And the Envelope Please...

This Monday is the biggest single night in Hollywood, next to every August 12th when Robin Williams gets real liquored up and walks down Sunset Boulevard wearing a life preserver and singing The Beatles' classic: 'Hard Day's Night.' Of course I'm referring to the Academy Awards, or more commonly- the Oscars. As many people know, the Academy Awards are given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievement in filmmaking. Winners receive a statue called an Oscar, which is made of bronze and covered with gold plate. It stands ten inches high and weighs seven pounds. An interesting tidbit of information about the Academy Awards is that the Oscar was named, in 1931, by a lowly academy librarian who said it reminded her of her Uncle Oscar. So the highest award in the motion picture industry is named after some guy named Oscar who's only experience in movies involved a folding cot, a camcorder, his niece, who just happened to be a librarian at the academy, and something ten inches long that weighed seven pounds. Anyhow, the Academy Awards has a long history of having no creditability, as some of the consensus greatest movies of all time, like Citizen Kane, Big Top Pee-Wee, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, all have been snubbed on Oscar night. This year's Oscars, which is hosted by one of my least favorite people in show business- Whoopi Goldberg, should be as exciting as watching NYPD Blue star Dennis Franz read 'Casey at the Bat' in Spanish. I don't have any clue who's going to win, nor do I really care, but I do know that this year history will be made as the pigs who played Babe will take away Danny Devito's long-running stranglehold on the best performance by a bovine category.

As we are on the topic of the Oscars, I just wanted to discuss the fascination that Americans have with awards. It seem that nobody is intristically motivated anymore. People are driven solely by money, fame, recognition, and awards. Scientists care less about the million of people the cure for the disease they discovered would save, but about how much recognition they could get for finding this cure. If you are a good actor, you are a good actor, and you don't need some pompous academy to confirm that fact for you. I think the whole cycle starts at childhood when kids who play organized sports are bombarded with trophies to raise their 'self-esteem.' Whoever came up with the idea of giving kids awards just for participating in something should be shot. If a child isn't doing something because he wants to do something, then he shouldn't be doing it. Soon kids learn to view these plastic and wood trophies as personal phallic symbols to be proudly displayed and bragged about. And by the time they grow up, we have yet another generation of mice in the Skinner box, aimlessly pressing buttons hoping to get the pellet of food. I guess the only way anything can get done in this world, is if a really big trophy is given to the person who does it.

On to more important things, it seems that the long winter is finally over, and Spring is upon us. My nude ice sculpture of the late Massimo Troisi has finally melted, and the 15th Cavalry Division moved out of the snow fort in my backyard this past week. Spring means that love is in the air, along with dangerously high levels of pollen. Spring also means that baseball is back on TV. In fact Spring is the biggest season for televised sports, as on any given day you can click on the TV and watch baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, auto racing, bowling, or bass fishing. However that's the problem, too many people are home watching these sports than actually getting off the couch to participate in them. Anyhow, Spring has always been my favorite season since I am always much more happier when I have a tennis racket in my hand. Tennis is the only sport that perfectly mixes the beauty, grace, and intelligence of baseball, with the speed, power, and aggression of football or basketball. Tennis is art, and tennis is chaos. Tennis is order, and tennis is anarchy. Tennis a lot of things for a lot of people. If anybody can find anything in sports that compares to the beauty of Michael Chang chasing down an Agassi forehand, aside from a Mike Gminski jump-shot since he doesn't play anymore, please let me know. Also the coming of Spring means that only three more months and I end my twelve year tour de force of public education. It's been fun, but I'm ready to move on.

Talking about moving on, I think this is a good time to put a end to the Whack. So to conclude for this week, Uncle Oscar was a sick man, we need a putting-an-end-to-crime award, and give him two months and Michael Chang will be number one in the world.

Now for this week's special feature, the top ten award that Feff wishes he would win, but probably never will:

10. National League MVP
9. Oscar for best editing
8. Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
7. Outland Trophy
6. Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer
5. BWAA Bowler of the Year
4. Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
3. Butkus Award
2. Hobey Baker Award
1. Employee of the Month at McDonalds