Mar 8, 2024

Quibbles & Bits: Of Academy Awards and Prize Pigs

I’d thank the little people—but Snow White has hidden them

By Ed Goldman

OSCAR MIRE—The Motion Picture Academy will present the Oscars on Sunday and, like others who haven’t seen any of the nominated films, I’m absolutely indignant that Greta Gerwig isn’t up for Best Director, miffed that Leonard DiCaprio wasn’t nominated for Best Actor and painfully resigned to the fact that none of my unsubmitted, ergo, unproduced screenplays got a nod.

I feel this same sense of irritation about the Emmys every year, when none of the shows I’ve never watched miss being nominated. I’m mature enough to not give a hang about the non-honored films, TV shows and recordings at the Golden Globes.  But I admit that each year I wonder if you have to promise in writing that if you win a hip-hop Grammy you’ll thank both your label and God.  

Edgy Cartoon

Statue of limitations

I also tend to sulk when I don’t win the lottery although I’ve never bought a ticket. And it all-but-infuriates me that New Republic magazine has never purchased any of my articles in spite of the fact I’ve never sent them any. 

I’ve mentioned often—including during a TV appearance on my local PBS-affiliate four years ago—that I’d love to interview Vice President Kamala Harris for my column. But I’m starting to suspect I’ve neglected to mention it to her. Or, more appropriately, to her people. Now that I think of it, I should have had my people call her people. But the sad fact is, I don’t have people. 

I’m also quite unhappy about these recent auto recalls: the Ford 2015-2017 Expedition and Lincoln Navigator; the 2020-2022 Hyundai Palisade; and, more recently, the 2023 Kia Sportage. Just this year, CBS News reported, “Tesla is recalling nearly 200,000 vehicles in the U.S. because the backup camera can malfunction while the car is in reverse.” What’s wrong with this country?

Granted, I’ve never owned any of these cars nor contemplated buying one. But as someone who reads Consumer Reports, or would if he had a subscription to it, I’m more than a little disgusted.

Meanwhile, “aggravating” doesn’t begin to describe how I view the rising price of certain groceries I don’t eat, like breakfast cereal and candy bars. In summary, there are so many things to be upset about every day that have absolutely nothing to do with me. I find this very alienating. 

NO WHAT I’M SAYING?—Contrary to how it sounds, the Japanese restaurant greeting “Hai!” doesn’t mean “Hi!” It means “Yes”—as in, “I told you if we opened at noon people might come here for lunch.”

Similarly, the Japanese drama-dance genre called “Noh” isn’t negative—as in, “Don’t enter this theatre.” It means “talent.” In other words, it’s the name of a genre and its own review. 

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I bring this up because there’s been some debate in the sexual harassment arena over whether “No” really means “No.” Recently, Vince McMahon—founder, resident slimeball and chief gasbag of World Wrestling Entertainment, was accused of ignoring an employee’s protest of his thug-like advances on her by saying, “No doesn’t mean no.” 

The woman also alleges that McMahon, who resigned from WWE and its parent company, did sex trafficking, principally of her. 

Conclusion: If—according to McMahon’s reported behavioral standards—when he says “No, I didn’t sexually accost her and no, I don’t run a sex trafficking operation,” isn’t this tantamount to a confession? 

I rest my case. And remember, if you’re ever in Japan and want to spend a stimulating evening at the theatre, just say Noh.

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Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).