Virtue Signaling and Red-Carpet Ready

Tonight, for the 89th time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present the Academy Awards. Jimmy Kimmel of late night TV fame will host the Hollywood event.

As is my custom – a custom of long-standing, I might add – I will choose this evening to ignore the festivities.

The reasons I ignore the Oscars differ from year to year but the one I have chosen for this year is “virtue signaling.”

Virtue signaling is the act of telling others how much more wonderful you are than they are. As practiced today, it relies on the idea that Americans have become invertebrates or, to use the preferred term, victims. We have lost the ability to take care of ourselves, replacing that skill with whining about what is being done to us.

The accomplished virtue signaler weaponizes his empathy much the way “red-carpet ready” actresses brandish their… well, you know.

Though I confess I had not thought of it, I do understand how it could take about a month for an actress to become “red-carpet ready,” a phrase well deserving of high position on any listing of the world’s most loathsome expressions.

What I had not imagined was the amount of publicist time required to craft an acceptance speech that combined the appropriate thanking with the now-required “virtue signaling” all within the time allotted to each recipient.

This is big work and don’t forget: for each speech you hear, there are five or so others that were prepared for those who did not win. Hence they remain folded in jacket pockets. I am not sure where the “red-carpet ready” ladies keep them.

A finely tuned virtue signaling acceptance speech will tell us which heartbreaking tragedy the speaker opposes or which uplifting image (generally not an actual person) he “stands with.”

Publicists will burnish the “I am so virtuous” theme much as the gravity defying dress designer will manage the cleavage or derriere.

There is an important difference between virtue signaling and derriere management. Virtue signaling is more expensive.

Those dresses are not actually bought; the designers lend them to the stars and wannabes in trade for the publicity.

The publicist can hardly take credit for his work: “so and so is delivering remarks by [insert publicist name here]” as that would defeat the purpose hence he as to get paid in cash.

“Virtue signaling” is a bore and it differs little from getting “red-carpet ready.” Yet fans will copy both to no discernable advantage.

5 Responses to “Virtue Signaling and Red-Carpet Ready”

Haven Pell, February 26, 2017 at 11:23 am said:

I am glad I wrote my story earlier today before reading the daily dose of news. Here are some other takes on the theme

5 ways politics could steal the show at Oscars by Judy Kurtz in The Hill

How Oscar winners can do political speeches the right way by Alyssa Rosenberg in WaPo

Alyssa, sorry there is no right way for crafted images disguised as actors to do political speeches.


Brandy, February 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm said:

If only the commercials were of Super Bowl quality! Maybe a throw back to the Marlboro man with a NASCAR back drop 🙂


GARRARD GLENN, February 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm said:

I did not read the Pundificator’s links to the media sources re political speeches.
I will however offer up this advice: any twisted, deluded celebrity goofball who makes
a political speech at the Oscars must be immediately transported to one of Kim Jong
Un’s labor camps for processing. This cultural imperative will be imposed retroactively as well
upon Meryl Streep, who made a political speech at the Golden Globules award show.


Tim Warburton, February 27, 2017 at 7:23 am said:

Hard not feel badly for Faye Dunaway, when showed by Warren Beatty the Winner’s card with the idea she would spot the same thing Warren did and stop and consider that they had the wrong card, She instead just went ahead and read it out loud.
Why Warren didn’t have the wits to stop it before it happened will remain a mystery for a while, but at the same time to his credit, it appears that he refused to indict Faye any more than he did.. !
Being in England at the moment, I did not stay up to watch the evening, but read about in the Hollywood report – Natch.. (where else?)
Oscars Shocker: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway Read Wrong Best Picture Winner

As seen by millions of viewers, when Beatty opened the envelope, he paused, as if not quite sure what he was seeing, but then passed it to Dunaway, who announced “La La Land!”

One studio publicist, who was standing next to someone backstage who had a headset on, heard a stage manager say, “That’s the wrong envelope. It’s Moonlight!” What followed was unprecedented in Oscar history.


Bill Gordon, February 27, 2017 at 10:27 am said:

Hey! Lots of reasons to avoid watching the Oscar show not the least of which is they are insufferably boring.
Is anyone actually watching the movies?


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