It's cliched to say but Los Angeles is a company town. The city works itself up to this evening into a froth. The war coverage on the local news centers around how the war will effect the Oscars. That's the real story, after all. Team coverage trumpets the extraordinary security for tonight. Teeth-chattering talking heads are poised in front of the Kodak Theater in disbelief exclaiming the red carpet has been rolled up, and the parade of jewels and gowns will not be shown. An in-depth interview with the police chief assures us the event will be without any terrorist attacks. But nothing can stop that lone gunman from giving an opinion from the stage. Then the industryites will tsk-tsk tomorrow about how so-and-so ruined the evening by bringing that pesky war into all of the fun.
With Vanessa Redgrave's comments about "Zionist hoodlums" still ringing loudly in the ears of the old guard, tonight's ceremony has promise of similar attacks. Peter O'Toole, a man known for loose lips, is likely to take his special Oscar award speech as an opportunity for a stinging attack on Tony Blair. Salma Hayek is reportedly wearing an anti-war ribbon on her gown! Who knows what kind of domino effect that will have? With that kind of solemnity, Jack Nicholson might even take off his sunglasses. Anything could happen.
I think a larger truth is LA has an inferiority complex. We weren't attacked and many feel the sting. New York gets all the coverage and suddenly LA feels left out of the party. We can't seem to get behind the velvet ropes of terrorism. That hurts. Again this is evident watching local news. Ever since 9/11, there has been faux panic about a possible attack on Disneyland or Universal Studios or one of the other isolated landmarks sprinkling the LA landscape. There is an underlying desperation for something/anything to happen.
Ricky/Tommy and Mickey are coming over and we'll order in Chinese and do bong loads. Since the red carpet has been eliminated, Joan Rivers has two hours of air time to voice her stand on the war. Lonely scary Joan out there with no gowns to scoff at, hopefully will use this time to tell us her how she really feels about the bombing. That, my friends, is entertainment.