Sunday, February 22, 2009

reduce, reuse, recycle

BoldTwo of my goals for myself this year are (a) to recycle more and (b) to allow myself to relax more. So in the spirit of these two goals, on the night of the Oscars, I have recycled a post from last year at Oscar time.


Last Sunday night, as I sat watching the Oscars, I remembered a night long ago, when I was 12 or 13, staying up late and watching the "extra TV" in my brothers' room to see who would win at the Oscars. I remember being so tired, as it was getting very late. (the speeches were much longer back then) Still, I braved on to try to make it to the end. I was so very excited, thinking that the Academy Awards were so IMPORTANT! I had some weird idea that many years later, I would be in a conversation somewhere and I would remember that exact moment when I witnessed the naming of the Best Picture of the Year!

Of course, now I realize that the Oscars really aren't all that important. They are, in fact, a bit silly. As much as I LOVE movies, I think that the amount of time, effort, manpower, and money spent on a ceremony to hand out little gold statues in celebration of movies is a big waste. The fact that we broadcast this little ceremony all over the world is a bit ridiculous, too. Especially when all that anybody really remembers is who wore the ugliest dress.

I have, however, witnessed many moments on television that I will always remember; moments that really were "history in the making". I have witnessed amazing feats of athleticism that made me wonder at how others can push their bodies to that limit: Mary Lou Retton and all her gold medals; Johnny Mosely and his "big air"; Michael Jordan and his "big air" of a different sort; Rick and Dick Hoyt in their annual running of the Boston Marathon; and of course, that flying tomato guy. I have witnessed moments of happiness and sadness: the bookends of Lady Diana's wedding and Princess Diana's funeral. I have witnessed exciting moments that made me pace and fret and cheer and scream: the Red Sox winning the world series...twice! Then, I have witnessed moments that made me angry or confused or just plain disillusioned: Columbine High School; a low speed police chase with a White Bronco; little broken bodies being carried out of an Oklahoma City building. And I have witnessed moments that made me stare, transfixed at the TV screen with tears running down my face: 9/11 and its aftermath; the destruction of Baghdad broadcast for all of America to see; the devastation of a tsunami or class 5 hurricane.

Those moments, broadcast on that small TV screen were so much bigger than anything I've ever seen on the Big Screen. Moments like that affect you, change you. Moments like that sometimes are so big that they make you numb, or make you wish you had a way to make yourself numb. They often make you long for a time when you were more innocent, when world events were too far over your head to have any effect on you. A time when everything seemed bright and colorful and a movie set.

Ok, so maybe as I sat there watching the Oscars, I wasn't as "above it all" as I would like to think. Maybe I was secretly giddy about who would be honored for their amazing feats of making us believe in a world other than the one we live in. Maybe I've sat in a theater and laughed and cried and screamed and jumped out my seat, scared senseless. Maybe I actually think that movies are an IMPORTANT part of life. And maybe, just maybe, I was crossing my fingers and wishing for the next "J-Lo in the GREEN DRESS" moment to happen last Sunday.

'Cause THAT, I will always remember!!

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