Raise your hand if you have a grandparent in their mid-eighties who regularly updates their own blog.
(Raising my hand.)
Keep your hand up if your grandparent's blog is full of interesting, insightful, informative posts and not rambling entries about Matlock or the Denny's Early Bird Dinner Special.
(Still raising my hand.)
Now keep raising your hand if the octogenarian in your life also rides a Harley, enjoys BASE jumping, went to a Kid Rock concert last summer and is planning to hike Kilimanjaro next year.
(Okay, my hand came down on that one. Even though my 85-year-old grandpa isn't into death sports, he is still pretty dang cool for having a great blog.)
Last year my grandpa started his own blog. His posts have helped me to learn more about my family history (including an English sea captain), his love for vintage automobiles (1936 Ford Coupe) and what that word "piker" means. While I normally enjoy my grandpa's blog posts, his last entry made me sad. You see, my grandpa is a hard-core movie buff. He spent his professional career as a college theater professor and director of a number of plays. Given his artistic background, it is not surprising to learn that he looks forward to the Academy Awards like guys with hairy backs look forward to Friday night tractor pulls. The Oscars have been his Super Bowl since 1946.
While I have watched the Academy Awards in my adult life as many times as I have seen An Inconvenient Truth (read: never), I get excited for grandpa every year when Oscar season rolls around. So imagine my disappointment when I read on his blog that he nearly turned off his TV twice during the Oscars because of the political rants some of the award winners gave. Grandpa also admitted that he had not seen any of the films that were nominated for Best Picture this year, either. He is now contemplating giving up on the Academy Awards all together. My grandpa giving up the Oscars would be as shocking as me quitting fantasy sports or the Cincinnati Bengals signing a free agent who has never spent time in solitary at the Youngstown maximum security prison.
My grandpa is probably not alone in his frustration with the current state of the types of movies and actors that receive the praises of the Hollywood establishment. Take me, for example. I like a good movie as much as the next guy and I have not seen a single Best Picture nominee since 2004, making me 0 for 25 in this category. It appears that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and I significantly disagree on what constitutes a quality film. In my humble opinion, the Academy jumped the shark in 1995 when it awarded Best Picture to Braveheart instead of Tommy Boy. The Academy and I have been on the outs since then.
I nearly broke my oh-fer streak this year by seeing Best Picture nominee Milk. Since I did not hear much about the movie's plot, I assumed that it must be a biopic about Louis Pasteur's quest to make milk safer to drink. Both the Normal Mormon Wife and I love historical science dramas so we were pretty bummed out when Milk got slapped with an "R" rating and we had to nix seeing it. I guess Louis Pasteur must have sworn a lot after repeated failures during the trial-and-error process of pasteurizing milk. Flip dang it!
While most of the movies that receive the Academy's praise are far too violent, sexual and vulgar for me to see, there are a number of movies that come out every year that I enjoy a great deal. Since the Academy failed to include any of my 2008 favorites in the Best Picture and Actor/Actress in a Leading Role, I am going to hold my own NMH Oscars. I replaced the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with the Normal Mormon Family (me, the NMW, and our two kids ages seven and four) to nominate the 2008 films and actors who delighted the types of people who visit this blog. The criteria that we used were pretty simple - the Normal Mormon Family had to see the movie and it needed to be rated G or PG. After discussing this topic at length during our 20-minute drive to the Natural Science Center, here are our nominations:
Horton Hears a Who
Kung Fu Panda
Po (Kung Fu Panda)
Shifu (Kung Fu Panda)
The Cockroach (WALL-E)
Troy (High School Muscial 3)
Miggery Sow (The Tale of Despereaux)
Tigress (Kung Fu Panda)
Please vote in the polls on the right and let's try to correct what the Academy messed up this year. Also, please post comments explaining the reasons for your votes. To keep things fun and interactive I will select the people who leave the best comments to write the acceptance speeches for the eventual winners. For example, if you vote for Troy from HSM3 to win Best Actor and you leave a comment that says something like, "Did you see the dude's biceps? He's gotta be juicin'?" and then Troy gets the most votes, I would ask you to then write Troy's acceptance speech that will be posted at the end of the week.
Just keep politics out of the acceptance speeches, okay?
Somewhere there is an 85-year-old cool grandpa with a blog who will be grateful that you did.
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