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David Poland

By David Poland

A Shout Out…

To TJ Simers… who has long been one of the few reasons to pick up the LA Times… for naming names and speaking his truth.
And Ken Turan… for speaking his truth, even if he smeared the internet and not the real source of ugliness in his own yard.
And to the LA Times readers… a committed group… who spoke their own truth this morning.
Beyond my own smugness, the interesting lesson here should be that people looking to find problems have become really good at finding problems. But thinking beyond the immediate moment to the bigger picture… to the longer term picture… and not just trying to ride the internet snark train… is harder and requires some getting used to. Saying whatever you think when you think it is okay for civilians. But it is not okay for professional writers who have readers. We have a responsibility. Every one of us, online or off. And perspective is part of that responsibility.
Unfortunately, the result of this push back against a guy like Patrick is likely to be him trying to rationalize why he was right and others were wrong for years to come, with films and actors and whomever he associates with the smack back to pay the price of his futuresnark.

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23 Responses to “A Shout Out…”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    I just hope that AMPAS ignores the snarky Internet-age posers who carp In. Capital. Letters and instead pay attention to viewing audience who it appears gave this particular show a big thumbs up. Or is that Big. Thumbs. Up?
    Television Without Pity and Gawker are not friends to the profession of TV criticism.

  2. RP says:

    DP, I read the Simers column this morning — as always — and thought it was pretty funny, but don’t you think he was writing pretty much (if not completely) tongue-in-cheek?
    Essentially lampooning his own reader mail and response of athletes that he covers who consider him to be “negative”?
    He definitely throws a curveball once in a while and writes completely straight and from the heart, but I think there was a little bit more winking going on here than you’re noticing. 🙂
    That said, count me as a fan of most of the show, notwithstanding a few elements (the musical numbers and the poor direction of the In Memoriam being the biggest of the “notwithstandings”).

  3. Triple Option says:

    RP, Totally! I guess you saved me the trouble of writing that same exact post.

  4. Tofu says:

    Simers is writing tongue-in-cheek, but to those on his turf, not about his readers. He wants to rock the boat, not turn it over.

  5. BrandonS says:

    David, I’m a little troubled by the fact that you think that just because the McNamara and Goldstein reviews were negative, they didn’t have any perspective. Mary McNamara is TV critic. She watched a TV show. She thought it was (for the most part) poorly hosted, written and produced. She wrote a review to that effect. How is that anything other than doing her job?
    And if T.J. Simers wasn’t being tongue-in-cheek, he’s awfully hypocritical. Here are the lead paragraphs from his two columns prior to the Oscarcast one (linked on the website’s sidebar):
    Feb. 22: “I know dogs, so I stopped by to see Baron Davis.
    The Clippers have built a very nice kennel, including a combination wood/glass trophy case for their so-called show dogs, which, almost needless to say, sits empty.”
    Feb. 18: “I’m hoping Manny is spending this extra time, while waiting to sign with the Dodgers, working on his pitching.
    Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told us back in early December the team was going to take it slow in free agency, wait for bargains in spring training and then again at the trading deadline.
    But I had no idea the plan was to make the team appear worse than last year’s outfit.”
    Lack of perspective indeed, David. I know you’re no Patrick Goldstein fan, but one dissenting column doesn’t make him or Mary McNamara any more wrong about the show than you or Ken Turan are. It’s a review. And one that many of us agree with.

  6. Gus Petch says:

    From Turan’s backlash piece:

    If you love film, you love actors, and the notion of having five former winners present in each of the four acting categories was hard to resist.

    Clarify “love” with “are obsessed with” in the above, and I think he’s right. And therein lies the problem. The five-former-winners-give-speeches format is aimed only at people who are totally obsessed with movies and movie stars.

    If you’re making a show for people whose lives revolve around movies, you trot out the greatest names in the industry (like those noted artistic giants Cuba Gooding Jr., Goldie Hawn, and Nicole Kidman) and have them fawn all over each other.

    If, on the other hand, you want your show to appeal to people who merely enjoy movies, you skip the nauseating worshipful speeches and instead show the good parts of movies.

    (Aside from this stupid presentation format, I don’t have much of a problem with this year’s show.)

  7. djiggs says:

    I love this piece…it is a microcosm of David’s blog. Chastise others for being snarky, not being responsible, or not looking at the big picture. Just a week or so after having a blog entry with a silly rhyme about “Dr. Manhattan” big blue wang, the latest example of David looking at the big picture when it come to “Watchmen”.

  8. djiggs says:

    By the way, this Oscar show was not the best of the modern era. It was actually the 75th annual Oscars during the 2003 invasion of Iraq with infamous Michael Moore speech, Eminmen winning for Best Song, Miyazaki winning for Best Animated Film “Spirited Away”, Conrad L. Hall winning posthumously for cinematography for “Road to Perdition, “The Pianist” getting 3 big awards at the end of ceremony (actor, writing, Polanski for directing), Adrien Brody’s kiss of Halle Berry, Steve Martin’s perfect hosting along with his Teamster quote after Moore won, the gathering of past Oscar winners from the previous 75 years, good musical performances, a show that moved without ridiculous dance numbers, and a show that had grace, dignity & humility. The 75th Oscar show kicked this 81st Oscar show on its ass.
    It is just like when people ask what is greatest Super Bowl…they will always think about the most recent ones…Pittsburgh vs Arizona, Giants vs. Patriots, Patriots vs. Panthers, Patriots vs. Rams, Rams vs. Titans, and Broncos vs. Packers. They always forget the game that was basically perfect…where the game came down to the team that made final mistake…Super Bowl 25: Giants vs. Bills and Scott Norwood wide right. Two teams playing their wildly different styles of football and the game score is decided by one point. Both Super Bowl XXV (1991 Gulf War) and 75th Oscars had to go on when they were not the main story…because the wars that the USA was in. Maybe that is the key for both events…they provide a respite from our troubled world outside and did not take each other to seriously.

  9. Wrecktum says:

    Yes, the 2003 Oscars was more action packed, but the 2008 ceremony was sweeter.

  10. LexG says:

    Ken Turan blows.

  11. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    TwoP may be a lot of things, but is a place where people who love TV. REVIEW TV! There’s some capital letters for you Wrec.
    Again: The 2000 ceremony was the best Oscars of any age. Nothing beats it. You cannot go against the KEYS. It’s like always betting on black or something.
    Dj: You should also not forget that David’s response, represents how he reacts to anything he loves receiving criticism. I have received all sorts of condemnation from people like K. Who state I act the way I do because of someone disagrees with me, and that makes me a bad man. What does that make David Poland? Who happens to act the same way, but has more power to act that way.
    I hate to break it to the fans of this show, but this may be a one time thing. This show played to core audiences and not many more. So I doubt the Academy will go down this road. Unless they have accepted they are no longer relevant, only parts of the populous enjoy this show, and they completely cease to care about the movie-going public all together. Hold on: THEY HAVE STOPPED CARING ABOUT THE MOVIE-GOING PUBLIC! Well, darn, that’s the road they may go down. If they decide to do this again.

  12. Triple Option says:

    djiggs, good recaps. I thought you would’ve gone all the way back to SB XIII Cowboys-Steelers. I just remember Giants-Bills being a lot of inside hand offs to Thomas, Anderson and Meggett and maybe Hos with a few quick outs and dish off passes BUT I see the point you’re making about the escapism the those events provided.

  13. LexG says:

    TWoP is a fucking scumpit of bitter, angry (probably overweight) chip-on-their-shoulder women and the “snarky” gay men who love them. Any dude who spends more than five minutes on that site should have his fucking Man Card revoked but right quick.
    Since THEY BAN YOU for even mentioning “the boards on the boards,” no one’s allowed to even acknowledge the site’s obvious biases, which are immediately apparent from the scarily femi-fascistic groupthink posts and insufferable “private slang” everyone there has adopted. I was once banned for liking Paris Hilton. Or maybe that was on their former sister site, FameTracker.
    All attractive women (both the actresses and the characters they play) are sluts and whores to be hated, all hetero men are evil and to be feared, fat chicks rule, and EVERYONE is secretly gay. There, I just saved you the trouble of reading their recap of EVERY SHOW EVER.
    All that sucks because the site’s so intensive it WOULD be a cool place to discuss tv for people who love it, but the agenda there is so all-smothering and their moderators are the biggest tools and sour hens on the planet.

  14. David Poland says:

    djiggs… if you can’t understand that “Who’s Afraid Of The Big Blue Cock” is utter silliness, that the piece detailing some of the challenges the film is facing is a different thing altogether, and that what I think of the film will be yet another completely different thing, then you have no perspective, big picture or small.
    And BrandonS… there is a difference between writing a negative review and sharpening your blade and trying to deliver a takedown. Believe me, I know that difference. And what Mary and Patrick wrote was neither smart nor insightful. It was bitter, underconsidered, and simplistic. And a review that was “I loved every second” would be that as well, though not as emblematic of the fabric of journalism on its way down.
    If you hate something, you hate something

  15. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    TJ rocked some unprofessionalism a week ago. So, really, everyone should be more professional. Right?

  16. Gus, The Oscars have always been about seeing as many celebrities together in one spot as you ever possibly could, which is why the presenters option worked. You don’t get to see the likes of Loren, MacLaine, Kidman and Berry together. Nor do you see DeNiro, Kline and so on.
    And, since we’ve already established that nobody wants to see the movies nominated why show barely 20-second out of context clips? I loved the clips too… if I’ve seen the movie. But 20 seconds of watching Melissa Leo look forelorn wouldn’t make me any more deperate to see the movie. A movie, which is my favourite of 2008.
    And, lest we forget that more people saw Nicole Kidman’s “flop” last year than saw Angelina Jolie’s Oscar-nominated performance. And I say that as a true die hard Kidman fan so i admit my bias, but it’s true.

  17. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    K: the Academy should want people to get interested in these movies. They should think about putting a special on (ABC if they will give up an hour in the month between noms and awards), that lets filmmakers involved sell their films to the American people. It would be the Oscars equivalent of that Grammy’s concert they had this year.
    The Academy should be more proactive in selling the films they deem to be the FIVE BEST. Which would be a better stance then there current one of “THESE ARE THE FIVE BEST FILMS! ACCEPT IT! ACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCEPPPPPPPPT IT!”

  18. Gus Petch says:

    “You don’t get to see the likes of Loren, MacLaine, Kidman and Berry together.”

    Well, you could at least see Kidman and Loren. It looks like they visit the same plastic surgeon.

  19. Toby Kwimper says:

    If you really believe that TJ Simers was being serious, you don’t read enough TJ Simers. The entire column was nothing but a parody of what people say about his own writing. There wasn’t a sincere line in the whole piece.

  20. Direwolf says:

    Not limiting this argument or DP’s post solely to the Oscars, I think it raises a good point. Our society, particularly our media, seems to only want to tear things down. I think the Wall Street reaction to anything offered by the Obama Administration is a good example. I am not being political. I do think that the desire to tear things down hurts out world.

  21. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    Dire: Wall Street have had 8 years of — for lack of better phrasing — free blowjobs. They got richer, we got poorer, and now they are scared to come back to earth. There are few things that makes me happier than a president who wants to take on BIG BUSINESS. It leaves me wanting to type; “BRING IT DOWN! BRING IT ALL DOWN!” It’s course correction time people!
    This Oscar show though, did not knock it out of the park. Some people like it, some people dislike it, but the nomination thing could become a staple. The rest should go, and they should bring back keys.
    The nomination thing would be really cool without the freakin weird speeches, and anytime they can bring Kevin Klien out of the house. I’m a happy man.

  22. What keys? What was so vital to the show before that isn’t there now?

  23. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    MC KEYS aka PETER COYOTE. Who hosted the best Oscar broadcast in the last 20 or so years.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

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