If you ever have occasion to go to an awards show put on by one of the many companies in Hollywood, including but not limited to the Oscars, the MTV Movie Awards, the Golden Globes, or Satan's Top Ten Celebrities of the Year Awards, here's a little advice I have to offer, based on my recent experience attending the 2007 MTV Movie Awards.
Ready? Here it is.
I'm sorry to be so rough on these masturbatory gatherings Hollywood likes to put on every year, but like free movie screenings, the trouble, heartache, and anger that result from one's attending, or even desiring to attend, make for a sunburned neck, bitter cynicism and jaded commentary, and a messed up chi like you wouldn't believe.
I was invited to be a seat-filler at the MTV Awards show, which I thought might be fun and interesting, and at the very least, would result in many celebrity sightings. My initial fear that I would also be subject to many sightings of Lindsay Lohan's vagina was certainly one of the selling points in the argument against attending, but it was a calculated risk. I took the bait and agreed, throwing my hat into the ring and my Sunday afternoon into the toilet.
I've spent better time on a toilet, actually, so I'm not sure that's a fair statement.
We left the house at eleven–the show was in Burbank, you see, at lovely and handsomely overpriced Universal City, another self-congratulatory Hollywood amusement, by the way–and we needed to be there by noon. "Noon Sharp!" the email, the phone call, and voice mail all assured us. "Don't be late! Don't bring your cell phones, pagers, stereos, iPods, pets, candy bars, Oedipal complexes, or death wishes to the theatre, or you will be turned away!" These were stern warnings. To be sure we would not lose our coveted seat-filler positions, we emptied our pockets of anything resembling self-respect and marched to the check-in area, where a small crowd of MTV poster children were gathered like hens in a Tyson defeathering pant.
Side note: This year's women's fashion is apparently meant to emulate hippie parachutes or giant fruit costumes with holes cut out for legs and arms. I saw one girl wearing what looked like Cinderella's pumpkin coach. If there is one piece of advice I can offer the ladies this summer it is this: if you can possibly help it, try not to go outside whilst wearing these abominations. And have you considered the benefits of bras, or did you just fool yourself into thinking bad fashion choices plus gravity wouldn't get the best of you?
We arrived, were shuffed into line, and inched forward to the tent where the decision was made by the MTV gods to allow you passage or deny you in front of the chatty Cathy's already lucky enough to be selected for "Most likely to be mistaken for actual hams" award. These are the hopefuls, the dreamers, the ones who either grew up out here without a family connection, or came out here thinking they could try to sleep their way to the top, or at the very least, watch a lot of The O.C. and practice their emo hipster moves on their friends.
Check in was not the rigorous process we had imagined. Had we been terrorists wanting to fight against the depravity and complacency of the Great Satan, several hundred wannabe celebrity buttlickers would have disappeared in a cloud of smoke and fake Vera Wang outfits.
Whereupon we were placed in a line, a very strict line, a line that the MTV flunkies were diligent about patrolling every ten minutes or so, a line that soon grew seven abreast, still distinct and uniform in its way, defining the "have nots" from the "almost ares" and the "Dear God help us pleases." We were in the "Almost Ares" line, which was mostly males since all the females were pulled from our line to be put into the "Casted" line, which is MTV code for "another line, but with mostly poorly-clad females."
We stood in line for roughly two hours, whereupon they began shuffling lines forward little by little, around a building, through a hedgerow, down a red carpet, through some metal detectors, and then next to the theatre, again, MTV flunkies stressing the importance of the sanctity and integrity of the lines.
Another two hours went by. A line moved forward. The crowd gasped. Perhaps this was salvation from the sun and the heat and the ever-present din of teenage and twenty-something harpies and jock-boys talking enough hot air to add to the global warming threat. Then nothing moved for quite some time…
More tomorrow, when I complete my cynical and enraged account of my visit to the 2007 MTV Movie Awards.