Culture Crash 19-07: The Academy’s Unforced Errors

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.

As you may have heard, this year’s Oscars have been a disaster since the word “go.” Over the past few months, the Academy has announced a Best Popular Film award, that Kevin Hart would be the host, and that only two of the nominees for Best Song would be performing. All three of those ideas stirred up controversy and all three have been reversed. Best Popular Film has been shelved for discussion another year, this year’s awards show will not have a host, and all the Best Song nominees will perform.

So, problems fixed, right? Well, not so fast, because the Academy is committing another unforced error. Higher-ups at the Oscars have begun insisting certain awards will be announced during commercial breaks and occur off-air to trim the show’s runtime, and I guess to skip on giving hard-working craftspeople their shining moments.

Awards are, of course, arbitrary. Ranking art is a personal endeavor, so calling someone the Best Actress or Best Director of a certain year is relatively insignificant. What many of us who love awards shows like the Oscars are attached to is the celebration of an art form we cherish. I disagree with the winners more often than not, but I like seeing the craft celebrated; I like having a list of things worth checking out, and I like getting a glimpse behind the scenes at the editors, screenwriters, and costume artists who make the movies we all go see. To steal these moments from those artists is to ignore the greater purpose of the show in the first place.

It’s not supposed to be about stargazing celebrity obsession. I mean, okay, of course, it is. But it isn’t just that, or at least it shouldn’t be. It should also be a celebration of filmmaking. To eliminate so-called “lesser” awards so Lady Gaga or Christian Bale can have more time to shine is a shame. The Oscars air once a year. I wish the Academy would let that show serve to honor as many people as possible and not just the famous ones in the fancy tuxes.

I’m Evan Rook. 

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18-52 Segment 1: Unlocking Creativity: Tips for sticking to your artistic New Year’s resolutions in 2019

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We’re about to enter the season of New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you want to write a book, make a short film, or paint your masterpiece. We talk to two published authors about silencing your inner critic, breaking through any artistic funks, and finally putting pen to paper in 2019.


  • Danielle Krysa, author, Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk: and other truths about being creative
  • David W. Berner, professor and author

Links for more information:

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18-42 Segment 1: The Art of Video Games

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Video games are often considered child’s play, or at least something below “real” art. Author Andrew Ervin argues that’s not true, and that video games are now big-business for TV networks and advertisers, as well as a source of true artfulness.


  • Andrew Ervin, author, Bit by Bit: How video games transformed our world

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18-39 Segment 1: Hank Green on the Internet, Fame, and Our Reaction Culture

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Hank Green has a massive internet presence as a podcaster, vlogger, tweeter, and more. Now, he’s become an author. His new book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, deals with internet fame and our reactionary culture head-on. He joins the show to discuss these issues, and whether is the internet is good.


  • Hank Green, author, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

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Coming Up On Viewpoints Show 17-21



Video Games Evolution: From frivolous entertainment to bonafide art: Video games have long been seen as child’s play, but now they are the source of massive TV ratings and legitimate artistic expression. We talk to author Andrew Ervin about the transformation.

The Gift of Numbers: The impact of Fibonacci: As hard as it is to imagine, before an Italian mathematician we know as Fibonacci came to the scene, most people didn’t use numbers. We talk to mathematician and author Keith Devlin about Fibonacci’s mammoth contribution to mathematics and our daily lives.

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17-04 Segment 2: Unleashing Your Creativity

Focused young female artist working on a new painting in her workshop


It’s a common goal to get back to the creative passions of your youth and write that novel but something always seems to be holding us back. We talk to two experts about the roadblocks on the way to finishing your masterpiece and how to overcome them.

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Click here for guest information and the transcript

15-08 Story 2: Increasing Creativity through Drawing


Synopsis: We all drew pictures as children, but as we grew older, we saw that we either did or did not have real talent. Those of us who were not skilled gave it up and went on to do other things. Our guest says that we shouldn’t have dropped the pencil or paintbrush, and he’ll tell us how we can all benefit from drawing on a daily basis – both in developing skill in art, and creativity and confidence in other parts of our lives.

Host: Marty Peterson. Guest: Danny Gregory, artist, teacher, founder of the Sketchbook Skool, and author of “Art Before Breakfast: A zillion ways to be more creative no matter how busy you are.”

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Click here for the transcript.