Here are some of your responses to Mike's last column.
Phyllis S. writes: A big Grrrrrrrrrrr on this one. I am continually dumbfounded by the fascination people seem to have with celebs. Many are obviously profoundly disturbed individuals. But these are the ones who get so much of the in-your-face press; So gee, if the press stops wasting our time with this IRRELEVANT stuff, maybe our culture would not be perceived as it is.
Like Babs … Dixie Chicks … shut up and sing. Or Alec Baldwin (not even a good actor) … Sean Penn … Susan Sarandon … Jane Fonda etc. ad nauseum. These folks learn lines written by gifted writers … they’re just mouthpieces, for heaven's sake. What makes people look to them for political direction? Instead of our media propagating more and more negativity, why not use the bully pulpit to create something more positive? And we’re only beginning to see the ramifications of the dumbing of America!
Vanessa K. writes: Mike, I tried to watch the Oscars, but had to turn it off when Al and Leo got up on stage to thank the Academy for "going green" while a screen behind them flashed instructions to the rest of us for living greener. I guarantee that this conservative Republican from Texas is more environmentally conscious than any of that bunch -- I don't drive a gas guzzling vehicle and I limit my trips, my electric bill rarely runs above $250 (and that's during a hot, Texas summer), I recycle and I never take private planes. We also xeriscaped our flower beds to require less water. I'm not sure if that bunch really believes their own talking points or if they think the rest of us are that stupid. Grrrr.....
Ann W. writes: You didn’t disappoint! Thank you for making the observation that no one addressed on the Oscars: How much more green we could be if people in huge mansions with six cars and their own planes would scale back a little. I live in a small, 1200 sq. ft. home with my family of four. We keep our thermostats set low, turn off lights in rooms we are not using, wash only full loads, etc. Since my house is probably smaller than most of these people’s garages, I refuse to cut back any more. Although I fully agree with conservation and environmental issues, let those who are preaching and smiling/nodding in agreement actually take steps to contribute. Maybe then I will take them seriously.
Pat M. writes: Mike, I haven't watched the telecast of the Academy Awards in many years because they are just too annoying to bear. It's unfortunate because I really like to see people rewarded for great work. I only wish my favorite (if that word should apply given the subject) movie of the year, "United 93," had won something. An amazing movie, and Paul Greengrass will soon be regularly mentioned with those at top of his profession.
I have no Grrr today, but I do have an observation for you. Forest Whitaker is the third member of the cast of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. The other two were Nicolas Cage (Nicolas Coppola -- Brad's bud in the credits) and Sean Penn. And that is in addition to the screenwriter of "Fast Times," Cameron Crowe, winning Best Original Screenplay for "Almost Famous." Who would have thought?
Jeffrey F. writes: You imply Hollywood is full of hypocrites who don’t practice what they preach. WHO IS SURPRISED BY THIS!? Let’s get down to the bottom line. The values these Hollywood liberal types admire seem to be lying, cheating, adultery and intoxication. They are surrounded by Yes Men and therefore they are never called upon to defend their "values." The effect of this is that they believe in nothing. Because they believe in nothing, they stand for nothing. Because they stand for nothing, they fall for anything. This moral relativism leads to physical, mental and spiritual cowardice. That is why they have such visceral hatred for Christianity. The cornerstone of Christianity is a belief in right and wrong.
So what have we established? The VAST majority of the entertainment community is populated by cowards, liars, cheats, drunks and perverts. I call on GRRR readers to be VERY careful as to where and how they spend their entertainment dollars as these dollars only fuel this depraved lifestyle.
For the record, I DO practice what I preach. I have only been to a fistful of movies since Bill Clinton was first inaugurated. Hollywood makes such CRAP -- slasher flicks, agenda-driven garbage and other left-wing lunacy. These factors combined with the fact that Hollywood is a heavy donor to the DNC have combined to keep me out of movie theaters.
Andrew H. writes: Mike, I couldn't disagree with you more about Alan Arkin's speech. Not only did I think it was sincere, but I thought he pulled it off very well. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to try and wing an acceptance speech while being overwhelmed like that. I understand that some people don't want to jinx themselves by writing some notes beforehand, but I think the best speeches are done by people who have prepared their remarks. If I'm not mistaken, Forest Whitaker read from a sheet of paper he had prepared and I thought he did a great job. What you should really be Grrring is the fact that Eddie Murphy stormed off after losing to Arkin. Talk about being a sore loser. I know that is probably the only time Eddie Murphy will ever be nominated for an Oscar, but leaving the show early because you lost is not only disrespectful but also very childish. I just want to know one thing: When did Eddie Murphy become a diva???
Peter B. writes: This year's Oscars continues to show why Hollywood is doing so poorly at the box office. My advise to them: "Just shut up and sing!"
David B. writes: Dear Mr. Straka, I am bit surprised how your acknowledgment of your colleagues appears. "...my own thank-you list of people who mean nothing to you." Their names are unknown, but to suggest they mean nothing to the viewer/reader versus your obvious great import is a GRRR! To be frank, none of you mean any more to me than any other person. However, it is important to acknowledge the people who connect you to an audience, but please don't become a Hollywood-type in the process.
Dana F. writes: I had the TV on that channel when Al Gore came on looking like he ate himself
for lunch, but I couldn't bear listening to his self-important bloviating. Thank God for the remote! Melissa Etheridge singing about walking and biking, etc. made me laugh. What, did she arrive at the Oscars on her Schwinn? Just the usual Hollywood hypocrisy. I really wrote because you seem to be saying that Ellen's show bombed because she came out, but I don't think so. I really liked the show (didn't we all already know she was gay?!), but after she came out, the show just wasn't funny anymore. I quit watching because the amusement quality went way down, not cause Ellen's gay. Like I said, who didn't already know?
Douglas A. writes: Why on earth are there so many award shows and so many categories in
each award show? It really makes it all anti-climactic by the time the Academy Awards roll around. It is like t-ball, everyone gets a participation trophy! GRRR!
S. Johnson writes: What a bunch of gratuitous bull!
Renee V. writes: Hey Mike! Grrr to shameless plugging of your upcoming book, in the column. When I click on “Your Grrrs” I like to read about what real people like to gripe about. I would rather not waste my time reading your fan mail. Get back to the basics and leave the Tinseltown out of the column. I can catch that all on an “entertainment” segment. Speaking for myself, I enjoy the columns that deal with the things we all find annoying in our ordinary, everyday lives. I could have sworn that is what the Grrr column was about.
Barbara G. writes: Mike, just finished reading your book. Loved it. One question ... do you have a problem with born-again Christians? I hope not, I am one, and I am not an Oblivion.
Your definition of a self-righteon includes them. Even before you defined the term Oblivion, I have always made an attempt not to be one, as a courtesy to others. The McDonald's straw-sucking story had me rolling! Thanks for the laugh.