Reprinted from Mike Malloy
... Political activism! Wasn't it refreshing to hear all the sincere political statements from the Academy members last night, Truthseekers? CitizenFour, the winner of "best documentary," chronicled Edward Snowden's whistle-blowing activity to the Guardian of the UK. John Legend and rapper "Common" gave a stirring acceptance speech about racial equality following their Best Song win for "Glory," the theme song from Selma.
Legend said, "We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the voting rights act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now...We live in the the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850."
Best Screenplay/Director/Picture speeches were delivered by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, for his innovative film "Birdman." Inarritu spoke of the dignity and respect that should be allotted to the current generation of immigrants, as was granted to the immigrants that built this nation.
The winner of Best Documentary Short Subject was "Crisis Hotline: Veteran's Press 1." Producer Dana Perry used the speech as an opportunity to open a serious national discussion of the crisis of veteran suicide.
One of the most moving moments came when first time best adapted screenplay nominee Graham Moore won for The Imitation Game, relating his own experiences as a gay man to the subject of the film, the brilliant mathematician Alan Turing, who endured criminal prosecution for his "immorality" in Great Britain despite having saved millions of lives in World War II by cracking the Nazi "enigma" code. Moore dedicated his winning moment for "that kid out there who feels like she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere" and urged everyone to "stay weird, stay different."
And Patricia Arquette's eloquent speech about wage equality, followed by Meryl Streep's standing ovation stamp of approval, marked another newsworthy moment of Oscar activism.
Watching the ceremony was inspiring. Impressive. Validating. But it also left me with a question -- where is the support for grassroots progressive movements among the illustrious Academy members? Many of these performers do practice what they preach in their private lives, but it would be gratifying, and powerful, if they dared to form a PAC or some organization that threw their considerable star power behind their important messages.
We often ask "where are the wealthy liberals?" when it comes to supporting progressive causes and organizations. They are out there, clearly. And we believe they are sincere when they are powered and perfumed at the podium, accepting their accolades. We live in such a superficial society, the reality is that it does matter when the glitterati embrace a cause. Cameras follow them. And Hollywood doesn't lack funding.
It could be a powerful blow to the Koch brothers and their minions if these enlightened producers, directors, writers, and celebrated actors worked together to battle the Neocon propaganda that dominated our corporate-controlled media.
That would be truly deserving of a golden statue.