There’s two major vectors that caused this catastrophe (and from the standpoint of running a simple awards show, it was indeed a catastrophe):
The competence collapse is endemic from the top to the bottom of our society, but it is especially grave at the top. If the bottom is incompetent, well, there’s a reason they are the bottom. I’m not sure a society can both be as centralized as our own and survive incompetence at the top.
This is the second major, multi-million dollar budgeted awards show in as many years to flub the single most important reveal of the show. Like the old “You had one job” meme, they have one real job — to announce the winners. They couldn’t manage that. Instead of doing his job, one of the two people who actually knew what the results was supposed to be was busy tweeting out photos of actresses.
Our elites can’t manage any of their jobs. Hollywood can’t even put on a simple awards show, much less make a movie worth watching. PewDiePie does a better job of entertaining teenagers than Hollywood can manage. Our political pundits missed both the major stories of the year — Brexit and the frigging presidential election, not just blowing both calls but assuring us that it would absolutely go the other way. Since then, they’ve continued to blow every major call, like Paul Krugman claiming that the market had no direction but down after the election — while it has rallied like never before since then.
Our elites have no fucking clue what is going on in the world. They mock Trump for saying that Sweden has a migrant crime problem… and then discover that Sweden has a migrant crime problem. The military elites can’t beat ISIS. They can’t even figure out who is and isn’t ISIS. Target self immolates trying to appease Perverts and People Who Love Perversion. Starbucks ruins its brand promising to hire refugees as baristas. No one, anywhere at the top, has any idea what the rank and file of the country think and feel.
And on top of all of that? Trust is going. I’ve talked about how vital trust is to civilization:
Society as we know it cannot exist without basic honesty. You might not believe it, but the vast majority of people you see today will deal with you honestly. The guy at the gas station will honor his agreement to sell you quality gasoline at the posted rate, and you will not give him counterfeit bills. You will not be shorted on the gas measurement, and you will not run off without paying.
When you get to work, you will leave your car, and it will be there when you get back. You will go in, and you will do the work you agreed upon with your employer. Your employer will fulfill the contracts that it has with its customers, and the customers will pay those contracts. You will file reports, and those reports will be correct and accurate. You will make statements to your customers, and those statements will be true to your knowledge. That is how society works, and if we couldn’t rely on people to deal with us honestly without the law getting involved, then we would not be able to operate as a society.
To me, that is what honesty is. Civilization.
The entire problem with the Oscars comes back to a lack of trust, based on a shown lack of honesty.
Warren Beatty got the wrong envelope because there were two envelopes. Why was there a second envelope? Because no one could be trusted with a single envelope. If there was one envelope, someone would sneak a peek and then leak the list. Therefore, there has to be a decoy list. Why didn’t Beatty know ahead of time? Because people assume that the actors would leak the results if they knew even right before they go onstage. Why isn’t it on the teleprompter? Because you can’t trust the teleprompter operator not to leak it.
All of this secrecy goes on because no one is trustworthy. No one can be trusted to not fuck up the reveal by leaking it ahead of time. Instead, you have this crazy Rube Goldberg machine of secrecy that ends up being too complicated for the nimrod elites we have running it to manage. And then it takes two minutes to fix it, even though twitter nimrod presumably knew roughly 1 second after they announced it.
Because our elites can’t be trusted to run a simple system, even simple things have to be turned into a giant, complicated to-do to make up for that lack of trust. Because our elites are incompetent, they can’t even make the simple system run properly, and are guaranteed to fail to make the complicated system run properly.
This is a major part of what is wrong with America.