This week brought the annual post-Oscars debate about whether the show was offensive, boring, edgy, too long, or all of the above. The reviews for DC's mishandling of the sequester were less divided, with pretty much everyone agreeing that it's a self-inflicted disaster -- one President Obama called "dumb," "arbitrary," "unnecessary," and "inexcusable." Alternatives from both sides of the aisle were voted down, but the right solution -- repealing the jobs-and-growth-killing budget cuts -- wasn't even considered. Meanwhile, at least one new job opening was created this week, as ex-Pope Benedict spent the first night of his retirement watching TV reports about his departure. Hopefully he skipped over Bob Woodward's pathetic media appearances, in which he turned a polite email exchange between friends into a threat, or stories about Justice Scalia calling the Voting Rights Act a "racial entitlement" -- a statement far more offensive than anything said during the Oscars. Talk about "seeing a boob."
This week was spent preparing for an event full of manufactured drama, long-winded speeches, self-congratulation, and fake sincerity. No, not the Oscars -- the Sequester. The crisis might be as manufactured as the ending of Argo, but the consequences are all too real, including a decline in growth and jobs, big cuts to national parks, and air travel chaos. So go ahead and tune that out for a night and take in another -- far more appealing -- spectacle in which people pretend to be something they're not. My predictions: Best Picture: Argo. Best Director: Ang Lee. Best Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro. Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway. Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis. And, in my upset special, 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress -- a role model of fearless aging.