In a corporate-office-themed penthouse somewhere in La-La Land, Alec Baldwin is snoozing and dreaming a troubled dream. For as he dozes, two glimmering statuettes begrudgingly share his mantel: a sassy best actor Emmy and a distinguished Oscar, probably given to him from editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who was weighed down with her other two and figured he deserved something for ‘The Departed.’
This week’s ThingFight delves into a conflict that has been silently brewing for decades: the battle between the Oscar statuette and its deceptively angelic Emmy counterpart. The resentment has been building since Greco-Roman times, when Oscar was the god of art and entertainment and Emmy the goddess of prime time television. The question becomes unavoidable: what if they fought?
A little-known historical insight: it is rumored that the world’s first Oscar statue, presented to the real Benjamin Button for his stunning 1935 biopic, was made by encasing a tiny man in solid gold. From his muffled metal entombment, the man seemed to be crying ‘Oscar! Oscar!’ In actuality, he was crying ‘oh my god oh my god let me out why are you doing this to me, you’re sick, you’re sick, you’re sick.” The Emmy’s origins are slightly less glamorous: minutes before the first-ever ceremony, the producers realized they had forgotten to prepare any sort of prize. In a MacGyver-esque fit of ingenuity, they rounded up all of their daughters’ (and effeminate sons’) ballet trophies and handed them out to the winners. The tradition has continued ever since, using less expensive, copper-filled statues.
Physically, the two have little in common other than being small, golden and creepily faceless like the minions from the original Power Rangers. The Oscar rests atop a symbolic reel that represents the five spokes of the cinematic collective: money hoarders, child stars, the Wizard of Oz, Eddie Murphy and lighting assistants’ (though Christian Bale insists on thinning out that last spoke himself). The Oscar, shamelessly displaying his guns, stands composed and regal, as if silently saying ‘bring it, beeyotch.’ Oscar has indeed had his fair share of workout time, if you’ll recall the cover shoot he landed on last November’s Men’s Health magazine for his ‘Gold Star Diet.’ The Emmy, perched on her tiptoes, is poised forward to make her slim body look more fearsome, like that of a panther or female gymnast. She is grounded by her pedestal, a spray painted golden can of cat food filled with the ashes of forgotten best boy key grips.’
But their posturing is only half the story ‘-‘- what they’re holding might be just as important. The Emmy carries the atom, and her head is a little smaller than a tenth of the size of it. She’s already a statuette, how much more insignificant do they need to make her? Now observe the Oscar’s cinematic endowment. Considerably larger, he holds in his hands his glorious Excalibur. The Emmy, an angel, should have understood the significance of that juicy hand candy. Everyone knows the coolest saint is Michael because he’s brandishing some cold, hard steel. Shakespeare knew it, Peter Jackson lived it and Michael Moore may never understand.’ A little swordplay goes a long way amongst art connoisseurs, and we here at ThingFight are no exception.
Just as the Hollywood sign has the magical ability to illuminate searchlights across Tinseltown, and Ryan Seacrest has the ability to make anyone he interacts with uncomfortable, the Oscar and the Emmy each have their own special powers. Though little scientific background is provided about the origins of each phenomenon, there is still irrefutable evidence. Whenever mortals come in contact with an Oscar, they lose composure and cry like the backwards-aging political activist wrestlers that they play in their films (see Halle Berry). When a winner comes in contact with the Emmy, he or she is inspired to make witty jokes and censored political statements.
As the fight begins, Oscar seems to have the upper hand. Emmy’s arms are raised high in the air, holding some sort of half-finished golden rubber band ball, leaving her armpits completely susceptible to a tickle attack. One would think the Emmy could escape on her golden wings, but alas, the careful observer will note that they are not actually wings but lightning bolts, painfully shooting out of her back. After Oscar’s initial blow, Emmy could use her overwhelming shininess to blind him long enough to counterattack. It comes down to a classic battle of agility vs. strength, David vs. Goliath, Pikachu vs. Blastoise.
The victor? Oscar by a mile. Even out of the context of a physical fight, Oscar has so much more going for him: while most Emmys end up being sold on eBay by cash-strapped boom mic operators, Oscar divides the rest of his year between stunt doubling for the Silver Surfer, donning the uniform of the MTV Video Music Awards Moon Man and, of course, nailing the Statue of Liberty.