If you’re in this business, “business,” long enough you’ll see a lot of nasty shit. I don’t just mean regular old shit you can flush down the toilet, I mean the kind someone leaves slumped in a pile outside, back behind the dumpster where it sits for weeks until the scent mercifully evaporates. There is nothing you can do it about it, of course, because the press drags it around like a paralyzed mouse, flipping it up in the air just for fun, and ad impressions.
The narratives begin to form and you suddenly realize that the Oscar race has nothing to do with actually awarding high achievement but people voting irrationally – the same way the 75 year-old on his second or third marriage decides to buy a candy-red Ferrari that he doesn’t need, looks ridiculous driving, and will have to sell anyway as his finances take a dive because his new wife can’t stop spending. That, my friends, is irrationality and it’s the emotional soft spot Oscar campaigning mostly aims to exploit. It means you don’t think, you feel and that feeling helps to identify you. It means you are operating from a certain pre-packaged delusion that falsely makes you buy something or vote for someone, or worse, not vote for someone. In sports, it is about winning and losing. In politics you hope the people can see through the bullshit and look at the facts. But the Oscars are about a subjective opinion, which is why voters are so easily manipulated and why the press is always, every year, a willing participant: fool the press, fool the voters. But hey, don’t worry about it, Jake.