Last night, I attended the Entertainment Weekly Oscar viewing party. Elaine's was packed to the gills with folks, including half the cast of the various flavors of Law and Order (Christopher Meloni, Chris Noth, Dann Florek, Tamara Tunie).
While the party was lively, the Oscar show dragged. Between the warblings of Celine Dion, the Michael Mann Americana montage, the interminable Dreamgirls medley and the bizarre clips of foreign films from the past, the show was indulgent and interminable. Bored by the telecast, I had the time and inclination to do some calculations.
First, let's consider that the 79th Oscars ran over 20 minutes long.
Now, 20 minutes doesn't seem all that excessive. After all, what's 20 minutes out of one life? Not a big deal. However, if the audience of the Oscars is 1 billion (and Ellen Degeneres said it is!) 20 minutes is an enormous investment of our collective energy.
If the lifespan of the average Oscar viewer is 75 years, then the average viewer has a lifespan of 39.42 million minutes.
Since 1 billion people watch the Oscars, every minute of the telecast taken over the entire audience is equivalent to the total lifespan -- in minutes -- of 25 people.
By running the show 20 minutes late, the Academy Awards consumed the same number of minutes as 500 human lives.