I love movies, and I am often caught up in film noir. In fact, I even enjoy the Academy Awards. Kathy usually watches them with a group of friends. This year, her group didn’t get together but spent a lot of time texting each other during the show. We stayed up until the very end, which was worth it. It’s not usually a man’s thing – I once tried to have an Oscar night with a group of friends, and it felt like the Caine mutiny when I proposed it (“baseball, football, basketball, curling – but not the Oscars, Marv! Real men don’t watch the Oscars.”).
So, there I was, watching the Oscars – even more Oscars than I wanted because of the “runway show” that precedes it and all the rich and famous that stroll in for high praise and awe for what they are wearing and, of course, their performances that could win them that gold statue. Yes, we are dealing with the upper echelon of celebrity.
So, as we finally approached the end of the show, the memorial tributes to those who have died during the past year came on the screen with Sara Bareilles singing the Joni Mitchell song “Both Sides Now”. It always gives me nostalgia and sadness to see people I have watched over the years get their final credit that says “The End”. In other words, this is your final acknowledgement as you are laid to rest somewhere.
What added to this finality in a way was watching Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, the stars of Bonnie & Clyde, who once were the super attractive stars of a new generation, walk on the stage to present the winner of the best picture. I was saying to myself that Faye Dunaway looks very pulled back, and Warren Beatty does not look very steady, but it’s always good to see people still “bringing it”, even at their age. I was happy to see them, but then the entire show unraveled in a split second as Warren Beatty announced the wrong winner. Even I started to yell at the TV “How could you blow this?” Well, it really wasn’t their fault. However, for a brief moment it was chaos, and it was exciting to watch. Perfect people, perfect show, perfect movies, and then it all came tumbling down.
The next morning the NY Times had the title “And the Winner Is… Wrong”. The more I thought about this, the more it reminded me of Easter. The disciples, the women, the Roman soldiers are looking into the empty tomb, a place where you put dead people who remain there in perpetuity. But no, WRONG. Here we thought Caesar wins, Pontius Pilate wins, Herod wins, Caiaphas wins, but no. The tomb is empty, and there is good news from the graveyard. Yes, here we thought the darkness of this world ends up victorious, but WRONG.
In the end, Jesus is the winner. In the end, old geezers can be winners, too. All of us can rejoice in the fact that the card we have been given that holds our death certificate is not the final word. It’s good news to rejoice in, to believe in. It is the hope that Christians have put their faith in for centuries.
We gather Easter Sunday to reaffirm our faith in the Resurrection, which literally means “to stand again”.
Happy Easter! MEH