Writers are whores. We love assembling random letters of the alphabet into words, phrases, sentences, and articles, and will happily do almost anything (except sell our integrity) that allows us to ply our trade. That's how I ended up on a Caribbean cruise last week, happily working away as the waves crashed outside and the sun shone brightly on miles of publicly exposed flesh that, in a better world, would only have been revealed in private to a loved one. Travel tip: to keep from overeating on a cruise, simply stroll by the pool before lunch and take a close look at all the out-of-shape bodies. Yuck! I immediately started exercising ...

Movie choices were slim on board. I brought a few DVDs to watch on my laptop computer, and watched a little TV. (It may be a 500-channel universe, but only a handful are evidently available at sea. And did you know that TCM Latin America shows old TV shows with commercials in addition to classic movies?) Yet the eager, if not quite ready for Vegas, live entertainment shows and, especially, the bars consistently lured me out of my cabin.

It's hard not to feel like an over-privileged colonialist when you see how hard cruise ship personnel work. They sign up for months at a time and have very little "free time," which means, for our purposes, that they fall very far behind current theatrical releases. To my mind, that makes them perfect representations of the world at large which will be tuning in for the Oscar telecast with zero advance knowledge of any of the nominees.
categories Oscars, Awards, Cinematical