And now I've got to see The Hurt Locker. I've never liked war films much, still don't, especially when the horrors are just as visible on the nightly news. But this one must be good, so I'll go.
Truth be known, I was sure Avatar would go home with all the gold--after all, they've already got all the money. Cameron's other-worldly epic got all the ink long ago already. Celebs were genuflecting to it all night long at the Oscars last night. It was the champion of all the gnostics, of whom there always are many; thousands of fans are insanely passionate about finding a fare to Pandora, Avatar's beguiling world, at any cost whatsoever.
For the record, nobody's booking trips to Iraq, a place you can actually get to.
When the guy who did special effects for Avatar picked up his Oscar, he said something very sweet, I thought--something to this effect: "Just remember that this world is just as beautiful as anything we could have created." That was nice. And true. And boring.
But there were darn good reasons to root for Hurt Locker. After all, Kathryn Bigelow was in the running and could be--and was--the first woman to win Best Director. Plus, of course, there was a sexual politics storyline since Ms. Begelow is James Cameron's ex. Wait a minute--he's her ex. Don't know that it matters one way or another to her, but her win carried with it some sense of justice.
Maybe I hang around too much with students, but I feel somehow exonerated. I'm a realist. I liked Avatar, found it marvelously entertaining--but that's all. My students have--for the last decade or so, absolutely adored fantasy, reared as they were on Harry Potter and computer games. Makes sense they'd adore the far-fetched.
But me?--I'm glad Hurt Locker bested the Cameron cadillac because if you look at a globe, there actually is an Iraq. We've been there for years, lost plenty of sons and daughters, as have the Iraqis. What's more, we'll be dealing with that war and its after-effects for at least another generation or two, no matter who won yesterday's elections over there. Americans on both sides of the political aisles will be battling each other over that war's legitimacy until finally our great-grandchildren are writing the op-eds.
It's real. It's not always as beautiful as Avatar's tech guru suggested, but it's this world, and we're in it, and we're not about to leave any time soon. And this world has plenty of stories, enough for all of us to tell, to live through.
Fantasy's fine. I've got to see Alice in Wonderland, one of the most famous stories of all time.
But this morning, I'm happy. What won last night is what's real.
I feel younger already.