The only awards show I ever watch is Hollywood’s annual ego fest, the bestowing of the Oscars. For one thing, the shows are always funny even if the jokes aren’t. For another, I always bet on the results with my wife, and I always win, even though she sees four or five times as many movies as I do. The reason, I believe, is that, seeing as many films as she does, she tends to let her heart dictate her choices, whereas I base my selections strictly on the voters’ prejudices. As a result, out of 24 categories, I managed to get 15 right; she got six.
My system isn’t infallible, but it works more often than not. Of course you can’t always do anything but guess when it comes to things like animated short subjects and visual effects. But, for instance, Eddie (“Dream Girls”) Murphy was a heavy favorite to take home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, but I went with Alan Arkin. I based my guess on two things: Arkin is old and very well-liked, whereas Murphy is neither.
Although I hate to give away my secrets, when the voters like a low budget movie as much as the Academy members obviously liked “Little Miss Sunshine,” even going so far as to nominate it for Best Picture, you know that they’re not going to give it the big prize. Instead, they’ll compensate by giving it Oscars for, in this case, supporting actor and best original screenplay.
Some people felt that the closest thing to a sure thing was Helen Mirren. Seeing as how she had already copped the Golden Globe, the SAG award and England’s version of the Oscar, you could have safely bet your house that she was not going to go home a bride’s maid. But even she was a long-shot compared to “An Inconvenient Truth.” Anyone who thought that “Deliver Us From Evil,” “Iraq in Fragments,” “Jesus Camp” or “My Country, My Country,” was going to deprive Hollywood’s glitterati of the opportunity to give Al Gore a standing ovation must be the sort who believes in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
Some folks wonder if Hollywood would have been quite as giddy about sharing space with the Veep if the news about his mansion had broken a day or two earlier. For those of you who missed it, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research released a statement declaring that, according to the Nashville Electric Service, Gore’s 20-room, eight-bathroom, mansion devoured nearly 221,000 kWh last year. In one month alone in 2006, the Gores consumed almost 23,000 kWh, burning up more electricity in August than the typical American family uses in an entire year. My friend Pat Sajak attributes most of that to the little light in Al’s refrigerator.
What’s more, the Gores have increased their energy consumption in the year since his movie was released. So, apparently all that scary stuff about melting polar caps was strictly for public consumption.
It’s fortunate that the Gores aren’t having to wait for Al’s social security to kick in, for none of this comes cheap. Their average monthly electric bill is $1,359. Their natural gas bill runs them an additional $1,080. That’s about $30,000 a year, and that doesn’t take into account their other dwellings!
But lest you think any of these embarrassing facts would have had an adverse effect on the affection in which Hollywood holds Al Gore, you’re even a bigger sucker than my wife. I mean, let’s face it. If the Gores are plunking down $2,500-a-month to make sure that Tipper’s electric blanket doesn’t conk out, what do you think all those celebrity greenies are spending to keep their gargantuan homes and Olympic-sized swimming pools heated?
How many of those clucks hugging Al Gore at the Kodak Theater do you think fly commercial? I mean, don’t you find it the least bit odd that the person ahead of you in the security line at the airport taking off his shoes and unbuckling his belt, or, God forbid, having his hair gel confiscated, is never George Clooney or Leonardo DiCaprio?
I happen to live very near to the Van Nuys Airport. Commercial airlines do not use it. Instead, the heavy traffic is caused by private jets constantly flying in and out. Their passengers are more often than not movie actors and rock stars. Yes, those very same people who are always insisting that the rest of us walk to the supermarket, bicycle to work, and drive cars that run on cow poop and cabbage leaves.
Frankly, the only way that Al Gore’s piece of left-wing propaganda wouldn’t have won the Oscar this year is if Michael Moore had had a film titled, perhaps, “My Country, My Curse,” in competition.