Monday, January 31, 2005

A "Passion" for boycotts

More amusement heads our way from the folks at "Passion for Fairness," a web-based advocacy group started to petition The Academy to nominate "The Passion" for Best Picture. When that didn't pan out for them, they ominously promised a major announcement...

Here it is:

Short and sweet: They want all their like-minded fellows to skip watching the Oscar telecast and instead rent and re-watch "Passion" instead. They plan to offer tips and suggestions for staging "Passion Parties," for the occasion which, if nothing else, are sure to be the most pleasant and proper-looking events where people gather to delight in watching film of a man getting stripped and whipped for two hours ever.

As PR manuvers go, it has the potential for doozy-hood. The possibility of news about "surprisingly low Oscar ratings" being juxtaposed with footage of cherub-faced partygoers downing root beer and munching cheeze-puffs to the beat of Caveziel's flesh-flaying would be appropriately iconic. Overall, though, this is a surprisingly harmless, sensible and creative reaction on their part. But along comes THIS little money quote:

"This is not a boycott. We will not target advertisers of the Oscars. We are not encouraging or discouraging any action toward Hollywood. Rather, we simply suggest a better channel for our frustration toward the Academy."

Umm... guys? Yes, it is a boycott. It doesn't matter if you don't actively target the advertisers, if the ratings go down it effects the ad revenues which is the same thing. The only way it wouldn't be a boycott would be if you instructed Passion-partiers to leave their TV's tuned to the telecast while they watched the DVD, so that the ratings would remain unaffected, but that would negate the whole point and be kinda silly. But still, folks... your staging a boycott. Just admit it. Part of being a grown-up advocacy group is using the proper names for things. You wish to inflict symbolic injury upon The Academy, so your boycotting the telecast. There's nothing wrong with that, but be honest with us already.

(BTW, just my own personal thought here... wouldn't the real "turn the other cheek" thing to do here be to watch the show anyway, possibly while praying for the souls of those involved? Just a thought.)