I overheard a conversation at an employee lounge where I was sitting to finish up some paperwork before setting off to my next job, related to the movie “La La Land.”
The thrust was that they really, really, enjoyed the soundtrack (done by Justin Hurwitz, who also did the score for the also jazz-centered Whiplash), but at first hadn’t “gotten” why so many people were so enthusiastic about the movie. Then they opined about how the music and tone were just sooo upbeat, and in these hard times, with such a bad year, with everyone so depressed and divided, they needed something to cheer them up.
Three points here. The least significant? The fact that she contradicts herself – if we’re “sooo divided” and it’s a bad year because of Trump/racism/sexism, etc., it stands to reason that not everyone is having a bad year, but logic is not a liberal strong suit when it comes to feelz.
Next – she lives in a bubble, and isn’t even willing to peek outside of it. Like all too many liberals I’ve seen around my parts they have, if anything, retreated further in. “Everyone” is having a bad year? I’m sure everyone she knows is depressed, etc. about this but one doesn’t have to look far to find happy Trump supporters, even with the way the #fakenews legacy media is editing the rally coverage. That, or she doesn’t really consider Trump supporters people, but again, this comes down to more feelz than actual facts.
Third – they still feel like they’re losing. Prager – who occasionally has useful videos on stuff but is otherwise useless and has all the spine of a soggy loaf of bread in standing up to the left – tried to tell the left that “Four Years Ago, Conservatives Were Just as Depressed”
Depressed? Yes. Pissed? Yes. I think it took less than one day before I shrugged my shoulders and told myself it was time to do something useful about it. The epic meltdowns of election night (Laci Green below being one of the meaner examples, but a lot of screaming and waterworks were to be found), the ongoing depression, the doubling down.
No. We may have been depressed and pissed, but not just as depressed, and certainly not as emotionally incontinent.
As a total aside: I had actually somewhat liked Whiplash. Even as the music teacher was abusive in how he pushed the main character to stretch himself, it was still a film centered on excellence, that mere talent is not enough, and the lengths one must go to to master their craft.
Insofar as Oscars, the only Oscar-bait I’d seen was Hell or High Water, by the same director as Sicario. Solid film but it won’t get best film because while it’s “occupy wall street” with bank robbers who’re also taking advantage of the oil companies, it’s also about white men, and the protagonist is doing everything he can to provide for his son, come “hell or high water.”
Not having seen them, I think La La Land will get best score, at least it’s catchy, and Hidden Figures will get best film. All the movies at that tier are competently edited and shot, but people who see it find it uplifting and inspirational, so it managed to do the messaging well, and even if it had not, it gets to check off the boxes for “women in STEM” and “blacks overcoming systemic oppression.”
My record on predicting Oscars by social justice checkboxes has been pretty good the last few years. I’d predicted Spotlight purely because I saw the self-congratulatory myth of the press as standing up to entrenched powers and its attacks on religion and the Catholic church specifically as a better fit for the mood of the time. Not only was I told I was crazy for “why” and “no it’s not an attack on the church”, but the person trying to dress me down later had the honesty to admit I was right on the latter after the director got up on stage and made his speech.