120-Under New Management

I missed the Oscars this year. I still don’t know who won or if any of the movies I have seen or enjoyed were similarly appreciated by the Academy. (Since I watch most of my movies by way of Netflix and thus have to wait until they come out on DVD, I may well have been too late anyway.) I don’t know what old, doddering, crippled, or terminally ill actor won the Lifetime Achievement award, which hooker-with-heart-of-gold took actress of the year, or whether Ellen Degeneres will ever work in this town again.

What I do know is what happened at the Grammys, since I just got finished watching them. We had recorded the show on our Tivo, so as to skip past the commercials, but after this experience, let me tell you that every awards show should be watched this way. I tend to squirm my way through most awards shows, making faces and wriggling in my seat as actors and musicians awkwardly fumble their way through teleprompter lines the have obviously never seen before, flubbing jokes and trying to talk over one another’s parts. It’s just painful.

Not so with Tivo! See, every Tivo has a 30 second button you can use to skip over offensive Viagra ads, calls to kill yourself with McDonald’s instead of Burger King, or embarrassing attempts by the likes of Don Henley to be comedic by being mean to a girl who was probably younger than his shoes. Tivo is a blessing to me. If you’re on the fence about getting one, listen to what I’m saying. Go to the store. Now.

As for the Grammys themselves, I was a little surprised to see the Dixie Chicks making a clean sweep by walking off with five little fake gramophones. They won Best Country Album, Best Country Performance (by a group), Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Record of the Year. Now I was a little confused by what the difference was between those last two, so I looked it up. Record of the Year awards the efforts of the Artists, Producers, Recording Engineers and/or Mixers. Album of the Year, on the other hand, awards the efforts of the Artists, Producers, Recording Engineers and/or Mixers, and Master Engineer, so it’s easy to see how those things are different.

I personally have long admired and enjoyed the Dixie Chicks, though I, like most people, really came to the group after Robin Macy and Laura Lynch left and Natalie Maines took over as lead. That’s pretty much when they stopped being a bluegrass band and added a more poppy country sound in. And of course it was Maines who made the now infamous crack at the President’s expense which led the girls to getting their albums pulled from the shelves of patriotic Wal-Marts all across the country. (Our clothing is made my Chinese prisoners and stocked by illegal Mexican immigrants, to provide the best price possible for honest, red-blooded Amuricans!) In retrospect I shouldn’t have been so surprised to see the Chicks do so well this year, though I wonder how well their album might have been received if Bush’s poll numbers weren’t in the low twenties. Ah well, I’m glad they won.

Smokey Robinson still looks creepy as hell. That guy has got “child molester” written all over him. Seriously, either the man is a mechanically animated zombie or he needs to dump his plastic surgeon, big time.

I was kind of shocked to discover myself enjoying Justin Timberlake. I had never heard anything he had done before, other than Nicole Sullivan’s hysterical send-ups on Mad TV. Don’t you know that the rest of the Backstreet Boys are pissed? I think there’d be standing room only for next year’s awards if they held a caged deathmatch between Justin and “Call Me Marky Mark and I’ll Kill You” Mark Wahlberg. They could give the Backstreet Boys and the Funky Bunch weird and obscure weapons to fight with, like those big nerf bats or really pointy shellfish. I bet that would make it onto YouTube!

Other observations along the way… The Police are still awesome and Stewart Copeland is still a spaz… Joan and Melissa are still irritating, but at least Joan can always fall back on funny… Stevie Wonder is polite enough to stand and applaud for things he can neither see nor hear just because everyone else is doing it too… Rappers have a computer program that picks their names for them similar to the “What’s Your Star Wars Name” web-gadget, except that instead of jamming parts of your name together with parts of your street address, it just abbreviates everything and adds a “T” to the end… Collectively, I have never seen more clothes on the Red Hot Chili Peppers… Not only does Mary J. Blige sing like a siren, she also reads really fast… Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse are apparently also commercial airline pilots… And Burt Bacharach seemed just a little too interested in “working” with Seal.

I think that’s about all there was, though it’s possible I may have missed something during the fast-forwards. If you sat through the whole thing and noticed something I didn’t, go get a Tivo. Seriously.

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