Roger L. Simon

The Golden Globes as comic relief

There is no greater display of Hollywood’s pathetic need for approval than the Golden Globes (nominations announced today).

READER ALERT: If you have anything at all useful to do with your time, like making up shopping lists for Christmas 2014, don’t go any further. This is a truly trivial subject.

For those of you who don’t know – and don’t feel bad if you don’t, because not knowing in this case is probably superior to knowing – the Golden Globes are awarded by an outfit called the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Who are these folks? Well, there are plenty of jokes, but it’s only a slight exaggeration to say the typical HFPA member is an aging waiter at a Romanian restaurant in Santa Monica who once wrote a movie review for the Bucharest Tribune under Ceausescu. Now I have nothing necessarily against Romanian waiters, aging or otherwise. They may have better taste in movies than I do. But the idea that this conglomeration of part-time gossip columnists could be taken seriously as award givers is beyond ludicrous.

But seriously they are taken, especially by the likes of Sean Penn and assorted other Great Political Thinkers of the Thespian persuasion, who dust off their tuxes and trundle down to the Bev Hilton for the great occasion to profusely thank the Foreign Press for their prizes. It’s reminiscent of that old Jules Feiffer cartoon of the desperate actor: “Did you see me? How was I?” But happily, there is an upside to this narcissistic display. It is an opera bouffe parody of award ceremonies in general, even those of supposedly greater respect like the Nobel (Arafat for Peace?) or the Pulitzer (the AP for photography in Iraq?). Awards? Phooey! [Except for those you may win.-ed. Of course.]