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The Academy Awards
What do They Communicate?
Paul Murano

It was stated that over a billion people tuned in to see the Academy Awards last week. That is a hefty chunk of the human race.  It probably means many from third world countries as well as Muslim lands, including nations propagandized into thinking we are the great satan. tuned in to see a glimpse of America. 

This event, perhaps more than the Superbowl or anything else, answers the question, “What is America ?” to many inquisitive peoples across the globe.  Many know it’s what their cultures may evolve into, given America’s influence in the modern world. Well then, what did we communicate?  What message did we send?

First off, they saw beautiful people.  Let’s face it, beautiful people are dispersed across the globe but Hollywood has a knack for skillfully displaying them.  The world also got to see some talented people who are good at their craft, whether it be in front of the camera or behind it, and they were entertained with humor throughout Hollywood’s four-hour marathon reality TV show. It displayed an entertainment industry second to none in its making and distributing of movies around the globe.

Is that it? Not exactly. There were a few other things communicated that perhaps made much more of an impact on the world looking in.  One message they heard was that America’s top priority and number one value is global warming.  There is nothing more important nor more alarming, it seemed, than the world’s temperature rising one degree each century. To those watching who are living through ethnic cleansing and genocide, who are literally starving to death because of unjust regimes and civil wars, to the millions still living under repressive totalitarian states, the unjustly imprisoned, the tortured, the countless children and adults used as sex slaves, those dying of deadly diseases, those who live in abusive situations whether it be sexually, physically, or verbally with no visible way out, to those suffering from serious addiction, mental illness, severe depression, loneliness, hopelessness and despair; and last but certainly not least, those living in their mother’s wombs in our very dangerous abortion age -  to all these people and/or those who care for them it must have seemed insulting that the richest and most powerful country in the world focuses their energy and resources on the weather and what it may or may not do to some people down the road. 

Then there was Ellen wearing her masculine pants suit as the cameras focused in on her “partner” in the audience.  Not to mention Melissa Ethridge not only giving her girlfriend a big voluptuous kiss as the camera took a close-up shot, but also at the podium thanked her “wonderful wife” for all her support, as the world watched. 

Lastly, its hard to ignore the collegin lips, fake breasts, face lifts, hairpieces, implants, straightened noses, fake tans, and highly competitive egos that were displayed en mass to the world’s population. 

So what was communicated to our fellow human beings across the globe about what we value and stand for?  After watching they must think we’re a country filled with rich lesbians, routinely undergoing plastic surgery, paranoid about the environment, and mourning that Al Gore is not president.  They may be thinking that if freedom, democracy and affluence results in a people going in and out of rehab after their numerous divorces or addictions to drugs, sex or both; a people comprised of  women “married” to wives while countless others kill their children before birth out of convenience; if what they see along with the Oscars is the exportation of The Jerry Springer Show, The Sopranos, our multi-million dollar pornography business, the sagas of Brittany and Anna Nicole -  it should be no shock that the entire world isn’t on board with us yet.  Perhaps many aren’t willing to redefine the concepts of tolerance and diversity to include social and moral chaos, the breakdown of the family and community, and the inordinate and abusive focus on self.  

The next time we wonder why people  a-cross the globe who don’t share these val-ues resist our influence and fear our exported culture, maybe we should think a little more about the image we send to them of America through our most powerful media.  

Paul Murano teaches theology and philosophy at Assumption College and Northshore Community College. He is also the producer of Paying Attention! Radio Program on WCAP. You can E-mail Paul at PJDM@aol.com  

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The March 2007 Edition of the Valley Patriot
The Valley Patriot is a Monthly Publication.
All Contents (C) 2007
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