Monday, February 23, 2015

What’s in the 2015 swag bag? Stuff, glorious stuff, of course.

As I’m writing this post – Sunday, February 22 – I haven’t as yet decided if and when I’ll turn on the Academy Awards.

I do watch it occasionally, and occasionally I enjoy it, but when it gets right down to it, the entire extravaganza just seems to me like an industry that’s steeped in narcissism to begin with bending over backwards to kiss its own ass. Blechhh…

Oh, I’ll probably cruise by it off and on. I like looking at the gowns. I like seeing what celeb has had the worst work done in the past year. I’d love seeing Kanye leap on to the stage and inarticulately denounce the entire affair for one thing or another.

But I don’t have any dogs in the hunt.

The only movie I’ve seen on the Best Picture list is Boyhood, which I liked. At some point or another, I’ll get around to most/all of the rest of them.

Other than that, I just know the stuff that everyone knows: LBJ was dissed in Selma (at least according to Jack Valenti). Clint Eastwood used a doll instead of a real live baby in American Sniper.  (I saw the clip on YouTube. That baby doll sure ain’t going to win a Best Baby Actor award in any hurry.) Michael Keaton played himself in Birdman.

I’ll read (and, like everyone else I know, immediately forget what I read) about the winners – enough to know who took home the biggies.

Mostly, I’ll take the 2014 advice of Idina Menzel, or Adele Dazeem, or whatever her name is, and Let It Go.

One thing that I do always value about the Academy Awards is finding out what’s in the swag bag given to the non-winning nominees for best and best supporting actor/actress, and for best director. 

If nothing else, looking for info on the swag bags gives me a reason to read Variety. While it’s never quite as exciting as I want it to be – there really never will be another headline that equals "Sticks Nix Hick Pix” – it’s always kind of fun to glance at Hollywood’s rag of record.

The most highly valued item in this year’s bag, according to the press release from Distinctive Assets, the bag’s creator, is a $20,000 gift certificate to have Enigma Life founder Olessia Kantor fly out to meet with each nominee “to discuss their 2015 horoscope, analyze dreams and teach them mind control techniques.” (Source: Variety)

Not the Olessia Kantor?

For the first time in my long and mostly non-covetous life, I wish I were, at minimum, a supporting actress nominee.

Oh, to get my hands on a $20K gift certificate to analyze my dreams.

Olessia herself is something of an enigma.

I really had to dig deep into Google to find that she is/was married to a Russian oligarch (Yukos), Leonid Nevzlin, and her background includes private money management (NYC) and jewelry stores (Israel). Somewhere along the line, she had her picture taken with Google’s Sergei Brin. Girl gets around!

Well, who doesn’t have a few careers in them?

And Olessia’s trajectory has taken her to her very own Enigma Life.

Enigma Life [her website] is made up of four main sections: STORIES, ENIGMATICALS, LIFESTYLE, and MEMBERS.

The STORIES featured on Enigma Life are eternal mysteries that have been retold throughout countless lifetimes in a myriad of variations, and yet still remain relevant. They are stories that can touch souls, anyone and anywhere. Enigma Life endeavors to offer insight if not clear answers in the form of fresh versions of timeless true tales complemented by original illustrations via modern masters.

And a lot of pictures of someone that I presume to be Olessia herself. I feel I know her already!

The ENIGMATICALS section was created as an antidote to overhecticness, diminishing attention spans, malignant malaise and debilitating distraction with four empowering subsections: Horoscope, Mind Power, Dream Reader and Advice. Each of these delivers new takes on timeless techniques and methodologies, with practical demonstrations on incorporating invaluable spirit-honing skills to enrich daily life.

I actually know quite a few timeless techniques and methodologies myself, but most of them are around boring stuff like writing about technology. But if I could incorporate spirit-honing skills into the mix, well…I can only imagine how enriched my daily life would be.

The LIFESTYLE section brings to daily life the wonder found in the stories, by recommending via informed heartfelt reviews and appreciations, remarkable restaurants, enchanting jewelry, travel destinations, and life enhancing products.

Bring. It. On.

The MEMBERS section brings it all together literally, connecting like-minded souls to share, learn and explore via live discussions of featured stories.

When I looked, the featured story was about the Hope Diamond. Yawn! (I just know that Olessia can do better than that.)

What else is in the swag bag? A luxury train trip through the Canadian Rockies. Hair follicle simulant. (Which would be useful for Michael Keaton, if he doesn’t win.) A “glamping” (glamour camping) adventure. A rental Audi for the year. (You can take the Audi on the glamping trip.) There’s luxury lodging in Italy (3 nights each in Tuscany, Lake Como, and Sorrento). A piece of custom-designed furniture.

Then there are the things that are, more or less, stocking stuffers: Hydroxycut gummies and shakes; fancy-dancy sea salts; an L.E.D. light that purports to trim 3-9 inches off in just 3 weeks.

And, to top it off, an Afterglow Pulsewave Vibrator.

Just another life-enhancing product, for the folks in Hollywood who’ll need their lives advanced if they don’t get an Oscar.

All I can say is that last night, it sure paid to be a loser.


Frederick Wright said...

What a strange assortment of things to give out! I had to wonder what do you give to people who have everything, and anything they don't have they can simply buy. Maybe a voucher that allows the bearer to volunteer eight hours at a soup kitchen. Or to stand in the freezing cold protecting women entering a Planned Parenthood clinic on a Saturday morning.

Maureen Rogers said...

Frederick - Excellent idea! Or maybe one of the companies "donating" the gifts could give a smaller item and make a donation in the actor's name to a charity. Of course, in the case of the Olessia Kantor dream interpretation, there is no actual cost associated with it...