The money we waste, while our neighbors suffer: Excess at the Oscars.

I really don’t need to pontificate on the morality of the Oscars. Essentially it is an orgy of excess for the rich, heroin to the egotistical, and porn to the privilaged. The numbers tell the biggest story.

The advertising revenue for this year’s Oscars could top $70 million. The swag bags are valued at $60 thousand; gifts for already insanely wealthy people who could afford that easily on their own. The available spots this year sold out at $1.7 million per ad. In comparison, the SuperBowl sells ads at $3.5 million. According to the UN, the global drug trade nets an estimated $321 billion annually, which doesn’t include crime costs generated from that wasteful and destructive penchant. Americans consume $100 billion on illegal drugs annually, but we can’t afford universal healthcare?

I am not singling out these celebrities, but their real reward comes in the public’s vote when they sit in a theater seat. I love movies. I thought Argo and Lincoln were both brilliant movies. What sort of religion to narcissism is necessary beyond the final credits of the movie? I don’t need to know about Ben Affleck’s personal life. If he produces good work, I’ll go to see it. The guy down at the sandwich shop at the corner makes a great snadwich. I don’t need to know where he vacations or who he’s sleeping with…and he feeds me! I also level the same disgust of the excess of the Superbowl, World Series, and many other thoroughly over-inflated events.

The point is, it is immoral for this country to claim that there is no money to help the poor, the disabled and the elderly. We cannot rightly claim that there is no money for healthcare, investment in clean and renewable energy in one breath, and then fawn over perverse royal excess in another. And that’s where this nation is. It will spend billions on election ads that do nothing but shift money among the wealthy and powerful. Tens of millions are wasted on political gatherings, seminars and funraisers for the manipulation of public policy meant only to drain the public coffers into private accounts.

The point is, either we are all in this together, or we are all rugged individuals. In the case of rugged individualism, then that means the concept of nation and America is bullshit because as a nation, we should not be leaving anyone behind. The truth is, not only are people getting left behind, they are being abandoned. And that, to me, seems un-American.

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town with Mike Sanders, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And if you have a cause to champion, please let us know as we work to become the grassroots support network for Chicago Activists and community organizers.

Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., http://www.glunzbeers.com

About 900poundgorilla

W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books.His latest is "The Last Man," a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, "Broken: One Soldier's Unexpected Journey Home," was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, "Everything for Love" chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book "Burn Down the Sky" is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best Of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, "Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol" recieved national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace. View all posts by 900poundgorilla

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