Zoom Free Zone

The 93d annual Academy Awards will be presented next Sunday, April 25.  ABC will carry them live at 5pm PST and at 8pm EST.  The main stage hub will be located at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, an architectural delight of Deco and Spanish design, long considered among the last of the great train stations.

Red carpet ready

Consider the decision to use this public transportation landmark as a gathering place for the world’s most popular awards show, one that could surely rival the old MGM’s claim of having more stars than there are in heaven– as an innovative coup.

For one thing, it’s NEVER been done before.  And, well, at this point I’m not sure there is much of anything any of us can say that about.

But for another, this year’s Oscar producers have categorically promised, sworn really, that this production will contain:

NO ZOOM CHATS.  AT ALL.

Live shot of me in my living room next Sunday

NOTHING on the small or big screen can categorically claim that these days as we enter the latest chapter in our more than year-long (and still counting) continuing TV series, entitled:

AS THE PANDEMIC TURNS….

It’s the program that consistently reminds you:

No one really knows for sure how close is too close, even if you’ve been vaccinated. 

What?

Thank god I look good in green

Yeah, sure if you’ve been jabbed you can get “close” to random people and be fairly sure you won’t get IT, or at least a bad case of IT.  But if you’re careless you still can’t be positive (Note: Or can you?) you won’t pick IT up and pass it on to your friends, your kid, other family members or even someone you randomly meet… somewhere ….and strike up a conversation with.

Not that many of us are back to doing much of that these days.  I don’t think.  Though, well, truly I can’t be sure.

What I can be sure of is that other than the fact that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on hold until they can sort out 6 or so blood clots it unwittingly induced among a handful of unlucky women, and the fact that those of us fortunate enough to receive Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations will now need a third booster jab no more than a year from out first vaccination date, the US is doing great!

It is, right?

That is, as long as you’re not a Black male within 1000, okay 10,000, feet of a police officer, or even someone who happens to care about what happens to Black males engaged in anything that could place them anywhere near the vicinity to any of the above.  That series, which truly has been going on since 1776, could very presciently be entitled:

REPARATIONS?  DUH!!!

Though, well, let’s see.

Because it might not be the type of four-quadrant series studios and production companies long for, despite how timely it might seem at this moment.   Meaning it likely would NOT appeal to the broadest possible audiences of all ages and economic classes the industry longs to attract given how polarized our country is at the moment.

No comment

A better choice might be chucking the topic all together and stay with something, um, safer….for the majority of us, that is. 

Given our national fascination with gun violence, which pretty much affects everyone now since you can not only get your head blown off at a school, a movie theatre, a supermarket and, as we’ve just learned a few days ago – even a nondescript FED EX facility.

you just know something that promised some blood and bullets and, well, MAIL would be a bigger draw.  The action. The letters left unopened or undelivered.  Who knows what could have been in them that remained unrevealed and unrealized before it was too late?

By the way, does this latest FedEx fiasco have anything to do with how screwed up the Trump Administration’s still lingering postmaster Louis DeJoy made the US postal service with all his slashing and burning of services?

Evergreen

Maybe not, but let’s blame him anyway because, well, it just feels right.  Doesn’t it???

It is for all of the above and more that I am truly, and greatly, looking forward to this year’s Oscars.  It’s why I’ve been blogging about it lately and why we’re devoting several of our new POD FROM A CHAIR podcasts to who will win and why, as well as why not.

Yes, we all need to pay attention to what’s going on in the world.  The shootings, the trials, the racism, the guns, the sickening lack of empathy the idiot who occupied the Oval Office fomented for four years before Joe Biden took office, not to mention the shots, the masks, and the vigilance we need to all employ in just about everything as we try to forge a new and better normal.

No more than ever, Moira.

Yet amid all that I would argue we also need to rely on the few constants we have left.  Pizza and chocolates are two.  The Academy Awards are a third.

Do NOT judge me.

NO JUDGEMENT

Aside from Union Station, this year there will also be cutaways to Oscar’s usual home, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, a place close to my heart because I could walk there from my own home if I so desired; which I do not.

Though needless to say, I wouldn’t get very far.  Those surrounding streets should start getting barricaded right about…well, now.  And when that happens there’s  more security and barricades than just about anywhere. 

Certainly, it’s much more secure than our Capitol Building in D.C. was on Jan. 6th.  The ONE thing Hollywood ALWAYS does better than everyone else is keeping people out who they have somehow decided en masse to never let in.

But let’s not get too political at this point (Note: Time’s up).

wink

Instead, here’s what you can look forward to in this last week leading up to the Oscars.

A NEW POD FROM A CHAIR on TUESDAY with a special guest star.  Someone who is a REAL LIVE MOTION PICTURE ACADEMY VOTER who will share with us WHO THEY VOTED FOR AND WHAT THEIR PREDICTIONS ARE FOR THIS YEAR’S OSCAR WINNERS.

Of course, the Chair and Holly will also weigh in.

This may not be the booster vaccine you were looking for but don’t even start saying something Oscar-related is meaningless.  Anything that can take your mind off of…anything for a few minutes right now, so you can reserve your rage for the big stuff, is worth its weight in sanity.

The Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

THE BEST OF THE WORST

Let’s agree not to say or write 2020 was the worst year we can remember because, well, we don’t know what’s coming next.

I mean, no one could have predicted this sh-t show, this confluence of events, this utter turd avalanche that hit the world, and the United States in particular, for the last 12 months.

Sure, some of it.  But…all of it???

You can’t primarily blame any one person, but here on my throne in Hollywood I do

so, privately, each day.  And I do so publicly once or twice a week when I go on his twitter page and simply type –

LOSER. YOU LOST!

It’s cheaper than renting this van!
(currently googling how much it would be to rent this van #2021)

My husband thinks it’s immature and silly but hey, it makes me feel productive AND a lot better, two things I haven’t experienced much of since, well, 2019.

Admittedly, I do it partly in the hopes that he might see it or someone else will who could tell him.  But I mostly do it because one of the few positive things I’ve learned in this horrifically awful past year is that if some small act that doesn’t involve drug taking or violence lightens your load then hey, why not?

Does that make me no better than a Karen or a Ken

I’m gonna need to talk to the manager

Well, that’s for others to judge.  Which, I’ve also learned in the last year, is inevitable.

Speaking of judgments, I will admit that in wanting to normalize 2020, i.e. not give it any MORE than the already underserved and very extra special attention it’s currently getting, I attempted to make a traditional best and worst list.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Everything bad couldn’t come close to the totality of the year itself, so why list any one of them individually?  Everything good was simply just that — good.  Not great, not list worthy and certainly nothing much to write home, or here, about.

Perhaps there should be a moratorium on lists and awards for anything to the end of time for this entire year? 

Can someone make that rule? 

Joe?  Kamala?

She’s on it. #MOREMAYA2021

Do we want to give anyone that much executive power ever again?

I gotta say once I get past all the virus, disease, death, mask wearing and hand sanitizing of it all, well, there isn’t a lot left except the nascent smell of alcohol permeating everything in my room or on my person. 

Certainly not enough to explore the issue of executive power with.

And if there were I left them in a recorded Zoom chat that has likely already been permanently deleted. 

2021 – Year of the Hammer

Though as we all now know, nothing is permanent and certainly not one bit of it is EVER permanently DELETED.

I will say binging all six seasons of Schitt’s Creek nicely filled up a dozen or more evenings in our house this year.   And learning I’m not that unlike David Rose, only THREE decades older, filled a few online therapy sessions.

I found my religion

There were also the Sarah Cooper videos lip synching to audio of that LOSER spouting off recommendations of bleach injections; Leslie Jones’ Twitter commentary on those opining on the state of the world due to the LOSER; and a barrage of so much cable news that I became obsessed with writing to MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, gay man to gay man, in an effort to get him to purchase a shirt, jacket and pair of pants that fit him right.  That’s how much I felt obligated, as a newfound friend, to tell him. The same for Pete Buttigieg.

Of course, Kornacki was just voted one of the sexiest guys alive (Note: People’s “Chartthrob’) and Pete is moving to D.C. to be in Biden’s cabinet so in the long run it’s probably a good thing I didn’t excel at follow through all during all this turmoil.

Leaving that to Chasten… for now

Though watching Ryan Murphy’s Netflix version of The Prom was a great big gay piece of bubble gum that gave me relief for about as long as, well, bubble gum lasts. I could also say the same for Disney’s Hamilton, David Fincher’s Mank (Note: Watch Amanda Seyfried steal the Glenn Close’s eighth chance at an Oscar this April!), every Christmas movie on Hallmark and Lifetime and all of the many offerings on Turner Classic Movies that temporarily kept me from going insane.

Except for the Westerns.  I hate the TCM (or any, really) Westerns. There, I said it. 

Way harsh Chairy!

Though I did enjoy Damien Chazelle’s dramatic musical limited series, The Eddy (Note: Somehow sorta gay) as well as The Queen’s Gambit (Note: Somehow VERY gay).  Thanks Netflix and don’t think I haven’t noticed your 2020 recommendations have now confirmed a sort of, VERY definite pattern.   

Though not a list.  Never a list.

Which brings me to the one thing I DO gravitate towards and couldn’t resist this year  — the 2020 f-k off videos.

This… exactly.

If there were a best of list to be rightfully made for this past road kill of an almost obsolete calendar it would be each and every one of them.

You might want to listen to this viral TikTok ditty from this all female group called Avenue Beat, literally entitled “Fuck 2020.”  This year being what it is, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that these three young childhood friends from Quincy, Ill., who have been singing together since they were 14 year old, have already been getting major nasty Internet blowback for all the attention they’re getting.  To which I reiterate their message of:

Though equally as good was the Toronto advertising agency, Public Inc., that produced the ultimate mental health PSA, #Eff2020.  It’s everything you’ve thought and/or screamed at your TV, or out loud in small, socially distanced groups when you were feeling especially feisty  – aka – All. The. Time.

That being said, perhaps we should close out the year on some small positive note of… hope? I’m not an especially spiritual soul except when it comes to the white witchery of Stevie Nicks. 

She released this haunting new song in October and no one told me. 

But, I found it anyway.

And if that’s not a road map for 2021, well…..

Stevie Nicks – “Show Them The Way”