In Other Words

Oscars Are OK! Fair Needs Some Help  From A Sluggish Economy

HEAR WE ARE, BACK FROM A SPECTACULAR OSCAR NIGHT. Alice and me like to watch the whole affair from Red Carpet interviews an hour before to the Barbara Walters Special an hour afterward.
Whew! You take about a marathon! But we put in a good stock of chips and soft drinks, as well as a couple of sub sandwiches to eat at the halfway point.
This year’s affair marked a return to formality. Elegant dress as opposed to outrageous, mind bending get-ups.
Steve Martin, one of my all-time favorite comedians, and Alec Baldwin made a dynamic duo of hosts that kept things moving along through the whole three and a half hour affair. Martin is a skilled a professional when it comes to working an audience and Baldwin proved to be an even match for him. Hope and Crosby should have done so well.
Oh yes, there were the awards, of course.
The all-knowing Academy decided to spread them around a little this year, with no one movie dominating everything. At least it made it interesting down to the Best Picture award.
That brought out some politics that should have been deleted. This is an awards show for movies, not a political rally for the National Organization of Women. But presenter Barbara Striesand couldn’t resist turning it into just that.
Looking as frumpy as anyone could at the ceremonies, Streisand roundly cheered the winner of the Best Director Award – Kathryn Bigelow – without even mentioning her name. “the wait is over,” she bellowed into the microphone as if a cure for cancer had been found.
Seems Katie was the first woman director to win the award. I don’t suppose it had anything to do with her ability.
With that bit of partisanship out of the way – it should have been avoided entirely – the show came to a snappy conclusion. You’d almost think it was scripted the way Bigelow, Streisand and the rest of the girls came together. The orchestra even played “I Am Woman” as the gaggle of chicks left the stage. “Pul-lease!!
I had hoped the awards would be partisanship free. They almost made it too. Well, maybe next year.
Perhaps they could leave Streisand at home next year too. Or get her a new dress designer.
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON OVER HERE? Another Mid-Winter Fair came to a conclusion with the usual animal auctions and a few tribute bands.
They even had a jazz concert in memory of Jimmie Cannon. It was fitting for a man who devoted his life to music and teaching the refinements of it to several generations of students in El Centro.
He brought it to the people too, with the creation of the Imperial Valley Jazz Band. The Fair had the foresight to continue on with that tradition.
Unfortunately, it looked as though a lot of people had pulled in their belts when it came to the Fair. The crowds were small during the week, but strong on the weekends.
Whiskey Dawn put on an excellent country music show, but with only a handful of people in the audience. Which goes to show, you have to have a name act if you want to attract attention.
The Fair Board and other non profits were obviously hurting for money. And entertainment dollars were also hard to come by.
Let’s hope the economy gets turned around by the time the next Fair comes around. A few bright days would be welcome.
SPEAKING OF BRIGHT DAYS, we’re getting more than a little tired of rain that is so rare the rest of the year. February and now March are proving to be the area’s “rainy season.” At least we don’t get mud slides. At least not yet, anyway. That would be something to take pictures of a house sliding into a gully out in the middle of the desert. Let’s hope nobody’s home if it happens.
Don’t forget the Blue Angels are in town  for their annual show.  It’s an experience everyone should have more than once in their lifetime.