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Just another night at the Oscars: Combating Racism, Sexism, Government Surveillance and Xenophobia

Just another night at the Oscars: Combating Racism, Sexism, Government Surveillance and Xenophobia

Jokes about the industry’s prejudice against African Americans. Check.
Jokes about the industry’s prejudice against immigrants. Check.
Clarion calls for equal pay for women. Check.
Call-outs against government surveillance programs. Check.

And lest we forget that “The Lego Movie” hit musical-number “Everything is awesome” is actually about the dangers of conformity and compliance–though you wouldn’t know it from the dancing workmen and pixie-singers belting out the number.

And that’s the funny thing about the Academy Awards. As a die-hard leftist, they should make me happy. The Oscars have a history of serving as a platform for progressive actors standing on the stage and making pleas for such important causes as civil rights or environmental protection. When Patricia Arquette ended her speech with a thrilling and bold call for equal rights for women, I was thrilled and excited. But then a couple car and cellphone commercials later, and it quickly dawned on me how insignificant and superficial all that righteous progressive idealism was. 

Yes, a few more people will watch “CitizenFour” as a result of its Oscar win. And Patricia Arquette will trend on Twitter for another 24 hours. And Mexican-born filmmaker Alejandro Iñárritu’s career is set. But the liberal wave that swept our Twitter accounts and Facebook updates last night is already lost in a surge of anti-Obama-fueled pro-“American Sniper” outrage that is sure to persist long after Oscar night and into the next Presidential Election.

It’s easy to get swept into something as culturally sweeping as the Academy Awards, which I watched for the first time last night in a few years, but as has already been reportedly extensively, viewership dropped catastrophically. Like NPR and Rachel Maddow, it’s naval-gazing for the liberal left, and increasingly exists in its own bubble of glamour and self-congratulatory hooey. Honestly, I wish it wasn’t the case.

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