Okay, so the Oscar nominations came out this morning, and all of the acting categories feature white nominees, and all the Best Picture nominees are stories about dudes. As you can imagine, the Problem Internet was not pleased with this development. We go right to the takes!

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DEVASTATING! IN TEARS! Someone is really crying about the fucking Oscar nominations! Now, I am a white dude (this may shock you), and so I am the supposed beneficiary of all this white-male empty-award-show privilege. (Yay, me!) In fact, I'm disappointed Snowpiercer didn't get nominated for anything, because that movie is literally white all over.

But this is overdoing it. No one should cry about anything related to the Oscars. Yes, Hollywood is still an old-boys club, and could use plenty more diversity in both content and personnel, but if you're expecting the Oscars to solve all this, you desperately need a better game plan. Viewing systemic industry problems through the prism of which shitty actors get meaningless award nominations will drive you out of your mind. Besides, as stupid and useless as the Oscars are, they're even WORSE when they're putting on a grand display of head-patting and positioning the ceremony as some kind of grand benchmark for societal progress. WITNESS!

Oh, God, no. Please, God, no more Julia Roberts loving her life or speeches from George Clooney about being proud of his community. Don't put that in anyone's head. If you think that the unrelenting whiteness of this year's Oscar nominations are meaningful in this regard, then you also have to suppose that last year's Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress victories for 12 Years a Slave (both deserved) somehow signaled a sea change in the institutional rigidity of Hollywood, which of course they didn't. You're investing in a cosmetic solution to a deeply rooted problem … a solution that has already proven ineffective. And honestly, I think a lot of these people are casting down shame upon nominations because it's a nice thing to do publicly. LOOK HOW MUCH I CARE ABOUT THIS! It's no different than when the Oscars congratulate themselves and coat themselves in liberal-do-gooder varnish for doling out a statue to the first female Best Director or whatnot. Look at how we opened the hatch on our glass ceiling for this person! You should encourage us to do this more!

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The Atlantic has a story about Selma possibly getting snubbed by the Oscars because they didn't send out screener DVDs of the film. (Disclosure: I am a member of the WGA and didn't get a screener of the movie; I also didn't vote for any awards of any kind, because I'm lazy and indifferent and just like watching free movies.) That makes more sense than every voter suddenly not liking well-received movies about black people. And if Selma had been nominated for every last prize and won, then the Oscars probably just would've been accused of rewarding any film that looks potentially critic-proof anyway.

These awards are deeply meaningless. The only reason people in Hollywood give a shit about them is because a) money and b) everyone wants to puff up each other's resume, which means over-inflating the value of an award so that all your colleagues and all the LITTLE PEOPLE you work with (FX artists, costumers, etc.) get their little moment of recognition. Oh, how they crave recognition. As if the sound-effects industry would wither and die if they didn't hand out one forgettable award on national TV every March.

If you're relying on the Oscars to be an accurate barometer of progress—hell, if you're just hoping they dish out awards to movies that aren't fucking terrible—you better be ready for a lot of disappointment in life. If THIS reduces you to tears, you're probably not gonna have the resolve to set about finding a real solution to this problem. "This is a devastating morning. I am in tears and am exasperated at my grocery store being out of nine-grain bread. So out of touch with the world!" There's probably some deeper issue at play, anyway. ("Hey! Still Alice didn't get nominated for Best Picture, and why does Mom drink?") You're also conveniently ignoring a lot of the hard-earned progress that HAS been made in Hollywood, with Shonda Rhimes lording over an entire bloc of programming, more gay characters on more TV shows, and several women—Fey, Wiig, Schumer, McCarthy, etc.—dominating the comedy world as we speak. Why give an award show that much power?

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Art doesn't exist to redress injustice (or it shouldn't, because when it does, you end up with The Newsroom), and the Oscars are a shitty arbiter of art's value, anyway. Never look to a bad party Hollywood throws itself for signs of meaningful change. The Oscars will never solve America's problems. And if they COULD, then I promise you we have much bigger ones.


Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter@drewmagary and email him at drew@deadspin.com. You can also order Drew's book,Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.

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