I have a theory why the Academy Awards attract so many viewers from around the world. It's damned near impossible to win a Pulitzer or Nobel Peace Prize but it doesn't take a leap of faith watching the Oscars to think to myself, "You know, had my luck been just a little better...that could be me up there."
It's a fantasy anyone can believe will or could happen. We don't even to have to worry about our acceptance speech. Save for the British, the winners can rarely communicate an unscripted thought much less a brief and humble thanks.
I'm not sure if the Oscar's are getting worse or I'm getting older but, after 30 minutes, I could no longer watch the luckiest people in the world push luck even further. Maybe it's because 4,700 teachers in NYC lose their jobs today. Maybe it's because this country is flat broke. As my stomach turned so did the channel.
I caught the last episode of William Boyd's three part series on PBS, Any Human Heart. I missed the first two episodes but had read the book years ago. I remember two things about the book. One, I didn't want it to end. Two, I couldn't believe Logan Mountstuart wasn't real in what was a book of fiction.
I became a huge fan of Boyd's fiction (another here) but I am convinced Logan is out there somewhere. Probably because he's all of us. With his good luck and bad luck, we follow him from the beginning of his life to the end.
Any Human Heart was unlike any book I've ever read. It makes sense the film is unlike any I've ever seen. Understated and direct, it uses only what any of us have to tell our story. Memory. And as we grow older we look back at our mistakes and our luck and hope to be spared the cans of Bowser.
But if Bowsers is to be -- it's to be. There's a DVD here but all three episodes are available on line until 22 March here. And don't forget the book. It's not about fantasy. It's about a life and how one man becomes what I want to be.