Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bagging the Oscars

Photo taken by me at a fancy boutique where I did a fundraising event for work.

I hate the fucking Oscars.

(Go ahead. Call me a Grouch.  I've been called worse.)

It's not just the Oscars. I hate every other over-produced, over-exposed awards extravaganza of its kind. 

I can't remember the last time I watched any such awards show (that goes for the Grammys and all) so you can argue that I don't know of what I speak.  You'd be right, because the last time I actually HEARD of most of the movies, songs, and people being nominated was probably around the time that E.T. phoned home with a few awards.

It's just gotten so trivial and so ridiculous on so many levels, and the prime example of this is the "Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee" gift bag, said to be valued at $75,000. 

See, there apparently needs to be a consolation prize for those bruised egos of those who don't win tonight.  (The swag bags will be going to the 22 nominees, making the total worth of these trinkets a mere $1,650,000.00.)

In case you'd like to make your own Oscar gift bag, here's what $75,000 gets you:

  • StemSational Skin Regeneration Serum (made from honest-to-God adult stem cells)
  • Body Wrap Sheer Iridesscent fashion-forward shapewear
  • blu Cigs special edition electronic cigarettes
  • Cookies by Joey  (eat as many as you like, because you have your fashion-forward shapewear - and your adult stem cell skin serum - to solve any problems that result)
  • An all-inclusive stay at the Winvian Luxury Hotel (seriously, at first I misread that as "Minivan Luxury Hotel," which my former minivan certainly was, given the all-you-can-eat buffet portions of crumbs and fries on the floor of my Caravan)
  • fūl split-level Load Runner duffel
  • earthpawz pet safe + toxic free cleaning products
  • Total Indulgence Skin Trio by LaVigne Organic Skincare
  • Nulo natural & nutritious pet food
  • It’s a 10 Haircare, Chocolatines’ Chocouture Jewelry Box
  • BlacMéra couture tunics/earrings/neckties
  • Kiwaii True Spring Water
  • The Kim Kardashian Signature Watch Collection by The Brissmor Company
  • Huntley Drive Fitness personal training packages  (again, so you can eat all the Cookies by Joey that you'd like)
  • MILLIANNA python cuffs
  • complimentary services from The Salon by Maxime
  • Dreams by Neihulé Nail Polish
  • Slimware portion-control plates
  • J. Holly International featuring Mon Platin Natural Dead Sea Mud Pack
  • KimzHollywoodList.com Positive Only Celebrity News
  • XTI Active-Shield 360 and Nano Facemask
  • Leg Luxury hosiery
  • sugar-free low-carb Bonita’s Mixes
  • JulAir odor eliminator
  • R.A.T.S. Atelier men’s apparel
  • Kosanka anti-aging açai beverages
  • Virgin Galactic limited edition sub-orbital (what the fuck is a sub-orbital? It sounds like something that belongs to NASA)
  • Lalo Fitness, 1 month unlimited training sessions with Lalo Fuentes  (in case Huntley Drive is inconvenient or not to your liking)
  • 6-month unlimited Executive Membership to Circuit Works (you can go to Circuit Works after you're done with Lalo)
  • Nozin nasal products
  • Notebook and Persian medallion from Shokoufeh Malekkiani benefiting the United Nations World Food Programme in Iran
  • A $5,000 all-inclusive week-long fitness retreat from Live In Fitness Enterprise, Barradoro VIP Luxury Lifestyle Experience
  • Slimming Act body contouring cream from Dr. Jules Nabet
  • A $12,000 Belize getaway at Cayo Espanto – A Private Island
  • A $16,000 all-inclusive getaway to Huvafen Fushi luxury resort in the Maldives compliments of Premier Tours.

The "notebook and medallion" that reportedly benefits the United Nations World Food Programme in Iran is the item that galls me the most.  Really?  Really? Can someone tell me how the hell a fucking notebook and medallion helps to feed the world?

In the world in which we live, giving a $75,000 grab bag to celebrities who don't go home with an Oscar is beyond ridiculous.  Half a world away from where someone is being handed this gift bag, there's a woman or girl walking for miles, for 3 hours, in order to obtain water that will most likely make her and her family sick.  There are millions who need medical attention, education, food.

As we know, we don't have to look to other countries for problems - we've got enough of our own issues. Imagine what that $1,650,000.00 could do for communities and nonprofits right here.  (That's more than the budget of the nonprofit agency that I work for, which is a statewide organization.)

I don't begrudge the entertainment and marketing company their right to promote the tchotchkes in the bags or their use of celebrities to market them.  Everyone's got a right to make a living, and as long as they can sleep at night, that really shouldn't be my problem, right? And I know we're not really talking about real money here; we're playing with Monopoly money because the companies donate these vacations and these stem-cell serum lotions and these python cuffs (WTF?!) for free in hopes that some starlet is ... what, photographed on the arm of some Radio Disney ingenue with these things?

And I know some celebs often donate all this shit to charities, which then becomes a waste of someone's time to figure out how to get rid of this crap or eBaying it or whatever they do with such worthless junk.

Still, this shit makes me crazy.  It is the principle of the thing, that these things cost so much and lead to so much waste. 

At some point, when is enough really enough?

UPDATE, 2/28/2011, 11:30 AM:  One of the aforementioned companies actually contacted me this morning to talk about advertising on the blog via an affiliate program. I'm probably going to decline to work with them, but thought it was amusing nonetheless.  (However, if you don't see any posts for a few days, that might be a clue that the all-inclusive private island vacation people came calling. I've given my people carte blanche to talk to their people. :)


copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

10 comments:

unfinishedperson.com said...

I was feeling guilty about not being "cool" and not watching the Oscars. But not now. Thanks for putting it all in proper perspective.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

AMEN! The waste is ridiculous and the amount of money that is simply thrown away should be illegal. Celebrity is no excuse to not be good stewards of the resources available to us. What about future generations? What about preservation? Unforgivable.

Stephanie said...

I never watch any of the award shows...seems like it's the same movies winning every award with the actors/actresses from said movies winning their categories too. And I'm completely with you on the gift bags, it's ridiculous.

I also wanted to say thanks again for The Lovely Bones, it came in the mail yesterday so as soon as I finish my books from the library I'll be reading it :)

Cindy said...

Great post. I am not a big awards winner fan either and always thought it was crazy the gifts that the celebs (losers) got. Especially when I see the grand total of the bags given away. Shouldn't that money be used for something worth while?

But like you said I guess they have to make the losers feel special.

Caitie F said...

I have to disagree with you 100000%. i love award shows. i watch them all. I saw 6 out of the 10 nominees for best movie this year (and 3 of them were absolutely fantastic).

ANd I have no problem with the "gift" bags. Why is gift in quotes? Because they aren't really gifts. They are advertisements for high end products. Things that cost that much are not for the normal person, so they have to advertise in different ways and the award shows i the major way they do it. They give trips hoping the rich people will love it and tell all their friends to go. They give away products that we all think are extravagant hoping they will become industry standard.

Who are any of us to begrudge them for advertising in a way that I am sure is effective for them? And the "think of how much they could give to others" well that isn't what advertising is about. If you are going to say that about the bags, then why aren't you complaining about TV commercials that costs hundreds of thousands per 30 seconds during prime time TV? It is the same thing. Companies spend a TON of money on advertising all the time. These just do it in a different style

caitieflum said...

I have to disagree with you 100000%. i love award shows. i watch them all. I saw 6 out of the 10 nominees for best movie this year (and 3 of them were absolutely fantastic).

ANd I have no problem with the "gift" bags. Why is gift in quotes? Because they aren't really gifts. They are advertisements for high end products. Things that cost that much are not for the normal person, so they have to advertise in different ways and the award shows i the major way they do it. They give trips hoping the rich people will love it and tell all their friends to go. They give away products that we all think are extravagant hoping they will become industry standard.

Who are any of us to begrudge them for advertising in a way that I am sure is effective for them? And the "think of how much they could give to others" well that isn't what advertising is about. If you are going to say that about the bags, then why aren't you complaining about TV commercials that costs hundreds of thousands per 30 seconds during prime time TV? It is the same thing. Companies spend a TON of money on advertising all the time. These just do it in a different style

Melissa said...

I understand and respect your points, Caite. As someone who has brokered many a sponsorship partnership for work, I have some familiarity with how this form of advertising and marketing is done, and as I said in the post, I don't begrudge the companies for doing so. It's their right, their choice, and ultimately, not my money, so it really doesn't matter. The point I was trying to make was more to the issue of what the total hypothetical cost could have otherwise supported, that's all.

And I admit, I did check out the Oscar coverage in the paper this morning. :) Couldn't resist.

Elizabeth said...

Well, I thought my post about the Oscars was grumpy, but I do believe you've beaten me! Thank you for that!

On another note, I read something today and came over here to give you the link -- a bit of interesting bio on Colum McCann: http://www.elabs7.com/functions/message_view.html?mid=1193328&mlid=499&siteid=20130&uid=d9364a30af

Elisabeth said...

I am not an award show watcher either. It is too much overdone overdressed hype for me. I would much rather be reading. I also don't like reality shows, where is the real? More time to read!

Anonymous said...

well put Caitie F. Why doesn't she complain about the Super Bowl and the amount of money is costs to advertise during it? This writer is clueless and obviously knows nothing about marketing and advertising.