It’s not that I disagree with the suggestions Variety offers: 1) Hire Jimmy Fallon to host, with a multi-year contract, 2) Get people who actually share the general public’s taste to vote, 3) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, MAKE IT SHORTER, 4) Throw in some Audience Participation, and 5) Give the Celebs their booze back. Any and all of those things would probably help. Especially #3.
It’s that you and I and everyone all know that none of them are going to happen.
The Academy Awards have been dull and self-indulgent my entire lifetime. This is known (it is known). It’s going to continue to be. The purpose of the Academy awards is precisely to be “an employee-of-the-year celebration that happens to be televised for the entire world.” It’s a market display. The longer it goes on, the more everyone there is satisfied with themselves. The rest of us suckers will just keep suffering.
In any case, you just set off a rage of blue-on-blue on Twitter. You just gave the progs something to be mad about that wasn’t Rudy Guiliani’s small act of lese-majeste. God bless you, you raging self-important dictator-snuggling wife-beating communist, you.
Which prompted the Internet (and especially Reddit) to lose its damn mind. Because, 12 days from yesterday is December 21st, the first day of Winter. The next book in the series is titled The Winds of Winter. Therefore, on that, day, he will announce that book’s release.
And while I would love for this to be true, I just can’t get my hopes up. Writing epic fantasy takes a long time. Doing a good job with it takes even longer. This isn’t some Dragonlance novel you can poop out in a few months; this is A Song of $(*&ing Ice and Fire. He’s got a million threads to weave together: Stannnis’s deathmarch, Jon Snow touching the void, Cersei’s trial by combat, Sam in Oldtown, Arya in Braavos, Sansa in the Vale, whatever the hell is going on with Brienne and Jaime and Lady Stoneheart, etc.
Oh, and Dany riding a dragon with a khalasar at her back.
First off: the slow intro, empty desert, sense of dread, reminiscent of There Will Be Blood. Dug it. The darkness sitting dormant.
Stormtroopers: Same but different. Questions abound: Are these Republic Stormtroopers? Some Imperial rump state? Is the guy who pops up in the desert a good guy pulling a Luke, or some poor stormtrooper who stumbles on to the source of all evil?
R2-Polie-Olie: Looked weird, in a cute way.
Girl on the Desert Speeder: I want to assume that this is Han & Leia’s daughter, based on what I know of the Expanded Universe. The speeder itself has a very Episode IV-Tatooine feel, without being an obvious knock-off of Luke’s T-16.
X-Wing Surfing: I want to assume that this is Luke’s son, based on what I know of the Expanded Universe. Or perhaps Wedge Antilles’ son. But for all I know, it’s someone else altogether. Still, cool effect.
Lightsaber with crossguard: I liked it. Sloppy, kinda goofy, but cool. The entire scene is menacing, but looking at the presumed Sith from behind makes me curious: is this a scene in which the good guys try to sneak up on Darth Whosis and fail? Is this Darth Whosis stalking a prey of some kind? I want to find out.
Millenium Falcon, now with obligatory J.J. Abrams lens flare: First time – Okay, pretty cool. All subsequent times – GREATEST THING EVER.
But that’s me. Warsies (what the Trekkies call SW fans) are now arguing over ever single aspect of this. For example, at the bottom of this Dorkly anthology of Force Awakens fan art (yes, already), somebody calls the Lightsaber-with-crossguard a “light claymore”. This creates an argument, because it’s a standard length-sword! This provokes a rehash of why a lightsaber with a crossguard is and is not totally impractical. Because magic swords have to make sense.
Also, did you know all Star Wars fans were racist? This is true because of a reddit thread in which people admitted to being confused by black stormtrooper, because obviously not a Jango Fett Clone. Cue arguments about whether the stormtroopers in the Original Trilogy were clones or not.
Also, rolling droid is totally the new Jar-Jar Binks. Totally.
The only hope from all this pissy slapfighting is that we go in with low expectations. Between the Prequels and Lucas being an obstinate troll about the Special Edition, we have become a bitter and jaded fandom, ever ready to pounce on minutiae as preparation for disappointment. If The Force Awakens is competent (and there’s no reason to suspect it won’t be), that might draw some of the poison out, so we can go back to the important things, like making fun of Trekkies.
The phenomenon of young women falling in love with death-row inmates, particularly with serial killers, is not new: Women flocked to Ted Bundy’s trial — his trial for raping, torturing, and murdering young women as a prelude to acts of necrophilia — and he received stacks of love letters and marriage proposals. Jeffrey Dahmer and Richard Ramirez got the same treatment, and Anders Behring Breivik might as well be the Beatles during their heyday. An investment banker may have a Ferrari, but the serial killer, the terrorist, and the mass murderer are at the top of the food chain. On the subject of Nazis, P. J. O’Rourke famously joked that “no one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal.” Like all good jokes, that is fundamentally true — even if the truth behind it horrifies the nice people at National Public Radio, who remain “bumfuzzled” that a rich and powerful woman would allow herself to be beaten bloody by a psychopathic meathead, repeatedly.
That all sounds thoughtful and probably true. Meanwhile, in nerd-world:
I cannot quite express it, but I feel as though there’s a similar dynamic at work. We Warsies (thanks Trekkies) could not stop complaining about Phantom Menace back in the day, any more than we could stop paying money to go see it. It was almost as though we enjoyed the abuse.
He switches from praise to insult without skipping a beat or changing tone.
Of course, this could only happen at the Clios because advertising execs are entirely comfortable with having the scorn of the chattering class with their dinner. They make illusions for others, and so have none. Whereas the earnest dorks at the Oscars, etc., would never stand for being told that they’re a bunch of lie-peddling whores.
Then again, maybe they would. I nominate Jennifer Lawrence for the job.