudging her way through the sand from a ridgeline in the late afternoon of the Sahara, wondering if they should bother making a meal of her.

Leonardo DiCaprio will be busy preparing himself in the hours before the ceremony, eager to make his long awaited acceptance speech that he was wrongfully denied last year, what with being arrested for assault. While donning his tuxedo, he will go over his fourteen thousand page speech, reciting lines to himself. “And another thing! Nobody disrespects Leonardo! It shouldn’t have taken this long for me to make my speech! A whole year! A year, people! That is unforgivable! All of you people are going to be sorry you ever screwed me over!”

Somewhere in the Alberta foothills, while beating up a gun runner who dared mistake him for the other Lars Ulrich, a cranky but legendary Mountie will feel grateful that at least one day a year, there are no entertainment reporters anywhere within reach of his location. When the guy whose ass he’s kicking asks why his favourite heavy metal drummer is beating him up, Inspector Lars Ulrich will knock him into unconsciousness, dislodging three teeth in the process, and ensuring that he’ll be eating meals out of a straw for the next six weeks.

Ahead of the other celebrity arrivals into the theatre, workers will install the preserved and embalmed body of Jack Nicholson in the front row. The actor, who died years ago at a previous Oscars ceremony, specifically stated in his will that his remains must always be present at the Oscars, right in the front row. The workers, having had placed Nicholson’s corpse in his seat, will wonder if they can get the smell of preservatives off them, and will feel sorry for whichever celebrity (or seat filler) ends up seated next to either side of Nicholson.

Tom Cruise will be wheeled into the auditorium, once again chained up in Hannibal Lecter restraints, including one to keep him from talking. This being a requirement, after previous misbehaviour at Oscar  ceremonies and attempts to start lecturing people about Scientology and psychologists and why he’s still relevant. Tightly restrained and unable to move so much as an inch, he’ll wonder if he can pull off a Mission Impossible escape, and wish the cameras could capture his big dumb grin.

Celebrities will start arriving in the lead up to the ceremony. Entertainment reporters, eager to bask in reflected glory, will intercept them, gushing all over them, and asking the inevitable question: “so who are you wearing?”

John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston will arrive on cue, even though Travolta hasn’t been in anything in years. He will politely take questions from the halfwitted entertainment reporters, and laugh off his habit of getting names wrong. When he will see Ryan Gosling go by, he’ll pause, and say, “hey, it’s Rupert Golander!”

The actors arriving will include those whose presence might be a bit dubious. Katherine Heigl, who hasn’t been in a film in years, and who’s in a failing television series, will arrive with her wife, the alternate reality Katherine Heigl. The two women, completely in love with each other (being the ultra narcissistic people that they are) will be groping each other and making out as they make their way down the red carpet. They will smile for the entertainment reporters, and one will say, “You know, La La Land could have been so much better if they’d cast the two of us as the romantic leads.”

Jennifer Lawrence will arrive on the red carpet, and in true Jennifer Lawrence tradition will trip, fulfilling her yearly illicit desire to fall at the Oscars.

James Brolin will arrive on his own, without wife Barbra Streisand. He will confirm to reporters that yes, several men in black took his wife out of their home after drugging her unconscious, and yes, they were accompanied by the president of the Academy, who explained why she had to be dropped on the other side of the planet. “It’s actually a bit of a relief,” Brolin will say. “Nice and quiet, no singing, have I mentioned how much I hate her singing? Wait, don’t quote me on that.”

Barbra Streisand will come across a caravan of nomads on camels in the desert. The faded star will end up demanding passage from them, exclaiming, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Barbra Streisand! I’m late to the Oscars! You have to do what I tell you to do!”

The caravan leader, with a perfect understanding of the English language, will reply, “Yes, I know exactly who you are, which doesn’t change the fact that we don’t have a spare camel. So we’ll just let someone in the next village know you’re out here. And on a personal note, you’re a horrible actor and singer, and none of us like you.”

The red carpet festivities will continue. Meryl Streep will arrive, as one of the Best Actress nominees, cheerful and cordial with the inane questions from vacant minded entertainment reporters. At his private resort Mar-a-Lago, the Orange Temper Tantrum will tweet “Worst actress ever! Sad!”

Actors, directors, writers, and production crews will filter into the theatre. Some will pass by Tom Cruise, who will be standing upright in the restraint rig, his mouth restraint muffling his continued attempts to speak.

Entertainment reporters will be busy speculating on who might win Oscars tonight. La La Land, heavily favoured to win big, will be the subject of much speculation. Others will chatter about how this year’s ceremony is much less what it was in the previous year, when Oscars So White was a meme.

John Travolta, while taking his seat, will point out Meryl Streep, and exclaim to his wife, “look, honey, it’s Muriel Stashway!”

Barbra Streisand will give up trying to chase the caravan through the desert night, wondering how it could be that camels can move so quickly. She’ll spend time cursing camels, desert nomads, and whoever it was who had her dropped in the middle of nowhere.

Leonardo DiCaprio will turn up at the awards ceremony, facing the gauntlet of reporters at the red carpet, smiling with this month’s latest model on his arm, secure in the knowledge that he’ll be able to make his long overdue speech for Best Actor after last year’s debacle. Several aides will be following, carrying heavy briefcases containing the print copy of his speech. “Who cares about this year’s Best Actor nominees?” DiCaprio will say, grinning in a somewhat demented way. “What matters is me getting the chance to have my say.”

Tommy Lee Jones and Marisa Tomei will both be seated in specific seats at the front row, given locations to the left and right sides of the stage as roving bouncers for the night. This will be an arrangement specifically asked by the Academy, as both actors have in the past knocked out and beaten up troublemakers. At their own request, both actors will have been seated at a distance from the corpse of Jack Nicholson.

Millions of husbands across the world who had to sit through La La Land with their wives, will find themselves sitting through the red carpet nonsense with their wives. Some will rationalize that, after all, their wives sat through the Super Bowl, so fair’s fair. Others will idly wonder if they can somehow trance themselves into a stupor and ignore the hours of Oscars ceremonies.

The Orange Temper Tantrum will tweet from Mar-a-Lago, “Oscars Too Lame! Why aren’t those fake losers complaining about Frederick Douglass not getting a nomination? Sad.”

Barbra Streisand, stuck out in the middle of the Sahara in the dead of night, will be busy making her own over the top speech to no one in particular.  “...and this is why I, Barbra, the greatest famous person to ever come into the universe, must be crowned Empress Of All She Surveys! It is my right! It is my destiny!

Hyenas, continuing to watch the egomaniacal actor from a nearby sand dune, will convince themselves that it’s probably a bad idea to eat Streisand. “I don’t know about you, but I think she’s touched in the head,” one will remark in hyena-speak. “Who knows? It could be contagious. It’s better to just leave her for the vultures.”

Leonardo DiCaprio will come into the theatre, finding his place among the seats, and will notice Marisa Tomei sitting a couple of rows ahead. Remembering how she beat him up last year, DiCaprio will take an usher aside and demand another seat. “You can’t make me sit near her! Don’t you understand? Marisa Tomei causes pain!” DiCaprio and his date will be seated in the front row, beside the corpse of Jack Nicholson.

John Travolta, sitting with his wife, will notice Michelle Williams across the aisle, and wave. “Hey there! Millicent Wainwright! It’s me! Julian Tallingford!”

The ceremonies will finally start, more than an hour after they were expected to. Betting establishments across the world will cease taking bets on how long the ceremony will last, given that it’s now underway.

Jimmy Kimmel will come out on stage, smiling, having had found someone to help him tie his tuxedo bow tie. He will start into his monologue, reminding the audience that they are well into the first month since the Dark Times began with the inauguration of Lord Voldemort.

At home in Britain, J.K. Rowling will point out on Twitter that Lord Voldemort wasn’t dumb.

At Mar-a-Lago, the Orange Temper Tantrum will demand that Jimmy Kimmel be smart bombed.

The first of the awards will be handed out after the opening monologue. At home, people will wonder how much longer this whole thing is going to take. The winner of the first award will give the finger to the orchestra conductor when the music comes up as a cue to get off the stage. “I am not finished,” the winner will say, in what will establish a precedent for the evening, ignoring the orchestra and saying whatever winners want to say.

Singers will occasionally interrupt the ceremony to perform nominated songs. People at home will be wondering why they let singing interrupt which is already a far too long ceremony.

In the darkness of the Sahara night, Barbra Streisand, imagining herself to be out on stage at this moment, will be busy screeching out what passes for a song. “People! People who need people are the luuuuuuuuckiest people in the woooooooooorld!”

The hyenas, still watching over the demented egomaniac from a nearby dune, will cover their ears and groan.

One of the ushers, a devout Scientologist, will slip the restrained Tom Cruise the one device he needs to escape. Unfortunately that neat little lock pick will probably take three hours to work. Since this is the Oscars, he will have plenty of time.

The March Of The Dead will commence. Faces of familiar actors flash across the screen, those who have died in the year since the last ceremony. People will applaud them. The faces of others in the industry, far less familiar, such as writers, cinematographers, producers, and crew, will induce “who the hell is that reactions” out of the crowd. They will include the elderly Academy member who died a few months after last year’s ceremony, in which Leonardo DiCaprio throttled the man. Leonardo will look sheepish. Marisa Tomei, sitting towards the right end of the front row, will make a point of staring right at him, raising her fist, and mouthing six words: you and me; it’s go time.

The Orange Temper Tantrum will tweet from Mar-a-Lago: “Boring! Sad! They should be bowing down and worshiping me!”

Leonardo DiCaprio will finally get his chance to give the speech he didn’t get to give for last year’s Oscars, what with him being arrested for assault. He will take to the stage, glaring around at everyone. His aides will bring the briefcases onto the stage and start opening them. “Now in case it’s not obvious, my speech is going to be a long one,” DiCaprio will say, and then point at the conductor. “And I don’t want to hear you start up the notes for the Titanic theme, do you hear me?”

At both sides of the front row, Tommy Lee Jones and Marisa Tomei will be cracking their knuckles and deciding how long they should let the egomaniacal prick continue to speak.

DiCaprio’s date, otherwise known as this month’s model, will wonder if it was her imagination, or if the corpse of Jack Nicholson just shifted in his seat.

Tom Cruise, working on his escape from all those restraints, will find himself wondering why he’s not the guy on stage ranting and roaring.

At Mar-a-Lago, the Orange Temper Tantrum will tweet, “Sad! Why aren’t any of these people paying tribute to my buddy Vladimir?”

Still stuck in the middle of nowhere in the Sahara Desert, with daylight having had long since settled over the endless dunes, Barbra Streisand, wishing she hadn’t abandoned all that water, will wonder if she’s seeing a mirage when a land rover starts to approach out of the east.

On a nearby sand dune, hyenas and vultures will be engaged in debate as to if the egomaniac down below is touched in the head.

Five minutes into his speech, Leonardo DiCaprio, having already spewed venom about the Academy, this year’s March of the Dead list of fallen actors, and every nominee among the actors’ categories, will turn to speaking about that guy he knew back in the fifth grade. “Who’s stupid now, Joey?” he will bellow.

Somewhere in New England, a man who once knew the actor when they were growing up, but now going through life with the name Joe, will shrug and look at his wife. “See, honey? I told you DiCaprio was an asshole.”

Executives with the network will be looking at their watches, wishing they’d decided not to air the Oscars this year. “Jenkins, you idiot!” a network executive will yell at one of his underlings. “You told me this year it would come in on time!”

Barbra Streisand will be met by a driver from the nearest village, realize that she’s been saved, and demand how soon a flight can be arranged back to the United States. “I’m missing the Oscars!” she will say. The driver, already having had been alerted to the fact that the crazy Yank out in the desert is that awful actor and singer, will have prepared himself by bringing earplugs along for the ride in taking her back to the village. Streisand will be outraged to learn that the next flight out of the area takes place at the end of March.

While DiCaprio rants and roars, John Travolta will say to his wife, “Kiara, I think Lorenzo DiBenedetto there needs to learn how to relax.”

Two things will happen at once: Tom Cruise, having had spent three hours picking the locks of his restraints, will finally escape, rip off his Hannibal Lecter mouth restraint, and bellow out in the theatre. “It is me! Tom Cruise! The greatest actor of all time! Bow down before me!”

Leonardo DiCaprio, outraged at being interrupted, will yell, “hey! Shut up! I’m talking here!” This will be a cue to Tommy Lee Jones and Marisa Tomei to rise up and act. Jones will head up the aisle to intercept the overly short Cruise, starting out with a roundhouse right to his nose. Tomei will stride up on stage and walk straight towards DiCaprio, who, in his mania, won't see her until it’s too late. She will throw a hard punch connecting just under his right eye, sending him falling. And it will just be the beginning, as both Cruise and DiCaprio suffer the beat down of all beatdowns at the hands of Jones and Tomei.

The ceremonies will wrap up with the big awards- Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Picture. There will be some surprises. After it’s all said and done, Jimmy Kimmel will have to be prodded awake.  He will then apologize for how long the ceremony has gone on, bid everyone goodnight, and realize that it’s four in the afternoon of the following day.

In a hospital emergency ward, Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio will find themselves being treated for multiple broken bones, bruises, contusions, trauma, and shivers. Cruise, broken down into tears, will mutter about his beautiful face. DiCaprio will be weeping. “Marisa Tomei causes pain!”