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EDITORIAL – Life these days seems a lot like opening the wrong envelope

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty with the wrong envelope.

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty with the wrong envelope.

An ArmchairMayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

SOME WEEKENDS are more interesting than others; this one finished up with quite the grand finale.

The Academy Awards mess wasn’t the only thing that stood out but it helped take our minds off more serious matters. And yet, like so much of our lives lately, it seemed to emanate from the Donald Trump presidency.

The Oscars on Sunday (Feb. 26, 2017) night were almost as much about politics as they were about the movie industry. Speech after speech alluded to dissatisfaction with Trump, and many actors wore blue ribbons in support of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been battling Trump over his travel ban.

Politics was temporarily overshadowed, however, by the biggest screw-up in Academy Awards history. If you weren’t watching it live, you missed something special. At the end of the show (which, of course, ran overtime), Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway stepped up to the microphone to announce the Best Picture award. Beatty opened the envelope, looked perplexed (which got a laugh from the audience), and handed it to Dunaway, who announce La La Land as the Oscar winner.

tweet-envelope-26feb2017Nobody was surprised, since the movie has won so many other awards and was expected to win this one, too. But part way through the acceptance speeches by the La La Land producers, it was announced there had been a mistake — Moonlight was the actual winner.

Beatty had been handed a wrong envelope. In Hollywood today, someone’s career in handing out envelopes has been cut drastically short. The whole thing was painful, proving that the White House isn’t the only place with a failure to communicate.

But then, of course, there are the sad scenes of asylum seekers being taken into custody as they cross the border from Washington state into B.C. They do it because of Donald Trump and their fear of his focus on deportations.

What will Canada do with this surge? We can’t turn them away, and yet they may start to tax our services if they become too many. Our patience and our values of inclusiveness may be challenged next.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump ramped up his war with the media by deciding not to attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The move came on the heels of a White House decision to ban several major news outlets from a press briefing, and his relentless tweeting and speeches bashing the media as the enemy.

Trump’s boycott of the dinner is perplexing. It would have been a perfect opportunity to stand up in front of a room full of media and ridicule them. Instead, he decided to sulk. It’s just another kind of theatre.

Do you ever get the feeling we’ve all just opened the wrong envelope?

mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5002 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Life these days seems a lot like opening the wrong envelope

  1. George S Duncan // February 27, 2017 at 10:10 AM // Reply

    The idea that Trump chose to stay home and “sulk” is laughable. You don’t have to like the guy to acknowledge he isn’t one to sit around and mope.
    Rather than attend the dinner, which he considered counterproductive and a waste of time, he most likely continued working.
    Others may sulk, mope, whine, cry, wring their hands, cry “Woe is us!” but Trump doesn’t isn’t a Leftist.

  2. My feeling is…we are morally bankrupt.
    Material pursuits and poignant individualism have infected every layer of the social fabric…with enormous implications, as we are witnessing.

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