Opinion Web Exclusive

And the Oscar goes to…bigger world issues

At 5.8783 degrees N, 66.2036 degrees W, barricades of debris are built, constructed by 1,000 protesters, with rocks and bottles hurled in a fury of opposition against National Guardsmen. 6,236 miles away, 50 police officers are held captive while rioters storm an interior ministry building. One day’s trip from there, approximately 1,504 miles, a flood of 500,000 desperate people abandon their homes for safety in the surrounding countries of Turkey and Lebanon.

In the United States, a red carpet has begun to roll in honor of our finest entertainers.

In the midst of three tumultuous civil wars, Oscar season has sprung. The media coverage of the governmental revolutions in Venezuela, Ukraine and Syria will soon be hushed by the Hollywood elites’ vanity affairs, their time to shine even more brightly than usual as they celebrate each other for the sake of … each other.

The whole world will be waiting at dusk for the limos to come rolling in, the designer gowns to be praised and critiqued and most especially for the defining moments of entertainment history — like the unforgettable tumble taken by Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence at last year’s Academy Awards. The theatrical stage, or more accurately, pedestal, will come head to head with the political world stage as March turns our attention to the frivolities of America’s consumer culture.

In recent days, the ongoing violence in Caracas has reached a frightening height as President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist supporters attempt to bury the militant opposition movement. In a massive rally against Maduro’s government, previous presidential candidate Henrique Capriles motivated the crowd by inspiring persistence against the government in the hopes that issues such as Venezuela’s escalating crime and inflation rates would be addressed. Following the imprisonment of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, Venezuelans have grown increasingly divided, with Maduro supporters filling the presidential palace to hear him speak.

“This elected president, the son of Chavez, is going to keep protecting the people,” Maduro said.

In war-torn Kiev, President Viktor Yanukovych’s political rule fueled protestors to reoccupy the capital’s central square. The Euro-Maiden protest movement has escalated to the likes of an invasion of a prosecutor’s office, and in opposition, the police have used stun grenades and water cannons to counterattack 25,000 protestors.

The European Union and United Nations have struggled to secure a compromise between Yanukovych and the anti-government Ukrainians, but the president appears to have no desire to broker peace with the rebels, especially after he dropped the Association Agreement made by the EU in favor of Vladmir Putin’s $15 million aid offer.

The Crimean region’s head of parliament, Vladimir Constantinov, spoke of a secession in a Russian radio interview.

“The entire situation is heading that way,” he said.

But Syria’s palpable unrest — well-documented by the media since its start — has morphed into a despairingly hopeless situation. A failed second session in Geneva, held to establish a settlement for the ravaged country’s civil war, marked the desperation in which the Syrian people continue to live.

According to The Economist, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s negotiating team was supposed to enter into talks of a transitional government to ease rebel conflicts. With this concept abandoned, Assad’s army, backed by Hezbollah, continues to reign terror over its own people.

In the latest attack, a barrel bomb decimated the village of Mzairib, taking 18 lives. The Syrian government is also dangerously close to missing its midyear deadline to destroy its chemical weaponry, relinquishing only 11 percent in three shipments as of Feb. 14.

And yet, with these territories in mind, I’m conflicted.

The time has come to host Oscar night, settle down with popcorn and friends and watch our favorite actors and actresses be rewarded for playing make-believe. Displayed prominently on my calendar, this ceremonious event was once something to anticipate for weeks, then to gossip over in the following months.

Advantageous design houses have begun their rituals, snatching coveted airtime to display their talent on America’s most glamorous, only to be ridiculed by Joan Rivers post-red carpet. What was an annual occasion for lavish engagement between worldwide audiences and their respective TV screens has certainly lost its tantalizing appeal in the face of bigger events.

If watching some of the wealthiest talents in our nation overshadows — even for an evening — the more critical happenings in the world, we must ask ourselves what that says of our society. No one wants to indulge in a party we weren’t invited to, especially if it means losing sight of our values. The question remains as conflicts rage on around the world and Ellen DeGeneres prepares jokes for the majority of America’s ear.

Opinion columnist Alex Meyer is creative writing freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

  • Alex Meyer makes no mention of Al Qaeda which has reigned terror over the Christian population in Syria. Saudi Arabia and the a United States support Al Qaeda in its jihad against Christians. No countries have helped empower Al Qaeda around the globe more than Saudi Arabia and the United States. My brothers died in Iraq so that we would give it to Al Qaeda while making Halliburton rich. Thankfully many Vets said that we will not allow the government to use us to invade Syria and fight alongside Al Qaeda. They thought we are stupid and forgot our comrades that died fighting them. Assad is a million times better than Obama and McCain’s Al Qaeda allies.

Leave a Comment