James posted earlier today about Annie Proulx's scathing bitch-slapping of the Academy Awards. Say what you will about whether old Annie is full of sour grapes; she's always been full of what my grandmother would have admiringly called "piss and vinegar", and she is one of my personal heroes as a writer. James called her piece "scathing, coarse and wrathful" and I suppose it is all those things; more than that, however, Proulx is unflinchingly honest in revealing a side of the glittery, sparkling, Oscars that you won't see depicted on E! or anywhere else. She totally de-glamorizes Hollywood's most gratuitous event, rather like someone revealing that the elaborately decorated cake you can't wait to have a taste of is display-window dressing - nothing more than a cardboard box underneath.
The most revealing bit in Proulx's piece, however, was not her vitriolic attacks on Crash and the merit of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's acting skill - it was her description of protesters at the Oscars, "hordes of the righteous, some leaning forward like wind-bent grasses, the better to deliver their imprecations against gays and fags to the open windows of the limos". I read that line and my initial reaction was - huh?!? There were protesters at the Oscars - people yelling about "gays and fags", waving signs about? I watched every single moment of the Oscars, from red carpet to the E! after party coverage. The picture accompanying this piece is from the protests at the 2003 Oscars; I couldn't find any pictures of the protests this year. Nobody - nobody - reported on the presence of people protesting Brokeback Mountain.Which begs the question, why?