According to sources, a fascinating Hollywood ritual has been taking place each year for the past eight decades at which prominent members of the film community gather to lampoon themselves and their craft by staging an elaborate "roast" cleverly framed as a lavish tribute to the mere fact of their professional existence. The Friar's Club-like organization in charge is called "the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences," a deadpan witticism in itself that captures perfectly the no-holds-barred, satirical spirit of the event.
The symbolic self-flagellation begins outside the venue, where the arriving guests--dressed in borrowed jewelry and gifted high-end designer clothing--must walk a red carpet through a gauntlet of media personnel doing a spot-on impression of a crowd of sybaritic hacks. The two-fold message is clear: For one night, let us remember that we have this world so thoroughly by the balls that Harry Winston and Giorgio Armani won't even let us spend our own millions, and let us also remember to never take ourselves seriously lest we spawn a cottage industry of aggressively sycophantic "entertainment news" journalism against which our only defense would be Alec Baldwin's fists.
Once inside, the hazing continues as each already-rich-as-Croesus invitee must dislodge from their seat a bag containing $80,000 worth of redundant luxury items and then keep it on the floor between their legs for the rest of the evening as a form of penance for their excessive good fortune. Then the lights dim, and for the next four hours, scores of mock "awards" are presented in an amusingly endless list of categories of basic industry functions. The particulars of each award are irrelevant -- the jest lies in the fact that everyone present is already so overloaded with unearned blessings that to throw in awards based on peer recognition would be like saying "As befits your charmed life, even though you were just doing your grossly overpaying job, you nevertheless deserve a special award for having shown up for work pretty much every single business day for several weeks and even months at a time, and for having contributed to the creation of a salable work product by meeting expectations and generally demonstrating the competence necessary to obtain steady employment in your respective film industry sector."
When the last award statuette is finally handed out, the guests disperse and make their way to one of several private post-award soirees where these deeply sensitive and grounded film professionals can relax with their colleagues, reflect on the humbling lessons of the evening, and continue to laugh heartily at themselves over a Baccarat punchbowl of Cristal.