During my thirty years as a movie watcher, my relationship with the Oscars has been through three distinct phases. The first, love and respect, involved passionate interest and rooting - in those days, when my picks didn't win I was befuddled, and would spend days talking to friends, sincerely trying to sort out the reasoning behind each disputed decision. When Dances with Wolves wiped the floor with Goodfellas, for example, I figured I must have missed something. What angle was I not getting that those wise members of the Academy had seen?

Eventually, though, I wised up and entered phased two: desperate hatred. The passion remained, but the respect was completely gone. During this period, I was actually thrilled when Forrest Gump won best picture, because it confirmed how stupid all of the voters were, and allowed me to triumphantly unload whatever projectiles were nearby at the television (eventually I armed myself with a hamper full of balled up socks - too many things were getting broken).

It took a while, but it gradually dawned on me that not one single person in the Academy gave a crap what I thought. In fact, if those bastards knew what they were putting me through, they were probably secretly enjoying my misery. It was at this point, then, that I entered phase three: shallow shallow shallow. And now, finally, I've achieved complete emotional detachment, watching only to see who and what happens. Pretty people and cool dresses make me happy. Victories by the undeserving? Please. None of that touches me any more - for the first time, I'm enjoying the Oscars!

So, from the shallow point of view, this year's Oscars were great. To wit:
  • George Clooney, George Clooney, George Clooney.
  • Jennifer Garner not only didn't fall, but she ad libbed and covered her trip while making people laugh. Brilliant!
  • How did I never notice how gorgeous Salma Hayek is?
  • The Meryl Streep-Lily Tomlin bit was genius, and wonderfully delivered. Look kids, that's what talent looks like.
  • Robert Altman won something! Hooray!
  • Clooney.
  • Lots of clips of dead people I love - I saw Montgomery Clift twice and Gregory Peck at least three times.
  • Jon Stewart's ad libs were, more often than not, inspired. And way better than 95% of the written crap.
  • Dolly Parton and Three 6 Mafia on the same stage.
  • Clooney.
Really. What more could I have asked?