Economics

Incentives Matter: Red Carpet Edition

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The second-best proposal I've seen for improving the Oscars this year, from Bruce Feiler at The Huffington Post:

Any proposal must introduce an economic incentive. In fact, the proper inducement is not to implore winners to shorten their speeches, but to offer them a way to lengthen them. The Academy should introduce a rule: If you insist on giving a laundry list of thank yous, we're going to cut you off after 30 seconds. But if you instead speak from the heart, tell a story, address your inspiration, or even—and how's this for a sure-fire Hollywood hit—talk about yourself (!), we'll let you go on for three minutes. Three minutes in front of a billion people to charm, to enamor, to sell, to "build your brand."

That ought to be enough incentive to leave the thank you list in your cleavage—or better yet, on the web. Which leads us to the ultimate money-maker: The Academy could open a portion of its website for the winners to post their gratitudinalia in the morning, which would have the added benefit of making sure, say, Hillary Swank doesn't leave off her (future) husband next time around. Think of all the hairdressers who would visit!

The best proposal, from the comment thread below Feiler's post:

I want to see Helen Mirren do some one-handed push-ups, mumble unintelligibly, scream "I'm Queen of the World!", then wander the wrong way off stage.

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  1. How is listening to some actor go on about themselves for 3 minutes better than a laundry-list of thank yous?

  2. Jesse – I wish to thank you for posting this thread. It made the Ron Paul one drop off the bottom. This way the participants in that argument could get a room and get it over with! Or at least argue in private 🙂

    (even though that was, as you note about the Oscars, entertainment!)

    cheers!
    VM

  3. Oh, I think more snipers would be an improvement.

  4. I’m waiting for someone to say:
    “The only reason anybody ever did anything for me was because I paid, threatened or blackmailed em. Quite frankly, my talent far exceeds the tribute being paid to it tonight. At least I can parley this into a decent paycheck. Then I can afford to fire my agent, divorce my wife, and otherwise scrape off all the parasites I’ve been carrying up till now.”

  5. Unlikely most of the mulch at Huffington, this idea has merit.

    Thanks, Jesse.

  6. I want to see Helen Mirren do some one-handed push-ups, mumble unintelligibly, scream “I’m Queen of the World!”, then wander the wrong way off stage.

    How ’bout Sean Penn sending an Iraqi refuge to refuse his award ala Sacheen Littlefeather did for Marlon Brando…oh wait, he’s not up for one.

    Then we’ll have to settle for Penelope Cruz saying, “you like me…you really like me.”

  7. Which leads us to the ultimate money-maker: The Academy could open a portion of its website for the winners to post their gratitudinalia in the morning, which would have the added benefit of making sure, say, Hillary Swank doesn’t leave off her (future) husband next time around.

    Sort of like congresscritters “revising and extending” their remarks in the Congressional Record?

    My personal proposal for improving the Oscars involves a trip to the video store for something interesting to watch.

  8. I want to see Helen Mirren do some one-handed push-ups, mumble unintelligibly, scream “I’m Queen of the World!”, then wander the wrong way off stage.

    Dpends on how low cut her dress is. I know she is currently the oldest woman on my chicks I’d do list. Seriously, take a look at this month’s LA Magazine cove.

  9. As long as there’s plenty of cleavage, I could frankly care less about whatever else happens at the Oscars.

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