Remember 1999, a.k.a. The Year of the Glass Eye?
Well, I finally got around to watching the Oscars. (I know it’s taken a while, but my Tivo was on the fritz, so had to point my old 8mm film camera at the TV set during the broadcast, then I methodically transferred the eleven developed rolls to VHS, then I took the cassette audio tapes I made of the show---my 8mm had no sound capability---and had them professionally synced to the VHS tape at a lab in Pittsburgh.) If you know me at all, you know that I really only watch the Oscars for one reason: the fashions. And while I’m all in favor of celebrities going out on a limb and creating the new trendy styles that the rest of the country will soon follow, I think Susan Sarandon, Sofia Coppola, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bjork and the like really went too far this year. And remember, I was completely on board with the cafeteria hairnets last year, which I thought added a nice commoner’s touch to the heads of Paul Giamatti and Ms. Judi Dench. (Didn’t work so well for Brian Dennehy for some reason.) I was even okay with 2005’s surprising red carpet display of live algae as an accessory, which livened up Kate Winslet’s rather drab gown and put some serious zazz into that red number that Drew Barrymore arrived in. I know it was odd to see the algae kind of slide down her leg and onto the sidewalk at the Sky Bar after-party, but the photos had all been taken by then, and the stars’ point had been made: We are cutting edge! I just think that with everyone on pins and needles because of the recent stock market slide and unrest in Quebec, 2007 wasn’t the time to go too far astray of convention, and the celebs certainly did with the exploding dye packs. While the near-deafening THWAP of a blue dye pack going off on Cate Blanchett’s shoulder was definitely attention-getting, the spray of dye only distracted one’s gaze away from the resplendent cut of the gown itself. And those poor reporters from the E! Channel nearly dropped their microphones when Salma Hayek’s dye pack exploded, showering her smiling self and her date for the evening with virtually indelible orange paint. Tucked inside her backless dress, its well-timed eruption may have drawn admiring looks, but were we looking at Salma or merely responding to a really loud bang and a huge orange splotch that, if you ask me, completely threw her gorgeous hairstyle out of visual kilter? No no, this is not the way to go, if you ask me. The dye packs should only be used to catch bank robbers---and though the glittering celebrities steal our hearts with their beauty each and every year, they don’t deserve to have their perfect looks corrupted by a violent spew of dye just to gain our love. Go easy next Oscar night, you glorious folk---this means you too, Johnny Depp; we don’t want a repeat of 2003, when your idea to wear a single whole grain pancake as an earring put a few too many ideas into the heads of your Hollywood brothers and sisters!