Like the blog purporting to have an “Oscar 2009 winners list leaked”. At this point, with so many of the categories locked as far back as December, I’m sure a chimpanzee could have come up with the same names.

Then comes right-wing wacko flack Michael Levine offering to opine about what he’s calling “Luxury Shame”. “Award shows often mean free loot for celebrities, but with the economy tanking, this Academy Awards season will see real changes in the giveaway culture. My sources inside Hollywood, including studio heads and academy award winners say that ‘luxury shame’ plays a big role. The world is hurt economically. People feel a need to be more conservative and not flaunt their wealth. I thought this was a timely idea for you. Please let me know if you’d like to discuss it more fully.” What an idiot. He doesn’t even know the Oscar gift baskets were cancelled years ago.

The traffic around the Kodak Theater is a mess now that streets get closed a full week before Sunday’s broadcast. I sympathize with this complainer: “I’m a motion picture sound editor who works southwest of the Kodak. Of course, the traffic here is never good and only gets worse any time there’s an awards show and ESPECIALLY during the Academy season, which for some reason takes 7+ days of street closures. However, they have not bothered to hire any traffic control officers, and it is becoming IMPOSSIBLE to get to, or leave, work on the boulevard. What kind of bullshit is that? This morning there was a line on the street just south of Hollywood (next to Hollywood High), and everyone was trying to make a righ-hand turn North to Hollywood, which meant NOBODY was moving.  Finally we all made a THIRD lane to try and get through to our building.  There was even a parking cop who did the exact same thing. I know you have much bigger fish, but it seems to me this is blatantly bad planning and is affecting all our businesses even more than normal.  The driving I have seen is dangerous.  It’s not like they wouldn’t have seen this coming!”

Every year, betting sites from Vegas to London purport to give odds on the Oscar winners and claim to be “an uncannily accurate predictor of who will actually win”. I’m not sure who are the bigger clowns: the oddsmakers or the bettors. Here are the odds being offered by something called BetOnline.com for this year’s Academy Awards. Like, duh:

BEST PICTURE
Slumdog Millionaire -250 (Bettors risk $250 for every $100 to win.)
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button +350
Milk +800
Frost/Nixon +1500
The Reader +2500

BEST ACTRESS
Kate Winslett -130
Anne Hathaway +185
Merryl Streep +350
Angelina Jolie +1800
Melissa Leo +2500

BEST ACTOR
Mickey Rourke -110
Sean Penn +160
Frank Langella +700
Brad Pitt +2000
Richard Jenkins +3000

More Oscar bullshit as it comes in through Sunday…