Oscar/Olympic Heresy?

I know: saying this, I’ll be pummeled with little gold statues, medals and ice skates. But at what point will humanity outgrow competition? When will we say, “Here’s what the Canadians did beautifully. These were the Russian strengths. And the U.S. excelled at this.”

It’s not quite the same as giving every kid who plays soccer a trophy—though I wouldn’t mind that either. By the time athletes, actors and actresses have reached the point of competing in the Olympics or being nominated for an Academy Award, they’re at the top of their fields. They’re all spectacular. Trying to compare Amy Adams and Judi Dench is like adding apples and oranges. Let’s simply say, “Cate Blanchett, you were riveting. Philomena, you were the very portrait of a formidable forgiveness.”

The original Olympic athletes received a laurel wreath. No record that they were painted gold, silver or bronze. Can’t the world’s finest come together for the sheer joy of the sport and the celebration of their skills? Why must some go home angry and disappointed? As for the movies: throw the parties. Parade the gowns and jewelry. Lift a glass of champagne to the fine art of film-making. But forget the envelope, the phony suspense, the awards that often seem arbitrary. Why must the human race be further divided?

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