2005_11_Artsbloggersoscars.jpgFirst bloggers were accused of damaging journalism, then politics, and now? The Oscars! What's next, Christmas?

The LA Times' Patrick Goldstein has accused bloggers, aka "the web's Oscar dingbats...bickering over supporting actor nominations and movies they haven't even seen yet" of spoiling the awards by over-predicting and even ruining the post-film experience: "When I went to an early screening of Terrence Malick's "The New World" the other night, my first reaction was one of almost giddy pleasure...Of course, my next reaction brought me down to earth. What would happen to Malick's film when it was ground through the sausage factory of Oscar blogs and websites that have transformed the Academy Awards from a celebration of movies into a silly exercise in Ouija board-style predictions and lamebrained analysis?"

Goldstein goes on to lament the blogosphere's numerous Oscar predictions, which he considers a symptom of a more serious disease, namely handicapping the Oscars by failing to analyze the art of movies and what they "say about America" in favor of obsessing over the Academy's reaction to them. And though he also criticizes the mainstream media, he focuses primarily on bloggers, who subject films to "the demeaning, nauseatingly superficial ritual of Oscar prognosticating." But honestly, we think Oscar predictions are nothing new -- before blogs, they existed by the water-cooler -- and if the Oscars commend the best and most relevant of each year's films, it's only natural that audiences, and not just bloggers, would be interested in discussing and predicting which count as 'the best.' Also, we often think arts columnists are fooling themselves (and probably stroking their "intellectual" egos) if they actually believe they can properly analyze America through Oscar-nominated films.

And while Goldstein is quick to criticize bloggers, many who focus on the art and meaning of today's films, he supposedly remains innocent because while he writes an Oscar prediction column and is even considering starting a podcost, he does it only once a year and "not 47 times a week." So we guess the real issue is the amount of time and space we dedicate to Oscar predictions? Does anyone agree with Goldstein? Though we understand how aggravating blogs' Oscar-obsessing can be - aren't print reporters just as guilty? Or is he just overreacting, shifting the blame on bloggers? Doesn't it seem like it's actually the studios and marketing execs that always push the Oscars? And does it even make a difference since, in recent years, the Oscars haven't seemed to matter much?

And even though Gothamist doesn't always like the Oscar nominations, winners or telecast, we still get a kick out of blogging about it all! Our Oscar commentary from 2003, 2004 and 2005.