Virtue Signaling and Red-Carpet Ready

Tonight, for the 89th time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present the Academy Awards. Jimmy Kimmel of late night TV fame will host the Hollywood event.

As is my custom – a custom of long-standing, I might add – I will choose this evening to ignore the festivities.

The reasons I ignore the Oscars differ from year to year but the one I have chosen for this year is “virtue signaling.”

Virtue signaling is the act of telling others how much more wonderful you are than they are. As practiced today, it relies on the idea that Americans have become invertebrates or, to use the preferred term, victims. We have lost the ability to take care of ourselves, replacing that skill with whining about what is being done to us.

The accomplished virtue signaler weaponizes his empathy much the way “red-carpet ready” actresses brandish their… well, you know.

Though I confess I had not thought of it, I do understand how it could take about a month for an actress to become “red-carpet ready,” a phrase well deserving of high position on any listing of the world’s most loathsome expressions.

What I had not imagined was the amount of publicist time required to craft an acceptance speech that combined the appropriate thanking with the now-required “virtue signaling” all within the time allotted to each recipient.

This is big work and don’t forget: for each speech you hear, there are five or so others that were prepared for those who did not win. Hence they remain folded in jacket pockets. I am not sure where the “red-carpet ready” ladies keep them.

A finely tuned virtue signaling acceptance speech will tell us which heartbreaking tragedy the speaker opposes or which uplifting image (generally not an actual person) he “stands with.”

Publicists will burnish the “I am so virtuous” theme much as the gravity defying dress designer will manage the cleavage or derriere.

There is an important difference between virtue signaling and derriere management. Virtue signaling is more expensive.

Those dresses are not actually bought; the designers lend them to the stars and wannabes in trade for the publicity.

The publicist can hardly take credit for his work: “so and so is delivering remarks by [insert publicist name here]” as that would defeat the purpose hence he as to get paid in cash.

“Virtue signaling” is a bore and it differs little from getting “red-carpet ready.” Yet fans will copy both to no discernable advantage.

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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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