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January 25, 2012


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Thank you sir for the "Naughty" link. I needed a good laugh after being bummed over the death of Theo Angelopoulos.


I never understand those who expend effort on theorizing ways to 'improve' the Oscar ceremony. In almost 60 years of telecasts, has the show EVER been a tight, well-paced, consistently entertaining evening of television? No, and it never will be. Anyone for whom this is a problem should forgo the show and check the winners online at their leisure.

And OF COURSE the Motion Picture Academy should celebrate its history during its one annual shot at attracting millions of eyeballs. I would think that anyone who cares enough about movies to watch the Oscars wouldn't mind this. I guess I'm not taking into account those who only watch to star-gaze and see "who" everyone is wearing -- but surely the red carpet pre-show is enough for such folks?

Besides, half the fun of the Oscars is bitching about it afterward.


I stopped watching after the Academy launched its worst "improvement": having the below-the-line award winners give their speeches from a microphone in the aisle. Even though this only last one year, it so pissed me off that I haven't watched the show since then. Did I miss anything good?

Tom Block

Who wrote that "Naughty" piece?


Having followed the links, did Dan Kois really suggest a drinking game where one takes a shot every time Scorsese refers to his film as a "picture" during the Oscar telecast? Did Kois not realize that A) Scorsese is only nominated for 2 Oscars, B) he's likely to lose both Oscars to The Artist and C) this is about the lousiest idea for a drinking game ever?

Glenn Kenny

"Did Dan Kois really suggest a drinking game, [etc.]?"

Yes, he did. You'd think an editor might discourage such crimes against common sense, but in the best "the call is coming from inside the house" tradition, Kois IS the editor.


Wait Dan Kois is an editor for Slate now? Couldn't they find any other frat-boys?


Hi, Tom. My name's Jim Gabriel, and I'm the naughty one. I hope you were inquiring for purposes of praise. If not, that's cool, too. I am obviously not shy about dishing out kicks to the behind (and, er, other places) and am a big enough boy to take a couple myself.

Glenn - thanks for the too-kind link. I am, as you might have guessed, a longtime reader, but clearly not a close one; I've been so busy: a) trying to figure out a blog post of my own on Derek Jarman's BLUE - no mystery what made me want to revisit THAT; b) making nasty remarks on Twitter about - well, you know; and, c) spending WAY too long running through ZABRISKIE POINT (because I'm sure that *all* those stills from ZABRISKIE POINT) that I totally whiffed on noticing your post. I'm only half-kidding about the last one.

Anyone who took the time to read that piece will notice (or should I say NOTICE) that it veers to the hyperbolic, a tendency that I am embarrassed to say that I kind of share with its subject. Those who feel as I do will get a kick out of it. I would suggest, though, to anyone who loves the kind art that most readers of this site do but temperamentally shrink from the Too Much, Too Uncivil tone of discourse on all things Koisian that, really, behind all the bonhomie and chumminess of *his* tone, HE DOES NOT WISH YOU WELL. I won't judge people who shrink from a scrap, but any "critic" who routinely and reflexively pisses on many things I hold dear (his HUGO and SHAME commentaries are merely unibrow; his Jarman stuff was a disgrace) gets no quarter from me. Dan Kois is the up-and-coming Prince of Here and There; I'll deal in my own way with the prospect of him being the King of Everywhere. To quote David Cronenberg, another artist who is apparently not snappy enough for that crowd, "It has a philosophy, and that's what makes it dangerous."

Oh, dear, I did it again. Some people just can't be satisfied with "Thanks for the link"...


And, if I may, since I've been so long a lurker:

Tom Block: we seem to have a mutual thing for Polish poster art; the examples on your blog may cause me to hunt and gather until I can no longer afford shelter.

And, I gotta say, being linked next to the Siren gives me a zing that is only exceeded by the possibility that we may have been simultaneously typing the words, "Greer Garson." Perhaps the steady triumph of the ahistorical is not yet complete, and it's a pleasure to read those who don't and won't buy into it.

Dan Coyle

I feel very grateful I have never tried to read a Dan Kois review in full.


You *are* fortunate, Dan Coyle. It's like the gratitude one feels at not being silly enough to peer at the sun too long. Or being lucky enough that a black hole sucked up the sun before you were permanently blinded. Or something.

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