I was so proud of myself for skipping the Oscars that I turned it into a self-righteous, poorly spell-cheked, one-man movement. Apparently, the world did not listen. All morning, the whingers of the Internet have bickered about an unsurprisingly tasteless host, an unsurprisingly dull series of montages, and an evening of television that was all-around awful in a thoroughly unsurprising way. The Oscars were awful—who'dve thunk?
But no one is asking the important questions. The insane questions. The questions that don't need to be answered because they were too stupid to have been posed in the first place.
No one...but me.
Today I’m wondering if Argo might have been better off not winning Best Picture. Take away that honor, and the film remains an underdog—forever remembered as the little (big budget, star driven) movie that could. Argo was a fun movie, but calling it the best picture of 2012 only underlines. It’s been pointed out elsewhere that Argo is wildly inaccurate. God knows I don’t give a damn about historical accuracy, but even for those whose tastes run towards the swashbuckling, the last twenty minutes—when gritty tension explodes into cartoonishness—were too much for me.
The movie is remarkable not because it’s great, but because it’s well-made, clever and exciting—three things Hollywood does far too rarely these days. That’s nifty, but not transcendent. Put the weight of best picture on this flimsy little movie, and it falls right to pieces. Argo is a good movie, but if it’s the best of 2012, then Hollywood is in worse trouble than I realized.
(Let us take this moment to gaze upon the evening’s finest gif. Watch that for ten or fifteen minutes, and proceed to the next paragraph once your brain begins to function again.)
You can go read the rest of that harebrained rant over at Bullett. On Astor Place Riot, I'd like to talk a little about gifs. Specifically, this one:
It's pretty good, isn't it? You can't look away. It's strange, repetitive, endless—showing you something bizarre that you might not have noticed if you were watching it in full speed. It is, in short, everything a gif should be. And it's the first good gif I've seen in months.
Animated gifs have been around for so long that, when I was in high school they were considered passe. In the last couple of years the form has made a comeback, and with ubiquity comes laziness. After any major event, cesspits like Buzzfeed and supposedly worthwhile news outlets like the Guardian flood their front pages with crap like this, overloading our web browsers and dulling our capacity for rational thought.
Does anyone think a page of forty or fifty sluggishly-loading animated gifs is funny? Or are we being held hostage by traffic-hungry web editors who haven't had a good idea since 2009? An endlessly-repeating, half second video clip can be mesmerizing, even beautiful. Anything less is a waste of your bandwith.
With that, I give you the only two other gifs I've loled at in the last six months. For the sake of your browser's sanity, I'll link to them.
Also, holy hell—the Chrome browser spellcheck is okay with "loled." Civilization is dead, isn't it? Why didn't anybody warn me?