I agreed with the friend who posted "worst Oscars ever" even though I wasn't sure if he was referring to the hosting or the voting. The show is always long, but this year it was as tedious as, well, Birdman. Take out Harris' lame bit about his pre-show predictions and they would have saved a good 10 minutes. As for the movies, the only category I can speak of with any authority is "Live Action Shorts," having seen every one of them at Cinema Paradiso on Saturday, and the weakest of the five, The Phone Call, about an emergency help line, took the Oscar. This was the year for socially relevant films. OK, every year is the year for socially relevant films. My only pleasure of the night was seeing Ida win best foreign film and listening to the acceptance speech by its director, Pawel Pawlikowski, who showed that you can go overtime and still be charming. It should be required viewing for next year's host.
I was puzzled when Barnes & Noble started devoting space in the middle of their stores to the Nook, a device that, if successful, would cause the demise of those stores.
But I was even more confused yesterday when I walked into the Barnes & Noble in Boca Raton and saw, just in front of the Nook display, a collection of LPs under the word VINYL. Is it now acceptable to listen to music - but not read books - the way we did in the 20th century? Or will I find, the next time I walk into a Barnes & Noble, a section of scrolls?
I was sipping an ouzo at the Greek Festival yesterday when my friend Joe, after taking a swig of Mythos beer, asked if I'd seen the trailer to the new Jennifer Lopez movie, The Boy Next Door. In it, Lopez plays a high school teacher who has an affair with a much younger man.
"He gives her a first edition copy of The Iliad," Joe said, then roared with laughter. "He tells her he got it for a buck at a garage sale." (More howls.) "So nobody involved in the making of the movie has any idea how old The Iliad is. I'm so glad I got to say that at a Greek Festival."
Taking a breath, Joe said: "If I get my hands on a first edition of The Iliad I'm not giving it to anybody - I don't care how attractive she is."