Scott Hardie | March 19, 2003
I'm sure I'll have things to say about the show and my contest come Monday, but I want to start this topic early with something. I'm getting increasingly annoyed by speculation that the show will be postponed, or interrupted by news coverage, because of the launch of war. I don't object to the idea of putting the war first, of course, but I do object to the way it's being done.

Yesterday they announced that there won't be the usual red carpet procession before the show, because all the major stars have said they won't participate. I'd normally rejoice since that part bores the shit out of me, but the producers neglected to say whether this meant the awards presentation would still begin at 5:30 CST, or if it would be moved up to 5:00 to accomodate. I'm one of many people across the country planning a party around this, and it would be nice if I didn't have to assume.

Also, what's with ABC News interrupting the show for war coverage? This is the second-most watched annual broadcast after the Super Bowl, so obviously tens of millions of Americans want to see it. Those who want news coverage can turn to NBC, CBS, and Fox, not to mention the cable news channels. If ABC doesn't switch to some war coverage, there will be people complaining that they have poor taste, so I hereby raise my meager voice to complain to the contrary, that they should stick with the Oscars for three goddamn hours. It will be four in the morning in Iraq at that point, though I guess that doesn't matter much. Can't ABC just put a silent news ticker at the bottom of the screen?

Matthew Preston | March 20, 2003
Let's hope the news craze of the war is past by the time the Oscar's are on. Hell, it's even a possiblity that most of the war is over by then! If the Oscar's are cancelled because of the war, I might just change my views about war.... okay probably not, but if Football and the Oscars were cancelled in one year, I'd become an anti-war protestor!

Scott Hardie | March 20, 2003
I read that Gil Cates, producer of the Oscars telecast, said he "worked out a deal" with ABC News executives. I don't know what the hell that means. If that means that the show will stop sometimes so that ABC News can make little two-minute updates, fine, good. If it means that the show will go on normally but ABC News will preempt the telecast whenever it wants and Cates can eat it, I guess that's not as good.

Scott Hardie | March 23, 2003
I love this day. For a person like me who is way too into movies, it's a kind of culmination, like the Super Bowl to football fans. It's the one day every year when everybody with any interest in movies, large or small, takes notice. I don't care about the fashion, or the so-called glitz and glamour, or about the celebrities. I care about showcasing the generally accepted best movies of the year, which hopefully leads to more people seeing them. And I don't really care that it means celebrating something while we're at war: Even the soldiers have said they're going to watch.

After going to unofficial Oscar parties the last two years (thank you Anna and Jackie!), I decided the time had come to host my own. I'm having some friends over tonight, though not as many as I would like, and I do have some things planned, but not as much as I would like. First is a five-part meal:
appetizer: orc meat (beef jerky) and elvish waybread (melba toast), for "The Lord of the Rings"salad: New York egg salad, for "Gangs of New York"entree: Chicago-style hot dogs, for "Chicago"side dish: sweet noodle kugel, for "The Pianist"dessert: chocolate birthday cake, for "The Hours"

After dinner, I'll make sure they enter my online contest (that's really why I extended the deadline to 8pm), then we'll play a little trivia game for twenty minutes or so. Last comes the actual awards ceremony, which of course is two-thirds the total time of the party. I programmed my contest in PHP for the first time this year, and since each award now takes about two seconds for me to calculate instead of several minutes, I can update the contest results live during the broadcast; I've even got my computer set up in the living room to do so. If you want to see how you're doing during the show or afterwards, just visit the site for live scores. I'll be on ICQ and AIM the whole time if you want to chat, though I may be slow to answer. Have a good time watching the show, and go see those five Best Picture nominees while they're still in theaters!

Scott Hardie | March 23, 2003
And if you want some last minute advice: I have strong hunches that "Road to Perdition" will win Best Cinematography, "Talk to Her" will win Best Original Screenplay, and "Winged Migration" (or possibly "Spellbound") will win Best Documentary. I predicted differently in the contest for strategic reasons, trying to outscore the other players, but that's what I really think.

Jackie Mason | March 24, 2003
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Scott Hardie | March 24, 2003
Fuck this. None of the categories in which I used strategy paid off; in several of them, I would have won had I gone with my real expectation. Ah well, I can't complain, I did well. This was a lot of fun. Thanks to the people who played.

Jackie Mason | March 24, 2003
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Matthew Preston | March 25, 2003
That's totally Michael Moore though. Having an audience of several hundred million people was just too much for him to remain content. I agree with you Jackie that he did make his colleagues look terrible. In fact, he invited more people up with him than probably deserved to be on stage. If I were on his team, I'd be pissed he did that.... unless of course he warned me first. Then I just wouldn't go up on stage.

There were a few commercials for the company that I work for, in fact for the division I work for too. But learning from past situations, I won't share with you whom it is I work for. It was just neat to see them as I haven't any before in my neck of the woods.

Scott Hardie | March 25, 2003
I agree about Michael Moore. There's a different time and a different place for the message he wanted to deliver. I can't tell if he made the rest of the pro-peace attendees look bad by association, or good by contrast. But, on the other hand, I bet half the people who voted for him did so just to see what he'd say on stage. :-)

Jackie Mason | March 25, 2003
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Scott Hardie | March 25, 2003
Well maybe if someone had her email being forwarded to an address she actually checks, she would know that she won. :-P Scroll down on this page to see the winners list. Your prize has already been ordered, but it can't be shipped until May 1st, so I sent it to your home address.

Jackie Mason | March 26, 2003
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