The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

22 February 2003

Green light at the Grammys

CBS Television has announced that they won't be pulling the plug if someone on stage at the Grammy Awards, as expected, launches into some sort of antiwar speech.

Set the Wayback machine to 3 April 1978 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles for the 50th Academy Awards. Vanessa Redgrave has just been handed the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Julia. She thanked the people you'd expect her to thank, and then suddenly launched into this:

"I think you should be very proud that in the last few weeks you've stood firm and you have refused to be intimidated by the threats of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums...whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world and to their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression."

Producer (and Academy president) Howard W. Koch groaned. Protesters burned Redgrave in effigy outside the theatre. The last word, though, was had by Paddy Chayefsky, who would present the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay to the (as always) absent Woody Allen for Annie Hall. (Cowriter Marshall Brickman would accept the statue.) But first, Chayefsky said this:

"I'm sick and tired of people exploiting the occasion of the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal political propaganda....A simple 'Thank you' would have sufficed."

The applause was deafening.

This Sunday, with CBS taking a hands-off approach, it seems almost certain there will be a rehash of Redgrave-ish rhetoric. The only question is whether there will also be someone as mad as hell who's not going to take this anymore.

Besides you or me, I mean.

Posted at 11:23 PM to Political Science Fiction


Ominous . . . what exactly do you mean by that?

Posted by: ms7168 at 3:30 AM on 23 February 2003

I think he means finding somebody tonight to say he/she's Mad As Hell And Isn't Going To Take It Anymore is about as likely a scenario as Bruce Springsteen pre-Grammy-bashing with Colin Powell.

Posted by: Vickie at 7:29 AM on 23 February 2003

The real fear here is that the standard Hollyweird sloganeering will go unchallenged by anyone else during the entire pageant, that there will be no Chayefsky to counter a stage full of Redgraves. It matters not a whit whether I agree with what's being spouted off; I object to awards shows being used for political purposes unless the awards are being given for something, well, political.

Of course, I haven't watched the Grammys since Bent Fabric won Best Rock and Roll Record for "Alley Cat" — and why isn't there a box set for him? They could call it Get Bent — and I can't think of any compelling reason to start now, unless I really need to witness a train wreck.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:38 AM on 23 February 2003

I'll find out all I need to know about it by reading blogs the next day.

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 3:46 PM on 23 February 2003

But Kevin...you would miss the heart-pounding euphoria that comes with live anti-war sentiment!

Posted by: Vickie at 4:06 PM on 23 February 2003

Euphoria? I thought that was nausea.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:30 PM on 23 February 2003

Nausea? More like anoxia. Hey, if I want to listen to a bunch of fraudulent wastes of oxygen I can always tune my radio to one of the 746 Atlanta-area radio stations that play their cat torture music.

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 7:30 AM on 24 February 2003

Chayefsky was a zionist who used his movie "Network" to propogate even more hatred against Arabs, accusing them of doing the very thing Jews could quite easily be accused of doing themselves. Vanessa Redgrave's comments were not at all out of the ordinary, she had encountered a lot of troubles for showing support for Palestine, although it is not so cool to show support for Arabs who had their land stolen as it is for Jews!! BY THE WAY--I'm not anti anything (Jew,Arab,American,Christian,Muslim....) Except for Zionist, I would maintain that any JUST and REASONABLE person knowing all the facts concerning Israel and it's inception would be Anti-Zionist, this includes many Jews ( who in fact were let back in to Jerusalem by the Arabs and the Prophet of Islam himself). The only rhetoric here is the garbage on this site and hundreds of thousands of other pseudo-intellectual sources like it. The only thing worse than no knowledge is a little knowledge, I cannot fight an ocean, if I did not believe in a Just Ruler I truly do not know what I would do.

Posted by: ll at 12:17 AM on 14 December 2003

Of late — say, the last 55 years or so — Arabs have had no trouble earning hatred on their own; they hardly needed the likes of Paddy Chayefsky to assist them.

But then, I'm violating my own rule of not feeding the trolls.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:32 AM on 14 December 2003