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Bienvenidos and welcome to the blog of Manda Newlin, professional writer/copyeditor, amateur pop-culture quipper and perennial observer. I’m nuts about words, grammar, bookstores, foreign accents, DVR and iTunes. I enjoy one-on-one conversations, eavesdropping in coffee shops, learning other peoples’ life stories and discovering universal truths. Here’s what I know ….

Saturday, March 1, 2008


So many weeks of will-they-or-won’t-they tension, and when the two opposing forces finally come together … the magic quickly fizzles. I’m not talking about Sam and Diane or David and Maddie. (Woah! When did I get so old that I casually reference sitcoms from two freakin’ decades ago?!)

No, I’m talking about the Writers’ Guild of America and the 2008 Academy Awards. If you follow entertainment “news,” the big question leading up to last weekend was whether the writers’ strike would be settled in time to roll out the red carpet for ol' Oscar.

Fortunately, the strike was settled and writers got busy penning awkward quips for overprocessed presenters.

Unfortunately, not too many folks seemed to care. The awards show nabbed its lowest ratings ever, with about 20 percent fewer viewers than last year. In fact, in many markets that week more people followed “American Idol” than “the biggest night in show business.”

Which brings me to an observation …. Have you noticed the way “American Idol” has become a barometer of sorts to gauge the interest in or importance of a show or event? I have heard “More people voted for the next American Idol than they did for U.S. president!” and “More people tuned in to ‘American Idol’ than the State of the Union address!” and “More people watched ‘American Idol’ than washed their hands after using the restroom!” and so forth. (Google “more people watched American Idol than” and you’ll see what I mean!)

My point in all this is … well, I don’t really have one. But if I were to wager a guess, I’d say We the People are generally more entertained by optimistic novices on the rise than by self-congratulatory “super”stars.* Just a hunch ....
*George Clooney not included. (That one's for you, Karen!)

2 comments:

litebrite2 said...

Well, I guess I was one of the few who tuned in to the Oscars, if only for a few quick glimpses of my dearest George and his daughter--er, I mean girlfriend. The highlight for me, however, was the singer/songwriter duo that won for their song in "Once". For "Once" I actually saw the artsy film that won an Oscar and I get it. I love that they won and that they truly were in awe of the idea of being "picked." I'm not sure anyone else really cares about winning an Oscar. But they cared because someone noticed a nobody's art. It was a newer version of the Ben Afleck/Matt Damon dream. Fun.

donald said...
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