DOES A dying Hollywood need a civil war today to hasten its erosion?" asks the veteran PR man Julian Myers.
The writers' strike reduced the annual funfest that is the Golden Globes to a dry press conference. It has cost the filmmaking industry approximately $100 million dollars. The L.A. economy depends heavily on the award season, with parties, jewels, dresses, caterers, florists, stylists, hairdressers, chauffeurs and hotels all hurting. Not to mention the advertising revenue lost by NBC. The writers seem to be dealing a blow that is perhaps even more severe than they anticipated or intended.
The important point is that these creators deserve better, much better, than they are being treated by their selfish, shortsighted, big-deal bosses ... but here's the slightly chilling addendum to all that.
If you go online and check out the comments of "just plain folks" reacting to the recent Globes cancellation - well, an overwhelming majority say they didn't miss the glamour and glitz even a little bit. "Boring ... predictable ... a bunch of egomaniacs congratulating each other ... badly written ... stupid patter."
The world turned
What's more, the cancellation did not knock the world off its axis. We woke up yesterday or we watched the press conference Sunday night and found out who the winners were and went our merry ways. The sentiment seems to be: "We did without one big awards show; we can do without another."
Maybe Americans are more concerned about who becomes president of the United States than about who is borrowing what jewelry from Harry Winston.
Maybe the country is at last into celebrity overload. Too much Britney all the time! Too many glossies, blogs, 24/7 attention and weeklies piling up that psycho-journalize and contradict reason.
I believe the proliferation of the reality shows, more than anything else, has made its overnight "stars" boring, coarsened the culture and dampened down opportunities for really creative artists to survive. (These things are not "real" anyway; they are semi-staged, heavily edited, made up and, to me, they resemble bear-baiting or some other elaborate torture mechanism.)
The Chinese once wished a cruel blessing on others: "May you live in interesting times." And we do. And it's kind of scary. But I am curious to see whether the writers' strike (richly deserved by big business, hardhearted Hollywood and New York) presages some tidal shift in the entertainment world.
It was "happening" at L.A.'s Chateau Marmont. Lunching in the garden were Orlando Bloom and Laura Linney. These two actors are both repped by the same management company and were talking about a possible movie project.
Departing, they ran into Felicity Huffman who was dining with friends. Laura introduced Felicity to Orlando; they chatted for five minutes and left.
As they walked away, the Desperate Housewife Golden Globe 2006 winner and the Emmy 2005 winner, remarked to her table, "Boy! Is he ever cute!" Then she mock fanned herself.
Well, we know Felicity has one of Hollywood's happiest marriages to the terrific William H. Macy, but still she ain't dead yet. She can still appreciate!