As this is written, Hollywood’s annual masturbation, the ‘Academy Awards’ is wafting in from another room. From news reports, it has evolved from 1950’s “fun” into per a headline today, the “Dullest Show on Earth.” We don’t profess to know and you may decide for yourself anyway. But we can’t avoid some thoughts …
We hear regularly now that Hollywood’s big-screen movie industry is moribund together with newspapers and broadcast television, all of which appear to be losing audience to the Internet. The average age of the remaining audience then, is rising. We note that advertisements accompanying these seem to be shifting toward older consumers than of yore, but that’s only our perception.
Supportive theory is provided by a work written nearly half a century ago: “The Peter Principle,” by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull. (Peter received all the publicity, so we assume Hull did most of the work.) The full book title was: “The Peter Principle or, Why Things Always Go Wrong.” It was a landmark analysis of human administration, right up there with: “Parkinson’s Law,” a classic analysis by C. Northcote Parkinson, Raffles Professor of History at the University of Malaysia at the time.
Conceptually, it was observed that in human organizations, people are inevitably promoted to their “level of incompetence” and remained there. This guarantees generally, management by incompetents. A less-discussed corollary was derived: That at the point that an enterprise can and does build a magnificent structure to house its headquarters, the result will be a mausoleum for a stultifying enterprise. The Peter Principle will have had so long to work, that recovery, barring unpredictable cataclysm, is hopeless.
Today’s Academy Awards in Hollywood bring this to mind. Replacing sprightly past dialogues, today’s overly politicized propaganda presenters, (even after ‘correcting’ the situation) remind of knee-jerk Marxists who actually don’t understand what they are selling. It is, in the new moral dispensation, difficult to detect much but the skirts of the ‘gorgeous’ gowns; the often unshaven men seem dressed for physical labor as often as for a public ceremony. One is grateful that it is still impossible to smell them over the Internet.
The movies deemed in need of awards seem more political statements of current Lefty pieties than entertainment and any art involved is well camouflaged. Exceptions that occur tend to be technical marvels, often enough so spectacular to see that any actual dialogue, let alone acting, is largely superfluous. And production of these efforts costs amounts now approaching the national budget of some countries. In spite of this, when in search of music, dance or worthwhile, thoughtful dialogue, we hie ourselves to You Tube. We suspect that Hollywood and its Academy have evolved to the peak of the Peter Principle. R.I.P.
Mind you, we don’t object to admiring the actress in view while our spouse admires the mostly decorative clothing …even in the knowledge that ingenious use of silicones is likely confounding the eye. The Illusion is all, in human affairs, isn’t it?