Saturday, February 23, 2013

Even Their Virtues Were Being Burned Away

Glum chat with my sister about the Oscars. Neither of us is feeling it. How will I crush and utterly defeat my little sister in our annual Oscar prediction battle under these pitiful circumstances? I never really enjoy the Oscars. I can't go to your "Oscar party." Watching the Oscars is something that should be done alone, a shameful duty, like pooping. Even Dr. Theresa, who PROMISED to stick by me "for better and for worse" goes in the other room at some (early) point. She usually ends up watching a Steven Seagal movie (for example) while I continue torturing myself. Sensible, I call her! Pre-Oscar depression is a serious disease that afflicts millions of idiots each year. But this is the first year in memory I almost don't feel like watching the Oscars at all, not even out of dull habit. Can I blame the Family Guy, who is hosting the show? I kind of want to. But then again, I don't "like" to see Billy Crystal scampering around and capering about and pulling funny faces like a sad old fool either. When I'm watching the Oscars I'm cringing all the time and looking away in keen embarrassment as they do their little skits and weep openly. I feel sorry for those millionaires! So am I anticipating the frustration I expect to feel when the Family Guy thinks he is making me cringe on purpose? And yet at heart he is nothing but a Billy Crystal. AND HE KNOWS IT! Maybe that's what bugs me: that he thinks "knowing it" makes it better. Is that what he thinks? I have no insights into the workings of his mind. Okay, I do feel pretty safe in saying that he secretly thinks things like this all the time while he looks in the mirror: "At heart I am just an old-fashioned song-and-dance man!" or some equally horrific thought. And maybe he will turn out to be the greatest Oscars host ever. Hmm. That puts me in mind of the revelation that concludes Flannery O'Connor's story "Revelation": Mrs. Turpin sees "a vast swinging bridge" leading to heaven "through a field of living fire," with "battalions of freaks and lunatics shouting and clapping and leaping like frogs" on it. And behind them, some respectable people are going to heaven too, "Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away." I think what Flannery O'Connor was trying to say is that the worst Oscar host ever and the best Oscar host ever WILL BE IDENTICAL. So is it the repressive desublimation getting me down? Do I want a host who is sincerely bad instead of "ironically" bad? Should I speak to a psychiatrist? Where am I?