View From Lodi, CA Pittsburgh, PA: Politically Correct 2009 Hollywood Versus The 1950 Golden Era
Nevertheless, I predicted the Oscar winners with 100
percent accuracy. All I had to do was figure out which
were the most
politically correct choices. And the winner is—Heath
Ledger, the dead guy;
Sean Penn, the actor who played the gay
Harvey Milk role; Slumdog Millionaire, the
multicultural flick and
the foreign-born actress who speaks broken English.
My basic problem with the Academy Awards is that I don`t
understand the most fundamental things.
Reader, I can`t keep their plots straight
without more of an effort than I should have to make.
The former is a harsh look at a Roman Catholic priest`s
possible pedophilia during the 1960s and the latter, an
effort to explain the Holocaust to a disbelieving
Those are dreary story lines and far from my idea of how
to spend two hours. If I want to be depressed, I`ll
telephone my real estate agent to inquire about what
progress she`s making in
selling my house. At least the call won`t cost me
I can`t get excited about Penn. Give me Clark Gable any
day. (See him as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind
Penn, Jolie and Pitt use their fame to promote their
radical left political agenda. That, by comparison,
makes the chain-smoking, whiskey guzzling Bogart and
Bacall immensely attractive.
I miss those Hollywood days of yesteryear when our
favorite family pastime was the Sunday afternoon drive
Sunset Boulevard, two words still synonymous with
Hollywood glitz and glimmer, looking at
stars` mansions. Of course, that was during the days
before bumper-to-bumper traffic, when a vehicle could
proceed at a speed greater than 15 miles per hour
Sunset runs along a 22-mile stretch from the Pacific
Ocean through Beverly Hills, past its famous
Beverly Hills Hotel, along the outside edge
Holmby Hills, Bel-Air and
UCLA`s Westwood campus.
Up until a few years ago, Sunset extended further east
beyond downtown Los Angeles. But, in accordance with my
aforementioned reference to political correctness, that
portion of Sunset was renamed
César E. Chávez Avenue.
Coincidentally, in the hours leading up to the Academy
Turner Classic Movie Channel ran some great oldies
the 1950s Oscar-nominated classic film noir starring
Holden and Gloria Swanson.
The plot is just the way I like them—nice and simple.
Holden plays the down and out screenwriter Joe Gillis.
Financial desperation forces him to move in with Norma
Desmond, a former and very crazy silent movie star. In
the meantime, Gillis falls head over heels with young
ingénue Betty Schaefer. But before Gillis can escape the
mad lady`s clutches to pursue his true love, Desmond
shoots him dead. Fade to black.
You can read my “those were the days” column two
ways. One, you can interpret it as the ranting of a
semi-fossilized journalist irretrievably stuck in a time
Or you can conclude that it represents an amateur film
historian`s analysis as he
reports from the scene.
I`ll let you decide. Here`s some of the
1950 Oscar nominated candidates: Holden, Swanson,
Spencer Tracy (in Father of the Bride,
Now that you have the facts laid out in front of you,
I`m sure you`ll see it my way.
is a California native who recently fled the state
because of over-immigration, over-population and a
rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to
Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth
A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School,
Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It
currently appears in the