Oscar obsession indicates problem
America’s celebrity culture exists everywhere you look and is impossible to get away from. Talk to friends before class, and it will be brought up. Check your Facebook feed and something about it will have been mentioned at least three or four times. The only feasible escape is to have neither a social life nor Internet access, and few people are willing to go quite that far.
The Academy Awards (which were held Sunday night for those of you lucky enough to have been oblivious) epitomize this useless extravagance. Sure, it’s fun to go to the theater and watch movies, but massive three-hour-plus award shows do nothing to enhance or complement that experience. They just waste time and channel the country’s attention away from more important issues.
It is normal for a dinosaur-loving toddler to insist on collecting every piece of merchandise they can get their hands on. Obsessions such as that are simply a phase young children go through.
In adults, however, this sort of fascination is often considered childish and unhealthy — unless it’s with celebrities.
American’s are infatuated with everything to do with stars of the earth-bound variety. People are simply not mature enough to enjoy just watching movies on the silver screen.
Instead, we feel the need to read celebrity magazines and obsess over a meaningless and overly extravagant awards ceremony thinking it will somehow add to that experience.
This fixation would be acceptable if it were not for the fact that it glorifies an industry that is far from glorious and prevents more important professions and industries from recieving the attention they deserve.
When people become fascinated with show business, their children, cousins and siblings invariably catch on. Kids idolize and aspire to be actors, models and sports stars — professions that relatively few people ever succeed in — rather than teachers, doctors and scientists — professions that make a difference in the world on a daily basis.
Yes, there are celebrities who do good things with their money, such as creating foundations and organizations to help those not as lucky as them. These are actually worthy of their fame. Famous actors such as Alec Baldwin have actually done fair amounts of charity work, but it’s still their movies and TV shows, not their good deeds, that they’re known for.
But Baldwin and others like him are the exception, not the rule. More often than not, actors do little or nothing with their fame and money to help others.
The Oscars were a festival of triviality. Actors are only people who just happen to be good at faking emotion in front of a camera.
While many directors and filmmakers are undeniably artists, nothing the movie industry has done or could do makes it worthy of the extent of time and fascination Americans give to it.
Casey Goodwin is an engineering freshman and may be reached at [email protected]