By Susannah Clark
In the words of Jay Leno—though he probably wasn’t the first and only to say this—“Washington, DC is Hollywood for ugly people.”
As we continue to mourn the writers’ coup of the Golden Globe Awards, the possibility of a doomed Oscar ceremony is still looming. We have now turned to politics to get our fix of red-carpet melodrama.
President Bush’s seventh and final State of the Union address this past Monday was a zoo of rabid paparazzi and Botox-ed smiles straight out of Tinsel Town.
All the same questions were buzzing:
Who’s wearing what? Bush wore a blue tie instead of his usual red…perhaps a subliminal peace offering for his tough Democratic audience? And let’s not fail to acknowledge how Hilary’s cherry-red pantsuit matched her lipstick impeccably.
Who applauded—or didn’t applaud—what? All eyes were on Madame Speaker Pelosi, after she sparked the standing ovation after Bush’s unexpected acknowledgment of the unrest in Darfur. Other politicians attempted to perfect the art of feigned apathy and humble recognition for the camera: Virginia’s own Sen. John Warner (soon to be former) managed to maintain a lifeless stance worthy of Scorsese the entire evening.
But the juiciest “who’s what” on everyone’s mind post-ceremony is always: who came with whom.
Barrack Obama and Ted Kennedy were this year’s Brad and Angelina, parading their new romance and sitting side-by-side, to the broken-hearted dismay of all the Jennifer Anistons and Hilary Clintons out there.
The actual substance of the speech during the State of the Union is oft-overlooked. People don’t watch these things to see who the winners are. Hence why this year’s anti-climatic announcing of the Golden Globe winners was such a fluke. We want the juice, not the pulp.
Bush’s performance as host this year was as mediocre as expected. I find myself longing for Bill Clinton, the Billy Crystal of State of the Union presenters.
As I made the comparison of Bush’s pronunciation of Middle-Eastern leaders’ names to Keanu Reeves presenting the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars, I realized that this is in fact the end of an era.
George W. Bush’s reign is the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy of American presidencies; monopolizing, overrated, and seemingly never-ending.
I don’t miss staring at Peter Jackson’s cascading belly-fat during all 17 of his acceptance speeches for LOTR, and I definitely won’t miss Dubya’s Alfred E. Newman-esque smirk as he shamelessly performs in front of the nation.
No actor is talented enough to convince us that the current state of our nation is “strong.”