Monday, March 8, 2010

82nd Academy Awards Hell

Hey, Space Monkees.

Thanks to a dispute between Cablevision and W-ABC's parent company, the Black Empire of Disney, ABC was off throughout all of Sunday for me, and apparently a good section of New York City.  This meant that immediately I would have to scramble for an online solution, preferably legal, but what can you do?  If anything, I would like to be watching the Oscars in my comfy chair and the warm embrace of moral certitude, but it seems that they weren't going to let me do that.  So instead, I had to go fight tooth and nail to find a way to watch this important event, my hajj.

I started my search at 7:30, a good hour before the Oscars were to begin, giving me a nice long buffer before I missed the opening act.  Every "legal" solution was unfortunately unacceptable.  One livestream was being run by the AP, but all I was watching was this pretty yet grating woman annoy stars on the red carpet.  This is typically the part of the Oscars that I consider "miss-able".  Its like only being able to watch the Pre-game show at the Superbowl.  Its like you're going to your daughter's wedding, but you aren't allowed in the chapel.  Instead all you can do is hang outside and make small-talk with her friends whom, you have to admit, don't seem to like you very much.  Another livestream I found, this one on the Oscar website itself, was - and I am not joking here - just a camera set up in the lobby of the Kodak Theatre.  Now you're watching the security camera of the parking lot of your daughter's wedding, but how can you see her finally say "I do"??  Can you even call yourself a good father unless you break right through the stained glass and walk her down that isle, ABC's permission or not?

So I grabbed my battering ram and started looking for some less savory spots on Ustream.  I'll say it again, I didn't want to be in this situation or breaking any international copyright laws.  In fact, I didn't even want to be watching this on my computer in the first place.  I had to drag the good living room chairs into the computer room, and then all of us were huddled around the computer, trying to get the best view while they screamed at me for not using the magic of the Internet to get the Oscars.  It wasn't pleasant.  Even the best feed I found, the very best one, was horribly blurry, filled with lags, and would have ads popping up every so often.  Then Firefox crashed, so I had to do an emergency shift to Internet Explorer*.

At this point, I wasn't happy, but at least I hadn't missed anything.  Finally I was linked to a site which usually focused upon illegally streaming sports events to the Internet, which I felt would at least get me through the ceremony.  I was ready, I had my popcorn, and the show was about to start.  Things were going good.  And then...  Neil Patrick Harris started singing.  Oh my God, this is awful!  I went through Hell and back to dig up an Internet Oscar feed for this piece of crap!!  Neil, dude, I love you, but this was a terrible idea.  But then, at least, I could look forward to our real hosts, Steve Martin and Alac Baldwin.  Surely the show would pick up with them, right?  Oh no, forget that.  Their first few jokes crashed faster than the Iraqi air force circa 1991.  Now, and just for a moment, we began to seriously discuss leaving the computer and doing something else.  We eventually decided to stick with it, too much had been put into this project to simply abandon it after a painful opening.  Look, Steve Martin's jokes actually are funny all of a sudden, there may be hope.

The stream continued for nearly an hour and a half before suddenly crashing.  I don't know what happened, but the signal was cut off.  I think Disney's agents must have stormed the streamer's house and summarily executed him for treason.  Nobody double-crossed the Mouse Empire and escapes with their lives.  Now things were looking really bad.  Not only were the Oscars cut-off, but there was also a good chance the Mouse's agents were after me.  Or worse, the death squads of Cablevision.  They say that nobody ever escapes Cablevision's Ministry of Love... at least, you never escape with your free will.  I decided to try to find another stream.  An earlier one of incredibly low-quality was dead.  Another one I found ran smoothly for two minutes before getting suspicious of me.  It asked "are you a human?"  I would have just replied yes, and even given a genetic blood sample, but the site decided that the true test of humanity was to download some software - software so clearly malware it might as well be called "virus.exe".

I gave up hope at this point.  The other viewers had left, off to bed.  The battle was lost, so it seemed.  At the moment I was missing Kristen Stewart give out some minor technical award.  How could I live without the bored pasty face of Kristen Stewart at my Oscars??  I decided to start again from the very beginning:  Google News.  Perhaps some tech blog had some news about where I could find a fresh feed.  Then I found some very strange news:  Disney was letting ABC play on Cablevision once again.  I don't know when the channel returned, I had left the TV on ABC right up until several minutes after the Oscar broadcast, but they channel was never anything more than a white screen endlessly repeating Cablevision propaganda.  But when I tried the channel now, this time around 10:30, suddenly the broadcast was back!  I had gone through all this pain and suffering, this gigantic emotion roller coaster* just to find that it had all been a futile waste of time!  I could have been watching TV this entire time!!!!!


Apparently the broadcast had been restored sometime around 8:40, several moments after I had turned off the TV.  It was yet another humiliation; a final piratical joke committed by the arch villains Cablevision and Disney.  But at the very least I had my comfy chair.  And now the big awards were being given:

Best Supporting Actor:  Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds".  Children, let this be a lesson for you.  If you want to win an Oscar, make sure you play this year's badass villain.  Its a guaranteed win, apparently.

Best Supporting Actress:  Mo'Nique for "Precious:  Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb".

Best Leading Actress:  Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side".  Look, she was also the Worst Actress of 2009!  An Oscar and a Razzie, wow!  She's complex.

Best Leading Actor:  Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart".  I like your style.  The Dude abides.

Best Animated Feature:  "Up".  No surprise there.  "Coraline" still should have won.  One nominated movie in particular, "the Secret of Kells" caught me interest purely because I've never heard of it.  I definitely have to check this one out.  I love watching the Academy Awards and discovering some great movie I missed during the passed year.

Best Director:  Kathryn Bigalow for "The Hurt Locker".  Check it out, she beat her ex-husband, James Cameron!  And she has two Oscars - where he has none.  If I were her, I would tease his ass all night about it.  "Yo, Jim, check it out.  I can make my two Oscars kiss.  Can you do that?  Can you?  With your none??  HAHAHA!!  I'm the queen of the world, bitch!" 

Best Picture:  "The Hurt Locker".  No surprise there.  "Coraline" still should have won.

And then the show ended.  I mean, it just rushed right through and ended in rapid fire.  Tom Hanks didn't even list the Best Picture nominations, he just said the winner and left.  There's something to admire there.

* I absolutely hate Internet Explorer.  Using it was more unpleasant to me than watching TV on my computer.  Seriously.

** And not the good kind of roller coaster like Nitro or Millennium Force.  The bad kind.  The ones that you wait four hours for only for the ride to last thirty seconds.  You haven't felt pain until you've waited for Six Flag's Kingdaka that long.  Trust me.


  1. LMAO, nub. Oscars was fine...I don't think Katheryn Bigalow "Male Gigolo" deserved best director though. She deserved best picture, but James definately deserved best director. Christopher Loitz deserved his win...out of all of the scenes from Inglorious Ass-turds, only the first was good.

  2. Considering it was exactly a minute until Midnight when Tom Hanks went up on stage, I could see why they would want to have him just announce the winner to cut it short and make time for local news and Jimmy Kimmel live. I still think they shouldn't have doubled the amount of films up for best picture.

    And forget about NPH's singing abilities, what the hell was that horrible song he was singing? Most of it didn't even make sense. It was clearly some attempt at saying how awesome it was that there were two hosts this year, but come on!

    Also, The Secret of Kells caught my eye, too. Not only was it strange that I hadn't heard of an acclaimed animated movie, but it was from Ireland, which I'm sure would've caused my mom to buy it or at least tell me about it. A quick google search told me it hasn't even been released in the United States yet. Comes out next week, though whether in theaters or on DVD I do not know.

  3. I didn't watch it. I was too scare about the results. I like the Razzies more; it's the one award that I know I'll see Uwe Boll somewhere in the line up.

  4. LMAO, Bullock won Best Actress in Oscars, Worst in Razzies.

  5. most predictable oscars in a long while, everyone you expected to win did -.-