Complaints I Have About The 2019 Oscars

'Paddington 2' Was Snubbed By The Academy—And Other Complaints I Have About The 2019 Oscars

This year's award ceremony is still two weeks away, but it's already one of the more disappointing shows in recent years.


I know this sounds facetious, but hear me out: the "Paddington 2" was one of the most beautiful films of last year. It has everything: an adorable bear who loves marmalade, Hugh Grant in the campy villain role of a lifetime, joyful Wes Anderson-inspired cinematography, and a moving story that doubles as an anti-Brexit metaphor (yes, "Paddington" was originally inspired by WW2 refugees and has since been adapted to convey the importance of taking in refugees from the war in Syria and loving them as neighbors).

It might have been a highly unconventional pick for the Oscars in a category such as Best Picture, but seeing as it's a dutiful adaptation of a beloved children's book, I'm disappointed that it didn't at least get a nod for something like Best Adapted Screenplay, especially when the other nominees in the category were nominated multiple times.

I'm starting off with a grievance that's rather lighthearted because the truth is that a lot of aspects of this year's ceremony are steeped in rather well-deserved controversy. The drama started months ago when the Academy announced that they'd be adding a category for Popular Film and not televising some of the less popular categories in an attempt to bring up ratings, a decision that was scrapped after mass backlash from critics but still threw the judgment of the organization into question.

Then, there was the hosting debacle that stemmed from Kevin Hart's tweets, which proved to be an extremely complicated conversation about homophobia that was clumsily resolved with the compromise that the Oscars would go on, hostless. Now, because of the way the Golden Globes and SAG Awards have panned out, I think the cultural impact left by the Oscars will become even more fraught with political unrest.

Sure, there are several nominations that I'm thrilled about: the inclusion of "Black Panther," Yaltiza Aparicio's recognition for "Roma," the nods to "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" and "At Eternity's Gate," two highly underappreciated films, and everything about Lady Gaga. It's become clear from the way the rest of awards season has gone just how much victory is controlled the by access and financial pull a movie's campaign has.

While I haven't seen it, I'm sure "Green Book" is a perfectly nice and inoffensive portrayal of race relations in the 1960s South, but I think the widespread surprise at its success might be indicative of its irrelevance compared to other films in the category. Also, there's the fact that Viggo Mortensen, one of the male leads in the film and a Best Actor nominee, said the n-word at a screening. And that the family of Don Shirley condemned the portrayal of the jazz pianist in the film, saying that he was grossly misrepresented. Still, though, "Green Book" has a very good chance of winning Best Picture, as does "Bohemian Rhapsody," a film directed by nearly infamous pedophile Bryan Singer.

I didn't watch "Bohemian Rhapsody," choosing to not support Singer after learning that he retained sole directing credit on the film, despite being fired from production before it wrapped. I also heard that it treated Freddie Mercury's gayness as a black mark on his legacy, so I wasn't that interested in finding out more about it from the jump.

I do know, however, that even more allegations against the director surfaced after the film won a BAFTA a couple weeks ago, and that while the Academy rightfully passed him for a directing award, many viewers are waiting with bated breath to see how his film will be treated overall, especially when Rami Malek is also nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Mercury. I am one of those viewers (I should note that I really like Rami Malek, and wish more than anything that his moment wasn't this specific time).

I know it's presumptuous to assume that the Oscars speaks for the overall American psyche, but when the political world is as devastating as it is right now, I wish that could be true. I wish that we could say, definitively, that "Bohemian Rhapsody" winning Best Picture means we are living in the worst timeline of America, and that "Roma" winning means that there is still hope for all of us. "Green Book" might be somewhere in the middle, "BlacKkKlansman" would also be aligned with goodness, and anything else would be a true wild card. If this were true, I might feel like my viewership was rewarded, instead of just being a waste of a Sunday night. Still, though, I have my fingers crossed for "Roma.

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36 Rules Of Life From 'NCIS's' Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sometimes we all need a smack on the back of the head.

I have been watching "NCIS" since the show began back in 2003, and season 15 will be airing this September. It is one of the longest running series and for a good reason, even though a lot of your favorite characters die off in the show they somehow still keep it alive. Anyone who has watched an episode or more knows about the infamous Gibbs's rules. Here's the list that we can gather from the many episodes:

Rule 1: "Never let suspects stay together." - revealed in the Season 1 premiere episode, Yankee White (episode).

Rule 2: "Never screw over your partner." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode). McGee also stated this rule to Ned Dorneget in Need to Know (episode). McGee also mentioned to Abigail Borin in Ships in the Night (episode) that rule number one has been taken twice, showing that he knows that there are two number one rules.

Rule 3: "Always wear gloves at a crime scene." - revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 4: "Don't believe what you're told. Double check." - again revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 5: "Never be unreachable." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Deception (episode) although Gibbs has been known to be intentionally unreachable. The rule was shown in Rule Fifty-One (episode) in the background when Gibbs opens the box.

Rule 6: "The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person - if you must. There is no third best." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode)

Rule 7: "You don't waste good." - revealed in the Season 8 episode, Baltimore (episode).

Rule 8: "Never say you're sorry. It's a sign of weakness." - This rule has been mentioned throughout the series, but it wasn't given a specific number until Flesh and Blood (episode). The rule is also a direct reference to John Wayne's catch phrase in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" (John Ford, Director). Wayne said: "Never apologize, mister, it's a sign of weakness." to subordinates in a military situation. DiNozzo notes the connection in Hiatus Part 1 (episode). Mark Harmon's career has paralleled John Wayne's. They both were quarterback of their southern California college football team, both went into acting. (Harmon's father, Tom Harmon, was a Heisman Trophy-winner and actor & announcer as well.) Note: This is continuously told to Tony, Ziva and Tim through a smack to the back of their heads.

Rule 9: "Always be specific when you lie." - revealed in the Season 1 finale episode, Reveille (episode).

Rule 10: "Never take anything for granted." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Probie (episode) although Gibbs also quotes it as being "Never assume" during the Season 9 episode, Rekindled (episode).

Rule 11: "Never go anywhere without a knife." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, One Shot, One Kill (episode)although it's sometimes quoted as "Never leave home without a knife" or "Always carry a knife."

Rule 12: "Never get personally involved in a case." - revealed in the Season 7 episode, Obsession (episode) and again referenced by the new SECNAV Clayton Jarvis in the Season 9 premiere episode, Nature of the Beast (episode) as the number one rule in Washington politics.

Rule 13: "When the job is done, walk away." - revealed in the Season 6 episode, Semper Fidelis (episode).

Rule 14: "Never date a co-worker." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, Enigma (episode).

Rule 15: "Never, ever involve lawyers." - revealed in "Collateral Damage." Rule 51 is written on the back of the card containing Rule 13 in "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 16: "Bend the line, don't break it." - revealed in Anonymous was a Woman (episode).

Rule 17: "Always work as a team." - revealed in Leap of Faith (episode).

Rule 18: "If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it." - revealed in the Season 8 finale episode, Pyramid (episode).

Rule 19: "Never, ever interrupt Gibbs during an interrogation." - revealed in the Season 14 episode, Privileged Information (episode).

Rule 20: "It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission." - revealed in Silver War (episode).

Rule 21: "Always look under." - revealed in The Artful Dodger (episode)

Rule 22: "Never ever bother Gibbs in interrogation." - revealed in Smoked (episode).

Rule 23: "Never mess with a Marine's coffee... if you want to live."- revealed during "Forced Entry."

Rule 24: "There are two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you." - Jack Knife (episode) and "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 25: "When you need help, ask." - revealed during Blood Brothers (episode).

Rule 26: "Always watch the watchers." - revealed in "Baltimore."

Rule 27: "If you feel like you are being played, you probably are." - revealed in Nature of the Beast (episode).

Rule 28: "Your case, your lead." - revealed in Bounce (episode) placing Tony as temporarily in charge of the team, and also in Phoenix (episode) with Ducky as leader.

Rule 29: "There is no such thing as coincidence." - revealed in Obsession (episode) although DiNozzo states that Rule 39A is "There is no such thing as a small world" during Canary (episode).

Rule 30: "If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are." - revealed in Borderland (episode).

Rule 31: "Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you." - revealed in Psych Out (episode).

Rule 32: "First things first, hide the women and children." - This rule number was mentioned in Patriot Down (episode) but was not stated until Rule Fifty-One (episode).

Rule 33: "Clean up the mess that you make." - revealed in "Rule Fifty-One" although it's also stated as "Never leave behind loose ends" in Hiatus Part 2 (episode).

Rule 34: "Sometimes you're wrong." - Created by Gibbs in Rule Fifty-One" by writing it on the back of the card containing Rule 13. It is unknown if his coworkers are aware of this rule.

Rule 35: "Always give people space when they get off an elevator." - revealed in Double Back (episode)

Rule 36: "Never trust a woman who doesn't trust her man." - revealed in Devil's Triangle (episode).

While some seem to deal with Gibbs only there are some very great life lessons present. If you haven's started watching "NCIS" I suggest you start soon, it is all on Netflix.

"A slap to the face is an insult - a slap to the back of the head is a wake-up call." Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Cover Image Credit: CBS TV / Twitter

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Thanos Isn't The Real Villain, Overpopulation Is — He Actually Fixed The Problem

Overpopulation is a real world problem, and Thanos posed a solution.


If you've ever seen any "Avengers," "Guardians of the Galaxy," or Marvel superhero movies, you'll know who Thanos is. He's portrayed as the evil father of Gamora and his goal is clear: to wipe out half of the population. Many of us were not expecting him to actually succeed — because, in every other movie, the Avengers prevail. But in "Avengers: Infinity War," this was simply not the case. He successfully wiped out exactly half of the population and we watched some of our favorite characters like Black Panther, Vision, The Witch, and Groot disintegrate. But why was this such a bad thing?

Thanos' logic isn't really off — overpopulation has been a real-world problem for years now, with the rate growing at two percent per year. Even though this doesn't sound like a lot, it's faster than any other time period in history. This means that death rates either need to go up, or the birth rate needs to decrease.

According to the World Population Census, in 2015 there were approximately 7.2 billion people in the world. But in 2016, it was approximately 7.3 billion. In just a year, a little more than 100 million people were born. At this rate, overpopulation will affect the amount of food available, poverty rates, and air quality. With so many people continuously being born, factories are going to be forced to produce more products, releasing more CO2. Poverty rates will rise because there won't be many jobs available so people won't be able to afford much. While this sounds like a very grave diagnosis, Thanos found a solution to this in the "Avengers: Infinity War" film. By collecting the infinity stones of mind, power, reality, soul, space, and time, he succeeded in fixing this overpopulation problem — that is a serious problem today.

Since infinity stones, unfortunately, don't exist, what can we do to prevent overpopulating our beautiful planet? The answer may lie in finding more effective ways to use our natural resources better, or it may not, we have no way to know for sure. Maybe the Earth can hold more than eight billion people and still maintain other species. While we may never be able to accurately predict what could happen, we know that overpopulation is eventually inevitable. So far, there isn't an answer to solve this issue either, which may sound like a very depressing fact, but it's true. Multiple theories have been suggested but, none have been enacted. "Avengers: Infinity War" was a cinematic wake-up call, and proves that maybe Thanos isn't so crazy after all. While infinity stones would be a great answer to this problem, they don't exist. So, in the wise words of Tony Stark, " Let's do something insane — let's save the world."

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