Let a ribbon be worth a thousand words ... please

Don't waste speech at the Oscars on politics

accessories can speak for you

Satire

March 16, 2003|By Paul Brownfield | Paul Brownfield,Special to the Sun

To: Presenters and winners at the 75th Annual Academy Awards

From: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Ribbon Committee

Subject: Ribbons for the 75th Annual Academy Awards

Dear presenters, nominees and winners:

As you know, the 75th Annual Academy Awards are taking place under the terrible cloud of a potential war in Iraq. We at the academy understand that many of you will be tempted to voice deeply held opinions -- opinions, I trust, that your assistants are busily researching at this time.

However, we have a dilemma, and that dilemma is time. There is simply not enough space in our Oscar broadcast for everyone onstage to voice an opinion. (Do you know how long it takes to say "Paul Wolfowitz"? Try it sometime.)

While the American public feels the Oscar telecast drags on and on, we here at the academy fully appreciate the vital (my emphasis) and courageous (Tom Cruise's emphasis) role actors and actresses play when they formulate an opinion on world affairs -- particularly when they haven't even been in a movie about world affairs.

After much consideration, therefore, the academy has decided to issue various ribbons as a means of wordlessly representing the diversity of political opinion in the Hollywood community toward President Bush and U.S. military action in Iraq.

These ribbons will be color-coded for your convenience. We ask that you decide which ribbon to wear no later than one week prior to broadcast; once you decide which ribbon to wear, please do not flip-flop, which could create havoc for our volunteer staff. The ribbon color schemes will be released to the media so that Oscar viewers can follow along at home, matching ideology to their favorite star!

Finally, those opting to wear a button are asked not to wear a ribbon, as the academy feels this will be aesthetically confusing.

Ribbon guidelines are as follows:

* Red-white-and-blue ribbon with a green trim: You are in favor of a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq.

* Red-white-and-blue ribbon with a mauve trim: You are not in favor of a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq.

* Red-white-and-blue ribbon with a black trim: You feel a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq has little to do with security issues and everything to do with foreign oil interests.

* Red-white-and-blue ribbon: You have no opinion on the entire matter.

* Red-white-and-blue ribbon in the shape of a baguette: You can't understand what is up with the French.

* Blue-and-white ribbon with an orange trim (kind of a blood orange): You feel the continuing crisis in Israel has to be priority No. 1 for the Bush administration. While you do not hold the Israeli people responsible for the actions of their government, you are dismayed at the continuing crisis with the Palestinians.

* Blue-and-white ribbon with an orange trim (a more soothing, desert-spice shade of orange): You feel the same as the people wearing the ribbons with the blood-orange trim, but you wish to say that you consider Israel to be not only an important ally strategically but also a friend. In fact, some of your best friends are Jewish; at parties you can be seen nodding your head as they complain about how the media distorts Israel's role in the Middle East conflict.

* Green ribbon (green-apple green): You drive a hybrid car; you consider yourself an environmentalist first and foremost.

* Green ribbon (more like a teal): OK, so you have an SUV, but you also own a hybrid car and you have instructed your nanny to use the hybrid when she takes the kids to, say, Jerry's Deli on Saturday.

* Ribbon with a question mark (available in white with black question mark, or black with white question mark): You have no idea how this whole U.N. resolution process works.

* Ribbon with an exclamation point: You can't believe the people wearing the ribbons with the question mark don't know how this whole U.N. resolution process works.

* Black ribbon: You feel the end of the world is at hand.

* Black ribbon with white trim: You feel the end of the world is at hand, but you want agents and producers to know that you're still listening to movie offers, although you are not willing to do television, unless it's a starring role in one of those criminal procedure series that people and critics seem to like.

Paul Brownfield is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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