Globes: Making a statement

Most years, the Golden Globes are all about allowing members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to rub elbows with the likes of Eva Longoria or Madonna or whoever the It Girl of the moment may be. This year, the HFPA — representing publications in all the foreign countries that currently fear or loathe America — is all about sending us Americans a stern political message. Or two, or three.

A timid press refuses to challenge the President before going to war in Iraq? Here’s “Good Night, and Good Luck.”, which reminds us of a time when the media had a set of cajones and confronted bullying politicians, receiving four Globe nominations.

Red states vote down gay marriage in a display of homophobia disguised as piety? “Brokeback Mountain,” a gay love story, leads all comers with seven nominations, and other actors playing characters whose sexual preferences would be frowned upon by the religious right — Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Capote,” Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica,” Cillian Murphy in “Breakfast on Pluto” (Johnny Depp in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?”) — also receive nominations.

American exploitation of and addiction to overseas oil sources and the ties to terrorism? “Syriana” earns a couple of nods.

Pharmaceutical corporations run amok with little regulation, coupled with global complacence toward Africa’s dire plight? “The Constant Gardener” gets three nominations. (Yes, the bad guys in this are actualy British, but do those phenomena not sound like part of the American landscape, as well?)

Prudity, as exemplified by the FCC’s draconian fines over Janet Jackson, and ongoing Senate hand-wringing about cable-TV naughtiness (which is actually outside the purview of the FCC)? Honor “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” about a nude revue run by the sort of woman who is supposed to be scandalized by this sort of thing.

Spoiled, neurotic American blondes seducing then pestering uptight Brits? “Match Point” — OK, forget that one.

Even the relative snub of Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” which was projected to dominate year-end awards talk, could be seen as a repudiation of its politics (or lack of same?).

Apparently, our political situation has grown so desperate that even our bubble-headed, glamour-first awards spectacles are getting serious. If the Hollywood Foreign Press is getting concerned, maybe we should be, too.

One thought on “Globes: Making a statement

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