As I continue my busman’s holiday from the artfully prepared political fare usually offered in this corner of cyberspace, I would like to discuss theoretical physics vs. applied physics through the prism of last night’s Oscar telecast. Look at your watch. It has probably stopped dead on February 22 at 8:30 p.m. when Neal Patrick Harris folded the time-space continuum into a relatively compact four hours. Like the Doomsday Clock or Carl Sagan’s cosmic calendar, let us chart all of known history into the black hole that was the 2015 Oscars.
Broadcast begins at at 8:30 p.m. ; Neil Patrick Harris takes the stage roughly 18 minutes after The Big Bang spews incalculable amounts of matter into the tractless void of interstellar space. Harris launches into a snappy yet bloated production number about loving the movies. The Milky Way galaxy begins to cool as newly made stars form the gaseous cores that will power them for millions of years or, until the first commercial. Harris stops dancing, bows and welcomes the audience to the Oscars. The newly birthed heavens run red, orange and white with inestimable amounts of radiation and cosmic lava. See the entire Oscar telecast in abbreviated form below:
Blobs of white hot material begin to harden as gravitation pull is established between the blobs and what will become the sun they will orbit. The first technical award of the evening is announced. The blobs become planets as they assume their various places in relation to the new sun. The second technical award winner of the evening gets lost on the way to the stage. After Earth hardens and cools enough for the first amoebas to form, life begins with single celled animals subdividing as J.K. Simmons accepts the best supporting actor for “Whiplash”. He advises the watching billions to call their mothers.
The most blindingly bright spot in the neophyte universe is seen while the camera pans the audience to find the exclusively Caucasian Oscar nominees. Their collective brightness destroys cameras two, three and seven in the auditorium. As the dinosaurs rise and dominate the planet for 350 million years, an executive from Price Waterhouse takes the stage to announce how Oscar votes are tabulated as he vouches for the secrecy and security of the final results. As another needless production number begins, a meteor wipes out the dinosaurs as a few surviving small mammals burrow into whatever soft ground they can find. See a time lapsed compendium of the Oscar production numbers below.
The production number ends and the president of the Motion Picture Academy enters and talks about loving movies as a child. Millions more years pass until mankind leaves the trees and discovers fire. Several ice ages come and go after which, Starbucks serves its very first cup of burned coffee. An ignorant planet demands more. As the Oscar clock grinds toward midnight, the best actor, actress and best movie are announced while Earth’s tectonic plates begin to push the continents into a vaguely familiar shape.
Sean Penn announces the best picture winner and wonders out loud how the winning Mexican director got a green card. Lady Gaga sings a “Sound of Music” medley and is actually good. Julie Andrews takes the stage and manages to kick time into forward motion once again. She does it with extreme elegance and thus imposes a modicum of order on the universe. Einstein’s ghost later haunts her as a professional courtesy. You have lost four hours of your life but you are now conversant with the mysteries of time and space with the 2015 Oscars as your handy guide.
If form holds, next year’s Oscars will let you stop aging altogether. Is that a good thing? Only Neil Patrick Harris knows for sure. If the Multiverse theory is real, then there are limitless numbers of Oscar shows on other planes of dimension. In one of them, a slightly altered version of me is hosting. I only agreed to it because I rock a tux. Vain, you say?
It’s the Oscars, bro.