Move over Hollywood insiders and make room for me. I'm squeezing myself into the Dreamgirls bandwagon.
I haven't seen the movie, but the buzz is delicious. New York Observer's Sara Vilkomerson called Dreamgirls the "gay man's Lord of the Rings." Well, it's going to be mine, too, given the fact I spent three consecutive Christmases having to watch Lord of the Rings "auf Deutsch" because my husband is German and that's where we were. This year I'll be in Detroit. I know exactly where I'll be Christmas Night. I'm seeing Dreamgirls. No Orcs allowed.
I got a fever. Effie fever.
Picture this: Jennifer Hudson with her Oscar. Cut to two years ago, when she was voted off American Idol. Such a powerhouse talent, gone. Wayside. Now, here she is, starring in Dreamgirls, playing the role of the singer who is pushed aside to make room for the prettier, more "saleable" lead, played by Beyonce. Early buzz was that Jennifer could have been a contender for Best Actress (instead of Best Supporting Actress), but Beyonce got the nod because she had more screen time (and clout).
Now it's time to rub our hands together in anticipation. We all know what's coming next. Come awards season, Jennifer is going to show up Miss Song & Dance Barbie on the strength of her passionate, powerful performance. She's going to hold up that golden statuette and glory will be hers. For a shining moment, Effie will rule the land. We will be Effie America, united, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
But Effie Fever is about more than Hollywood justice.
These past six years, I fell into a deep malaise. As I watched the government do all that was criminal and immoral to build and maintain its empire, I started to wonder, as depressives do, if this is how it will always be. If this upside-down world will ever go right-side-up.
Then came mid-terms. My friends and I laughed that yes, finally it was "morning in America." But like an animal trapped in a cave too long, I could see the light outside, but my eyes hurt from the darkness. I couldn't open them too quickly. Could it truly be that we were on the cusp of change?
OK, maybe it's not Effie America. But Henry Waxman is full steam ahead.
I don't expect the miracles to be televised. I believe that true reckoning is rarely achieved through congressional investigations or the criminal justice system. But in the next months, many who spent the last six years thinking that they were above the law will be called to account for their actions. We're not going to see an impeachment, and we may only see a few convictions. But the shifts are happening. A vessel as massive as the ship of state needs time to turn. You just have to know its turning.
In Dreamgirls, Effie brought the most passion and talent to the job, and she gets booted for someone with a weaker voice and more conventional beauty. In real life, Jennifer Hudson is on the cusp of major time in the sun. Call me silly and reaching, but this story makes me happy and gives me hope. The world isn't always going to be right-side-up. But I've got Effie Fever. Let this be another domino. May the seemingly omnipotent stay on notice.