Every loser wins

The annual Oscar ceremony took place the other night and, inexplicably, millions of people watched agog from their sofas while they might have been more gainfully employed slow-boiling a tin of baked beans in the kitchen or something.

As far as I understand it, the gongfest once again consisted of hordes of overly self-possessed people congratulating themselves and each other on doing a not-very-difficult job a lot worse than it was done fifty years ago.

Highlights this year apparently included Spike Lee, erstwhile director of films none of which I can name, turning his back on the stage in a petulant sulk when Green Book won Best Picture presumably because he thought something else should have triumphed. Possibly his own film whose title I don't remember either. Maybe he should just make better films.

This incident brings to mind the similar antics some years back of the extraordinarily talented and humble Kanye West bounding on stage at some music award ceremony or other to express his indignation because his chum Beyoncé hadn't won in the highest pitched screech category or similar. It's not clear whether he later went on to slam the dressing room door and yell "It's not fair! I hate you!" and refuse to clean his room.

People have lost the art of losing gracefully and it's a pity. Maybe the rot set in when some not very bright sparks decided it would be a good idea to give all the children a winner's medal on school sports day, even if it took some of them a week and a half to run fifty metres. Killing with kindness I think is the mot juste.

Let's be clear - losing's brilliant, and I should know. It makes you buck up your ideas and encourages you to concentrate on the things you're half decent at instead of deluding yourself that you're something you're not.

Luckily, The Shakespeare is going from strength to strength these days but it wasn't always thus - we passed through some very hairy moments during the first eighteen months. If it had failed, I'd have lost and it would have been my own fault. When that happens, you lick your wounds for a while and then strive to do better until, eventually, and with a bit of luck, you win.

Come to think of it, we should have a best pub Oscar ceremony every year. Nominations for the most ridiculous owner category more than welcome.